Top Story: Statewide Water Conservation Steady at 20 Percent in July

September 7, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board today announced that urban Californians’ water conservation remained steady at 20 percent in July, just one percentage point below June’s savings of 21 percent. The July results come even after the state relaxed conservation requirements in recognition of improved water supply conditions.
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Statewide Water Conservation Declines to 21.5 Percent in June; Water supplier “Stress Tests” still under review

August 2, 2016 – With water conservation falling to 21.5 percent savings in June 2016 – down from 27.5 percent a year ago – the State Water Resources Control Board today announced that it is closely monitoring conservation levels, will scrutinize actions by water suppliers where use has risen dramatically and is carefully reviewing the "stress tests" to ensure that water supply reliability claims are complete and accurate.
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Statewide Water Conservation Grows to 28 Percent in May; Urban Water Suppliers ‘Stress Test’ Data Under Review

July 6, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board announced today that Californians reduced residential water use by 28 percent in May, compared with the same month in 2013. Cumulatively, local water suppliers have saved 1.6 million acre feet in the 12 months since mandatory conservation goals began – enough water to supply eight million people for a year.
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State Water Board Expands its Commitment to Recycled Water With New Permitting Process

June 8, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has approved a new General Order to simplify the permitting process for recycled water projects, advancing the state’s goal of increasing recycled water use statewide.
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State Water Board Stresses Need To Continue Water Savings As Drought Persists

June 6, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board today applauded a high-level of water conservation in April-a 26.1 percent reduction over 2013 usage-but reminded urban water suppliers that they must continue to make water conservation a top priority amidst ongoing drought conditions across California.
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State Water Board Adopts ‘Stress Test’ Approach to Water Conservation Regulation

May 18, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board today adopted a statewide water conservation approach that replaces the prior percentage reduction-based water conservation standard with a localized “stress test” approach that mandates urban water suppliers act now to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.
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State Water Board Approves Guidelines for Proposition 1 Groundwater Grant Program

May 18, 2016 – Today the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) approved funding guidelines for issuing $800 million through its Groundwater Grant Program, part of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) passed by voters in November 2014.
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DWR Regulations to Guide Local Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans Approved

May 18, 2016 – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations that will guide local groundwater sustainability agency management and regulation of California’s groundwater basins as outlined in the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2014 were approved by the California Water Commission today. The approved emergency regulations now will be filed with the Office of Administrative Law and go into effect June 2016.
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Governor Brown Issues Order to Continue Water Savings as Drought Persists

May 9, 2016 – Moving to bolster California’s climate and drought resilience, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order that builds on temporary statewide emergency water restrictions to establish longer-term water conservation measures, including permanent monthly water use reporting, new permanent water use standards in California communities and bans on clearly wasteful practices such as hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes.
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Strong Statewide Conservation Effort in March; Water-Saving Habits Aid in 24.3 Percent Reduction

May 3, 2016 -- Californians sharpened their water saving efforts in March, conserving 24.3 percent compared to the amount used in March 2013 – double February’s savings and evidence that residents and businesses remain concerned about the persistent drought now in its fifth year. Statewide cumulative savings from June 2015 to March 2016 totaled 23.9 percent compared with the same months in 2013.
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Californians Save 1.19 Million Acre-Feet of Water, Enough to Supply Nearly 6 Million People for a Year

April 4, 2016 – Californians came just shy of meeting Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent water conservation mandate for the nine months since mandatory urban conservation began. Statewide cumulative savings from June 2015 to February 2016 totaled 23.9 percent compared with the same months in 2013.
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Californians Save 1.1 Million Acre-Feet of Water, Urged to Stay Focused on Conservation

February 25, 2016 – For the first time since June, California just missed Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent water conservation mandate in January, as urban water suppliers reported a cumulative savings of 24.8 percent for the eight months since mandatory conservation began.
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State Water Board Adopts Extended Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

February 2, 2015 – With California still experiencing severe drought despite recent rains, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today adopted an extended and revised emergency regulation to ensure that urban water conservation continues in 2016.
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California Meets Governor’s Conservation Mandate for Seventh Straight Month

February 2, 2016 – Californians have reduced water use by 25.5 percent since June, continuing to meet Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate despite a decline in the statewide water-savings rate during the last three months of 2015.
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Final 2016 Drought Contingency Plan Released

January 19, 2016 – The California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have finalized the 2016 Drought Contingency Plan that outlines State Water Project and Central Valley Project operations for February-November 2016. The plan was developed in coordination with staff from State and federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWB). It focuses on water project operations as related to SWB Water Rights Decision-1641 and the potential modification requests needed to balance the competing needs and benefits of our limited water supplies in the context of consecutive dry years. One of the key purposes of this plan is to communicate overarching goals for 2016 water management and the potential operations needed to achieve those goals for water resources stakeholders and the public.
Read the full plan here

