Update from the Pacific Institute California Drought Response Group –December 9


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

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This week in… Residential Water Use

The State Water Resources Control Board has released residential water use estimates for October 2014. Statewide residential water conservation was about 6.7% of water use in October 2013, down from 10.3% savings in September. It is not immediately clear whether conservation efforts are slowing or consumption is falling naturally due to warmer weather. Water saving efforts peaked in August at 11.6%. Ninety-one percent of urban water suppliers report instituting outdoor water use restrictions. The data represent 399 urban water suppliers that provide water to 34 million Californians.

In other news…

  • The Department of Water Resources announced that it expects to deliver 10% of requests to water users on the State Water Project. This is up from the 5% that was delivered last year.
  • The State Board lifted the water use curtailment restrictions on the Scotts River Watershed.
  • Congress has restarted the debate over a bill to increase water deliveries from north to south. Although Republicans hope to pass a bill before Congress adjourns, White House advisors have already recommended Obama veto the bill.
  • A new PPIC poll shows that 70% of respondents would vote yes for local bond measures that would improve local water infrastructure.

California Drought Status

Drought Monitor

Drought conditions have not changes since last week.














Large areas of California have received more precipitation than usual for this time in the water year. Still, DWR estimates California needs 150% of average precipitation to recover from the drought.
















Reservoir Conditions

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs (representing 27.3 million acre-feet of storage), are at about 29% of total capacity and 51% of normal. The state’s five largest reservoirs (Shasta, Oroville, Trinity Lake, New Melones, and San Luis) are all below 30% capacity.