Water agencies across the state have been calling the water shortage a statewide crisis. The Governor urged Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by twenty-percent. Tim Quinn with the Association of California Water Agencies says the declaration is a wake-up call for Californians to conserve. He says the emergency proclamation allows someone with water to sell to someone who needs it.
“If Folsom Reservoir is one of your primary sources of supply you’re in trouble right now, if you’re a farmer in the San Joaquin Valley dependent upon very much curtailed water deliveries that need to be conveyed across the Delta, you’re in trouble right now, we need to make sure that those places that are in trouble get the relief that they need,” Quinn said.
The proclamation also directs the California Department of Water Resources to identify groundwater shortages, monitor the use of farmland and provide an update by April 30th.
California regulators are responding to the drought by adopting tighter landscaping rules for new construction and renovation. That means new water limits for residential, commercial, school and hospital lawns and other plantings.
A University of the Pacific economic forecast shows that drought has had a "relatively mild" impact on California's economy.
Another water district in Sacramento County is offering cash rebates for customers to remove grass.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and meteorologists in other countries show that strong-to-moderate El Niño conditions are present in the tropical Pacific. But it won't end the drought in California.
Stream fishing around Lake Tahoe and western Nevada is struggling because of the drought. But fishing may actually be better at the lake itself.