2016 Drought Watch

***ACWA's June 28 Special Webinar Briefing: Modifed Emergency Conservation Regulation and Outreach Strategies (Member Login Required)***


Urban Water Conservation

On Feb. 2 the State Water Board adopted an updated emergency conservation regulation, which took effect Feb. 11. As directed by Gov. Jerry Brown's Executive Order (B-37-16), the State Water Board on May 18 approved modifications to the existing emergency water conservation regulation to reflect improved conditions and allow for more local decision making. 

The modified regulation replaces the existing state-imposed mandatory conservation standards with a locally driven, supply-based assessment process.  The new 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.

Did El Niño End the Drought?

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. 

Conservation a Priority

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. 

Local Drought Response Gallery

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.

Drought Resources

ACWA's June 28 Special Webinar Briefing: Modifed Emergency Conservation Regulation and Outreach Strategies (Member Login Required)

ACWA's Drought Communications Member Toolkit - June 2016 (Member Login Required)

ACWA's Drought Response Member Toolkit - June 2015

2015 Drought - Four Years and Counting: Impacts and Actions - April 9

Save Our Water 

DWR Drought Portal

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Drought Page

State Water Resources Control Board Drought Year Water Actions Page

Daily Reservoir Storage Summary

California Reservoir Conditions

California Weather Data

U.S. Drought Portal

Central Valley Project Water Supply Information

General information about California Water

How Water is Used is California

Latest Posts about Water Supply Challenges

ACWA released a report in June 2014 detailing specific impacts of the drought around the state and underscoring the need for a variety of... read more»
Record wildfires, shrinking reservoirs and brown lawns are signs of the times as California appears headed for a fourth year of drought.... read more»
Water agencies report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs this summer as the drought continues. read more»
ACWA has released a report detailing specifc impacts of the drought around the state and underscoring the need for a variety of strategies... read more»

Latest News about Water Supply Challenges

The State Water Resources Control Board today approved modifications to the existing emergency water conservation regulation to reflect... read»
SACRAMENTO –Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued the following statement today... read»
High flows from recent storms are underscoring the need for long-term Delta solutions to meet the coequal goals and take advantage of El Ni... read»
Drenching rains have restored key Northern California reservoirs to historic averages, but Southern California has largely missed out and... read»
The 2016 emergency conservation regulation adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on Feb. 2 has been approved by the Office of... read»