Water & Resource Conservation

Butte County's Department of Water and Resource Conservation was formed on July 1, 1999 following many years implementing programs to protect the Butte County water resources.

Our Mission: To manage and conserve water and other resources for the citizens of Butte County.

Butte County Drought Information

The 2021 Water Year, which began on October 1, 2020, has produced significantly less precipitation and snowpack through April, 2021. It’s looking to be a critically dry year.  If conditions do not improve, there may be drought related impacts that could affect residents, businesses and the environment. As dry conditions continue throughout California and Butte County, conservation of water for all purposes is increasingly important.  The State Water Project allocation is currently 5% and irrigation districts in the county have received a 50% cut-back to their water supplies from the Feather River. In 2004, the Butte County Board of Supervisors adopted the Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Plan through Resolution 04-200. A major element of the Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Plan was the creation of the Drought Task Force. Through the Drought Task Force, the Board of Supervisors receives recommendations on current conditions and actions that the county should take. The Department will convene the first meeting of the Drought Task Force in 2021 on May 18 at 2 pm to evaluate drought conditions in Butte County.

Tracking the Drought

A number of agencies are tracking the drought, water conditions, impacts, and available resources to help municipalities, households, and farmers.

Private Well Owners

In recent years, a number of household wells, especially in the Durham area and foothills, have ‘gone dry’ meaning groundwater levels are falling below the depth of the pump or bottom of the well. Help Butte County document impacts of the drought by filling out and submitting this Well Reporting Form online. Although we cannot solve individual well problems, information we gather will assist in our drought assessment efforts and understanding groundwater basin conditions.

Butte County Drought Response

Drought Preparedness Plan

The Butte County Board of Supervisors adopted the Butte County Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Plan (Drought Plan) to protect the County from the effects of a drought and prepare appropriate responses.

Drought Task Force

The County’s Drought Plan establishes the Drought Task Force (DTF) to monitor hydrologic conditions throughout the water year and report the findings to the Water Commission and the Board of Supervisors annually in non-drought situations and biannually, quarterly, or monthly as a drought progresses.

Drought Task Force Members

The Drought Task force is comprised of various Department Directors and others in the County.

Drought Task Force Seat Member
Director, Department of Water & Resource Conservation-Chair Paul Gosselin 
Emergency Services Officer-Vice Chair Cindi Dunsmoor
Chair, Butte County Water Commission David Skinner
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Shari McCracken
Director, Department of Public Works Dennis Schmidt
Director, Division of Environmental Health Elaine McSpadden
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Louie Mendoza
Director, UC Cooperative Extension/County Farm Advisor Luis Espino
California Department of Forestry/Butte County Fire Darren Read
District Conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service Dan Taverner
Director, Butte County Resource Conservation District TBD


Reporting Waste



 Contact Water

Water & Resource Conservation
Phone:    530.552.3595
Fax:          530.538.3807

View full list of staff

 Location and Hours

Water & Resource Conservation
308 Nelson Avenue
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Excludes Holidays


Water Commission Meeting
March 3, 2021
Online only

Water Commission Meeting
April 7, 2021
Online only