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Home > Natural Resources > Water Strategies to Preserve Natural Resource Supplies and Quality

Water Awareness Month in California Brings May Events!

Why does water matter? The Delta is teetering on the brink of collapse and conservation is essential for every Californian.

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Water Awareness Month: "Use Water Wisely!"

In a year of water challenges and opportunities, California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) observes May as Water Awareness Month, promoting the theme: "Use Water Wisely." Events will take place throughout the state...see the list below.

DWR Statement in Response to Federal Salmon Decision

Sacramento – The Department of Water Resources released this statement (April, 2008) by Director Lester A. Snow in response to federal Judge Oliver Wanger's decision on salmon.

"Although we don't yet know the full effects that today's decision by Judge Wanger may have on the state's water deliveries, it is further evidence that the Delta is teetering on the brink of collapse. Governor Schwarzenegger has outlined a comprehensive plan for Delta sustainability to protect the fragile environment and ensure reliable water supplies for 25 million Californians. The clock is ticking and we must move forward on a Delta solution." A remedy hearing on the matter has not yet been set.

DWR Sets Final Snow Survey of 2008 Season

SACRAMENTO--The final snow survey of the 2008 winter season by the California Department of Water Resources will take place May 1, 2008, near Lake Tahoe. Monthly measurements are made from January to May to help forecast the amount of spring runoff into reservoirs. On April 15, electronic sensors indicated that water content in the snow pack was 82 percent of normal for the date.

DWR Releases 2008 Urban Drought Guidebook

To help local water agencies and communities prepare for the possibility of a dry year or water supply interruptions, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has published an updated version of its Urban Drought Guidebook. DWR staff, in cooperation with the California Urban Water Conservation Council and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, held drought workshops throughout the State last year to solicit input for the guidebook update.

The Governor’s recently announced target of a 20 percent reduction in per-capita water use statewide by 2020 presents a challenge for both water suppliers and California residents.

Water suppliers may find many of the guidebook’s demand management measures timely and useful. Court-ordered restrictions on Delta pumping may also make water shortage contingency planning an essential and ongoing issue, even if the State is not experiencing a climatic drought.

A copy of the Guidebook has been posted on the DWR Web site at Download the PDF from

Water Events for 2008

Though California’s winter snow pack in 2008 was near average after a dry 2007, State Water Project deliveries are severely restricted this spring. This is largely due to compliance with a Federal court’s restrictions on Delta pumping to help safeguard the threatened Delta smelt.

In addition to pumping cuts and Delta problems, California faces many water challenges, including changing climate patterns that affect snowfall and precipitation. Water is a vital necessity for our environment, people and quality of life. So wise water use and robust conservation efforts are more important now than ever before.

Water Awareness Month originated in response to California’s most recent multi-year statewide drought in 1987-1992.

DWR is a leading State water resources management and planning agency. It operates the State Water Project, providing water to more than 24 million people and about 750,000 acres of farmland. About 70 percent of SWP water goes to cities, with about 30 percent devoted to agriculture. The Department also operates flood management and dam safety programs, performs water planning and works on Delta ecosystem and water issues.

ACWA's Kennedy Memorial Ceremony

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) will devote a special program at its Spring Conference in Monterey on May 8 to memorializing the life and career of David N. Kennedy. A distinguished water statesman who was DWR director for 15 years, Kennedy led DWR from 1983 to 1998. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was an assistant general manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

DWR Regional Events

O’Neill Forebay

The traditional Kids Fishing and Fun Day at O’Neill Forebay near San Luis Reservoir will be held on Saturday, May 17, from 8 a.m. to noon. For information, call the Romero Visitors Center at San Luis Reservoir at (209) 827-5353.

Oroville Celebration

On Saturday, May 10, DWR employees will take part in a Jack Splash Children’s event as part of Oroville’s Feather Fiesta Day celebration, a nine-day event scheduled this year from May 3 through May 11. A fishing simulator will be the key attraction. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Parking Lot A, located at Montgomery, Meyers and Huntoon streets, with the Oroville Municipal Auditorium as the back drop. For information on the DWR Booth, contact Rosemary Martin at the Lake Oroville Visitors Center at (530) 538-2219. For information on the entire Feather Fiesta Days celebration, contact the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce at (530) 538-2542 or access the Chamber’s Web site at

Southern California Water Events

Staffers from DWR’s Southern Field Division will take part in several special events during May.

On May 2-4, staffers will take part in the first annual Castaic Days, held at Castaic Lake. The event will include sand castle building, kayak and canoe rental, and a fishing derby.

On May 10, the Southern Field Division will host a DWR booth at Castaic Lake Water Agency’s annual Open House event. They will assist children in making rainsticks, a type of tubular rattle instrument, associated with the onset of rain, which has been used ceremonially by diverse cultures.

On May 17-18, DWR staff will take part in Palmdale Water District’s Annual Water Fair and Festival. A fishing simulator will be on hand and water safety on the State Water Project will be promoted.

DWR Visitor Centers

May marks the traditional start of vacation and travel season when visitation increases at DWR’s three Visitor Centers. Open for public enjoyment free of charge, these visitors centers are:

Vista del Lago at Pyramid Lake, near Gorman, in northern Los Angeles County just off Interstate 5. Contact Vista del Lago (661) 294-0219;

Romero Overlook Visitors Center at San Luis Reservoir just off State Highway 152 in Merced County, west of Los Banos. Contact San Luis (209) 827-5353;

Lake Oroville Visitors Center, 917 Kelly Ridge Road, overlooking Lake Oroville in scenic Butte County. Contact Oroville (530) 538-2219.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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