Update from the Pacific Institute California Drought Response Group – July 8


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

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This week in…Statewide Water Use Data

New data released by the State Water Resources Control Board show residential users have reduced May water use in 2015 by 28.9% from May 2013. However, the Board notes that, statewide, May 2015 was cooler and wetter than May 2013. The Board will begin issuing enforcement actions in July against suppliers that don’t reduce their required amount.

The Pacific Institute has created an interactive table and map to help readers explore and visualize these data.

In other news…

  • The State Board issued curtailment orders to senior water rights dating back to 1858 on the Merced River and to all pre-1914 appropriative rights on the on the Upper San Joaquin River watersheds. The Board also issued a curtailment notice to the City of San Francisco for four appropriative water rights it holds on the Tuolumne River dating back to 1903.
  • For the first time in history, the Delta Mendota Canal is now running backwards, pumping water from San Luis Reservoir to upstream water districts in the western San Joaquin as well as the City of Tracy.
  • Over the course of two weeks, the Lake Fire burned more than 30,000 acres of land in San Bernardino County. This was the largest wildfire of the year and the first in recorded history in that area.
  • Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 83, a trailer bill attached to the budget that makes groundwater well logs publicly available. California was previously the only western state that 

California Drought Status

Drought Monitor

Drought conditions remain unchanged from two weeks ago.















Reservoir Conditions

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs (representing 27.3 million acre-feet of storage) are at 38% of capacity and 51% of group average.


















Hydroelectric power generation in April this year was 31% lower than 2014 and 69% lower than the 2003-2013 average.