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December 2014 Drought News Release Archive

Initial State Water Project Allocation Set at 10 Percent

December 1, 2014 - The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial allocation of 10 percent for the customers of the State Water Project. Depending upon the volume of rain and snow that reaches California this winter that initial allocation may be increased. Should dry conditions return, DWR may reallocate State Water Project supplies to meet critical human health and safety needs. Improved precipitation forecasts this week allow DWR to set the initial allocation for 2015 at 10 percent, up from the five percent allocation SWP customers got this year.
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DWR: Updated Report: Groundwater Resources Depleted By Drought

December 2, 2014 - Following one of the driest years on record when groundwater resources have provided an increasing percentage of California’s water supply, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released an updated report on groundwater basins that details groundwater level changes, potential water shortages, land subsidence, farmland fallowing and gaps in groundwater monitoring.
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State Water Board Reports Decline In Urban Water Conservation Rates In October, But Total Urban Water Production Rates Down

December 2, 2014 - After leveling off in September, statewide residential water conservation receded in October to just a 6.7 percent reduction in year-over-year water use. In the most recent survey of nearly 400 urban water retailers, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) learned that while residential water use per person continues to decline this year, the rate at which water conservation has been occurring in each community compared to water use last year declined for the second straight month.
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Brown Administration Opposes Federal Drought Legislation

December 9, 2014 - Writing on behalf of the State of California, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird today issued a formal opposition letter to HR5781: “Coming off a year where more progress has been made on water policy in California than any time in recent years – with broad support evident in the electorate for this strategy – this is no time to reignite water wars, move water policy back into the courts, and try to pit one part of the state against another. For this reason, the administration opposes HR5781. Our collective energies should be devoted to a long-term solution for California’s water needs in a way that rewards working together as opposed to dividing interests, just as the successful campaign for the water bond recently did. We stand ready to work with the supporters and opponents of HR5781 to that end.”
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Federal, State Agencies Plan Drought Operations for 2015

December 12, 2014 - This week brings sorely needed and significant precipitation to California. But similar levels of rain and snow would have to fall consistently throughout this winter and spring for the state to begin to recover from extreme drought conditions. In preparation for a fourth year of drought, the directors of five federal and state agencies primarily involved in operating and regulating California’s two biggest water projects, the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, together have developed a strategy for potential implementation. State and federal agencies have developed a plan for 2015 operations and a summary of key lessons learned during 2014 in managing this extreme drought.
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CDFW Completes Drought Related Restoration Project at Lindsey Slough, Solano County

December 19, 2014 - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently completed an important watershed project for the benefit of fish and wildlife impacted by the state's historic drought. The Lindsey Slough Restoration Project in Solano County was completed at Calhoun Cut Ecological Reserve in November. The entire project included excavation and placement of fill at the historic Lindsey Slough to reestablish tidal connection to the historic marsh and channel system and enhance existing marsh habitat and associated vernal pools and grassland.
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Survey Finds More Snow in Mountains, but Water Content Is Still Far Below Average for Date

December 30, 2014 - The first manual snow survey of the Sierra snowpack this winter found more snow than last year at this time, but the snow water equivalent as measured statewide remains far below average for this date. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted the survey today about 90 miles east of Sacramento on a plot along Highway 50 near Echo Summit. Snow covered the ground there to a depth of 21.3 inches, according to DWR’s Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program who conducted the survey. The snow water equivalent was 4 inches at that particular snow course, or 33 percent of average. Statewide, 105 electronic sensors in the Sierra detected a snow water equivalent of 4.8 inches, 50 percent of the multi-year average for December 30. That compares favorably with last Winter’s first survey, when the snow water equivalent statewide was only 20 percent of normal, which tied with 2012 as the driest readings on record.
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