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State Water Project Allocation Increases to 20 Percent
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced late last week that the State Water Project will deliver 20 percent of requested supply in 2020. An initial allocation of 10 percent was announced in December and increased to 15 percent in January.
The increase in allocation comes due to an increase in precipitation in May and the latest allocation will likely be the last update for 2020.
“May storms gave us a boost following a very dry winter and allowed us to increase allocations for communities and agriculture in California,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “It’s another example of our state’s unpredictable precipitation that has been compounded by our changing climate. We must manage our water supply responsibly to not only deliver water now but ensure we have enough in reserves to protect us from future dry years.”
The 2020 water year, which started October 1, 2019, has seen mostly below-average precipitation. Storms during the month of May delivered 181 percent of average in the Northern Sierra for this time of year.
According to DWR, this year’s snowpack is the 11th driest on record since 1950.
A 20 percent allocation from the State Water Project equals about 843,696 acre-feet of water. The State Water Project provides water to more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.
For information on current water conditions at the state’s largest reservoirs and weather stations, visit the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC).