Drought Information

dry soil

Learn more about how the drought is affecting the Complex and how this might impact your visit and the wildlife. Information is subject to change. Please check back for up-to-date information.

Updated December 14, 2015

  • Drought Background

    Lake Shasta Drought

    California is experiencing its most severe drought in recent history. Lake Shasta is currently at 30% of its total capacity. Learn more about the current water conditions in California and the Bureau of Reclamation's webpage.

  • Where Our Water Comes From


    The Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) provides for a water supply for some refuges similar to Central Valley Project (CVP) senior water right holders. The CVPIA was enacted to mitigate for damage done to wildlife habitat by the CVP, in part by providing water to California's remnant wetlands on some refuges in the Central Valley.

    CCP with CVPIA and water supply information (pdf)

    Water Management Plan (pdf)

  • Impacts on Refuges

    Sac 75 Water Distribution Map

    As of June, 2015, the Sacramento, Delevan, and Colusa NWRs will receive 75% of their 2015-2016 allocated water. In accordance with the Complex's Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and other management documents (see below), the refuge managers and biologists continue to strategize for the optimal use of water to continue to meet the refuges' conservation goals. The staff is being flexible with water usage so water conserved early in the season can be used later in the season to support migratory bird populations and meet management objectives to the extent possible. State and federal land managers are working strategically together on a landscape-wide level in their water management.

    -Link to the Complex's CCP webpage and the complete documents

    See link below for more impacts on the Complex (includes hunting and maps of the where the water is)

    Learn More
  • Impacts on Wildlife and Habitat

    Snow goose with collar

    The National Wildlife Refuges in California compensate for the loss of ~95% of the Central Valley's historic wetland habitat. Recent midwinter counts have shown that 5-6 million ducks and geese winter in the Central Valley. This accounts for ~60% of wintering waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. The mosaic of managed wetlands and winter-flooded rice fields (mostly on private lands) in the northern Sacramento Valley support 4-5 million waterfowl or 50% of the wintering waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway.