State Water Project Allocation Increases to 20 Percent

Published:

A drone provides a view of the Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant, the first major plant designed and constructed within the California State Water Project.

A drone provides a view of the Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant, the first major plant designed and constructed within the California State Water Project. DWR/2018

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 7thdriest 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).