Lake Shasta

This 2009 photo of Lake Shasta was taken by flickr user Ron Reiring

published on November 30, 2017 - 11:06 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

State water official have announced an initial allocation of 15 percent for most State Water Project contractors for the 2018 calendar year.

The allocation could change depending on rain and snowfall amounts this winter, according to the Department of Water Resources. Last year’s initial allocation was 20 percent, but abundant rainfall brought the eventual allocation to 85 percent.

In 2014, the initial allocation was 5 percent.

“It’s hard to know what mother nature will have in store for us this year, but it’s safe to say California is in a better place than we were during the recent drought,” said DWR Director Grant Davis, in a statement. “Planning for the year and providing more accurate early estimates for water managers so they can better plan for the year is just one of the many reasons the state needs to improve our forecasting ability.”

The state’s major reservoirs are currently holding much more than their historical averages. Shasta Lake, the federal Central Valley Project’s largest reservoir, holds 3.2 million acre-feet — 71 percent of its capacity and 119 percent of its historical average. The San Luis Reservoir holds 1.5 million acre-feet, 74 percent of its capacity and 124 percent of its historical average.

Lake Oroville, which was hit with flood-level rains in February, sits at 59 percent of its historical average due to flood protection releases made at that time.

An initial allocation for the federal Central Valley Project comes out in February.


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