100% of California Covered in Drought And much of that is extreme or exceptional drought By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Apr 26, 2014 11:52 AM CDT 67 comments Comments This Thursday, March 13, 2014 file photo shows cracks in the dry bed of the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (Newser) – For the first time in 15 years, 100% of California is under some degree of drought, according to the latest data from the National Climatic Data Center. And some 76.6% of the state is under extreme or exceptional drought, the Los Angeles Times reports. That's notable, considering none of the state was under extreme or exceptional drought conditions at the same time last year. "This is a really serious situation here in California and people need to be cognizant of that and start conserving water as much as they can," says a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. Some cities are forcing residents to do so: Santa Cruz is instituting new rules that require all residents to cut back water use by 25% or be fined, CBS San Francisco reports.