Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Las Vegas, NV

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2
000
AXUS75 KVEF 181904
DGTVEF
AZZ001>003-036-CAZ519>527-NVZ014-022-300700-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
1204 PM PDT THU AUG 18 2016

...EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE ACROSS WESTERN
SAN BERNARDINO AND WESTERN INYO COUNTIES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE MOST RECENT U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWED INDICATED THE EASTERN
SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA REMAIN IN D4, OR EXCEPTIONAL
DROUGHT. EXTREME DROUGHT, OR D3 CONDITIONS, EXISTS ACROSS THE OWENS
VALLEY, WHITE MOUNTAINS, AND WESTERN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY,
CALIFORNIA. SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS, OR D2, EXIST ACROSS MOST OF
ESMERALDA COUNTY, CENTRAL INYO COUNTY, AND CENTRAL SAN BERNARDINO
COUNTY. THE REST OF ESMERALDA COUNTY, SOUTHWESTERN NYE COUNTY,
EASTERN INYO COUNTY, MOST OF EASTERN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, AND
EXTREME SOUTHERN MOHAVE COUNTY ARE IN D1, OR MODERATE DROUGHT,
CONDITIONS. EXCEPT FOR NORTHEASTERN LINCOLN COUNTY, THE REST OF THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS COUNTY WARNING AREA, EXCEPT
FOR NORTHERN LINCOLN COUNTY, IS IN D0, OR ABNORMALLY DRY, CONDITIONS.

DUE TO THE SEVERITY OF THE ONGOING DROUGHT, DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED TO PERSIST ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA FOR THE FORESEEABLE
FUTURE.

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER 2016)
ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER SHOWS THERE ARE EQUAL
CHANCES OF BELOW, NEAR, OR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS FAR
SOUTHERN NEVADA AND MOJAVE DESERT. THERE IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
CONFIDENCE FOR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION IN ESMERALDA, NYE, AND
LINCOLN COUNTIES. ABOVE NORMAL CONFIDENCE EXISTS DURING THIS THREE-
MONTH PERIOD FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS... AGRICULTURAL

LADWP AND INYO COUNTY SUPERVISORS COULD NOT AGREE ON A PLAN OR
PROPOSED REDUCTIONS TO AGRICULTURAL INTEREST, WHICH MEANS THERE WILL
BE NO CHANGE AND AGRICULTURAL LEASES WILL GET 45,000 ACRE-FEET FOR
IRRIGATION. POTENTIAL AGRICULTURAL LOSERS COULD BE THOSE LEASES
DEPENDENT ON SURFACE WATER.

A CALIFORNIA NUT COMPANY HAS MOVED SOME OPERATIONS TO NORTHWEST
ARIZONA. ONCE FULLY DEVELOPED THE OPERATION COULD DRAW UP TO 24,000
ACRE-FEET A YEAR OUT OF KINGMAN`S AQUIFER.

ON FEBRUARY 25, 2016, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SECRETARIAL DROUGHT
DESIGNATIONS WERE ANNOUNCED. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DESIGNATED CLARK, NYE, LINCOLN AND ESMERALDA COUNTIES IN NEVADA.

ON DECEMBER 23, 2015, INYO AND SAN BERNARDINO COUNTIES IN CALIFORNIA
WERE DECLARED AS PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER AREAS DUE TO THE ONGOING
DROUGHT. ALL FARM AND RANCH OPERATORS IN THOSE COUNTIES ARE ELIGIBLE
FOR LOW INTEREST EMERGENCY LOANS FROM THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY,
PROVIDED ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS ARE MET. FARMERS IN ELIGIBLE
COUNTIES HAVE EIGHT MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF THE DECLARATION TO APPLY
FOR LOANS TO HELP COVER PART OF THEIR ACTUAL LOSSES.

IN LATE OCTOBER 2015, WATER FLOWED IN THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN SIX MONTHS AFTER WORKERS REMOVED AN EARTHEN AND
CONCRETE DAM THAT DIVERTED WATER. A DEAL WAS REACHED TO KEEP FLOWS
IN THE OWENS RIVER. THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF POWER AND WATER
MOSTLY FULFILLED IRRIGATION CONTRACTS LAST SUMMER IN THE SOUTHERN
END OF THE OWENS VALLEY. DUE TO THE ONGOING DROUGHT, LIVESTOCK HAS
BEEN ESTIMATED TO BE REDUCED BY 40 TO 50 PERCENT IN THE OWENS VALLEY
IN RECENT YEARS.

WATER SUPPLY

THE CURRENT LAKE MEAD WATER ELEVATION HAS RISEN SLIGHTLY FROM ITS
RECORD LOW LEVELS EARLIER THIS SUMMER. THE CURRENT LEVEL IS NEAR
1074 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL, AROUND THREE FEET HIGHER THAN OBSERVED IN
LATE JUNE. THE LAKE IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY RISE TO AROUND 1080
FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL BY THE END OF THE YEAR.

