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San Diego CA Drought News & Updates

This historic 4-year drought has hit San Diego County & Southwestern California extremely hard… and on January 17, 2014 California State Governor, Jerry Brown, declared a drought state of emergency.

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) defines a drought as “a period of drier-than-normal conditions that results in water-related problems. When rainfall is less than normal for several weeks, months, or years, the flow of streams and rivers declines, water levels in lakes and reservoirs fall, and the depth to water in wells increases. If dry weather persists and water-supply problems develop, the dry period can become a drought.” –

On April 1, 2015, the California Department of Water Resources ( measured the statewide water content of Sierra snowpack at 5% of average for April 1st. These levels are lower than any year in records going back to 1950. The April 1 snowpack measurement is crucial because this is when the snowpack is normally at its peak and begins to melt into streams and reservoirs. Snowpack, through runoff, provides about one-third of the water used by California’s cities and farms.

Facing Unprecedented drought conditions, the California State Water Board adopted water-use reduction mandates on May 5th to implement Governor Jerry Brown’s April 1st 2015 executive order for a 25% statewide reduction in urban water use.

In the San Diego region, the state’s mandate translates to water-saving targets between 12%-36% for the Water Authorities retail member agencies starting June 1 and lasting through February 2016 – a daunting task that will require everyone in the region to increase water-saving efforts.

Here are some of the latest California Drought related news articles posted over the last week – #CADrought :

Navy bases do their part to conserve water in California drought – article date: JUNE 27th 2015 LA Times – “For the Navy, the future arrived in 2008 when then-President Bush signed an executive order mandating water reduction by federal agencies. The order was expanded by President Obama in March. Since 2007, water use has been reduced by 23% at the nine bases in California and one in Nevada that are managed by an admiral and other officials at Navy Region Southwest, with headquarters on the San Diego waterfront…”

Emergency Rule Eases Process To Cut Down Drought-Stricken Trees – article date: JUNE 29th 2015 KPBS – “With extreme drought and an infestation of bark beetles decimating California’s forests, the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has adopted an emergency regulation for removing dead trees. The new rule will help property owners in places such as Mount Laguna and Julian expedite the process of removing dead trees from their properties, allowing them not to have to follow typical timber harvest requirements…”

San Francisco told to stop taking some water during drought – article date: JUNE 26th 2015 San Diego Union Tribune – “Regulators on Friday told San Francisco to stop taking some of the river water it routinely stores in the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. However, the city is far from having its taps run dry during the drought. Officials said the cutback orders don’t apply to water already stored in the reservoir system, which has enough water to last through two more dry years. The State Water Resources Control Board ordered the cutback in its latest round of notices informing agencies, corporations and individuals holding water rights that waterways are too dry to meet demand in the drought…”

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