Our region is currently experiencing a severe multi-year drought. Rainfall and reservoir storage levels are at historic lows.

What is a drought?
• A drought occurs when an area receives a lot less precipitation than they normally receive, leading to a shortage of water.

How is rainfall measured?
• Rain Gauge: Precipitation is measured by using a rain gauge. A rain gauge consists of a tube and a measuring scale. When it rains, the water falls into the top of the tube. In the United States, we measure precipitation in inches.
• Water Year: We track rainfall by water year. A water year is the 12-month period from October 1st to September 30th.

How much rain have we received in the 2021 water year?
• Rainfall: The 2021 water year will end on September 30th, 2021. So far, Santa Rosa has received just under 13 inches of rain. The 30-year annual average for our region is 30 inches of rain.

How drastic is this drought?
• Rain The 2020 water year (October 2019 – September 2020) was the third driest water year over the last 127 years.
• Reservoirs Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino provide water to our community. These two reservoirs are at record lows for this time of year.