Drought is as much about impact on users as it is about the snow or rain that falls in your community. California is large and diverse, so this answer can be very different depending upon your location.
Water year 2013 began with a bang, as atmospheric river storms in late November and early December brought record wet conditions to California. The year ended with a whimper however, and was recorded as a second dry year for most of California, following a dry 2012.
It’s worth noting that the two dry years have impacted California’s agriculture. All California counties are currently designated agricultural disasters by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as they were in 2012. While agriculture-related disasters and declarations are quite common any given year, the USDA disaster declarations allow producers to qualify for low interest loans and other USDA assistance programs
Water year 2013 showed us how unpredictable California weather can be, and we should be prepared for the possibility of a dry 2014. We should make practicing conservation a way of life while we continue to develop alternative local water supplies and work toward improved water storage and conveyance.
To learn more about drought, see DWR’s 2012 brochure, Drought in California.
Current Water Conditions
- DWR Groundwater Basics
Groundwater, California's largest natural reservoir, provides an important role during dry periods. Click below to find out more about this important resource.