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.
Overall water use decreased again in September compared to last year in the Sacramento region. Water providers are also pumping less groundwater, despite a heavier reliance on it in the drought.
If a flood were to hit Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta it would threaten much of California’s water supply. It’s why emergency management agencies are holding flood-fighting exercises during a drought.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the state can lead the way with its water policies just as California is leading the way with initiatives for renewable energy and climate change.
A winter forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday shows the California drought may persist or intensify in parts of the state.