The number of communities at risk of running out of water is a moving target.
Originally 17 were on the list, but some found alternative water sources. Others, like the City of Willits in Mendocino County are still dealing with dangerously low water levels in their reservoir. In a briefing with state lawmakers, City Manager Adrienne Moore says Willits has a plan to tap into groundwater wells, but a state grant only goes so far.
“That is our challenge today is not having enough funding to cover the cost of this project,” says Moore.
Brandon Merritt with Mendocino County says the water shortage in the county is dire and some people are scared.
“The most recent rains helped out a lot but as I tell people, it basically just helped our county avert outright catastrophe and bought us some more time,” says Moore.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought declaration requires the Department to identify and help rural drinking water systems at risk of running out of water.
The Department of Public Health says the following communities are at risk:
|System Name:||City Name:||County:||Population:|
|City of Willits||Willits||Mendocino||8,062|
|Redwood Valley County Water District||Redwood Valley||Mendocino||3,969|
Brooktrail Township Community
|Lake of the Woods MWC||Frazier Park||Kern||953|
River Highlands Community Services
|Washington Ridge Conservation Camp||Nevada City||Nevada||100|
|Whispering Pines Apartments||Mid-Pines||Mariposa||55|
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.
The second measurement this winter of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 130 percent of average. State water officials say the snowpack will help reservoir recovery.
California's water conservation rate dropped to 18 percent in December. But water regulators say the state continues to meet its long term goals.