Update from the Pacific Institute California Drought Response Group – July 15


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This week in… Emergency Regulations

This week, the State Water Resources Control Board will consider implementing statewide emergency regulations imposing mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use in urban areas. These would include a prohibition against overwater landscapes; hosing down hardscapes; washing cars unless the hose has a shut-off nozzle; and using potable, non-recirculated water in fountains or other decorative water features. Violating these prohibitions could incur a fine of $500 for each day in which the violation occurs.

In addition, these emergency regulations would require urban water suppliers to implement their Water Shortage Contingency Plans such that any mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use would be in effect. Although urban water suppliers with more than 3,000 water connections must have these plans in place, 40% do not. Urban water suppliers without contingency plans and those serving fewer than 3,000 connections must require customers to limit outdoor irrigation.

The emergency regulations will be considered at State Board’s July 15th meeting and, if approved, would go into effect August 1st

In other news…

California Drought Status

El Niño

Forecasts are predicting that a weak-to-moderate strength El Niño will develop during the late fall and early winter. The chance of El Niño is now about 70% during the summer and close to 80% during the fall and early winter, down slightly from previous predictions.

Reservoir Conditions

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs are at about 41% of total capacity and 55% of normal.