THE LATEST U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION GIVES LAKE MEAD ONLY A 10
PERCENT CHANCE OF FALLING INTO SHORTAGE CONDITIONS NEXT YEAR, BUT
THAT CHANCE RISES TO 56 PERCENT IN 2018 AND ABOVE 60 PERCENT IN EACH
OF THE FOLLOWING THREE YEARS. THE U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
DECLARES A SHORTAGE WHENEVER AN ANNUAL STUDY PROJECTS THE RESERVOIR
LEVEL WILL BE LESS THAN 1075 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL ON JANUARY 1. A
SHORTAGE COULD FORCE ARIZONA AND CALIFORNIA TO IMPLEMENT WATER
RESTRICTIONS, AND SOME ARIZONA FARMERS WOULD LOSE THE WATER THAT
FLOWS TO THEM THROUGH THE CENTRAL ARIZONA PROJECT CANAL. THERE IS
LESS THAN A FIFTEEN PERCENT CHANCE THAT A SURPLUS (OF ANY AMOUNT
ABOVE 1145 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL) WILL OCCUR WITH LAKE MEAD`S WATER
SUPPLY THROUGH 2021.

THE NEVADA DROUGHT FORUM, A STATEWIDE PANEL, HAS RECOMMENDED
STATEWIDE WATER METERING, WATER EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR NEW
DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTING TIER RATE STRUCTURES TO PROMOTE
CONSERVATION. THE STATE`S BIGGEST WATER USER, AGRICULTURE, WOULD BE
ENCOURAGED TO USE DRIP IRRIGATION, CROP COVERING AND CONVERT
PLANTINGS TO LESS THIRSTY VARIETIES. THE REPORT ALSO ASKS LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF THIRSTY LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS
SET BY MANY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS. THE SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER
AUTHORITY`S CASH FOR GRASS PROGRAM HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL AND HAS
REPLACED MORE THAN 173 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF TURF GRASS (MORE THAN
3,000 FOOTBALL FIELDS) WITH LANDSCAPING THAT`S A BETTER FIT FOR
NEVADA`S CLIMATE.

THE VICE PRESIDENT OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
TOLD A PANEL OF THE NEVADA DROUGHT FORUM THAT CONSERVATION EFFORTS
BY THE COMPANY HAVE SAVED ABOUT 2 BILLION GALLONS OF WATER SINCE
2008. THE COMPANY HAS INSTALLED LOW-FLOW FIXTURES AND CHANGED
METHODS FOR DOING LAUNDRY AS PART OF THEIR WATER CONSERVATION
EFFORTS.

GROUND WATER

GREAT BASIN UNIFIED AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT BOARD APPROVED A
REVISED STATE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN WHICH WILL HELP BRING OWENS LAKE
INTO COMPLIANCE WITH PM10 REGULATIONS WHILE SAVING WATER.

THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER IS PLANNING FOUR NEW
PRODUCTION WELLS IN INYO COUNTY. ONE WILL REPLACE A WELL IN LAWS,
TWO IN BISHOP AND ONE IN BELL CANYON WEST OF BIG PINE.

THE NEVADA LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION`S SUBCOMMITTEE TO STUDY WATER WILL
HOLD ITS LAST MEETING DURING THE 2015-2016 LEGISLATIVE INTERIM ON
AUGUST 25. THESE MEETINGS, IN PART, SOLICIT REQUESTS FROM INTERESTED
PARTIES FOR POTENTIAL CONSIDERATION BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE FOR
POTENTIAL BILL DRAFT REQUESTS FOR LEGISLATION DURING THE NEXT
SESSION.

INYO COUNTY SUPERVISORS PASSED A THREE-PAGE DROUGHT PROCLAMATION FOR
INYO COUNTY. THEY NOTED THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION BY
POINTING OUT THE VERY LOW SNOWPACK IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA, DRY WELLS
AROUND BISHOP AND CONCERNS ABOUT USE OF WATER ON THE DRY LAKE AND
THE NEED FOR LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER AND INYO
COUNTY TO PLAN FOR DRY TIMES.

RECREATION/TOURISM

THE LOW LAKE LEVELS IN LAKE MEAD CONTINUE TO IMPACT RECREATIONAL
BOATING CHANNELS BY REDUCING AREAS THAT BOATS CAN PASS THROUGH. THE
FALLING LAKE LEVEL HAS RESULTED IN THE CONTINUED CLOSURE OF THE ECHO
BAY MARINA AND BOAT LAUNCH RAMP AT ECHO BAY.

NATURAL SPRINGS IN THE SHEEP MOUNTAIN RANGE IN SOUTHERN NEVADA HAVE
RUN DRY IN SOME INSTANCES FORCING HIKERS TO HAVE TO BRING WATER WITH
THEM.

FIRE WEATHER

THE LATEST SIGNIFICANT WILDLAND FIRE POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR THE REST
OF AUGUST THROUGH NOVEMBER CALLS FOR ABOVE NORMAL POTENTIAL IN THE
SOUTHERN SIERRA AND NEAR NORMAL POTENTIAL IN THE REST OF SOUTHEAST
CALIFORNIA, SOUTHERN NEVADA, AND NORTHWEST ARIZONA.

