2014 Drought Watch
Three consecutive dry years have pushed California into an historic drought. Reservoirs are at half-capacity or less and dropping, groundwater basins and ecosystems are stressed, and wildfire risk is extremely high.
Nearly 60% of California is now in “exceptional drought,” the most severe on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s five-point scale. About 82% of the state is in “extreme drought,” while 98% is now in “severe drought.”
State and local agencies are taking a broad suite of actions to combat drought and assist areas in greatest need. Local water agencies througout California are calling for increased water conservation, with mandatory restrictions on water use and even rationing in place in some areas.
As of Aug. 26, at least 128 local water agencies have implemented some form of mandatory restrictions / conservation, while at least 104 are calling for voluntary increased conservation in response to the drought and Gov. Jerry Brown's call for all Californians to reduce water use.
The governor declared a drought emergency for the state Jan. 17, and issued a subsequent executive order on April 25 to strengthen the state’s ability to manage water effectively and urge Californians to redouble their water conservation efforts.
On July 15, the State Water Resources Control Board passed emergency regulations that prohibit certain outdoor water uses and require water agencies to file monthly reports on water use and production. In light of these new regulations, ACWA's Drought Response map will be changing in the next month to reflect the changes made by the agencies, cities and counties to comply with the state regulations. Find the latest fact sheet on the state regulations here.
Save Our Water -- a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources -- is in high gear to reach out to consumers with information on reducing household water use, both indoors and outdoors. The program has a launched a new "Don't Waste Summer" campaign and microsite with daily tips and information for consumers.
Local water agencies across California are taking action in the face of record-dry conditions in early 2014. Many water suppliers are calling on customers to step up conservation efforts, while some already have implemented mandatory restrictions on water use.
The Brown Administration created an interagency Drought Task Force that has been meeting weekly to monitor conditions. Read more about the Drought Task Force here.