Few storms have blessed California so far this winter, but the mid-December and early February rains and snow will result in the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) slightly increasing water deliveries to most State Water Project (SWP) customers by 204,000 acre-feet.
The additional deliveries will increase this year’s SWP allocation from 15 percent to 20 percent, for total deliveries of 840,000 acre-feet of water. The modest increase in SWP allocation amounts to enough water to meet the needs of approximately 408,000 households for a year.
Runoff from the storms was pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos. DPR says the reservoir holds 627,000 acre-feet more water now compared to one year ago.
Water to meet the slight increase in allocation will not come from Lake Oroville in Northern California.
The 29 public water agencies that take delivery of SWP supplies have requested 4,172,686 AF. A 20 percent allocation would be the second-lowest since 1991 when agricultural customers of the project got a zero allocation and municipal customers received 30 percent.
Last year, SWP deliveries were 5 percent of requested amounts for all customers.
DPR says the slight increase in SWP deliveries will help to meet the needs of water districts in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara Valley, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.
The new SWP allocation of 20 percent replaces the allocation of 15 percent announced Jan. 15. The initial allocation of 10 percent was made Dec. 1.
SWP allocations for recent years include:
2014 – 5 percent
2013 – 35 percent
2012 – 65 percent
2011 – 80 percent
2010 – 50 percent
2009 – 40 percent
2008 – 35 percent
2007 – 60 percent