Calif. DWR State Water Project allocation estimate increased to 60%

March storms boosted water levels in Northern California reservoirs.

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CALIFORNIA, April 22, 2016 -- Crediting March storms for boosting water levels in Northern California reservoirs, the California Department of Water Resources Thursday increased its State Water Project water delivery estimate for 2016 to 60% of requests.

Collectively, SWP contractors serve approximately 25 million Californians and just under a million acres of irrigation farmland.With Thursday’s increase, the 29 public agencies that received SWP water can expect 2,527,629 acre-feet of the roughly 4.1 million acre-feet of requested supplies for the year.

DWR’s initial estimate in December 2015 of 10% has been increased four times this year. In January it was increased to 15%, and then increased to 30% in February and 45% in March.

Despite the recent increases, DWR noted that storage in Southern California reservoirs and groundwater aquifers remains low and that “the state’s historic drought is far from over.”

San Luis Reservoir, a key south-of-Delta pool for both the SWP and Central Valley Project is currently at 50% capacity (55% of its historical average for the date). DWR called for continued conservation and cautioned that the state should be prepared for the possibility of a dry 2017.

“Conservation is the surest and easiest way to stretch supplies,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin in a statement. “We all need to make sparing, wise use of water a daily habit.”’

DWR also noted that federal rules require Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs to make flood control releases, but reported those reservoir’s current conditions as follows:

  • Lake Oroville – 94% capacity/118% of average
  • Shasta Lake – 92% capacity/109% of average
  • Folsom Lake – 82% of capacity/115% of average
About ACWA
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its 430 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90% of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.
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