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2021-22 Drought Information

By January 31, 2022February 2nd, 2022Ground Water News, News, News & Info, Water Efficiency News

Since the last drought, local water providers have implemented nearly 20 projects to increase water supply reliability and resiliency to drought. These projects allow water providers to more easily shift to groundwater and share water around the region in order to reduce reliance on Folsom Lake and the Lower American River for drinking water supplies.

While the Sacramento region is expected to be able to meet the water supply needs of people this year, the very dry conditions are looking increasingly dire for the environment of the Lower American River. RWA is continuing to work with the Sacramento Water Forum, and federal and state agencies, to monitor and address conditions.

Dry year actions underway by local water providers include:

  • Shifting to using more groundwater: Over the past several decades local water providers have been working together to sustainably shift the region’s water use to surface water or groundwater according to conditions. This has allowed more groundwater to be available for dry times. In 2021, for example, Sacramento-area water providers have shifted to using 30 percent more groundwater July through November 2021 compared to 2019, according to RWA’s preliminary estimates.
  • Sharing water around the region: Since the last drought, water providers have invested in new pipelines, interties, pumps and groundwater wells to move water where it’s needed. This system builds on the existing ability to shift between surface and groundwater and is ready to assist the communities most directly impacted by lower levels at Folsom Reservoir.
  • Asking customers to voluntarily conserve water by 15 percent, especially outdoors where most household water use occurs in the Sacramento region. We ask our customers to use water efficiently no matter the weather, and regional water use is already lower than it was in 2013, before the last major drought. Now, they must be even more focused on efficiency and stopping water waste.

It’s important to remember that we’ve been here before—and frankly will be here again with climate change. The region’s water providers have developed a comprehensive water resilience portfolio called WaterFuture, which encompasses our entire ‘supershed’ from the mountain tops of the American River watershed to the groundwater basin below the valley floor. You can learn more about this at

Learn More:


Water Efficiency

Climate Change

Environmental Stewardship

  • The Sacramento Water Forum is a coalition of water providers, environmental groups, local government and business groups to balance to co-equal objectives of reliable water supplies and environmental stewardship of the Lower American River:

News Media Inquiries

  • Connect with experts in regional water supplies, environmental stewardship, water policy and water efficiency topics by contacting outreach coordinator Christine Kohn at (916) 548-8988 or

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