2014 Drought Watch
Recent storms boosted the Sierra snowpack and runoff into reservoirs, but state officials say it’s far from enough to end drought conditions in California.
According to the California Department of Water Resources, it would take half an inch of rain every day in March from Redding to Bakersfield to bring the state to average precipitation for the year in key watersheds that supply much of California’s water. Even average precipitation would not be enough to avert water shortages and end the drought because major reservoir storage remains so far below typical levels for this time of year.
The 2014 water year (Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2104) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. With two-thirds of the rainy season now behind us, DWR says there is little chance of recovering reservoir storage this year.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the state Jan. 17 and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for drought conditions. The governor's drought declaration came with a call for all Californians to do all they can to reduce water use 20%.
The governor directed Californians to the Save Our Water -- a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources -- to learn ways to reduce household water use, indoor and outdoor.
- View materials and presentations from ACWA's Feb. 14 Drought Briefing -- Impacts and Actions: What You Need to Know here.
- View ACWA's California Drought Update here.
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.
In addition, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has appointed two experienced managers to lead preparations for what could be a third consecutive dry year in 2014. Read more here.