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

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. There is a form available for well owners who experience water supply shortage problems. Individuals are encouraged to report it to DWR’s online Household Water Supply Shortage Reporting System.  This will help inform state and local agencies on water shortage impacts to households served by wells, and will help identify the need for local, state, or federal assistance. Individuals interested in financial assistance will be directed to appropriate resources. 

To Report a Water Supply Shortage: Go to the MyDryWaterSupply webpage, and click the “Submit Report” button. The data will be made available on a mapping application here: https://sgma.water.ca.gov/webgis/?appid=SGMADataViewer#currentconditions.

Please also view the private well owner page HERE.

Additional permit related information from the Environmental Health Division of Butte County Public Health for private well owners can be found HERE.

Tracking the Drought

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. 

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

Financial Resources to Assist Residents

Butte County residents experiencing reduced well activity, or wells that have gone dry, have several options for assistance through County, State, and federal Programs. These programs are designed to serve low-to-moderate income residents. Current opportunities include grants and competitive loan options:

Butte County Housing Rehabilitation ProgramThe County operates a Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program serving low-to-moderate income residents in the unincorporated area of the County. Housing Rehabilitation projects are intended to bring a property up to health and safety standards, including ensuring running hot and cold water is accessible inside the home. Residents may visit the following webpage to learn more: http://www.buttecounty.net/economicdevelopment/Community-Development/Housing-Rehabilitation.Residents may also call The Regional Housing Authority with questions about the Program, Regional Housing Authority, 530.671.0220, ext.128

USDA Rural Housing ProgramsThe USDA has two programs for rural residents that may assist with potable water access issues. Section 502 is a Rural Housing Direct Loan Program for low income residents. Section 504 is a Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program targeting very low income residents offering loans, grants, or a combination of the two. Both programs are available to many Butte County residents. Residents may visit the following webpage to learn more: https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=assessmentType__;!!KNMwiTCp4spf!U4Ja8QoNA4s3Jng3KPqoXJhCDpAYyUsq0I%E2%80%90cNRMO%E2%80%90rsbEeErXjQBfcg3mOtgW3tjY8olrQ.

Clean Drinking Water Well Replacement Program: The State Water Resources Control Board awarded funds to the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to provide low income households with grants to support drinking water access. Individual household wells and small water systems are eligible. Residents meeting income criteria in Paradise, Oroville, Gridley, Biggs, and the unincorporated area may be eligible for these grants. Residents may visit the following webpage to learn more: https://www.rcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/CAAflyer-GrantProgramROUND2-DEB-REV-12-14-18-2-2019.pdf.

Butte County Drought Response

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.

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.

Proclamation of local drought emergency adopted by the Butte County Board of Supervisors July 20, 2021

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 Kamie Loeser
Emergency Services Officer-Vice Chair Joshua Jimerfield
Chair, Butte County Water Commission Ernie Washington
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Casey Hatcher
Director, Department of Public Works Josh Pack
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 Garrett Sjolund
District Conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service Dan Taverner
Director, Butte County Resource Conservation District Thad Walker


Agenda  Location Presentations 
May 18, 2022
2:00 - 4:00 pm
In Person: BOS Chambers, 25 County Center Drive, Oroville
Online via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 850 2065 2655
Passcode: 362047
Phone: (408) 638-0968
December 6, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Online via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 886 5052 4801
Phone: (408) 638-0968
Winter Outlook 2021-2022
Hydrologic Conditions Update
Environmental Health Update
September 7, 2021
2:00 - 3:30 pm
In Person and Online via Zoom
In Person: 25 County Center Drive, Oroville, Board of Supervisors Chambers
Zoom meeting: 

Meeting ID: 849 4531 3998
Passcode: 815196
Phone: (408) 638-0968

July 13, 2021
11:00-1:00 pm

In Person Only
3 County Center Drive, Oroville
Human Resources Training Room
Environmental Health Update
Hydrologic Conditions Update 
May 18, 2021
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Online Only
Online Only
Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/98638264224?pwd=a2Zha25JODl5ZHkxU1cydG9jWFlQUT09
Meeting ID: 986 3826 4224
Passcode: 130485
Phone: (669) 900-6833
Hydrologic Conditions Update
Drought Planning and Response


Reporting Waste

Illegal Water Hauling or Water Diversions

Enforcement falls to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Please see these flyers or reach out to the following contacts:
Frequently Asked Questions: Water hauling and cannabis cultivation
Illegal Water Hauling

Ms. Erin Mustain, P.E.
Cannabis Cultivation Regulatory & Enforcement Unit
(916) 445-9379

Mr. Taro Murano
Water Rights Enforcement
(916) 341-5399

Ms. Donna Cobb – Interior
(Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and eastern Trinity counties)
(530) 225-2314

Mr. Gordon Leppig – Coastal
(Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and western Trinity counties)
(707) 441-2062




 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
April 6, 2022-1:30 pm

BOS Chambers
25 County Center Drive, Oroville

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
May, 2022