State Water Project Allocation Increases to 15 Percent

By on January 25, 2020

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced an increase in 2020 State Water Project (SWP) allocations to 15 percent of requested supplies, up from the year’s initial 10 percent allocation announced on December 2.

The Statewide snowpack is 76 percent of normal for this time of year and precipitation in the Northern Sierra is 63 percent of normal. Snow water content is one factor in determining allocation amounts; the state gets about 30 percent of its annual water supply from the snowpack.

“California gets most of its annual precipitation from a handful of major and infrequent winter storms,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “After some significant storms in December, January has been relatively quiet and is currently below average. We continue to hope for wetter conditions and must always work to eliminate waste and use water more wisely.”

A 15 percent allocation amounts to 635,434 acre-feet of water. Allocations are reviewed monthly based on snowpack and runoff information and are typically finalized by May.

The State Water Project’s largest reservoir, Lake Oroville is currently at 61 percent of capacity and 94 percent of average for this time of year. In Southern California, Castaic Lake is at 72 percent of capacity and 87 percent of average.

For information on current water conditions at the state’s largest reservoirs and weather stations, visit the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC).