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State of California Drought Portal Logo

(Left) Lake Oroville July 20, 2011
(Right) Lake Oroville January 16, 2014

(Left) Lake Oroville July 20, 2011
(Right) Lake Oroville January 16, 2014

(Left) NASA satellite image of Sierra Nevada on January 18, 2013
(Right) NASA satellite image Sierra Nevada on January 18, 2014

(Left) Folsom Lake July 20, 2011
(Right) Folsom Lake January 16, 2014

(Left) Folsom Lake March 2011
(Right) Folsom Lake January 2014

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. The state has continued to lead the way to make sure California is able to cope with an unprecedented drought.

Top Story: Governor Brown Streamlines Relief Efforts for Families With Drinking Water Shortages Due to Drought

September 19, 2014 - Just days after signing historic legislation requiring sustainable groundwater management for the first time in California, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order streamlining efforts to provide water to families in dire need as the extreme drought continues to grip the state.
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Governor Brown Signs Historic Groundwater Legislation

September 16, 2014 - Putting California communities on a path to become more resilient to water shortages, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed historic legislation to strengthen local management and monitoring of groundwater basins most critical to the state's water needs. "We have to learn to manage wisely water, energy, land and our investments," said Governor Brown. "That's why this is important."
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Urban Water Suppliers Report Progress On Conservation Measures

September 9, 2014 - California’s urban water conservation efforts for the month of July resulted in a seven and one-half percent drop, statewide, in urban water usage from a year ago, according to results of a survey of retail water suppliers released today by the State Water Resources Control Board.
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Klamath River Spit Fishery Closes

August 29, 2014 - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the closure of the Klamath River Spit fishery as of Sept. 1. By sundown on Sunday, Aug. 31, Klamath River anglers will have caught their sub-quota of 619 adult fall-run Chinook salmon below the Highway 101 bridge. This triggers the closure of the Spit (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) to fishing as of the following morning.
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CPUC Orders Water Utilities to Provide Notification to Customers of Water Use Restrictions and Potential Fines

August 14, 2014 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today ordered the water companies under its jurisdiction to provide direct notice to their customers of mandatory water use restrictions and potential fines in response to the State Water Resources Control Board’s Emergency Regulation for Statewide Water Conservation.
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State and Federal Wildlife Managers Preparing Habitat for Migrating Birds

August 14, 2014 - Each year millions of birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway relying on a diverse string of habitats that stretch from Alaska and Canada to Central and South America. While the wetlands of the Central Valley provide less than 5 percent of the habitat historically available, they are critical as a feeding area during the migration and wintering of these birds. In following its mission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has responsibility to provide habitat for these migrating birds.
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Save Our Water: Conan O’Brien Urges Californians to Save Water During Historic Drought

August 5, 2014 – Iconic comedian and television talk show host Conan O’Brien and sidekick Andy Richter may always be looking for laughs, but they’re taking California’s historic drought seriously by joining the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the State of California’s drought awareness program, Save Our Water, in creating a new series of public service announcements to promote water conservation. Six videos featuring the duo – and their humorous take on simple ways to save water – were released today, challenging Californians to do their part in cutting personal water use by 20 percent.
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State Water Board: Mandatory Water Conservation Regulation Goes Into Effect

July 29, 2014 - On July 29, 2014, an emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians went into effect. The new conservation regulation targets outdoor urban water use. In some areas of the State, 50 percent or more of daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping. With this regulation, all Californians are expected to stop: washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle, and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated.
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Save Our Water: Lady Gaga Joins Save Our Water Effort With Public Service Announcement

July 16, 2014 - In partnership with the State of California’s drought awareness program Save Our Water, international pop superstar and five-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) asking Californians to join the effort and take extraordinary measures to save water during the drought. The PSA is available on SaveOurWater.com, a new site designed to help Californians find ways to conserve at home and at work every day. The Lady Gaga PSA also marks the launch of a new public awareness campaign from Save Our Water urging Californians to join the effort to undertake extraordinary conservation efforts.
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State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Ensure Agencies and State Residents Increase Water Conservation

July 15, 2104 - In response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board approved an emergency regulation to ensure water agencies, their customers and state residents increase water conservation in urban settings or face possible fines or other enforcement.
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State Water Board Approves Emergency Regulation to Assure Compliance with Water Rights Curtailment Orders

July 2, 2104 - In response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board Wednesday approved an emergency regulation to assure compliance with curtailment orders issued to protect senior water rights throughout the state.
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Emergency Water Conservation Regulations for Timber Harvesters Enacted

