Water Supply Challenges

California relies on an elaborate network of water storage and delivery systems to supply cities, farms, businesses and the environment with adequate water year-round. The systems are necessary because California’s Mediterranean climate means we receive little or no rain for months at a time. The ability to store and move water has made it possible for California to grow and prosper.

Precipitation varies from place to place, season to season, and year to year. Most of the state’s rain and snowfall occurs in the northern part of the state, while most of the demand for water is along the coast and in the valleys to the south of Sacramento. California receives most of its rain and snowfall between October and April, though the highest demand for water is in the hot, dry summer months.

California’s water system was developed to address that variability. Two important projects in that system are the State Water Project (SWP) and the federal Central Valley Project (CVP). The SWP and the CVP bring water from Northern California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for delivery to users in the San Joaquin Valley, parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

While the systems operate effectively in some years, California is prone to drought, and the next one is always around the corner. See what public water agencies in California are doing in 2013 to stretch their water supplies in response to this year's historically dry conditions.

Latest News about Water Supply Challenges

The stage is set for a strong El Niño event this winter, but experts are cautioning that heavy rain and even flooding in some parts... read»
Water experts today briefed California lawmakers on the impacts of climate change on water availability and pricing, and provided an... read»
Gov. Jerry Brown today issued an executive order that intensifies the state’s drought response by extending emergency conservation... read»
PBS NewsHour on Nov. 3 ran a story on water storage in California which featured ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn explaining the value... read»
Regions 6 & 7 jointly hosted their annual San Joaquin Valley Water Forum in Visalia on Oct. 16.  The event garnered 70 attendees... read»

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»
Save Our Water, the state’s largest water conservation program, today urged Californians to take note of state officials’... read more»
Below are materials from the Integrated Watershed Management Initiative Kickoff meeting Sept. 25. read more»
This program will address the fundamentals to water supply reliability in urban water management plans and water supply assessments... read more»