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
Castaic Lake Levels
A drone view of Castaic Lake. Castaic Lake is a reservoir formed by Castaic Dam on Castaic Creek, in the Sierra Pelona Mountains of northwestern Los Angeles County, California. Photo taken September 13, 2022.

California is in drought: Here are the conditions

Current Drought Map

*Map shows the most recent 12 month Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). This shows rain and temperature effects on moisture. WestWide Drought Tracker, U Idaho/WRCC, Data Source: PRISM (Prelim).

California is in drought: Here are the conditions

Climate change has fundamentally altered our state’s hydrologic system – intensifying extreme weather and leading to longer, drier periods. We are entering a fourth year of drought and need to use less water.

We ended Water Year 2022 on Sept. 30 following a year featuring continued extreme drought with historically dry months and a record-shattering heatwave.

The 2022 Water Year ended with statewide precipitation at 17.9" of average. Statewide reservoir was at 14.70 Million Acre Feet of average on Sept. 30.

A growing body of evidence is starting to show that our current drought is an extension of the 2012-2016 drought, interrupted by just a few wet years.

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 10/01/2022

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  10/01/2022
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 10/01/2022

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  10/01/2022
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 10/01/2022

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 10/01/2022

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 10/01/2022

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 10/01/2022

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 10/01/2022

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 10/01/2022

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