February 10 California Drought Update from ACWA

February 10, 2014

This is the third issue of the California Drought Update, compiled by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) to keep media and other audiences current on drought conditions, impacts, news and other developments. Please visit ACWA’s website for additional information and resources. Questions? Contact Lisa Lien-Mager, ACWA Director of Communications, lisalm@acwa.com or 916-441-4545.

ACWA to Hold Statewide Drought Briefing Feb. 14 in Sacramento

Though a recent band of storms brought welcome precipitation to Northern California, water managers say it is not enough to end the drought. Local, state and federal water officials will provide the latest on California’s statewide drought and emerging impacts at a half-day briefing set for Friday, Feb. 14 in Sacramento. The event, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Crest Theater, is sponsored by ACWA, the California Department of Water Resources, California State Association of Counties (CSAC), League of California Cities, California Farm Water Coalition, California Farm Bureau Federation, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and others. The briefing is geared toward media, local elected officials, water managers, legislative staff and statewide business and agricultural leaders. The event is free of charge and a webcast will be broadcast. Register here by Feb. 13. Read more… 

Op-Ed: Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Response

With California facing a historic drought, it’s clear that a statewide approach is needed to a statewide problem, ACWA President John A. Coleman writes in an op-ed published Feb. 9 in The Sacramento Bee. Californians can – and must – rise to the challenge and come together as one state. Read more…

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Begins Drought-Related Monitoring for Delta Smelt

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) on Feb. 5 announced it has begun focused drought-related surveys for delta smelt as part of the federal response to California’s severe drought. The surveys will provide USFW, state and other federal water managers with real-time information about the location of delta smelt and details if the smelt move closer to water diversions in the southern Delta. Read more…

ACWA Establishes Statewide Drought Action Group

With California now in its worst drought on record, ACWA is moving to assemble a group of water community experts to recommend specific actions to combat severe drought conditions this year. ACWA’s Board of Directors voted to establish the Drought Action Group at its Jan. 31 meeting as a way to channel expertise and hands-on drought experience to identify needs and potential solutions. The group’s work will help guide ACWA’s efforts at the state and federal level to advance actions to reduce impacts this year and in future droughts. Read more…

Water Storage in Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins Drops Hugely Since Nov. 2011

The water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins – including snow, soil moisture, groundwater and surface water – has declined precipitously over the past two years due to increased groundwater pumping because of the state’s dry conditions, according to a new report by the Irvine-based University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling. Read more…

Federal and State Officials Highlight “All-In” Response to California Drought 

Federal and state officials held a joint press conference Feb. 5 to highlight the multi-agency collaboration – calling it an “all-in” endeavor – that is taking place to leverage resources to respond to California’s drought. Officials also announced an additional $14 million in federal monies that will be made available to water agencies and growers to improve water management. Read more…

Drought Resources

ACWA 2014 Drought Portal

Save Our Water Drought Portal

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