This week the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) mailed approximately 40,000 notices to water right holders, warning of persisting dry conditions and asking them to plan for potential shortages.
The warnings, born of two years of below average precipitation and below average state reservoir levels, officials believe will prompt early action to help minimize short term drought impacts.
“Planting crops and other decisions that are dictated by water supply are made early in the year, so early warnings are vital,” said Erik Ekdahl, deputy director for the Water Board’s Division of Water Rights. “These letters give water users time to prepare and help minimize the impacts of reduced supplies on businesses, farms and homes.”
According to the SWRCB, agricultural water users can reduce irrigated acreage, manage herd size, install innovative irrigation and diversify water supply portfolios to improve their drought resilience. Additionally, urban users are asked to conserve by putting in drought-resistant landscape, reduce outdoor irrigation and update older house fixtures and appliances with more efficient ones.
Current drought conditions can be found on the National Integrated Drought Information System website.