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Drought Emergency: Water Districts Across Bay Area, California Warned Not To Expect Shipments From State

NAPA (KPIX 5) – Despite recent rains, state water officials sent out a warning to water districts that it doesn't have enough water to send out, including many in the Bay Area.

Napa is one of the districts in the Bay Area that receives water from the State Water Project. Without any help coming next year, water experts say its inevitable consumers are going to be asked to conserve more.

Even after a few storms since late October, water is still scarce in California.

Jay Lund, a professor at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, told KPIX 5, "I would expect to see more restrictions on lawn watering if conditions stay as dry as they are now."

In the Bay Area, much of the East Bay, San Jose and Napa County will be impacted by the state's decision to cut off water shipments.

Some Napa residents are worried about how it will affect the heart of the local economy.

"You got to take care of those people producing the food," said Dave Bressoud of Napa. "You can't turn your back on those people...and this is a huge ag valley."

The announcement comes on the heels of two critically dry years and the forecast shows below average precipitation in the coming months.

Lake Oroville, the largest state managed reservoir, sits at 30% of capacity. It typically stands at 60% this time of year.

Californians are skeptical about how much water relief we will get in the near future.

"This is nature, this is Mother Nature. There's nothing we can do from the production standpoint. The only thing we can do about it is from the end of consumption," Bressoud told KPIX 5.

Kent Vinson adds, "With climate change, I think it could get a lot worse before it gets better. I think we need to bunker down and look at increasing levels of conservation. And storing when it does rain rather than letting it run off."

State officials said the only exceptions to sending out water will be for health and safety allocations.


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