State’s Cumulative Water Savings Continue to Meet Governor’s Ongoing Conservation Mandate

January 5, 2016 – Californians have reduced water use by 26.3 percent in the six months since emergency conservation regulations took effect in June, continuing to meet Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate despite a decline in the statewide water-savings rate for the last two months.
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State Water Board Authorizes Sale of $1.2B in Bonds For Clean Water State Revolving Fund

January 5, 2016 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a resolution today authorizing the sale of $1.2 billion in revenue bonds for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (Clean Water Fund) to meet financing demands for water projects.
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State Water Board Authorizes $5 Million to Help Private Well Owners and Small Water Systems

December 15, 2015 – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a resolution today authorizing the allocation of $5 million in funds to help residents on private wells and small water systems who are facing water emergencies.
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California’s Cumulative Water Savings Continue to Meet Governor’s Ongoing Conservation Mandate

December 1, 2015 - Californians have reduced water use by 27.1 percent in the five months since emergency conservation regulations took effect in June, continuing to meet Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate despite a decline in the statewide water-savings rate for October.
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Will El Niño End California's Drought?

Novemeber 19, 2015 - The stage is set for a strong El Niño event this winter, but experts say it is unlikely to erase California’s four-year drought. While there is no single factor that will determine when the drought ends, here is a high-level look at factors the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the California Department of Water Resources will be watching for signs of improvement.
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Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Bolster State’s Drought Response

November 13, 2015 - As California prepares for a fifth year of drought, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order that calls for additional actions to build on the state’s ongoing response to record dry conditions and assist recovery efforts from this year’s devastating wildfires.
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Sacramento Bee: Op-Ed: Despite a Potentially Wet Winter, the Drought Will Continue

October 31, 2015 - It will take a long time to recover from this water deficit, especially because much of it is groundwater in the driest parts of the southern Central Valley, making it hard to refill
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Californians Meet Governor’s Water Conservation Mandate for Fourth Consecutive Month

October 30, 2015 - Californians reduced water use by more than 26 percent during September, exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent conservation mandate for a fourth straight month.
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California Department of Housing and Community Development Makes $11 Million Available for Residents Facing Water Shortages

October 16, 2015 - California families who have little or no drinking water as a result of the drought may qualify for a share of $11 million in funding from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Two assistance programs have recently been created by HCD for the many California residents who are facing water shortages.
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Californians Continue Meeting Governor’s Water Conservation Mandate Savings Must Contiue To Reach February 2016 Goal

October 1, 2015 - Californians reduced water use by nearly 27 percent during August, exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent conservation mandate for a third straight month.
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California Department of Agriculture funds $9.38 million to Assist Farmers

September 28, 2015 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has selected 100 projects totaling $9.38 million from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) to implement on-farm water irrigation systems that reduce energy use resulting in greenhouse gas (GHGs) emission reductions and water savings.
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DWR Seeks Final Public Comment on Key Draft Groundwater Regulations

August 31, 2015 - The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold three public meetings this week to solicit final public review and comment on the draft regulations that establish a process for local agencies to follow should they seek to modify the boundaries of a groundwater basin.
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San Diego Water Board Cracks Down on Over Watering that Leads to Pollution

August 18, 2015 - The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (San Diego Water Board) is cracking down on water wasters throughout its region to stem pollution that is generated by overwatering.
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California State Climatologist: Do Not Count on El Niño to End Drought

August 13, 2015 - State Climatologist Michael Anderson said today that California cannot count on potential El Niño conditions to halt or reverse drought conditions. “Historical weather data shows us that at best, there is a 50/50 chance of having a wetter winter. Unfortunately, due to shifting climate patterns, we cannot even be that sure,” he said.
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State Announces $30 Million in Rebates to Help Replace Old Toilets and Turf

August 12, 2015 – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced two new rebate programs to help Californians replace inefficient toilets and tear out water-guzzling lawns, further conserving water during the state’s historic drought.
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Drought Prompts Fish Rescue at San Joaquin Hatchery

August 11, 2015 - On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 officials from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife will be evacuating rainbow trout in the San Joaquin Hatchery that are threatened by overheating water. A fourth year of extreme drought conditions has reduced the cold water supply in Millerton Reservoi, forcing the transportation of fish to Shaver Lake, approximately one hour away.
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Concord DMV Field Office Reuses Water to Combat Drought

July 31, 2015 - The Concord DMV field office has teamed up with the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD) to use recycled water to irrigate landscaping. On July 15, 2015, CCCSD connected the irrigation system at the field office to their network of purple pipelines, making it the first state owned DMV property to use recycled water.
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California Water Use Drops 27.3 Percent, Exceeds 25 Percent Mandate For June

