In April and early May, California experienced an accelerated rate of snow melt. This was exacerbated when much of the snowpack, seeped into the earth or evaporated, rather than flowing into rivers, streams, and reservoirs. Warming temperatures also prompted water diverters to withdraw their water much earlier and in greater volumes. These factors reduced expected water supplies by more than 500,000 acre feet.
Today’s proclamation directs the State Water Resources Control Board to consider modifying requirements for reservoir releases and diversion limitations. The state of emergency also enables flexibilities in regulatory requirements and procurement processes to mitigate drought impacts. The text of today's emergency proclamation can be found here.
The Governor’s executive action last month directed state agencies to partner with local water suppliers to promote conservation through the Save Our Water campaign, a critical resources for Californians during the 2012-2016 drought. Additionally, the state’s response and informational resources are available at the state’s new drought preparedness website.