Richard Stapler with the California Natural Resources Agency says the recent stormy weather just wasn’t enough.
“It has barely made a dent in what California requires for any given year,” says Stapler. “We’ve had two previous very dry years. This year we’re in record territory as far as lack of precipitation.”
Stapler says the latest snowpack measurements are at just 20-percent of normal for this time of year.
Drought-stricken farmers will get state and federal help to drill groundwater wells.
The state will also temporarily order northern reservoirs to preserve more water than usual. That would allow fresh water to continue through the San Francisco Bay Delta. People, fish and animals depend on that water.
Work has begun on a project at Folsom Dam to install backup pumps in case the level of Folsom Lake drops significantly.
California regulators have fined 30 oil and gas operators for failing to report how much water they’re using.
There were no changes in the intensity of drought in California over the past week and El Niño is not expected to end the state's historic drought.
California water regulators accuse company of illegally diverting water that is later trucked, bottled, and sold in stores.
The drought is changing the size and flavor of California's fruit.