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Calif. increases State Water Project allocation

Supplies increased to 40% based on storage at Lake Oroville.

Farm Press Staff

April 25, 2024

1 Min Read
Water release
Water is released from Lake Oroville in March 2024.Calif. Dept. of Water Resources

California’s State Water Project has increased the allocation to its 29 contract agencies to 40% of requested supplies, up from the 30% promised last month, based partly on storage levels in Lake Oroville.

The state project’s chief reservoir has seen a 917,000 acre-foot increase since Jan. 1 while the statewide snowpack remains near its average for this point in the spring, the state Department of Water Resources explains. The San Luis Reservoir has risen by 178,125 acre-feet during the period.

Oroville is currently at 124% of average and 94% of capacity and is expected to reach capacity next month.

State officials say the ability to move water supply south through the system will continue to be impacted by the presence of threatened and endangered fish species near the SWP pumping facility in the southern Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

“This year highlights the challenges of moving water in wet periods with the current pumping infrastructure in the south Delta,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said. “We had both record low pumping for a wet year and high fish salvage at the pumps.”

Nemeth asserted the proposed Delta tunnels project would alleviate the challenges.

Source: California Department of Water Resources

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