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Drought: Running Dry In California

California is dealing with its longest drought in decades. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in 2014 and has ordered water agencies to cut urban water use by 25 percent from 2013 levels. To meet that goal, water districts have varying conservation targets. To see restrictions where you live and get tips on saving water, go to the San Diego County Water Authority website.

DATA SOURCES: Rainfall data comes from a weighted average of 96 weather stations throughout the state. Snowpack data represents the average of three different multi-station measures of the northern, central and southern Sierra snowpack. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers, through the California Nevada Applications Program RISA and the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, helped compile the data.

California Loosens Water Cutbacks In Drought

California will deliver more water this year than it has for each of the last three, as spring storms have nearly filled the state's major reservoirs.

El Niño Slightly Improved The Drought But Didn't Bust It

Here's what we've learned from the KPBS Drought Tracker

For the past few months, we've used the KPBS Drought Tracker to tell you how much rain and snow El Niño has been bringing to California. After a fairly average wet season, where does California's drought stand now?

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Warm Winter Stalls Snowpack Growth

The latest numbers from the KPBS Drought Tracker show statewide rain and snowfall not budging over the past week.

Water Officials Vote To Extend California Drought Emergency

State water regulators voted to extend emergency conservation measures because of the drought, even though an increase in rain and snow this winter has improved California's snowpack.

San Diego County Again Falls Short Of Water Conservation Goals

The state of California fell short of water conservation goals in December. The figures reflect those of San Diego County, where most water agencies also failed to meet state-mandated conservation targets.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Dry In San Diego, Stormy Up North

After an early burst of El Niño-driven storms, San Diego has stayed pretty dry. But recent storms in Northern California have kept rain and snow levels climbing steadily.

San Diego Region Misses Water Savings Target For December

Residents and businesses in the San Diego region consumed 18 percent less water in December than the same month in 2013, below the state target of 20 percent for the area.

California Snowpack At 136 Percent Of Normal For This Time Of Year

It's better than in past years, but experts warn it's too soon to get excited.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: 'At Least It's Been Normal'

In San Diego, the holidays have been chilly and spotted with rain. But the KPBS Drought Tracker shows precipitation throughout California has been just middling so far this wet season.

9 San Diego County Water Districts Miss Conservation Goals

For the first time since state-mandated water conservation targets were introduced earlier this year, customers of a large number of San Diego-area water districts missed their monthly goals in October.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: 'A Normal Year So Far'

Rain and snow hit San Diego County this week, but precipitation levels have remained fairly average across the state despite El Niño predictions.

Here's A Tool To Track California's Drought

Is this year's El Niño going to be a real drought-buster for California? Over the next few months, KPBS will be tracking rain and snow throughout the state to find out.

Drought Taking Heavy Toll On San Diego Trees

California has lost an astounding number of trees to the ongoing drought. Among them, many of San Diego's beloved Torrey pines.

California Lawmakers Travel To Australia For Drought Lessons

California lawmakers are joining environmental, labor and business leaders on a trip to see how Australia managed its longest and most severe drought on record.

Forecast: Strong El Niño Will Improve California Drought

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, released Thursday by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center shows a strong El Niño improving drought conditions across central and southern California by the end of January.

San Diego County Reduces Water Consumption By 26 Percent

Compared with the same month two years ago, San Diego County water customers reduced consumption by 26 percent in September.

Agricultural Production In San Diego County Declines In Overall Value

The total value of San Diego County's agricultural production last year was $1.82 billion, compared to $1.85 billion in 2013. It is the first decline in overall value in six years.

California Conserves Water For Third Month

State officials say Californians have surpassed a mandate to save water for a third consecutive month, using nearly 27 percent less in August than the same month in 2013.

San Diego Notifies Customers About Proposed Water Rate Increases

City of San Diego customers are about to get a letter telling them the City Council will vote on Nov. 17 on a plan that would raise water rates by more than 40 percent in less than four years.

Julian Apple Harvest, Festivities Come Early Amid Drought

The season of autumn is officially underway. It’s that time of year when San Diegans flock to Julian for fall foliage, horse carriage rides and everything apples.

Drought Leads Agenda For San Diego Binational Delegation Visit To Nation's Capitol

A binational delegation of business and community leaders will meet with Washington, D.C. lawmakers to examine California's ongoing drought and other issues affecting San Diego County.

San Diego County Residents Decrease Water Use By 24% In August

San Diego County residents used 24 percent less water in August compared to the same month in 2013, and 27 percent less during the first three months of state-mandated conservation.

Study: Sierra Snowpack Hits 500-Year Low

The Sierra Nevada snowpack hit a 500-year low this winter, according to a new study.

Drought Backs Up North County Sewer Lines

Lack of water has an impact on most aspects of life in San Diego. Sewer districts are also coping with the effects of prolonged drought.

California Cuts Water Use By 31 Percent In July Amid Drought

The strong water conservation figures show California residents are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in a fourth year of drought, Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said.

Drought Fallowing Half-Million Acres In California In 2015

Fallowing is the biggest chunk of the cost of the drought. According to a UC Davis study, California's drought will cost state agriculture $1.84 billion in 2015.

Officials: Less Chance Of Colorado River Water Cuts In 2017

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projected normal water deliveries to residents, farms, tribes and businesses at least through 2016 and possibly through 2017, water agency officials in Arizona, Nevada and California said.

Nearly Two-Thirds Of Californians Believe Global Warming Is Impacting State's Ongoing Drought

The poll shows 79 percent of residents think global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious threat to California's quality of life. Democrats were more likely than independents and Republicans to call the threat very serious.

California Says Water Use Fell By 27 Percent In June

Data released by the State Water Resources Control Board shows 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets.

San Diego County's Water Use Drops In June

Urban potable water use in June declined by around 26 percent, compared to the same month two years ago, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.

California Cuts Water Use By 29 Percent

The data released Wednesday by the State Water Resources Control Board comes as communities are ordered to save water in case the four year dry spell persists.

California Drought Changes What Farmers Grow

Citrus and avocados have been the two leading crops in North San Diego County. But, several thousand acres of citrus and about 10,000 acres of avocados have been taken out of production because farmers can’t afford to irrigate.

Encinitas Could Be Poster City For Saving Water

Wealthy beach community has almost cut its use to state-mandated levels

While most cities in the region are struggling to cut anywhere near the amount of water mandated by the state, Encinitas is almost where it needs to be.

California Water Use Fell 13.5 Percent In April Amid Drought

San Diego cut its water use by 3.5 percent, far from required 16 percent

The 13.5 percent reduction is the second-best conservation achievement since state officials started closely tracking water use more than a year ago, but it falls short of the 25 percent in cuts Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered.

Long Way To Go For Many San Diego County Water Districts To Meet State Demands

Monday started the clock for every urban California water district to meet its state-mandated water cuts. Many local cities have a long way to go to meet those mandates.

Not All Housing Development Is Bad In A Drought

A report by Circulate San Diego says denser new home developments can be water-wise

In the midst of California's drought, concern is growing that adding more housing for a growing population will use even more water. But a new report from Circulate San Diego says not all development will suck up water resources.

Six Lessons For California From A Drought Halfway Around The World

A new study outlines how Melbourne, Australia, cut its water consumption in half during a recent drought. Here's what California could learn.

California Builds Emergency Barrier In Drought To Protect Water Supplies

Constructing the 750-foot wide temporary rock barrier across a channel in the Delta will prevent salt water contamination, according to a state water official.

San Diegans Reduced Water Use By 3.5% In April

The city's Public Utilities Department said she was troubled by the mild response to demands to use less water, especially now that state officials have ordered the city to cut back water deliveries by 16 percent.

San Diego County Supervisors Pass Drought Measures

The supervisors voted unanimously to continue retrofitting water systems at county facilities, installing artificial turf at county-run playing fields and reducing the operating hours of the fountains at the downtown Waterfront Park.

Roundtable Talks Drought (In The Rain)

Ah, the irony. A Roundtable on the effects of our severe drought broadcasts as we take cover from a drenching rainstorm. Wildfires and more severe water rationing may be postponed a bit, but they're coming to this semi-arid corner of the Golden State. And that will mean changes in priorities, lifestyle, and growth and development, for starters.

Drought Drives Some San Diegans To Go Grass-Free

City not able to rebate everyone who wants to remove their lawns

If you drive through any local residential neighborhood you’d see the same green grass you'd find in the rest of the country. But the drought means homeowners are not only letting their lawns go brown, they’re changing them to entirely different kinds of landscape.

California Regulators Approve Unprecedented Water Cutbacks

The State Water Resources Control Board approved rules Tuesday that force cities to limit watering on public property, encourage homeowners to let their lawns die and impose mandatory water-savings targets for the hundreds of local agencies and cities that supply water to California customers.

Regulators: California Fell Far Short Of Water-Saving Target

A survey of local water departments released at the start of the two-day meeting shows water use fell less than 4 percent in March compared with the same month in 2013.

An Alternative To The Water Police In San Diego's Mid-City

A group of mid-city residents has found a new strategy for coping with drought. They've formed a support group of sorts for neighbors interested in conservation.

California Drought Killed 12 Million Forest Trees Since Last Year

In San Diego County, 82,528 trees, mostly Jeffrey pines across Mount Laguna, have succumbed to a lack of rainfall, with many more struggling to survive.

San Diego County's Water Use Soars Amid Drought

Despite long-standing calls for cutbacks, San Diego County’s overall water use in February soared 13 percent higher than for the same period in 2013.

Mayor Faulconer: San Diego Will Beef Up Water Enforcement Amid Drought

The city of San Diego will give more teeth to mandatory water restrictions that have been in place since Nov. 1, 2014, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Wednesday.

No More Nice Guy: California Naming, Shaming Water Wasters

State regulators are naming and shaming local water departments that have let water wasters slide — and forcing them to slash water use by as much as a third.

California Water Board Says February Savings Were Worst Yet

California's water board said Tuesday that residents saved less water in February than in any other month since it began tracking conservation efforts last summer.

San Diego's Largest Water Supplier Plans To Ration Water

Southern California's giant Metropolitan Water District is planning to ration imported water that it supplies to more than two dozen agencies and cities.

California Governor Orders Mandatory Water Restrictions

In an executive order issued Wednesday, Brown ordered the state water board to implement reductions in cities and towns to cut usage by 25 percent.

Gov. Brown Signs $1B Water Plan For Dry California

The governor signed legislation that speeds up $1 billion in water infrastructure spending amid the worst drought in a generation, although much of the plan was drawn with future dry years in mind.

Some San Diego Farmers Shut Off Water In Prolonged Drought

San Diego’s 4,000 farms have been hit hard from drought — not because they have run out of water, but because water is squeezing their budgets.

Gov. Brown Announces Emergency Drought-Relief Legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday proposed legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in drought-relief bond spending for California as it copes with a fourth dry year.

Drought Deepens But No New Water Restrictions For San Diego County

California’s new water regulations that put limits on outdoor watering days will have little effect on San Diego County because similar conservation measures are already in place here.

Study: California Drought Decreases Hydropower, Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In its study, the Pacific Institute, said with reduced hydropower, the state has increased the use of natural gas to produce electricity.

Drought-Stricken California Ramps Up Water Restrictions

California residents have to turn off their sprinklers, and restaurants won't give customers water unless they ask under new drought regulations approved Tuesday.

San Diego Watersheds Get Poor Water Quality Marks

The lingering California drought is impacting water quality in San Diego's watersheds.

Report: San Diegans Used More Water Despite Drought

As California deals with one of the most severe droughts in state history, a new report finds San Diegans used more water last year than they did in each of the preceding four years.

Study: Western United States Headed For Megadrought

Think California's current drought is bad? Just wait for "megadrought."

San Diego Remains In Drought's Grip

An atmospheric river of rain drenched Northern California over the weekend, but San Diego remains in the grips of a historic drought — receiving less than half of an inch of precipitation since Jan. 1.

Federal Government To Boost Drought Funding By $50 Million

The State Water Resources Control Board may impose further limits on outdoor water use as the state tries to protect supplies, but Gov. Jerry Brown said he's not ready for mandatory restrictions statewide.

Drought Vow Victory: Californians Use 22 Percent Less Water

The State Water Resources Control Board began collecting and publicizing the water-use numbers as part of its ongoing conservation campaign.

San Diego Had A Warm, Dry January

Last month was the eighth warmest and the 31st-driest January in the San Diego area on record.

The Value Of The Colorado River In Dollars And Cents

The Colorado River generates $1.4 trillion in economic activity — making the shrinking water levels an economic issue for California.

California Drought Squeezes Water Agencies

California's punishing multi-year drought could put a financial squeeze on some of the state's water agencies.

San Diego Records Warmest Year On Record

Last year was San Diego’s warmest since record keeping began in 1872. The average combined high and low temperature at Lindbergh Field was 67.6 degrees — nearly 4 degrees above normal.

San Diego's Mandatory Water Restrictions Rely On Community Policing

At the beginning of November, San Diego adopted mandatory water restrictions, including limits on when sprinklers can run and when plants can be watered. But the city has not yet hired the staff to enforce its new rules.

San Diego City Council Approves Mandatory Water Restrictions

The San Diego City Council voted to up the city's water rules to a drought response level 2 — or "drought alert."

Forecast: California Drought To Continue Or Worsen

Some improvement expected in California's drought but not until December or January.

City Council Members Propose Mandatory Water Use Restrictions In San Diego

Two City Council members proposed Monday that San Diego's voluntary water use restrictions — like cutting back on watering the lawn — be made mandatory.

Drought Hurts Julian's Apple Crop

It’s that time of year when San Diegans flock to Julian for apple picking, apple pie, and apple cider. But this year, the star of the show has been hit in the core by drought.

