2014 Drought Watch
Three consecutive dry years have pushed California into a 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 96% is now in “severe drought.”
- Read an updated overview piece on the drought (PDF) (Nov. 7, 2014)
- Read a report by ACWA's Drought Action Group (June 2014)
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 Nov. 18, at least 252 local water agencies have implemented some form of mandatory restrictions / conservation in response to the drought and emergency regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board in July.
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. 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.
- Read ACWA's California Drought Update here.
Local water agencies across California are taking action in the face of record-dry conditions in early 2014.
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.