After the California Department of Water Resources last week concluded its final snowpack survey of the season, state water authorities announced this week that the State Water Project’s Table A delivery allotment has been increased from 20 percent to 30 percent.
For the city of Santa Barbara, that means 900 acre-feet out of a contracted 3,000 acre-feet will be available this year.
City Councilman Dale Francisco, who represents the city’s water agency on the Central Coast Water Authority board — the agency that administers state water supply for Santa Barbara County — said that although 30 percent doesn’t necessarily sound good, it’s an improvement over the 5 percent allotment guaranteed at the start of the year.
With a total allotment of nearly 46,000 acre-feet per year, the recent Table A change means that Santa Barbara County as a whole will be entitled to more than 13,600 acre-feet of State Water this year. Though use varies among various South Coast water agencies, the Goleta, Carpinteria Valley and Montecito water districts and the city of Santa Barbara all rely on State Water resources to supply customers.
Although Sierra mountain snowpack levels were found to be 132 percent of average — compared with 66 percent at the same time last year — several dry years have meant that the water level in Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s main reservoir, remains below average.
A further impact upon State Water availability, limited pumping meant to protect vulnerable fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — a major water storage area where the project’s pumps are located — has caused further abatement of State Water deliveries.
— Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.