Farmers in the Central Valley may get a little more water after this year’s higher-than-average rainfall, but it won’t be from the State Water Project.
Lake Shasta — California’s largest reservoir and the primary supplier of the federal Central Valley Project — is at 104 percent of its average level for this time of year, and 81 percent full.
Unfortunately for State Water Project recipients, including several South Coast water agencies, Lake Oroville — the project’s main reservoir — is only 43 percent full.
Officials from the state’s Department of Water Resources have announced that poor hydrologic conditions on the Feather River’s watershed — Oroville’s main source — have prompted it to keep the allotment percentage it will grant to state water recipients at 15 percent of the original contract amount.
Santa Barbara County, which pays for 12,000 acre-feet per year of state water, will be entitled to 1,800 acre-feet, up from 600 acre-feet earlier this year.
“We will continue to work aggressively in looking for opportunities to improve water supplies to the State Water Project contractors this year, and for long-term solutions to improve water supply reliability for California,” Mark Cowin, director of the Department of Water Resources, said in a prepared statement.
— Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at email@example.com.