- Feb 12:
- Contra Costa Times editorial: Water districts should impose conservation measures now
- Oakland Tribune editorial: Water districts should impose conservation measures now
- Feb 7:
- California Drought: Desperately needed rain, courtesy of "Pineapple Express" slamming into California
- Feb 6:
- Drought doesn't mean doom for your plants
- Rain soaks Bay Area, another storm coming
- California drought: Big rain headed toward Bay Area could double dismal rainfall totals
- Feb 5:
- California drought: House water bill exposes deep partisan divide
- Feb 4:
- Fremont district urges conservation, offers water-saving program as drought persists
- Gov. Jerry Brown calls congressional Republican drought bill 'divisive'
- Roadshow: Caltrans watering less as drought continues
- Feb 3:
- North Bay homeowners slash water usage through creative conservation
- California drought: Biggest rainfall of 2014 soaks Bay Area
- Jan 31:
- California drought: State Water Project will deliver no water this summer
- Drought shakes off winter for perilous early spring
- Jan 30:
- Obama pledges support amid California drought
- California wine industry reports robust 2013, but worries loom about drought
- Drizzle brings hope to thirsty California but does nothing to deter drought
- Jan 29:
- Bay Area wakes up to drizzle as light rain appears for first time in more than a month
- Zone 7 Water Agency seeks 20 percent voluntary water reduction from customers
- Jan 28:
- California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says
- Jan 27:
- Water oak trees if needed, but not too much
- Rain expected this week won't put dent in the drought, forecasters say
- Gold prospectors take advantage of California drought
- California drought: Bay Area water districts start asking urban residents to conserve
- Jan 26:
- After decades of payments, EBMUD may finally use its emergency water supply
- Jan 25:
- California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say
- Jan 23:
- Around Dublin: Do your part now to get ahead of drought
- Jan 22:
- Drought: California is a red state, if you're talking weather
- Jan 21:
- California drought: Tips for conserving water
- Jan 18:
- Snow makers rescue big Sierra resorts as drought bakes smaller ones
- Jan 17:
- Brown declares California drought emergency
- California drought: Three more months of dry weather likely, National Weather Service announces
- Jan 16:
- Drought declared a natural disaster in California, 10 other states
- Jan 14:
- Drought imperils California salmon, steelhead
- California drought: What's causing it?
- Jan 10:
- Despite California drought, chances for water bond are evaporating
- Jan 8:
- Timm Herdt: Learning to adapt to droughts
- Jan 3:
- Barnidge: California droughts aren't nearly as scary as they used to be
- Dec 29:
- California drought deepens as another year's rains stay away
LOS ANGELES -- With dangerously low snow levels in the mountains and rain coming in just dribs and drabs a deepening California drought has prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to urge people to turn off the water while brushing teeth and not to "flush more than you have to."
A snow survey Thursday in the Sierra Nevada in Northern California found the snow water equivalent was just 12 percent of normal for this time of winter, despite a storm that dumped some new snow Thursday. The water in the northern and central Sierra snowpack provides about a third of California's water supply. Satellite photos from space show the tops of the towering peaks as brown instead of white.
A weak cold weather system limping through the state did provide a few sprinkles of rain Thursday but it amounted to only a few hundreds of an inch and "the chances of tipping any rain buckets is much closer to zero," a National Weather Service forecast said.
The system could bring perhaps an inch of snow in the higher mountains.
The chance of rain was to continue into early Friday and again on Sunday but "even the wettest models suggest a very light precipitation at best, mostly under a tenth of an inch," the forecast said.
"Make no mistake, this drought is a big wakeup call," Brown said Thursday before meeting with local water district officials in downtown Los Angeles, where a smattering of rain fell later in the day. "Hopefully it's going to rain. If it doesn't, we're going to have to act in a very strenuous way in every part of the state to get through."
"Every day this drought goes on, we're going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing," Brown said.
Brown declared a state drought emergency earlier this month and called on Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent.
On Thursday he offered some practical advice, including avoiding long solo showers and cutting down on toilet flushing.
State climatologist Michael Anderson said only 1.53 inches of rain were recorded from October through December, the lowest aggregate total in records dating back to 1895.
Officials say 2013 was also state's driest calendar year since records started being kept.
Southern California has been stockpiling water to deal with potential shortages but some places in the state are struggling.
State officials have said that 17 rural communities are in danger of a severe water shortage within four months. Wells are running dry or reservoirs are nearly empty in some communities. Others have long-running problems that predate the drought.
The communities range from the area covered by the tiny Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County.