May storms give state contractors 5% boost

May 22, 2020
by Lois Henry
Lois Henry

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Department of Water Resources press release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The State Water Project (SWP) now expects to deliver 20 percent of requested supplies in 2020 thanks to above-average precipitation in May, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today. An initial allocation of 10 percent was announced in December and increased to 15 percent in January. Today’s announcement will likely be the final allocation update of 2020.

“May storms gave us a boost following a very dry winter and allowed us to increase allocations for communities and agriculture in California,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “It’s another example of our state’s unpredictable precipitation that has been compounded by our changing climate. We must manage our water supply responsibly to not only deliver water now but ensure we have enough in reserves to protect us from future dry years.”

Following below-average precipitation most of the winter, May storms delivered 181 percent of average in the Northern Sierra for this time of year.

This year’s snowpack is the 11th driest on record since 1950 while precipitation stands as the 7th driest on record since 1977. Thirty percent of California’s annual water supply comes from snowpack.

A 20 percent allocation amounts to 843,696 acre-feet of water. The SWP provides water to 29 SWP contractors who supply water to more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland.

For information on current water conditions at the state’s largest reservoirs and weather stations, visit the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC).

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.


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