California's Department of Water Resources announced yesterday an initial 60% allocation of requested deliveries to State Water Project contractors for 2012.
This initial allocation for the 2012 water year is a significant increase over last year's initial allocation of 25%, made in November 2010. With the significant rainfall and a near-record snowpack that followed, 2011's final allocation reached 80% of requests. In contrast, the final allocations for 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 were 50%, 40%, 35%, and 60%, respectively. The favorable initial allocation for 2012 is relatively high due to carryover storage from unusually wet conditions last winter. Even a normal winter will significantly increase yesterday's 60% allocation.
"We are off to a promising start for next year's water supply," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "We are cautious not to be overly optimistic, but last winter's near-record snowpack and rainfall promises that even average precipitation this winter should give us adequate supplies for our farms, cities and businesses."
Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project's principal storage reservoir with a capacity of 3.5 million acre-feet, is at 80 percent of capacity with 2,825,422 acre-feet held in Lake Oroville. That is 130 percent of normal for the date.
A copy of DWR's November 18 press release may be found here, and the notice to State Water Project contractors may be found here. More information about the State Water Project contractors, including links to their water supply contracts, may be found here. Additional information may be obtained from DWR's Public Affairs Office.
For more information regarding this matter, please contact Eric Adair or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.