San Luis Reservoir image via Google Earth

published on December 3, 2019 - 12:58 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced an initial State Water Project (SWP) allocation of 10% for the 2020 water season that started in October.

The allocation is based on reservoir storage and weather conditions.

SWP contractors started the 2019 water season with an initial 10% allocation that was later bumped up to 75% due to above-average precipitation.

“We are thankful for the recent rains and the start of the new water year with above average reservoir storage, but the dry start in October and November reminds us that California’s weather is extremely variable and we must prepare for various conditions,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The wet weather can stop from one day to the next.”

Lake Oroville, the SWP’s largest reservoir, is currently at 54% of capacity and 90% of average for this time of the year.

Shasta Lake, the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, is currently at 71% percent of capacity and 119% of average.

The San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the U.S. where water is stored for the SWP and the federal Central Valley Project, is at 43% of capacity and 72% of average.

In Southern California, SWP’s Castaic Lake is at a 77% capacity and 101% of average.

The SWP supplies water to 29 contractors that service 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.

On Jan. 2, 2020, the DWR will conduct the season’s first snow survey at Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe.

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