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.
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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