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Drought Response

California's Fourth Year of Drought

On January 17, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency, directing state officials to assist farms and communities in coping with the drought and ongoing climate change.



On March 27, 2015, he followed that up by signing a $1 billion dollar emergency drought package: AB 91 and AB 92.  With all of the state's reservoirs currently at 60% or less than the historical average, theState Water Resources Control Board has expanded and extended emergency water conservation regulations

NASA Satellite Imagery Shows extent of California's Current Drought



NOAA's Climate Program Office has been monitoring California's drought since it began in 2011. Read the full report on the Causes and Predictability of the 2011 to 2014 California Drought, or click here for the summary.

What's happening in Butte County?

On July 22, 2015, Butte County signed a Proclamation of Local Emergency caused by Drought. Click here to see the press release.

In Butte County, water resources are administered by the Butte County Resource Conservation. This agency monitors groundwater levels and quality throughout the county.  Click here to read Butte County's Drought Preparedness Plan.  

Lake Oroville is the largest reservoir and sole source of hydropower from California's State Water Project and it sits right here in Butte County. Although we have this resource right in our backyard, our local communities are reliant upon groundwater.   Local districts have begun to implement their own standards. For instance, CalWater, the supplier for the greater Chico area, just implemented mandatory reduction requirements for users, and has released their water shortage contingency plan, Rule 14.1. To find out who supplies your drinking water, click here.

Yard Signs Available Now:  Doing our part for the California Drought

Yard sign graphicAre you proudly letting your lawn go brown?  Are your neighbors giving you a hard time?  We heard from people whose efforts to conserve water were misunderstood or criticized by neighbors.  Now you can let them all know you're proudly doing your part for the California drought! It's time for all Californians to transition to minimal water use.  With this sign you can help make this a growing movement.  Get your sign from BEC today. 

Suggested donation of $2.



What are other regions doing?

  • Residents supplied by Soquel Creek Water District are required to reduce their water use to 75 gallons per day or face heavy penalty rates.
  • In Santa Cruz if you use more than you allotment, you get sent to Water School.
  • The photo to the right shows Folsom Reservoirat full capactiy in 2011 versus its 2014 levels.  Over 200,000 people rely upon this reservoir, which dams the Yuba River. The reservoir will now be drained more slowly to help recover winter-run chinook salmon.


CalWater in Chico: (530) 893-6300

CalWater in Oroville:  (530) 533-4034
South Feather Water and Power in Oroville: (530) 533-4578
Paradise Irrigation District:  (530) 877-4971

Drought is not just in California, it's across the west!

Click the map for the most current U.S. Drought Monitor map.