Sacramento CA area imposing mandatory water rationing due to drought


December is generally when the rains come in California. Not this year. The drought continues. The Folsom CA reservoir is just 20% full. The city has implemented a mandatory 20% reduction in water use, as has the county for unincorporated areas. Sacramento and Roseville are expected to do the same next week.

This year will probably be the driest in recorded California history. Folsom Lake is so low that contingency plans are in place to provide emergency pumps should the water level drop below the intake pipes. Water is still being released from the dam to provide habitat for salmon and steelhead. However, authorities are considering lowering the amount released. If they do so, water levels in the reservoir will be sufficient until mid-March, assuming no rains come.

The dry weather is caused by a stubborn high-pressure ridge looming over the Gulf of Alaska and stretching across most of the northern Pacific Ocean. It has diverted the normal storm track away from California for months.

The pattern shows no sign of changing.