The California Conference of Catholic Bishops asked people of all faiths to join in prayers for rain as reservoirs in the state dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record.
Some cities already are restricting water use, while prospects for another dry summer have raised alarm about agriculture and wildfires.
Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, president of the bishops' conference, suggested a prayer for God to "open the heavens and let His mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains."
"Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of Creation and Creation is a part of us," Soto said in a news release that included four other suggested prayers for relief and for the wellbeing of those most at risk from a water shortage. The bishops said a drought, if it comes, will affect people's livelihoods, health and quality of life.
Concern is growing in
National Weather Service meteorologist Drew Peterson said Pacific storms keep breaking up due to a high pressure system over
There may be no precipitation at all south of
"At least it gives us something to be hopeful for," Peterson said. "If we don't start seeing some significant precip anytime soon, we're going to have to start thinking about some serious water measures."