Drought returns to California ... back to surcharges and cutbacks?

"It's not looking real promising. 70s this week? I hope we all start to realize, we do need to start cutting back," said resident Nathan Urness.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 5:51 PM

"We do like to have a green lawn, we have to shower," said Butte County resident Nathan Urness.

Last season's rainy winter ended the worst drought in California history.

And last April, the governor finally said we no longer had to conserve water.

"I can't help but notice, I'm seeing people turn their sprinklers on, that's fine - no need to kill of your landscaping, but be cognizant," said Cal Water Chico manager Pete Bonacich.

Ten months later, and just a few inches of rain this year in Butte County.

44% of the state is back to a moderate drought, with Sierra Nevada snowpack at 30% of what we'd expect for this time of year.

"It's not looking real promising. 70s this week? I hope we all start to realize, we do need to start cutting back," said Urness.

"We've got warm weather ahead, almost record setting - it sounds like a drought, feels like a drought," said Bonacich.

But as for requiring us to conserve water? That's up to the governor. And it hasn't happened yet.

"We have been asking our customers for a 10% voluntary reduction ... Our numbers are good, even though we're no in drought mode," said Bonacich.

In fact, most chico water users are still cutting back to 25% of the amount allowed before the drought began.

Some good news: the DWR says state reservoirs are still fuller than usual thanks to last year's rain.

Since residential customers in the Chico district get their water from the ground, Lake Oroville's low level won't impact supplies.

Plus, there could be a lot more rain on the horizon.

"There's time to turn it around, we've had Marches and Aprils that have been really wet, so we'll see!' said Bonacich.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Oroville
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 38°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 54°
Thursday was the last fairly quiet weather day that we'll have in northern California as a series of storms will move our way through next week. Our first chance for rain and snow showers arrives Friday morning with a cold front.
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