Richard Stapler with the California Natural Resources Agency says the recent stormy weather just wasn’t enough.
“It has barely made a dent in what California requires for any given year,” says Stapler. “We’ve had two previous very dry years. This year we’re in record territory as far as lack of precipitation.”
Stapler says the latest snowpack measurements are at just 20-percent of normal for this time of year.
Drought-stricken farmers will get state and federal help to drill groundwater wells.
The state will also temporarily order northern reservoirs to preserve more water than usual. That would allow fresh water to continue through the San Francisco Bay Delta. People, fish and animals depend on that water.
The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.
UPDATED: 6:45 p.m. - Containment has grown to 29 percent, and acreage burned to 17,622. Crews on the Washington Fire, three miles south of Markleeville, took advantage of light winds to increase containment.
California water regulators are again ordering some water rights holders to stop diverting water from rivers because of the drought. The order includes some rights for the city of San Francisco.
CAL FIRE increases staffing as the forecast of dry lightning and thunderstorms raises wildfire risk in northern California and western Nevada.
The Washington Fire has burned within about three miles of the small town of Markleeville in Alpine County. But crews have made protecting the community a priority.