SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The State of California says mandatory water cutbacks could be coming after the voluntary restrictions requested due to the ongoing drought made little impact.
Now, the state is saving water as the drought and dry conditions stick around for yet another year.READ MORE: 'You Take Your Chances': Several Cars Stripped Of Catalytic Converters At Sacramento Airport Economy Lot
“I’ve been in California a long time. I know this is what, our third year of drought?” Payson Hall said.
He is not surprised he and his neighbors may be asked to cut back on water usage once again.
“Living in the valley, we know we get our water from the Sierra, and just a couple of degrees of warming, we don’t get as much snow,” Hall said.
There are dozens of water districts — that serve millions of Californians — that get water supplies from the state, but the record-low allocation is zero percent heading into 2022. This was revealed by the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) earlier than ever before.
It represents how much the state can give based on available supplies.
“The state as a whole has very diminished reservoir levels,” said Jay Lund with UC Davis.
Lake Oroville, the largest reservoir in the state water project, is at 30 percent capacity. That’s about half of where it is normally this time of year. The news from DWR means farmers like Fritz Durst, a rice farmer in Esparto, are up against a tough year.READ MORE: New Bill Allows For Hunting Of Destructive Wild Pigs In California Without A Permit
“Unless there is significant rainfall, it’s looking like we will have very little water available to us next year,” Durst said.
In a time when many are already asked to conserve water, now local districts will be asked to cut back even more.
“I would expect to see more restrictions on lawn watering if conditions stay as they are now,” Lund said.
But neighbors like Hall say they’re ready.
“I’m hoping people are still doing the things we’ve been asked to do the last couple of years,” he said.
Seven districts that requested it will get a small amount of water.
Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Solano County Water Agency and Yuba City contract with the state for at least some of their water.MORE NEWS: 'Just Seeing Those Pictures Hurt': Sacramento Family Hasn't Heard From Tongan Relatives Since Eruption
The state also has the Central Valley Water Project, which is federally run. It hasn’t announced its projected water allocation for next year yet.