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 rwah2o.org/WaterFuture.
- SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL: If the Sierra snowpack vanishes as feared, California will need ideas like this for water (2/2/22)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Sacramento Regional Water Bank is Key to Stopping Cycles of Drought (2/1/22)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento-Area Water Use Down 26 Percent in November (1/18/22)
- VIEWPOINTS: How Folsom Lake is Using Weather Forecasts to Manage Water Supply Amid Climate Change (11/24/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento-Area Water Use Down 17 Percent in October (11/16/21)
- VOICES ON WATER: Conservation is Critical During Drought, But Not the Only Solution (10/29/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Stress Your Lawn, Save Your Trees, Local Water Providers Urge (10/6/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento-Area Water Use Down 6 Percent in August (9/16/21)
- FACT SHEET: Water Conservation During the 2021 Drought (9/1/21)
- WATER FORUM BLOG: When Snow Disappears Without a Trace (9/2/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Roseville Watering days shift to two days per week (9/2/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento declares ‘Water Alert’; asks customers to reduce water use by 15 percent (8/25/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Roseville, PCWA double-down on a partnership to strategically manage water supplies during drought (8/25/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: City of Folsom Announces 20% Water Conservation Requirements (8/16/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Roseville announces 20 percent water conservation requirement in anticipation of worsening drought conditions later this year (8/3/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento-Area Environmental, Water, Business Interests Urge Conservation Amid Dire Statewide Drought (8/27/21)
- WATER FORUM RESOLUTION on Drought Actions (8/26/21)
- OPINION: The drought is different this time. Everyone in the Sacramento region must conserve water (7/31/21)
- WATER FORUM BLOG: Making the Best of the Poor Conditions in this Critically Dry Year (7/23/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: RWA Urges 15 Percent Water Reductions Throughout the Sacramento Region (7/15/21)
- COMMENTARY: State Shoud Fund Local Water Resilience Projects (7/13/21)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Sacramento Region Supports Governor’s Call for Conservation (7/8/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: City of Sacramento Declares ‘Water Watch,’ Asks Customers to Reduce Water Use by 10 Percent (7/7/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Sacramento-Area Leaders Urge Public to Conserve Water (7/7/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: City of Sacramento Doubles the Money People Can Receive from Water Conservation Rebates (7/6/21)
- Carmichael Water District Declares a Stage 2 Water Shortage Emergency Condition (6/30/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: EID Declares Stage 1 Water Alert (6/28/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Fair Oaks Water District: Projected Record Low Folsom Lake Water Level Paints Dire Water Picture (6/23/21)
- ANNOUNCEMENT: SSWD Board Increases Conservation Funding (6/17/21)
- OPINION: How an invisible water source will help Sacramento get through the upcoming drought (6/15/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: PCWA Expands Water Efficiency Rebate Programs (6/8/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Folsom Water Customers Called to Conserve Water Amid Drought Conditions (6/2/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: Roseville Water Customers Urged to Voluntary Conserve 10 Percent to Manage Drought Conditions (5/14/21)
- NEWS RELEASE: RWA Urges Members to Consider Conservation, Shifting to Groundwater to Help the Lower American River (5/13/21)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Emergency Declaration Underscores Region’s Drought Concerns, Actions to Protect the Lower American River (5/11/21)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Senate Budget Proposal Could Boost Resiliency to Drought and Climate Change in the Sacramento Region (4/29/21)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Sacramento Region Ready to Address Grim Forecast (3/23/21)
- MEDIA STATEMENT: Water Supplies in Good Shape Despite Dry Start (12/30/21)
- Be Water Smart: The region’s water efficiency program with information about water-wise rebates and tips: https://bewatersmart.info/
- Sacramento Region Landscape Watering Guidelines: https://bewatersmart.info/wateringmap/
- Find Your Water Provider: https://bewatersmart.info/find-your-water-provider/
- WaterFuture, a comprehensive water resilience portfolio to address the projected impacts of climate change on the Sacramento region’s water supplies: https://rwah2o.org/waterfuture/
- 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: https://www.waterforum.org/
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 christine@INprOnline.com.