Water Awareness Month Kicks Off Amid Drought, Shortages

Ongoing Challenges Show Need for Comprehensive Solution, Conservation

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2009) - With the latest snow survey confirming a third dry year for California, the Association of California Water Agencies marked the beginning of Water Awareness Month today and called on residents throughout the state to reduce their water use on a daily basis.

"California is facing some extreme water supply challenges, and they are not going away any time soon," ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn said. "We need to move ahead now with comprehensive solutions, but in the meantime we all need to think about how we use water and do what we can to conserve."

The Department of Water Resources' final snow survey of the season indicated the snowpack water content has dropped to 66% of normal statewide, down from 81% a month ago. Last year at this time, the snowpack was 72% of average.

Water storage in the state's major reservoirs remains low. Lake Oroville, the key reservoir for the State Water Project, is at just 58% of capacity and is projected to drop to record low levels by fall.

ACWA and DWR on April 21 launched a statewide public education program called Save Our Water urging Californians to do their part to conserve water. The program features a new consumer-oriented Web site, www.saveourH2O.org, with information about the state's water challenges and tips for saving water indoors and outdoors.

Water-related events are planned throughout the state in May as part of Water Awareness Month. More information is available at www.water.ca.gov and www.wateraware.org.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.

Contact Information: Contact: Jennifer Persike ACWA Director of Strategic Coordination and Public Affairs 916/441-4545 916/296-3981 (cell)