How do I understand the impacts of drought?

AQUAOSO allows you to prepare for drought scenarios by providing a historical look back at water deliveries for a water district and groundwater sustainability agency data to prepare for potential reductions in groundwater pumping.

Drought is a prolonged lack of usable water. The impacts of drought result in lower water supplies and decreased water quality.

Historical Water District Deliveries

Historical water district deliveries provide insight into how much water was actually delivered to a district during the last drought. Locating the water delivery table is simple.


By clicking into water district details in the left sidebar, you can get a full detailed view of the water delivery history for that water district. Additionally, this information is included in your report! 

Water District Contracts and Allocations

In the water district historical delivery table, there was a column with percentages. Those are the allocation percentages. The max column shows you what the amount of water the water district is expected to receive based on their contract. However, what is actually available to the water district can be less, and in drought conditions, much less. Our data for the current year is an estimate based on allocation percentages.

One more thing about allocations, they can change throughout the year. AQUAOSO tracks these changes and updates the table and calculations so you don’t have to.

Groundwater Sustainability Plans

With the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) are out for some areas and more are expected in January 2022. For more in-depth information on SGMA and GSPs, check our SGMA guide here.

These are massive documents with lots of technical jargon. The AQUAOSO team understands that customers don’t have time to read through all of them, so we did that for you and distilled them into GSP summaries. For example:


You can access both our summaries and the actual GSP from the left sidebar (If you do not see this option in the sidebar, contact us to discuss upgrading your plan). Additionally, this information is included in your report.

Workflow Tip

Note that 2013 to 2016 was a major drought for California. When analyzing the surface water delivery data, pay attention to the dips in supply during those years. Also, SGMA was not in effect during those years. If a similar drought occurs, use the GSP summaries and contact information to determine if the groundwater supply that might have been available during previous droughts is no longer available due to pumping restrictions. Determining if the target properties have access to multiple sources of water beyond groundwater is also a prudent course of action.