The Department of Water Resources is developing a California version of the U.S. Drought Monitor. According to DWR Director Karla Nemeth, the first version of the data tool will be available by the end of December.

“That's going to be really important for us to … really get to something that's more granular for California,” said Nemeth during a drought conference earlier this month for the Public Policy Institute of California.

She explained that the California Drought Monitor will home in on the state’s various microclimates and identify available water supplies. She described it as incorporating a grid system rather than the existing eight-river index for water supplies.

“It will be a work in progress,” Nemeth cautioned, adding that it will be an important new tool for communicating with the public.

In April, Gov. Newsom had directed DWR to develop the monitor as part of his drought emergency proclamation for the Russian River watershed.