July 2, 2014 - In light of the unprecedented drought, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection adopted emergency regulations to conserve water for fish habitat and drinking water for Californians. The regulations became effective June 19.
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San Diego Water Board Waives Regulation to Spur Water Conservation Saving Time and Money without Compromising Water Quality

June 26, 2014 - The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Diego Water Board) adopted an Order conditionally waiving regulation of 36 types of waste discharges, some of which will assist in regional water conservation efforts during the state’s third year of drought.
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San Diego Water Board Authorizes a 50 Percent Increase in Recycled Water Production at USMC Base Camp Pendleton

June 26, 2014 - The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Diego Water Board) has adopted an order authorizing an increase in recycled water production at the US Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from 5 million gallons per day to 7.5 million gallons per day, a 50 percent increase.
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CAL FIRE Director Orders Burn Bans Across 31 Million Acres

June 18, 2014 - California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Director Ken Pimlott issued an order to suspend open burning across 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area in California. The suspended burning order is part of CAL FIRE’s continued efforts to mitigate the increased threat of wildfire due to the state’s drought emergency.
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Save Our Water Launches “Don't Waste Summer” Campaign

June 17, 2014 - As a drought-stricken California moves further into a hot summer, Save Our Water – a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) – is launching Don't Waste Summer, a campaign devoted to providing daily tips and news on the new campaign microsite – SaveOurWater.com – to help Californians find ways to conserve at home and at work every day.
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Water Use Declines 5 Percent Statewide

June 17, 2014 - Water conservation efforts by a majority of water suppliers in California show that water use has declined statewide by 5 percent through May 2014, according to survey results received by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).
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CDFW Moves to Prevent Fish Loss, Evacuates Fish at American River and Nimbus Hatcheries

June 16, 2014 - With extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are moving the last rainbow trout out of the American River Hatchery to avoid future losses of young fish to rising water temperatures.
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Deer Creek Tributary Water Rights Curtailed to Provide Minimum Flows for Migratory Fish

June 9, 2014 -- The State Water Resources Control Board has issued curtailment orders to all water right holders on Deer Creek, a significant Sacramento River tributary, to ensure minimum flows for migratory fish.
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$10 Million in Rental Assistance Soon Available for Families Affected by the Drought

June 4, 2014 - Thousands of low-income California families who are impacted by the drought will soon be receiving rental assistance, thanks to a new $10 million grant program being offered through California's Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). La Cooperativa, a nonprofit association, has been selected by HCD to administer the program, and assistance will begin flowing directly to California families in the coming weeks.
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CSD Announces New $600,000 Water Utility Assistance Program to Help Families in Need During the Drought

June 4, 2014 - With extreme drought persisting throughout the state, today the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) announced the Drought Water Assistance Program (DWAP) to assist drought impacted, low-income households with their residential water utility bill to prevent disruption in vital water services and to promote water conservation. The $600,000 program will be directed to families in 10 counties currently experiencing some of the worst drought impacts.
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State to Pursue Drought-Tolerant Landscaping, Irrigation in Capitol Park

May 9, 2014 - As record dry conditions persist across the state, the California Department of General Services (DGS) will roll-out a new drought-tolerant irrigation and landscaping program this week to preserve the oldest arboretum west of the Mississippi – home to hundreds of historic trees, many more than a decade old.
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HCD to Provide Rental Assistance to Eligible Families Hit Hard by the Drought

May 6, 2014 - The California Department of Housing and Community Development will soon be providing rental assistance funds for eligible families severely impacted by the drought. A Request for Qualifications has just been released to seek out local government agencies and nonprofits to administer $10 million of this assistance.
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Year’s Final Snow Survey Comes up Dry

May 1, 2014 – Today’s final snow survey of the year found more bare ground than snow as California faces another long, hot summer after a near-record dry winter. Today’s manual and electronic readings recorded the statewide snowpack’s water content –which normally provides about a third of the water for California’s farms and cities -- at a mere -- 18 percent of average for the date.
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State Water Board to Host Free Infrastructure Funding Fair

April 29, 2014 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), along with six partner agencies, will host a California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) Funding Fair in Sacramento on May 28th. The fair, which will take place in the Coastal Room of the Cal/EPA building, 1001 I Street in Sacramento, will offer public works and local government representatives the opportunity to learn about current available funding for infrastructure projects. These include, but are not limited to, projects involving drinking water, wastewater, solid waste, water quality, water supply, water conservation, energy efficiency, flood management, community facilities, streets and highways, and emergency response vehicles.
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Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Redouble State Drought Actions

