In 1850, when California enrolled as our thirty first state,there were 92,600 Californians. One hundred years later, we grew to be 10,600,000. Sixty seven years later, in 2017, our state’s population is now over 39 million.Yet, in all that time, annual rainfall has not increased. It should not be a surprise that we now have a water shortfall.
In January 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued Emergency Regulations for Measuring and Reporting Water Diversions. SWRCB estimates that there are 12,000 diverters who meet or exceed the minimum amount of water diversion requiring reporting.
A lingering aspect of the protracted California drought is the effect of low streamflow and higher water temperatures on our rapidly declining fish population. Low water levels imperil fish health as does higher water temperature. Accordingly, the state is setting guidelines for water permit holders that prohibit diversions unless the streamflow is at a certain minimum level.