Drought Resources

buckslakedrought_thumb.jpg Bucks Lake - Jan 2014 - Lakeshore Resort - Water levels at its lowest
Picture taken by: Bucks Lakeshore Resort 

California is facing perhaps the worst drought ever.
How will this affect Plumas County remains to be seen.

At the August 19 Board of Supervisor's meeting, the Board proclaimed a local emergency due to drought. The proclamation cites the Portola drinking water situation, catastrophic wildfire risk, economic losses and other factors. It seeks relief for junior water rights holders who have been ordered to stop using isolated springs for drinking water. It also recognizes the critical role of local water supplies to fight wildfires and provide community protection. View the proclamation here.

Mandatory conservation is statewide but each situation is different. I would only want to encourage conservation and refer to the state guidance


Press Releases:

August 26, 2015

State Announces Rebates To Replace Toilets & Turf

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced two new rebate programs to help Californians replace inefficient toilets and tear out water-guzzling lawns, further conserving water during the state's historic drought.

The "turf and toilet" rebate program is financed by the Proposition 1 water bond approved by voters in 2014. The program will help carry out Governor Brown's April 1 Executive Order on drought to further reduce water use in homes by replacing more than 10 million square-feet of lawn and upgrading more than 60,000 water-wasting toilets.

DWR will oversee the two rebate programs, which provide a $100 consumer rebate to replace one old toilet per household and up to $2 per square foot for lawn replacement. Californians can visit www.SaveOurWaterRebates.com to apply for the rebates.

With $24 million in Proposition 1 funding, the turf replacement program will rebate $2 per square foot of turf replaced, up to $2,000 per household through state or local turf replacement programs. Consumers are eligible to replace turf that is living or dead at the time of the rebate application. (Bare earth areas with no sign of turf are not eligible for a rebate.)

The turf rebate program is estimated to benefit more than 10,000 homes, with a focus on disadvantaged communities hardest hit by the drought. $12 million of the lawn removal funds is targeted for residents in disadvantaged communities in areas with depleted groundwater basins. The turf program will be monitored by DWR and administered by the Electric & Gas Industries Association (EGIA).

The $6 million toilet rebate program, also funded through Proposition 1, will help Californians replace approximately 60,000 old, inefficient toilets by offering a $100 customer rebate per household to replace with a high-efficiency toilet.

California has been dealing with the effects of drought for four years. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water; find out how at SaveOurWater.com.

Agricultural Resources: 

USDA low interest loans are available for ranchers and farmers. For more information, contact Plumas/Sierra County Agricultural Commissioner at (530) 283-6365.

January 15, 2014

Secretarial Disaster Designation S3626

January 24, 2014

USDA drought List (PDF), listing Plumas County as a primary drought disaster county under the USDA drought guidelines. California Department of Food and Agriculture drought information web page.

USDA drought information web page

University of California Cooperative Extension website

Well Information: 

Environmental Health is seeing a significant increase in the number of new water well permit applications processed this summer. In the first 7 months of this year, we have almost reached the number of new well permits issued each of the past two years. I suspect a few of these are needed to replace bad wells, especially if those wells were marginal producers in the past, but our records indicate they are usually being drilled as a supplemental supply or to replace underground spring or surface water losses.

To better understand the impacts of the drought, Environmental Health needs help documenting if water wells are experiencing problems in Plumas County. We hope to identify areas or communities that may be experiencing problems and help ensure technical or financial assistance is available to homeowners or water systems that may need it. We understand the sensitive nature of individual well information and will not release any individual surveys or information. However, getting accurate, first-hand information, is the only way we'll be able to help.

Access the survey here (PDF).

Water Resources:

Bucks Lake Drought

Bucks Lake - January 2014 - Haskins
Picture taken by: Heather Kelley