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.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought. Although mandatory statewide water conservation is over, the State Water Resources Control Board says water conservation remains a "top priority."
The California Water Resources Control Board Wednesday says Californians cut water use by 28 percent in the final month of mandatory statewide conservation.