July 30, 2015 - With record-breaking heat throughout much of the State in June, Californians continued to conserve water, reducing water use by 27.3 percent and exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s 25 percent mandate in the first month that the new emergency conservation regulation was in effect.
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SaveWater.CA.Gov Launched to Help Communities Identify Water Waste

July 30, 2015 -- To help Californians save more water this summer, the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Department of Technology and Save Our Water announced the launch of SaveWater.CA.Gov. The new mobile-optimized website will allow residents to report suspected leaks and water waste anywhere in the state from their smartphones, tablets and computers. Today’s announcement was made following the release of June 2015 statewide conservation progress.
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Save Our Water And California ReLEAF Partner To Stress Importance Of Tree Care During Drought

July 23, 2015 – Save Our Water – California’s official statewide conservation education program – has partnered with California ReLeaf to raise awareness of the importance of proper tree care during this historic drought. California ReLeaf is a statewide urban forest nonprofit providing support and services to over 90 community nonprofits that plant and care for trees. With potentially millions of urban trees at risk, Save Our Water, California ReLeaf and a coalition of urban forest and other concerned organizations across California are focusing on a simple yet urgent message: Save Our Water and Our Trees!
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Save Our Water And Bay Area Council Partner To Release PSA With Sergio Romo

July 21, 2015 - Save Our Water – California’s official statewide conservation education program – has released a new Public Service Announcement featuring San Francisco Giants star Sergio Romo in partnership with the Bay Area Council. The PSA, filmed at the Giants’ garden in AT&T Park, urges Californians to step up and make even more cuts in their water use.
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Byron-Bethany Irrigation District Served with Draft Administrative Civil Liability, $1.5 Million Penalty

July 20, 2015 - The State Water Resources Control Board today issued a draft Administrative Civil Liability Complaint to Byron-Bethany Irrigation District for unauthorized diversion and use of water, and has proposed a $1.5 million penalty for the alleged violations. This allegation is the first such enforcement complaint for a senior water right holder in 2015, related to drought conditions.
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Trinity County Property Owner Issued Draft Cease and Desist Order for Unauthorized Water Diversion, Bulk Water Delivery

July 17, 2015 - The State Water Resources Control Board today issued a draft Cease and Desist Order against a Trinity County property owner to halt illegal diversion and bulk delivery of water. This action follows a joint investigation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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West Side Irrigation District Issued Draft Cease and Desist Order for Unauthorized Diversion

July 16, 2015 - The State Water Resources Control Board has issued a draft Cease and Desist Order against the West Side Irrigation District of Tracy for the unauthorized diversion or use of water. This is the first water right enforcement action related to drought conditions in 2015.
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Water Commission Adopts Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

July 15, 2015 - New California yards and commercial landscaping installed after December 1, 2015 will use up to a third less water on average under the rules of a model landscape ordinance adopted today by the California Water Commission. The revised ordinance will not apply to existing lawns and landscapes unless they are modified significantly after December 1. Prepared by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the model ordinance effectively limits lawn in commercial settings to specific functional uses such as recreation and public assembly, requires efficient sprinkler nozzles in landscape irrigation systems and, with few exceptions, bans turf in street medians and parkways.
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State Water Board Reissues Water Unavailability Notification Letters Following Court Action

July 15, 2015 - Today the State Water Board partially rescinded and reissued a water supply availability notice to more than 4,600 holders of over 9,300 junior and senior water rights to clarify that although previous notices were only advisory, diverting water where none is legally available could result in significant penalties.
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DWR Offers Water-Saving Tips at California State Fair

July 10, 2015 - Experts from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) are helping visitors to the California State Fair put a dent in the state’s historic drought, with water-saving tips for their homes and yards. The Department’s award-winning “Californians Don’t Waste – Save Water in Your Home” exhibit in the Counties Building offers fairgoers hands-on demonstrations of simple ways to save water in their kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. A companion outdoor garden exhibit in the State Fair’s Farm section offers equally simple tips to increase landscape irrigation efficiency, including how to keep shade-giving trees alive during drought.
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State Reduces Water Use by Nearly 29 Percent in Advance of June Conservation Mandates

July 1, 2015 - As the State continues to experience near-record and record hot conditions, increasing the severity of the drought’s effects on communities, agriculture and the environment, California’s urban water suppliers reported the highest level of conservation achieved to date for the month of May.
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Governor's Drought Task Force


Governor Brown has convened an interagency Drought Task Force to provide a coordinated assessment of the State’s dry conditions and provide recommendations on current and future state actions. The response to this statewide disaster requires the combined efforts of all state agencies and the state's model mutual aid system to address.

In support of this unified effort, all state agencies with a role in supporting drought mitigation and relief efforts are organized under the Incident Command System and will continue provide emergency planning, response, and mitigation support as long as needs exist. Similar task forces have been assembled in the droughts of the 2000's, 1990's,
1980's and 1970's.

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