“Faced with historically low water levels on the American River and a long-range forecast providing little relief, the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to enact severe water rationing on residents and businesses, while also boosting enforcement efforts against water scofflaws. …
“Sacramento joined other municipalities around the region enacting tough water-saving measures.”
“Top city officials are recommending that the [Sacramento] City Council approve a plan next week requiring a 20 percent to 30 percent reduction in water use by residents, businesses and city agencies.”
“Early this morning, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was expected to cut water releases from Folsom Dam into the river from 1,100 cubic feet per second to 800 cfs. This will drop the river’s elevation within its bed by about 6 inches.
“It won’t stop there. Each night this week until Friday, dam releases will be cut in stages until flows reach 500 cfs.
“Folsom Lake’s historically low water level has exposed remnants of the Gold Rush mining town of Mormon Island, the last to be razed in anticipation of the flooding of the American River Canyon upon completion of Folsom Dam. The town was buried by water in 1955.”
“December is usually not the time of year to discuss water rationing. But this holiday month has been so dry that mandatory water conservation orders are beginning to sweep across the Sacramento region. …
“In some cases, these will be the strictest water rationing orders the region has seen since the drought of 1976-77, one of the worst in history.”
“There’s still no rain in the Sacramento area forecast in the days ahead and the dry conditions have triggered water rationing measures. Yesterday, the Sacramento County Water Agency urged people to voluntarily reduce water use by 20 percent.
“Unseasonably warm weather has made this a Christmas for the record books, pushing the temperature at Sacramento Executive Airport to an unprecedented 64 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.”
“Most Californians know their state parks as a place to camp, walk on the beach or stare with jaws gaping into a canopy of giant redwoods. Fewer know the state parks system also guards one of the largest troves of historical artifacts in the nation. Soon, Californians will be able to walk through that remarkable assembly of artifacts for the first time.