San Diego Nearing 1,000 Days of Drought

Despite Tuesday's thunderstorms, San Diego is nearing a grim milestone of 1,000 days of drought. The conditions are taking a toll across the state.

Game Tests California Residents' Water Knowledge

The California Watergame lets residents decide how the state will deal with a looming water shortage.

Growers Donate Produce To San Diego Agricultural Families Struggling In Drought

A coalition of Central Valley farmers on Thursday donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce to San Diego’s food banks. It's part of a statewide effort to help families affected by the drought and bring awareness to the link between food and water.

63 Trillion Gallons Of Water Lost In Drought-Ridden West, Study Finds

Trillions of gallons of water across the western United States have been lost due to the severe drought, according to a new study. The shrinking water supply has caused the earth to rise.

San Diego Water Authority Dedicates Raised San Vicente Dam

A massive expansion of the San Vincente Dam and Reservoir will provide more water reserves in time of drought, like now. San Diego water officials and city leaders on Wednesday dedicated the $416 million project.

Forecast: Strong El Niño Will Improve California Drought

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, released Thursday by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center shows a strong El Niño improving drought conditions across central and southern California by the end of January.

What Mandatory Water Conservation Means For San Diegans

Spurred by the State Water Board for mandatory water conservation, the San Diego County Water Authority is recommending adoption of a "Level 2 Drought Alert." On KPBS Midday Edition we'll talk about what that means for San Diego County.

Brown Pastures Force Some San Diego Ranchers To Sell Off Cattle

Severe drought conditions are hitting San Diego County's agricultural industry — from avocado growers to cattle ranchers.

California's Deepening Drought Shrinking Reservoirs

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million people from Ventura to the Mexico border, is anticipating drawing down 40 percent of its water storage this year to meet demand.

Water Conservation Efforts Fall Short; California Considers Mandatory Restrictions

San Diego County has seen a double-digit increase in water use during the past six months, far shy of Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of a 20 percent reduction.

Drought May Lead More Cities To Turn Wastewater Into Drinking Water

Using recycled water to irrigate parks, golf courses and agriculture is one thing, turning it into drinking water is quite another. But Orange County has built the largest potable recycled water project in the world.

San Diego's Rain Year Ends As One Of Driest On Record

San Diego closes the books Monday on its rainy season, or lack of one. The region is set to record its third year in a row of below normal precipitation.

SDG&E: Record Power Use Predicted This Summer In San Diego

San Diego utility officials say they expect to set power usage records this summer, but they say there will be enough electricity to meet demand.

Unusual Fish Catches Off San Diego Signal Large-Scale El Niño, Researcher Says

One telltale sign that this year's coming El Niño could be a big one is what’s been reeled in off San Diego's coast.

San Diego's Hot, Dry Weather Puts Cal Fire On High Alert

Near triple-digit temperatures in inland San Diego County and the ongoing drought have prompted the state fire agency to beef up its firefighting personnel and resources.

San Diego Water Managers Call For Conservation

San Diego water managers reach out for help in reducing water use in the county.

San Diego Had One Of Its Warmest, Driest Winters On Record

Drought Conditions Expected To Continue Into Spring

California as a whole had its warmest December through February since record keeping began in the late 1800s. Individually, San Diego experienced its 7th warmest and 7th driest winter on record.

San Diego Diversifies Water Supplies, But Increases Reliance On Colorado River

The Colorado River provides majority of San Diego County’s water supply. But just like the record-dry Sierra, from where San Diego used to get 20 percent of its supply, the Colorado River is also under sustained pressure from drought and demand.

Lake Morena Reservoir Is 4 Percent Full And Will Stay That Way

Between December and January, the city of San Diego drew down about 40 percent of the water in Lake Morena reservoir in East County, despite residents' protests.

Drought Could Take Toll On San Diego Bird Populations

The lack of rain in San Diego County could cause dozens of bird species to skip breeding and nesting this spring.

Drought Impacts Air Quality Across California

Warm, dry weather is to blame for poor air quality in some areas of California, in San Diego County, air quality remains fair.

City, County Politicians Squabbling Over Lake Morena Reservoir

The city and county of San Diego are battling a war of words over Lake Morena reservoir, a city-owned water source in East County.

California's Governor Declares Drought State Of Emergency

Saying that his state must take steps to plan for prolonged water shortages, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over an extended drought Friday. California faces "water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history," according to the governor's office.

Ski Resorts Race To Produce Artificial Snow Amid Drought

December usually delivers Southern California a few good winter storms, but a persistent ridge of high pressure has kept the region warm and dry.