ACCORDING TO CAL FIRE, THE NUMBER OF FIRES THIS YEAR IN THE STATE OF
CALIFORNIA THROUGH AUGUST 13, 2016, IS 3874 (ABOVE THE 3224 AVERAGE
IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS) COVERING 112,950 ACRES (ABOVE THE 85,921-
ACRE AVERAGE IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS).

AERIAL SURVEYS IN THE PAST YEAR CONTINUE TO SHOW HIGH MORTALITY
RATES WITH TREES IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA OWING TO THE COMBINATION OF
DROUGHT AND A BARK BEETLE EPIDEMIC. SOME AREAS OF THE SIERRA TO THE
WEST OF INYO COUNTY WERE REPORTED TO HAVE MORE THAN 35 DEAD TREES
PER ACRE WITH MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN SIERRA FEATURING AT
LEAST TEN DEAD TREES PER ACRE IN MAY 2016.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

DATA BELOW IS OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH AUGUST 17TH

 ARIZONA            PCPN     NORMAL     PER

BEAVER DAM          8.75      6.76      129%
PIPE SPRING NM     10.68      8.33      128%
KINGMAN             7.74      9.48       82%
WIKIEUP             7.48      8.58       87%

 CALIFORNIA

BISHOP              3.87     4.99       78%
DEATH VALLEY NP     2.81     2.15      131%
BARSTOW-DAGGETT     2.14     3.85       56%
NEEDLES             3.00     4.19       72%
JOSHUA TREE         3.73     4.77       78%

 NEVADA

LAS VEGAS           5.00     3.94      127%
MT CHARLESTON      23.53    23.63      100%
PAHRUMP             6.55     4.79      137%
MESQUITE            5.95     8.27       72%
CALIENTE           12.15     8.61      141%
DYER                4.75     4.78       99%

 PCPN   - 2016 WATER YEAR PRECIPITATION
 NORMAL - WATER YEAR NORMAL (STARTS OCT 1)
 PER    - PERCENT OF NORMAL

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER 2016)
ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER SHOWS THERE ARE EQUAL
CHANCES OF BELOW, NEAR, OR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS FAR
SOUTHERN NEVADA AND MOJAVE DESERT. THERE IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
CONFIDENCE FOR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR ESMERALDA, NYE AND
LINCOLN COUNTIES. ABOVE NORMAL CONFIDENCE EXISTS DURING THIS THREE-
MONTH PERIOD FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

TOTAL INFLOWS INTO LAKE POWELL DURING THE APRIL-JULY PERIOD WERE
AROUND 6.6 MAF OR 92% OF AVERAGE. DURING THE RUNOFF SEASON, LAKE
POWELL OBSERVED A RISE IN WATER ELEVATION OF AROUND 30 FEET.

AS OF AUGUST 17, 2016, LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION WAS 1074.08 FEET OR 36
PERCENT CAPACITY. LAKE MEAD HAS NOT SEEN LAKE ELEVATIONS THIS LOW
SINCE THE RESERVOIR WAS BEING FILLED IN 1937. THE OUTLOOK IS FOR THE
WATER ELEVATION TO SLOWLY RISE UP CLOSE TO 1080 FEET BY JANUARY
2017.

LAKE POWELL`S CURRENT ELEVATION IS 3616.08 OR 55 PERCENT CAPACITY.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION (AS OF 8/17/2016)

RESERVOIR                   PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                        36
LAKE MOHAVE                      93
LAKE HAVASU                      93

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE... DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENTS ARE
NORMALLY ISSUED ON THE THIRD THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH IN WHICH EXTREME
DROUGHT CONDITIONS EXIST IN ANY PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN
AND MOJAVE DESERT. THE NEXT SCHEDULED ISSUANCE IS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15,
2016. IF A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE DROUGHT CONDITION IS
ANTICIPATED...OR OCCURS PRIOR TO THIS DATE...AN UPDATED STATEMENT
WILL BE ISSUED.
&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES:

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM
WWW.DROUGHT.GOV

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE     WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS
USGS                         WATER.USGS.GOV/
COLORADO BASIN RFC           WWW.CBRFC.NOAA.GOV
CALIFORNIA-NEVADA RFC        WWW.CNRFC.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL SITES:

NEVADA DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES   WATER.NV.GOV
CALIFORNIA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES   WWW.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES      WWW.AZWATER.GOV

NEVADA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE          WWW.CLIMATE.UNR.EDU
CALIFORNIA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE      WWW.CLIMATE.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE         AZCLIMATE.ASU.EDU
WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER        WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU

NWS FORECAST OFFICE LAS VEGAS        WEATHER.GOV/LASVEGAS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL AND WESTERN REGIONAL CLIMATIC
DATA CENTERS...THE USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS
AND THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...PLEASE CONTACT:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - LAS VEGAS
PHONE...702-263-9744
W-VEF.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

BP/CMS


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.