California is now officially in drought status

Jan 17, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Californians are being asked to cut their water consumption by 20 percent, following the driest year in recorded state history. 

A very low Lake Shasta as seen from the Portal Inn last October.
Credit David Fulmer via

Governor Jerry Brown officially announced drought status for the state at a Friday morning press conference in San Francisco.

The declared State of Emergency will give state water officials more flexibility to manage supply, with the governor directing state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions. The proclamation also ensures the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages, according to the governor's office.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas." — Governor Jerry Brown

State water officials say that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack’s statewide water content at about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year.

See the governor's official proclamation:

See the state's water conservation website: