The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will release less water from Nimbus Dam to the lower American River due to the dry winter conditions.
Flows in the river will go from 1100 cubic feet per second down to 500 cubic feet per second by Friday. The Bureau says the reduction is needed to protect fish and drinking water behind Folsom Dam.
The water content of the Sierra snowpack is about 20 percent of average for this time of year. California estimates it will only be able to deliver 5 percent of the water requested by 29 public agencies this year.
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.
The United States Department of Agriculture says January is shaping up to be another dry month in the Lake Tahoe area and that signals an unprecedented fourth year of drought.