2016 Drought Watch
- Urban Water Conservation
- Did El Niño End the Drought?
- Conservation a Priority
- Local Drought Response Gallery
- Drought Resources
In May 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a modified emergency water conservation regulation that replaces state-mandated, specific conservation standards with a locally driven, “stress-test” approach.
Under the modified regulation, local water suppliers must conduct a rigorous assessment and certify they are drought-prepared in the event of another three dry years.
While many water suppliers have determined they are indeed drought-prepared thanks to local investments in drought-resilient supplies and water-use efficiency, they continue to promote conservation and ongoing water-wise practices.
ACWA has compiled several examples of how local water suppliers are continuing the call for conservation this year. Download a PDF here (August 2016).
The modified regulation is effective June 1, 2016 through January 2017.
The State Water Board continues to require monthly compliance reporting, due on the 15th of each month. Information is available at the State Water Board Emergency Conservation Regulation Portal.
For more on the State Water Board's emergency regulation and ACWA's activities, please visit ACWA's Urban Water Conservation page here.
Unfortunately, this year's highly-anticipated El Niño was not a statewide drought-buster. While storms boosted storage in some Northern California reservoirs, they sputtered out in the Southern part of the state.
The uneven recovery and possibility of dry conditions next year means that the drought is not over yet.
Last year, ACWA prepared this award-winning infographic providing a high-level look at key drought recovery factors that water managers and other experts were watching for signs of improvement. As the drought continues, these factors will continue to be important indicators.
Water conservation remains a priority. With the new regulation adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 18, in the coming weeks water agencies will be evaluating water supplies carefully and establishing supply-based conservation targets tailored to local conditions.
Save Our Water -- a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources -- is expanding its 2016 outreach to consumers on the need for ongoing conservation and making permanent changes to save water.
The program will be updated its online toolkit for water agenices and other partners with new materials and has partnered with the California Native Plant Society to promote its new interactive website to help Californians bring native plants back into their landscaping.
- Read a chronology of ACWA's response to unprecedented drought (November 2015)
- Read ACWA's California Drought Update here.
- Read a report by ACWA's Drought Action Group (June 2014)
In 2015, as local water agencies responded to a fourth year of historic drought, ACWA launched a new interactive gallery to showcase the plethora of local agency drought response activities by ACWA members statewide.
As the drought stretches into its fifth year in 2016, the Drought Response Gallery continues to highlight water conservation and efficiency projects and program actions in five categories.
Visit the Drought Response Gallery to see examples.
- Read about innovative ways local agencies are saving water
- Read about the surge of interest in turf buy-back programs
- Read a detailed list of local water agency drought response actions
- Read more about the Brown Administration's Drought Task Force
ACWA's Drought Communications Member Toolkit - June 2016 (Member Login Required)