Drought Impact on Public Drinking Water Systems

The Division of Drinking Water (DDW) oversees approximately 7,500 public water systems that serve drinking water throughout California. As part of its mission, the (DDW) provides technical assistance to at-risk drinking water systems and works with them to identify potential solutions and funding sources. DDW also works with state and federal partners to identify additional resources that may be available.

During the ongoing extreme drought conditions in the state, (DDW) is working with drinking water systems that may be vulnerable to acute drinking water shortages due to drought.

Small drinking water systems are especially vulnerable to drought conditions. They have fewer customers, which can mean fewer options in terms of resources like funding and infrastructure. However, a public water system's size is not the only factor that may make it vulnerable to the effects of drought. Type of water source and local conditions also play a significant role in system vulnerability.

DDW is working with these drinking water systems, and with systems throughout the state, to find solutions to water shortages for vulnerable communities. Potential solutions include, but are not limited to, stringent conservation measures, interconnections with other water systems, development of new sources, expansion of existing sources (e.g., deepen wells, extend reservoir intakes), and treatment of sources that produce water that does not meet drinking water quality standards.

Vulnerable public water systems are encouraged to apply for emergency drought relief funding to address their drought-related needs. Information on applying is available from the local DDW district office and from the Division of Financial Assistance.

Follow this link for a map of water systems that have applied for drought related-support and their funding status (PDF, 2MB)

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