DWR says its principal concern is the plight of farmers who have to operate with much less water than they need for their crops.
Bill Croyle, DWR’s new drought manager, says the lack of water will likely mean leaving land fallow and relying on transfers of water from areas where it’s available to places with a critical shortage.
Last month DWR announced an initial water allocation of only five percent of requested deliveries from the state water project.
Croyle says if the dry weather continues, conditions might be similar to the 1976-77 drought that resulted in extremely low reservoirs and low groundwater levels.
"With the present conditions being extremely dry, the concern is those allocations will not increase. We’re looking through the end of December as producing almost one-third of our snowpack and we’re really not getting much snowpack.”