Dry December Raising Concerns in California

SACRAMENTO -- Tuesday night in Downtown Sacramento, many people were out enjoying the dry weather prior to the Kings game. But when surveyed, some expressed concerns about a December that has only produced three-hundredths of an inch of rain in Sacramento.

“Well it’s beautiful, but we definitely need the rain,” said one lady with mixed feelings.

“Oh, gotta have some rain, bro,” a man said bluntly.

Earlier in the day, FOX40 visited with Doug Carlson, information officer with the California Department of Water Resources.

“Nobody should be alarmed, at this point, because it could start snowing or raining like crazy in 2018," Carlson said. "It’s just a matter of waiting to see what happens.”

Thanks to last season's extraordinary rain and Sierra snow, reservoir storage is very healthy, currently about 115 percent of historical average for this time of year statewide. Folsom Lake was at 128 percent Tuesday.

"But we still are allocating only about 15 percent of the requests from our contractors because it is so uncertain," Carlson cautioned. "We don’t know what kind of winter we’re going to have.”​

Northern California can only afford to stay dry comfortably for a few more weeks.

“If this (dry pattern) continues for the rest of the December through February period, that would be a problem because California gets about half of its water from nature during those three months,” Carlson said.

And so the call for conservation remains timely.

“The conservation message is constant in California," Carlson said. "Making it a California way of life is the way to go.”

One of the residents with whom FOX40 visited in Downtown Sacramento Tuesday night took a page from nature's playbook.

“Ant and grasshopper," said David Coleman. "We gotta put things away. We gotta put things away to save for later.”