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.
Record dry January expected in many Northern and Central California cities as drought drops reservoir levels.
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.