Track California Water Conditions

Welcome to California Water Watch! This site offers the most current local and statewide water conditions down to your region and even your neighborhood. This information is updated dynamically from a variety of data sources. Everyone is welcome to research, learn, and stay informed about California's most precious resource -- water.

California Water Watch offers the most current local and statewide water conditions down to your region and even your neighborhood.

Castaic Lake Levels
Snow El Dorado County
A portion of the South Fork of the American River in El Dorado County, California. Photo taken March 1, 2023. Andrew Innerarity / California Department of Water

Tracking Current Weather Conditions

Precipitation Map on 05/30/2023

Precipitation data shown here are Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data acquired via a licensing agreement with Oregon State University. For more information on this dataset see: https://prism.oregonstate.edu/

Tracking Current Weather Conditions

Climate change has fundamentally altered our state’s hydrologic system – intensifying severe weather as we swing from extreme dry to extreme wet situations.

We continue to monitor conditions across California, and while recent rain and snow has been promising, it will take more than a single wet year for California to fully recover from the last three years – the driest ever recorded in state history.

Many rural areas are still experiencing water supply challenges, especially communities that rely on groundwater supplies which have been depleted due to prolonged drought.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be assessing the impact the latest round of storms has had on the drought. Drought recovery will need to be evaluated on a regional scale and will depend on local water supply conditions.

Hydrology Update

Do we have enough water stored?

In drier seasons, we rely on other sources of water. These include reservoirs and melted snowpack. But climate change is causing extreme weather and changing the amount of rain and snow we get, impacting how we are able to capture and distribute water. Reservoir levels, which receive water from melting snowpack, have been impaired the last three years by a declining snowpack.

Californians must adapt to this new normal and adopt conservation as a way of life to make the most out of our limited water supplies across the state.

Major reservoir levels

Reservoirs get us through the dry months

Summary of current level

of average levels
Total capacity
Average level historically
Current level

Statewide snowpack levels

Snow melt feeds our reservoirs & rivers

of average peak snowpack
Average peak snow water equivalent
from 1991-2020
Current snow water equivalent

What about our groundwater supply?

Groundwater is a vital resource in California and accounts for almost 60 percent of our State's water supply in drought years.

Three years of drought in California are putting a strain on groundwater wells. The data on the right show the number of monitoring wells that have water levels below average and the number of unresolved well outages across the state reported to DWR. Visit California Groundwater Live for more real-time well data.

Monitoring Wells
Below Normal Level

Dry Wells Reported - Year to Date
 


Precipitation as of 05/30/2023

California’s annual precipitation can vary greatly from year to year and region to region. The map of California shows how this water year’s precipitation compares to what has been observed historically. The chart below provides a summary of California’s current statewide precipitation statistics.

Precipitation Statistics (period of record: 1981-current)
Statewide as of  05/30/2023
Water Year to Date:
% of Average:
Precipitation % of average for full water year through September 30th:

Historical Record to Date:
Max:
Mean:
Min:
California’s new Water Year began Oct. 1, 2022 and ends Sept. 30, 2023. Graphics on this site use data for WY 2022-23. To view WY 2021-22 data, visit the yearly summary page.

Precipitation as of 05/30/2023

California’s annual precipitation can vary greatly from year to year and region to region. The map of California shows how this water year’s precipitation compares to what has been observed historically. The chart below provides a summary of California’s current statewide precipitation statistics.

Precipitation Statistics (period of record: 1981-current)
Statewide as of  05/30/2023
Water Year to Date:
% of Average:
Precipitation % of average for full water year through September 30th:

Historical Record to Date:
Max:
Mean:
Min:

Snowpack as of 05/31/2023

The map of California shows how snowpack conditions compare to the historical averages at various locations across the state. The plot below aggregates this same data to show how the cumulative statewide snowpack is tracking relative to the historical average. This allows us to see how well the snowpack is doing to date, as well as how much snow may still be needed to reach the average peak snowpack (i.e., April 1st snowpack)

Percent of normal to date:
Percent of April 1st average:

Reservoirs as of 05/31/2023

The map of California shows how reservoir conditions compare to their historical averages for this month. The metrics below are an estimate of the current total statewide reservoir storage.

Estimated Total Statewide Reservoir Storage: 13.6 MAF*
Percent of Historical Average: 68%

*Million Acre Feet (MAF). On average, California receives about 200 million acre-feet of water per year in the form of rain and snow. One acre-foot of water is enough to serve two families of four for a year.


Groundwater as of

The map of California shows groundwater level conditions across the state by comparing the most recent measurements at wells to the previous 10 years of measurements for the wells. Most wells are only measured twice a year, in the spring and fall. Few wells have monthly data.

Temperature as of 05/30/2023

Temperature plays a large role in California’s annual water conditions. Higher than normal temperatures present several challenges to managing the state’s water supply. The map of California shows how this year’s temperatures compare to what has been observed historically.

Streamflow as of 05/31/2023

The map of California shows how real-time streamflow at gaged locations compares to historical streamflow ranges for the same day of the year.

Soil Moisture as of 05/30/2023

This map shows relative values of estimated soil moisture at a depth of 100 cm, as calculated from satellite-based observations.

Vegetation Conditions as of 05/30/2023

The map of California depicts vegetation conditions across the state based on the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI). ESI provides insight on how stressed vegetation is due to a lack of water, which is expressed as the statistical variation from average conditions.


More Information