More than 50 percent of California is now in extreme drought, including much of Northern California, which typically has more water because of the proximity to major watersheds in the Sierras.
The increase in the percentage of the region in an extreme drought -- or D4 -- was just a matter of time, according to Cindy Matthews, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
"What we've finally acknowledged is the fact that those small impacts have that have been accumulating little by little have reached the point where we needed to be included in that 'D4,'" Matthews said.
Those small impacts include some residential and agricultural wells going dry.
But the drought is causing problems to regions such as in Tuolumne County, which is under a mandatory 50 percent cut in water use, and they are doing it.
"A 51 percent conservation during the last two months period, compared to the prior year, said Craig Pedroe, a Tuolumne County Administrative Officer.
The state's drought monitor shows a 22 percent increase in D4 areas over last week. Most of that change took place in Northern California.