Written by Gabriel Dillard
State water officials announced a slight bump in their allocation for water contractors this year.
State Water Project contractors will received 20 percent of their requests, up from an initial allocation of 15 percent announced Nov. 30.
“This incremental adjustment to allocations reflects only very modest improvements to water supply,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “California’s variable weather is why we all must make conservation a way of life to sustain our economy and our environment in an ever-changing climate.”
The state’s major reservoirs continue to be well above historical averages due to last season’s record for snow and precipitation. It was the second wettest year in the state in 122 years of record keeping, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Nearly 31 inches of total precipitation fell on the state last year, second only to 1982-83 with more than 34 inches.
There are concerns that the state may be heading toward another drought.
“Unfortunately, the water content of the January snowpack is only slightly higher than it was in January 2015 while we were in the middle of a crippling statewide drought,” said SWP Water Operations Executive Manager John Leahigh. “However, we are only halfway thruugh California’s rainy season and have many opportunities to see a significant improvement in conditions.”
The state Department of Water Resources will conduct a second snow survey Feb. 1 near Lake Tahoe. The first of the season was conducted Jan. 3, and revealed only 3 percent of the average water water-snow content.