Most of the Bay Area Is Now in Extreme Drought

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Nearly the entire Bay Area is now facing extreme drought, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

An updated Drought Monitor map shows six Bay Area counties – San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa – completely in the red or extreme drought category.

Most of San Mateo and Alameda counties are in the red. The northern tip of Santa Clara County is also in red, but the rest of the county is in the orange category, which signifies severe drought.

United States Drought Monitor map for California.
United States Drought Monitor
United States Drought Monitor map for California. (April 29, 2021)

Almost all of California – 97.51% – is in one of the Drought Monitor's four drought categories: moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional. A small chunk of the state – most of San Diego County and a sliver of Imperial County – is still considered abnormally dry.

This time last year, 41.58% of California was in one of the four drought categories.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) said Tuesday that it’s time to start rationing, asking every customer to cut water use by 10%. 

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