• low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. Photos taken by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences lab and field director Carson Jeffres.

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

Drought Research

Five myths about CA’s drought

dried peach tree in Merced County
  1. California knows how to manage droughts.
  2. The drought will sharply increase food prices.
  3. Conservation and technology are the answers.
  4. An El Niño climate next year would solve the problem.
  5. The drought is a problem only for the West.

Richard Howitt, UC Davis professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics, and Jay Lund, UC Davis professor of civil and environmental engineering, debunk all five in this Washington Post op-ed.

Keeping trees healthy during drought

Japanese maple tree growing in California yard

Many Californians are letting their lawns die to save water.  Some are adding drought tolerant landscaping. But what about the yard trees?

Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension landscape horticulture specialist at UC Davis has some watering tips in this Drought Watch report.

UC Davis scientists receive sustainable water use award

UC Davis plant scientist honored for water sustainability

UC Davis experts are part of a team of plant scientists honored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities for helping growers throughout California and the west save time, money, and water.

Water Education

Your Sustainable Backyard: Low Water Use Landscaping - UC Davis

drought tolerant landscape

This workshop will provide an overview of various topics of interest to both Master Gardeners and Garden Enthusiasts. It will feature innovative ideas on how to save water and still have a beautiful landscape.

When: Saturday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Where: University of California, Davis, 1001 Giedt Hall


Presented by the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis

Campus Water

City of Davis approves mandatory 30 percent water cutbacks

city of Davis drought logo

You'll have to ask for a glass of water now if you dine at any of the downtown Davis restaurants. And there will be no yard watering on Mondays...period. Just a couple of the restrictions included in a "stage three" drought ordinance passed by the Davis City Council. City water well levels have dropped by an average of 54 feet since March due to increased demand for groundwater in the Yolo County region. UC Davis has also been hit by drought. One of the main wells on the west side of campus dropped by 82 feet this spring.  

Related: UC Davis secures future water source (The Davis Enterprise)

Crush gets off to an early start

The crush is under way at many California wineries, including the UC Davis teaching and research winery.

It's about two weeks early this year due to warm weather and drought.

Learn how wineries are conserving water in this Drought Watch report.

Low water, low mow grass thriving

Did you know that a water-stingy type of grass is being grown outside the UC Davis Graduate School of Management?

It's called UC Verde Buffalograss, and it only needs to be watered once a week, even in the summer.


Arson arrest made as King fire near Pollock Pines explodes overnight

A 37 year old man has been arrested on charges of starting a wildfire that’s forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 residents in El Dorado County.  The King fire has grown to more than 70,000 acres in parched timberland. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in El Dorado and Siskiyou counties saying, “The wildfires in Northern California serve as a reminder that dry conditions can be the precursor to devastating loss.”

Drought gets plenty of blame for these fires according to Mark Schwartz, director of the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment:

audio transcript

Although no homes have been lost so far in the King fire, the Boyes fire in Siskiyou County destroyed more than 100 homes and two churches in the town of Weed.

Latest fire updates:

Cal Fire

National Interagency Fire Center info

UC Davis Experts

Jay Lund, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis, can discuss the impacts of drought on California’s water supply. KCBS Radio "In Depth" interview.

Richard Howitt, professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics, can talk about the economic effects of drought on agriculture.

Mark Schwartz, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, can discuss the impact of drought on wildfires.  Cal Fire info.

Water Calculator

Water calculator from the department of water resources

See how your home use stacks up and learn how to conserve.