Five Percent Allocation, Expected to
Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial conservative
estimated allocation of five percent of requested deliveries to State Water Project
(SWP) contractors in calendar year 2014.
hope things improve with this winter's storms," said DWR Director Mark Cowin,
"but there is no guarantee that 2014 won't be our third consecutive dry
allocation is a stark reminder that California's fickle weather demands that we
make year-round conservation a way of life."
water delivery estimates are conservative because they are made before the
wettest period of the year. It is still early in the water year; DWR will
update the allocation as the winter progresses based on mountain snowpack
accumulation. On average, half of California's annual precipitation occurs in
December through February, and three-quarters occurs from November through
previous initial SWP allocation, also five percent, was for calendar year 2010.
Made on the heels of the 2007-2009 drought, the 2010 allocation was eventually
increased to 50 percent of the slightly more than four million acre-feet of
water requested by the 29 public agencies that receive SWP water. Winter storms
increased the second-lowest initial allocation of 10 percent for calendar year
1993 to 100 percent of requested deliveries.
levels in the state's major reservoirs largely dictate the initial SWP allocation.
Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project's principal reservoir,
is at 41 percent of capacity (66 percent of its historical
average for the date). Lake Shasta north of Redding, the federal Central Valley
Project's largest reservoir, is at 37 percent of capacity (61 percent of
average). San Luis Reservoir in Merced County --a vital south-of-Delta supply
pool for both the State Water Project and Central Valley Project --holds only
25 percent of capacity (42 percent of average for the date) due both to dry
weather and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumping restrictions to protect Delta
smelt and salmon.
State Water Project allocation this year was 35 percent of the 4.17 million
acre-feet requested by agencies that collectively deliver water to more than 25
million Californians and 700,000 acres of farmland in the Santa Clara Valley,
San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.
the final allocation was 65 percent. It was 80 percent in 2011, up dramatically
from an initial allocation of 25 percent. The final allocation was 50 percent
in 2010, 40 percent in 2009, 35 percent in 2008, and 60 percent in 2007.
100 percent allocation--difficult to achieve even in wet years because of Delta
pumping restrictions to protect threatened and endangered fish--was in 2006.
convening its annual winter outlook science workshop this week to develop an experimental
seasonal forecast which will be posted on DWR’s website later in the month.
of whether the experimental forecast suggests wet or dry conditions, DWR will
continue to prepare for the possibility that water year 2014 may become a third
If 2014 is
dry, the greatest risks for public health and safety impacts stem from the
increased chances for major wildfires and from drinking water shortages in some
rural small water systems relying on fractured rock groundwater.
surface water allocations to some agricultural areas, especially in the San
Joaquin Valley, can result in economic impacts to growers and increased land
subsidence where groundwater overdraft occurs.
for in Governor Brown’s May 2013 Executive Order to expedite review and
processing of voluntary water transfers, DWR has been working to streamline the
process by improving contracting procedures for transfers dependent on SWP
facilities, facilitating fast-tracking of transfers with appropriate supporting
documentation, and improving coordination with other agencies involved in
approving transfers, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and State Water Resources
partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System program,
DWR organized four classes this fall on drought preparedness and water conservation
for small water systems.
a drought preparedness workshop for urban water agencies with the National
Water Resources Institute. Presentations from the workshop are available at: http://www.nwri-usa.org/drought.htm.
California State University Fresno will hold an agricultural drought preparedness
workshop in December.
readings are available here: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/products/rescond.pdf
The Department of Water Resources operates and
maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and
inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and
water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.
Labels: 2014 five percent Water Allocation, DWR announced Initial 2014 water estimate, SWP allocation, water allocation