SACRAMENTO, Calif. January 27, 2020 – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced an increase in 2020 State Water Project (SWP) allocations to 15 percent of requested supplies, up from the year’s initial 10 percent allocation announced on December 2.
Allocations are reviewed monthly based on snowpack and runoff information and are typically finalized by May.
“California gets most of its annual precipitation from a handful of major and infrequent winter storms,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “After some significant storms in December, January has been relatively quiet and is currently below average. We continue to hope for wetter conditions and must always work to eliminate waste and use water more wisely.”
Precipitation in the Northern Sierra is at 63 percent of average to date. Statewide snowpack is 76 percent of normal for this date. The state gets about 30 percent of its annual water supply from snowpack. Snow water content is one factor in determining allocation amounts along with reservoir storage and releases necessary to meet water supply and environmental demands.
Lake Oroville, the SWP’s largest reservoir, is currently at 61 percent of capacity and 94 percent of average for this time of year. Shasta Lake, the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, is at 74 percent of capacity and 112 percent of average. San Luis Reservoir, the largest off-stream reservoir in the United States where water is stored for the SWP and CVP, is at 72 percent of capacity and 95 percent of average. In Southern California, SWP’s Castaic Lake is at 72 percent of capacity and 87 percent of average.
Today’s 15 percent allocation amounts to 635,434 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.