The department's Dave Brent says the rented pumps are being installed in case the river depth drops below the 12 feet required for the city's largest pumps to operate.
"There's a design in a pump where it needs a certain water surface elevation over the top of it," says Brent. "If you get below that point, it can start cavitating which is basically drawing air in with the water and that can damage the pumps."
Brent says with Folsom Lake at historically-low levels the City will try to use as little American River water as possible.
But, the backup pumps will be ready to draw 24-million gallons-a-day if needed.
The Sacramento River pumping station is offline until March.
The city plans to have 13 million gallons per day of well water available once maintenance is complete on some city wells in the middle of February.
"The ground water in the area and in city itself is healthy," Brent says. "We've done, over the years, what we call conjunctive use, so in those wetter years, we try to utilize the river more and let the groundwater recharge. Now we're going to be more reliant on ground water."
Brent says well water could contribute 13 million gallons a day to the city supply. The Sacramento River station is expected to provide ten times that -the vast majority of the water needed this summer.
It’s been almost a year since the King Fire scorched almost 100,000 acres of the Sierra Nevada forest. But this wildfire season could be worse - and it’s not just the drought and high temperatures that are fueling wildfires.
The on-going drought is making work harder for crews working to contain the Rocky Fire in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties.
Even though it's August, there are many streets in Sacramento that look like it's fall. Parched trees are losing their leaves early as a result of the drought. The city is sponsoring a campaign called "Mulch Madness" to save stressed trees.
Three workshops are scheduled in Truckee to give people a voice in developing a 'brand' for the town.
The weather forecast through the weekend includes thunderstorms and lightning for parts of northern California, which could spark new wildfires.