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.
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.