Drought Education

Drought Education

Water is a vital resource that our community shares. Our region is currently experiencing a severe multi-year drought. Rainfall and reservoir storage levels are at historic lows. It is critical that we work together to protect and conserve our water resources.

What is a drought?

  • A drought occurs when an area receives a lot less precipitation than they normally receive, leading to a shortage of water. 

How is rainfall measured?

  • Rain Gauge: Precipitation is measured by using a rain gauge. A rain gauge consists of a tube and a measuring scale. When it rains, the water falls into the top of the tube. The measuring scale allows meteorologists to measure the amount of precipitation. In the United States, we measure precipitation in inches.
  • Water Year: We track rainfall by water year. A water year is the 12-month period from October 1st to September 30th. The water year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends. Thus, the year ending September 30th, 2020 is called the "2020" water year. The 2021 water year will end September 30th, 2021.

How much rain have we received in the 2021 water year?

  • Rainfall: The 2021 water year will end on September 30th, 2021. So far, Santa Rosa has received just under 13 inches of rain. The 30-year annual average for our region is 30 inches of rain. Stay up to date on precipitation measurements.

How drastic is this drought?

  • Rain The 2020 water year (October 2019 - September 2020) was the third driest water year over the last 127 years. 
  • Reservoirs Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino provide water to our community. These two reservoirs are at record lows for this time of year. Stay up to date on current water supply levels

Classroom and Field Programs

All classroom and field programs have shifted to incorporate a drought education component. In addition, drought specific education lessons are available for grades 6th- 12th


Order FREE educational supplies to support your drought curriculum. Student incentives like pencils, pencil sharpeners, and stickers include reminders for students to save water! 

The Water and Energy Education Program offers several ways for teachers to get involved with drought education. 

Learn about local drought information and more.