ACWA Drought Update, April 21, 2014

  • by BPC Staff
  • on April 21, 2014


CA drought update

April 21, 2014

The California Drought Update is 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.

Snowpack Rapidly Disappearing as Rainy Season Winds Down

The Sierra snowpack is now just 18% of average, down from a seasonal high of 35% on April 7. According to snowpack data tracked by the California Data Exchange Center, some areas – including the Northern Sierra – lost half of the snow water content in a single week, largely due to unusually high temperatures in the West. In California, temperatures were 9-12 degrees above normal, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Storage levels in the state’s major reservoirs, however, remained largely unchanged. The rapid loss of snowpack suggests the effects of California’s ongoing drought will worsen in the coming dry months. Read more…

USFWS to Truck More Salmon Smolts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced Monday that it will this week truck and release about 4 million salmon smolts from the Coleman National Fish Hatchery to the Mare Island area of San Pablo Bay. This week’s release is part of USFWS’s 2 ½-month drought contingency plan that is being operated in conjunction with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The plan calls for the transport and release of 12 million hatchery smolts in 2014 due to extreme drought conditions. Read more…

Late Winter Rains Bring Slight Increase in State and Federal Water Project Deliveries

Late winter rains have brought limited relief to California’s water delivery system allowing a small increase – from 0% to 5% – in the state’s initial water allocation estimate from the State Water Project. Federal deliveries from the Central Valley Project north of the Delta will rise from 40% to 75%, state and federal officials announced April 18. The late winter storms also eliminate the immediate need for rock barriers to be constructed in the Delta to prevent saltwater intrusion, officials said, adding that they will continue to seek permits and contracts for the projects in case they are needed later this year. Read more…

First Wave of Drought Relief Food Assistance to Hit Food Banks in Early May

The California Department of Social Services’ (CDSS) on Thursday announced that food banks in 24 drought-impacted counties soon will be receiving shipments of the first $5.1 million in food assistance that was authorized under emergency drought legislation. The food assistance will begin to hit food bank shelves in early May, delivered directly to drought-impacted communities. Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation authorizing $687 million in emergency drought relief. That relief package included $25 million in food assistance for the counties most impacted by the drought. Read more…

Poll: Most California Voters Say Water Shortage Is Serious

Nearly all California voters (88%) say the state is in the grips of a serious water shortage, one percentage point higher than data collected during California’s landmark 1977 drought, according to a new Field Poll released April 16. Within those numbers, 60% called the water shortage now “extremely serious” while only 51% said the same in the 1977 poll, even though the current water outlook, although dire, isn’t quite as bleak as it was then because some storms arrived in March. Field Research Corp.’s Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll since 1993, will discuss these new findings and more at ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey on Friday, May 9, during ACWA’s Hans Doe Past Presidents’ Breakfast in Partnership with ACWA/JPIA. Read more…

House Democrats Introduce Bill to Further Expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir

House Democrats from California introduced legislation April 10 that would take steps to expedite another expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which the bill sponsors say would aid the two major water projects in the state. H.R. 4456 by U.S. Reps. George Miller (CA-11) and Jim Costa (CA-16) and eight other co-sponsoring California Democrats seeks to expand an existing pilot program allowing the Bureau of Reclamation to lease excess storage capacity in Los Vaqueros and other non-federal reservoirs in order to provide more operational flexibility for the Central Valley Project. Read more…

State and Federal Officials Release 2014 Drought Operations Plan

State and federal officials on April 9 released a joint drought operations plan that provides a framework for water management actions through November, outlining proposed operations to meet water supply needs for health and human safety, salinity control in the Delta and fish and wildlife protection. The plan was released jointly by the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation and details proposed drought operations of the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP). It was developed in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Read more…

Save Our Water Launches ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ Video Challenge

Save Our Water – a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) – has launched a ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ challenge on its social media channels. The challenge aims to tap into Californians’ can-do spirit and creativity by encouraging the public to share their methods for conserving water. Californians can share their tips, videos and pictures on Save Our Water’s Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SaveOurWater. The program will select videos and photos to share as part of our public awareness campaign. Read more…

Drought Resources

ACWA 2014 Drought Portal

Save Our Water Drought Portal

Governor’s California 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