2014 California Drought Information

You may have been hearing increased chatter recently about the current drought.  The first DWR snow survey of the year was performed on Friday, January 3.  There is an article in the New York Times about the impact of a third drought year on Colorado River water supply allocations.  And many people have begun to speculate on what a third year of drought might mean for their California communities.

We thought we would begin a discussion of drought impacts in the Inyo-Mono region by providing information on the current drought through this webpage.  We hope that, by improving access to drought-related information, we can help water managers in the region prepare for and respond to drought impacts.  We will continue to post updated information on this page as it becomes available.

  • The first CA Department of Water Resources snow survey for the 2013-2014 winter occurred on Friday, January 3, 2014.  Measurements at several sites showed that overall water content of snowpack in the state is at just 20% of average.  More information can be found here: http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/010314.pdf
  • The California Rural Water Association has put together a drought preparedness website with access to all sorts of resources and information related to the impacts of drought on small water systems in California: http://www.cadroughtprep.net/index.htm
  • The Secretary of Agriculture has designated 27 California counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought.  All four counties of the Inyo-Mono IRWM Program (Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, and Kern) are included in this list.  This designation makes available certain assistance and resources to farm operators in those counties.  View the letter and map.
  • Inyo County has declared a local drought emergency.  Read the proclamation.
  • There is a U.S. Drought Portal that contains information about drought throughout the country.  You can put in your zip code to get a local drought snapshot, which includes information on drought meter, drought monitor intensity, temperature, precipitation, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index:  http://drought.gov/drought/

Don’t forget about the Great Basin Weather and Climate Dashboard.  It provides easy access to all sorts of tools and images depicting recent and current conditions and future forecasts:  http://www.gbdash.dri.edu/index.php

If you find other information you think should be provided on or linked from this page, send it to Holly Alpert at holly@inyo-monowater.org.