SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California’s lack of rainfall is affecting the state’s new water project and how much water will be delivered to cities.
The project is a system of system of reservoirs, canals and dams that feed 29 water agencies across the state.
“I think everyone needs to take this seriously,” Santa Clara Valley water spokesperson Matt Keller. “You’ve seen what’s happened this year. We’ve had the driest start to the year on record.”
The drought has forced California water officials to cut back on the amount of water they distribute to places across the state from 15% to 5%.
“That’s a significant part of our water supply and so its obviously impacts us here in Santa Clara County,” Keller said. “So we’re doing other measures to make sure we can make up for that including asking everyone to conserve.”
Back in June, the company asked residents to cut back on their water usage by 15%
“We’ve had a couple of months where we reached that 15 percent conservation mark but we haven’t been doing it enough,” says Keller.
Since water is scarce they’re also trying to make up for it by buying from the open market.
“The problem with that is that it gets really expensive during drought, there’s less water and the price goes up,” he shared.
The winter months looked promising, but after a historically dry January and February, it wasn’t enough to escape drought conditions.
A majority of the bay area is still in a severe drought and state reservoir levels are about 70% of average.
California water officials are warning people to brace for a third year of drought.
“We need to make sure we’re capturing the water than we have when we have the wet years and then saving them up for when we have the dry years.”