Water Rationing

Gravel is visible on the American River a half-mile upstream from the Fair Oaks Bridge. Photo: Randy Pench/rpench@sacbee.com

Faced with historically low water levels and a long-range forecast providing little relief, the Sacramento City Council voted unanimously this month to enact severe water rationing on residents and businesses and increase enforcement to monitor compliance.

The city’s Stage 2 water shortage plan requires those who live and work in Sacramento to reduce their water use by 20%.The city plans to launch a $200,000 water conservation public outreach campaign to help meet the reductions.

“We’re the river city and yet here we are having to make very difficult decisions,” said Councilmember Allen Warren.

Sacramento joined other municipalities around the region enacting tough water-saving measures. The San Juan Water District (which serves more than 265,000 people in Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Roseville and Granite Bay) has asked its customers to stop all outdoor watering – a request that will likely become a mandatory order next month if the drought continues.

The U.S. drought monitor has labeled approximately 63% of the state as being in an “extreme drought” and nearly half of California’s counties have been designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “natural disaster areas.”

For a full list of counties: