Where Will California North Coast Get Its Water if Drought Becomes Common?

With parts of the North Coast facing what forecasters say is shaping up to be “extreme drought” this year, the region’s water managers are busy exploring near- and long-term options.

But new large reservoirs like Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino aren’t among them.

Even as the first of seven large reservoirs funded by the 2014 $2.7 billion California water bond is set to get under construction elsewhere in the state, agency officials and local lawmakers say the regulatory and political environment has shifted dramatically from decades ago when the Golden State’s big water catchments were constructed.