The South San Joaquin Irrigation District has decided not to raise the reservoir outside of Modesto to summer levels, because of concern over water that would be lost to evaporation.
District Board Member Dave Kamper says the Stanislaus County Parks and Recreation Department could be hit particularly hard.
"Every drop of water is incredibly valuable this year, if we can save water, it's as much as 10,000 acre feet of water that can be saved," Kamper says.
The department has concessions at the reservoir and could lose two million dollars, if recreational activities are curtailed.
"They schedule the 4th of July event way ahead of time of course and some other events out there and it will be impossible for them to book them if they don't have the assurance there will be half way decent lake for poeple to play in and so they're in trouble no matter what," says Kamper.
The District also provides irrigation water for about 3,000 farmers, and drinking water for Tracy, Manteca, and Lathrop.
A strong El Niño is forecast to bring above-average precipitation this winter. But, it also creates dangerous flooding potential too, especially in areas recently scarred by wildfires.
Strong El Niño forecast expected through Spring.
Despite a potential strong El Niño, the drought in most of California is forecast to continue into a fifth year.
(AP) - A Northern California city has ordered restaurants to cut back on dishwashing by using disposable plates and cups as a way to save water amid the state's fourth year of drought.
Water storage has dwindled at six major reservoirs in California.