Drought in California
Recurring drought is a feature of California’s climate, and Orange County water agencies are well positioned to respond to recurring dry conditions.
What is the Orange County Water District Doing to Prepare?
The Orange County Water District is in a semi-arid region that receives approximately 13 inches of annual rainfall. This requires OCWD to use a portfolio approach that utilizes multiple sources of water.
As part of OCWD's commitment to providing a reliable and sustainable water supply to Orange County, it supports a diversified water portfolio and will continue to explore all water supply options, including desalination, increased stormwater capture and storage partnerships.
The District manages and protects the Orange County Groundwater Basin (Basin), which provides 77% of the water supply to 2.5 million people in north and central Orange County. The Basin holds water from a variety of sources, including Santa Ana River flows, stormwater, imported water, and recycled water.
Since the previous drought from 2012-2016, OCWD has worked hard to substantially refill our groundwater basin. At this time, the Basin can provide water for two consecutive years at current pumping levels even if drought conditions persist.
The best way to mitigate drought is to increase water supply. Here are some examples of how OCWD is committed to increasing local water supplies and securing long-term water reliability:
What Can Our Communities Do?
Thank you Orange County residents and businesses. Over the years, you have been working hard to implement water-use efficiency and have supported investments in local water reliability, like water recycling and conservation programs that sustain the region. Orange County water providers have a variety of resources, rebates, and water-use efficiency tips to help residents and businesses do even more. We must make lifelong commitments to practice water-use efficiency.
Please contact your local water provider for specific information about rebates and water-use efficiency programs as they may vary from city to city. You can also visit Save Our Water, a statewide resource created by the Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies, featuring a variety of water-saving information and tips.
Statewide & Regional Water Updates
Review the timeline below for a list of regional and statewide drought announcements, beginning with the most recent.