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Drought Impact on Public Drinking Water Systems

Last Updated: July 14, 2014 

The Division of Dirnking Water (DDW) oversees approximately 7,500 public water systems that serve drinking water throughout California. As part of its mission, DDW provides technical assistance to at-risk drinking water systems and works with them to identify potential solutions and funding sources. CDPH also works with state and federal partners to identify additional resources that may be available. 

During the ongoing extreme drought conditions in the state, we are identifying drinking water systems that may be vulnerable to acute drinking water shortages due to drought, and we continue to monitor and evaluate drinking water systems to determine others that may soon be at-risk. 

Small drinking water systems are especially vulnerable to drought conditions. They have fewer customers, which can mean fewer options in terms of resources like funding and infrastructure. However, a public water system’s size is not the only factor that may make it vulnerable to the effects of drought. Type of water source and local conditions also play a significant role in system vulnerability. 

We have prioritized assistance to the following public drinking water systems at this time due to their level of risk for drinking water shortages due to drought conditions if action is not taken immediately:  

System Name




County Service Area 7 La Honda San Mateo 300
Lake County Special Districts CSA 22 Mt Hannah Lake 88
Madera County MD#19 - Parkwood Madera Madera 1230

Montague, City of




Seville Water Company Seville Tulare 400
Valley Teen Ranch Madera Madera 50

Whispering Pines Apartments




Woodside RV Park Mendocino 280


DDW is working with these drinking water systems, and with systems throughout the state, to find solutions to water shortages for vulnerable communities. Potential solutions include, but are not limited to, stringent conservation measures interconnections with other water systems, development of new sources, expansion of existing sources (e.g., deepen wells, extend reservoir intakes), and treatment of sources that produce water that does not meet drinking water quality standards. 

As solutions for these systems are implemented and additional vulnerable systems are identified, this page will be updated.

Last modified on: 7/14/2014 10:54 AM