April 25, 2014 – With California’s driest months ahead, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to strengthen the state’s ability to manage water and habitat effectively in drought conditions and called on all Californians to redouble their efforts to conserve water.
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San Joaquin River Watershed Junior Water Rights to be Curtailed

May 30, 2014 - With California’s extreme drought resulting in insufficient water to serve all water-rights holders, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that junior water-rights holders in the San Joaquin River watershed are receiving curtailment notices. The notices advise the recipients to stop diverting water from the watershed and allow it to flow to more senior water-right holders, as required by state law.
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Russian River Junior Water Rights to be Curtailed

May 29, 2014 - With California’s extreme drought resulting in insufficient water to serve all water-rights holders, the State Water Resources Control Board began sending out curtailment notices to some junior water right holders on the upper Russian River. The notices advise the recipients to stop diverting water from the watershed and allow it to flow to more senior water-right holders, as required by state law.
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State Water Board Notifies Junior Water-Right Holders of Necessary Cutbacks in the Sacramento River Watershed

May 28, 2014 - With California’s extreme drought resulting in insufficient water to serve all water-rights holders, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that junior water-rights holders in the Sacramento River watershed would receive curtailment notices. The notices advise the recipients to stop diverting water from the watershed and allow it to flow to more senior water-right holders, as required by state law.
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Californians Don’t Waste Hits the Radio

May 6, 2014 - Save Our Water this week is launching a new statewide radio campaign to bring awareness to, and educate, Californians on how to save water every day. The radio campaign builds on an extensive statewide outdoor billboard program unveiled by Save Our Water last week.
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CDFW and NOAA Fisheries Introduce Voluntary Drought Initiative to Protect Salmon and Steelhead

May 14, 2014 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries announced a Voluntary Drought Initiative today designed to protect populations of salmon and steelhead from the effects of the current unprecedented drought.
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State Water Board Takes First Step Towards Curtailments For Sacramento River Tributaries

May 14, 2014 - With California’s storm season at an end and weather warming up, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has announced proposed regulations that would require curtailments on water diversions if minimum flows in three Sacramento River tributaries are not met. The proposed regulations are a first step towards potential curtailments in Mill Creek, Deer Creek and Antelope Creek.
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Additional Public Meeting Scheduled to Discuss CDFA’s New Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program

April 22, 2014 – An additional public meeting to discuss CDFA’s new water efficiency and enhancement program has been scheduled for May.
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State Water Board Approves $4 Million in Funds for Interim Replacement Drinking Water for Economically Disadvantaged Communities

April 22, 2014 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today approved $4 million in funding to provide interim replacement drinking water for economically disadvantaged communities with contaminated water supplies.
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Late Storms Allow 5 Percent Allocation to State Water Project Users, Means Delta Barriers Avoided and Drought Relief Actions for Fish Fast-Tracked

April 18, 2014 - Rain and snow from February and March storms have allowed the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to increase water contract allocations for State Water Project (SWP) deliveries from zero to five percent. Precipitation from these recent storms also eliminates the current need for rock barriers to be constructed in the Delta to prevent saltwater intrusion. Additional flexibility in salinity control requirements is being sought as an alternative to the Delta rock barriers that is less harmful for fish, wildlife, and other Delta water users. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) announced that it will fast-track actions to manage and reduce the drought’s impact on fish.
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Department of Social Services: Drought Relief Provides Food to California’s Hardest Hit Communities

April 17, 2014 – As the hot, dry months approach and extreme drought grips much of the state, the California Department of Social Services’ (CDSS) today announced that food banks in 24 drought-affected counties will be receiving shipments of food assistance. The first $5.1 million in food assistance will begin to hit food bank shelves in early May, delivered directly to drought-impacted communities.
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Governor's Drought Task Force Office of Governor Office of Emergency Services California Department of Food and Agriculture State Water Board Department of Water Resources

Governor Brown has convened an interagency Drought Task Force to provide a coordinated assessment of the State’s dry conditions and provide recommendations on current and future state actions. The response to this statewide disaster requires the combined efforts of all state agencies and the state's model mutual aid system to address.

In support of this unified effort, all state agencies with a role in supporting drought mitigation and relief efforts are organized under the Incident Command System and will continue provide emergency planning, response, and mitigation support as long as needs exist. Similar task forces have been assembled in the droughts of the 2000's, 1990's,
1980's and 1970's.




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