Science for understanding drought
The USGS is closely monitoring the effects of drought in California through data collection and research.
Effectiveness of new emergency drought barrier
Scientists gather data on cyanoHABs associated with a drought salinity barrier in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Soil moisture serves as an indicator for runoff and drought in the Feather River Basin
Monitoring and modeling soil moisture to improve runoff forecasting and drought characterization in the Feather River Basin
Improving forecasting for water supply from California snow melt
USGS is data used to estimate snowmelt and runoff, and to develop products for forecasting water-supply needs under extreme conditions, such as drought.
A drought is a period of drier-than-normal conditions that results in water-related problems. When rainfall is less than normal for several weeks, months, or years, the flow of streams and rivers declines, water levels in lakes and reservoirs fall, and the depth to water in wells increases. If dry weather persists and water-supply problems develop, the dry period can become a drought.