State Water Project Begins Year with 10 Percent Allocation

  • by Matt Veeh
  • Dec 5, 2018
  • Water News

On Nov. 30, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced an initial allocation on the State Water Project (SWP) of 10 percent.

The Department mentioned reservoir levels, snowpack, precipitation, and SWP releases to meet local deliveries are some of the primary factors used to determine the initial allocation. Many of the state’s key storage reservoirs are currently at levels under their historical averages for this time of year. Lake Oroville is especially low right now, standing at only 48 percent of normal, but that can change quickly if one or two big storms pass through the region in the winter months.

“Even with the recent rainfall, Water Year 2019 has started dry and many of the state’s largest reservoirs are below average for this time of year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “With California’s extreme hydrology, we have to plan for a wet or dry year.”

During the 2018 Water Year, the initial SWP allocation was set at 15 percent, but was eventually increased to 35 percent. In most years, the initial SWP allocation is set at a lower amount, but then gets increased as reservoir and snowpack levels grow throughout the winter.

DWR offers a informational website that tracks many of the significant water conditions data throughout the state. To view current water conditions, visit the DWR California Data Exchange Center.

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