Drought Update

The Journey of WaterJourney of Water

To understand how the statewide drought affects Rancho Water, it's important to first understand where our imported water comes from. About 60% of our water is imported from more than 500 miles away from the Sierras through the State Water Project (SWP) and the Colorado River from the Rockies. The SWP serves 27 million people and about 750,000 acres of farmland. The Colorado River supplies water to more than 35 million people in seven states, and about 4 trillion gallons of water for agriculture. Water from these sources travels through hundreds of miles of pipeline, treatment plants, and reservoirs before eventually reaching Rancho Water customers.


Current Drought Status

California is experiencing severe dry weather. Low snowpack, and even lower runoff, in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains are causing critically low reservoir levels in the Colorado River and State Water Project systems, which is where Rancho Water gets more than 60% of our water supply. 

As of October 19, 2021, Riverside County has been added to the emergency drought declaration, along with the rest of the state. Fortunately, our imported water supplier has record-high storage levels from previous wet years, which will carry us through the next several years. However, now is the time to save so that we may protect our water supplies for tomorrow. 

Track the latest statewide water supply conditions, snowpack levels, and river flows, and Southern California's reservoir levels in the links below.

CA Water Conditions Opens in new window Reservoir Lvl Link Opens in new window


Drought Timeline

October 2021Governor Newsom adds Riverside County to the emergency drought proclamation; Reports say it is likely that Californians could receive 0% of their allocation from the State Water Project next year
September 2021Reports show Californians have only reduced water use by 1.8% (July 2021 vs. July 2020)
August 2021Metropolitan Water District declares Condition 2 – Water Supply Alert; Lake Mead declares first ever water shortage; Lake Oroville shuts down major hydroelectric power plant due to water shortage
July 2021Governor Newsom calls for 15% voluntary water usage from 2020 levels
May 2021Drought declaration expanded to 50 California counties (all except Southern CA)
April 2021Emergency drought declaration in Sonoma & Mendocino Counties

What Can I Do to Help?

Rancho Water customers are known for their water saving ways! We thank you for the work you've already done to save water. But, with California experiencing very dry conditions and groundwater supplies quickly depleting, it's time to step it up and Check Your Water!

We encourage you to do these three simple steps to tune up your home’s water efficiency and save on your bill.

  • Check your water budget
  • Check for leaks
  • Check sprinkler timers

Save Today to Protect Tomorrow. No Water Wasted.  


Check Your Water poster
  1. Water Use Restrictions
  2. Water Shortage Contingency Plan



Rancho Water is currently in Stage 3a of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan


Water Use Restrictions

*For a complete list of water restrictions for all customer classes, click here