State Water Project Announces Final Allocation with Increase to 75 Percent for 2019

By on June 23, 2019

The 2019 State Water Project (SWP) allocation has been upped from 70 percent to 75 percent for the remainder of calendar year 2019 according to an announcement from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) earlier this week. DWR indicated that this is the final allocation for the calendar year. Water deliveries to the 29 SWP contractors will provide additional water supply for more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of California farmland. The allocation of 75 percent equates to 3,145,105 acre-feet of water.

“This winter’s robust storms resulted in above average snowpack and reservoir levels bringing California a much-improved water year from last year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The full reservoirs will provide a healthy buffer for if we return to drier conditions next year.”

Ample water in the state is owed to a robust Sierra Nevada snowpack — 202 percent of normal earlier this month – and both numerous atmospheric storms and late season precipitation. The state’s snowpack is the fifth largest dating back to 1950 and California’s reservoirs continue to remain above their historical average.

Nonetheless, a 100 percent allocation is rare due to Delta pumping restrictions to protect threatened and endangered fish species. The last time the State Water Project was able to allocate 100 percent was 2006.

Currently, the SWP’s reservoirs are reflecting the current totals:

  • Lake Oroville, the SWP’s largest reservoir, is currently at 98 percent of capacity and 118 percent of average for this time of year.
  • Shasta Lake, the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, is at 98 percent of capacity and 118 percent of average.
  • San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the United States where water is stored for the both the SWP and CVP, is at 75 percent of capacity and 108 percent of average.
  • SWP’s Castaic Lake in Southern California, is at 94 percent of capacity and 107 percent of average.

DWR’s California Data Exchange Center website at: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/reservoir.html provides a wealth of information on reservoirs and dams within the state;  information and measurements of current rain and snow precipitation can be found at: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow_rain.html and http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/index.html, respectively.