• California water agencies gearing up for shortages in potential fourth dry year
SACRAMENTO, CA, Dec. 1, 2009 -- Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued the following statement today on the initial 2010 water supply allocations announced by the Department of Water Resources. The department has notified State Water Project contractors that they may receive just 5% of requested deliveries next year -- the lowest initial allocation in the project's history. SWP contractors deliver water to 25 million Californians and more than 750,000 acres of farmland.
"This extremely low allocation means we are in critical territory going into 2010. Last year's reduced supplies compelled more than 60 water agencies to impose some form of mandatory conservation, and that will likely continue next year.
"Even if the coming months bring a return to normal rainfall, we can't assume that our water supply outlook will improve significantly. Regulatory restrictions to protect species will make it difficult to deliver water even if it is available.
"The legislative water package approved by the Legislature last month and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger puts us on a path toward implementing solutions, but in the interim supplies will be tight for much of the state.
"Californians responded to calls for water conservation this year, with significant reductions in water use in many regions around the states. That response must escalate for the foreseeable future. ACWA is committed to raising the bar on conservation through the Save Our Water public education program launched earlier this year in partnership with the Department of Water Resources."
ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.