Update from the Pacific Institute California Drought Response Group –November 11

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For the latest updates about the California drought go to www.californiadrought.org

Read Previous Updates

This week in… Water Use Data

Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board released a database  describing residential water use in more than 400 water agencies in the state. The State Board reported that 87% of utilities surveyed are implementing mandatory restrictions on residential water use. Statewide, utilities reported a 10% savings in September 2014 compared to 2013. The San Francisco Bay, Sacramento River, and Central Coast all reduced daily per capita residential water use by more than 15% between September 2013 and 2014.

In other news…

  • The California Department of Water Resources has awarded $220 million in grants to 27 proposals to help California communities provide immediate drought relief and prepare for future droughts.
  • The Friant Water Authority and most of its member agencies have filed a petition for writ of mandate in Fresno County Superior Court, seeking a judicial review of the State Board’s actions this spring and summer that reduced allocations to junior water rights holders to zero.
  • Later this week, the Cambria Community Services District will open a new brackish water desalination plant on the San Simeon Creek that could produce up to 250 acre-feet per year. The plant was approved through an emergency permit and would only operate under State 3 drought conditions.

California Drought Status

Drought Monitor

Drought conditions have improved slightly this week, but not by much; 55% of the state remains in “exceptional drought”.
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Precipitation

Precipitation since the start of the water year has been below normal in most of the state, except for a few areas in northern California, the Central Coast, and the Tulare Lake Basin.
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El Niño

The probability of an El Niño developing in November has dropped to 58%, from 67% last month.

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Reservoir Conditions

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs (representing nearly 26.6 million acre-feet of storage), are at about 27% of total capacity and 49% of normal. 

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