State Water Project Deliveries Increased to 100% and 85%

Record rainfall in the Northern Sierra and a strong snowpack pushed the California Department of Water Resources to increase its estimate of this year’s State Water Project deliveries to 100% for contractors north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 85% of requests for other contractors.

Today’s allocation is the highest since the 100% allocation in 2006.

“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to increase deliveries even more as we monitor conditions,” said DWR Acting Director William Croyle in a press release.

DWR initially estimated it would only be able to deliver 20% of the 4.1 million acre-feet of SWP water requested this year.  That projection was increased to 45% on Dec. 21 and to 60% on Jan. 18 as storms developed.

DWR also announced today that repairs have been completed to the intake structure at Clifton Court Forebay, a reservoir feeding the Delta pumps that deliver State Water Project water to most of California.  Erosion damage was discovered last month on the concrete apron that supports the reservoir’s intake gates.  Clifton Court Forebay and Delta pumping operations will return to normal on Sunday.

Emergency work is still underway to repair spillways at Lake Oroville.  Lake levels this spring and summer have not been determined yet and will depend on public safety, the weather, and the pace at which the Sierra Nevada snowpack melts, among other factors.  But the above-average size of that snowpack will allow DWR to deliver at least 85% of SWP contract requests and perhaps adjust the allocation higher later this spring.

The 29 public agencies contracting to receive SWP water serve more than 25 million Californians and nearly a million acres of irrigated agricultural land.