After its latest snowpack and reservoir survey indicated healthier levels, the California Department of Water Resources announced Sunday that the State Water Project’s Table A allocation has been increased to 40 percent of the contracted amount — meaning that water agencies relying on State Water supplies have access to more water.
Santa Barbara County’s State Water contractors — which include the city of Santa Barbara, the Carpinteria Valley, Montecito and Goleta water districts, the La Cumbre Mutual Water Company (Hope Ranch), Raytheon and the Morehart Land Company — are under contract for 13,750 acre-feet of State Water annually. The recent increase in allocation will entitle those agencies to 7,490 acre-feet this year.
Although this year has seen above average precipitation, water managers have refrained from further raising table A allotments for a variety of reasons.
Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s main reservoir and located along the Feather River in Northern California, has not yet filled.
Furthermore, environmental concerns over the endangered delta smelt and an endangered salmon species resulted in a judicial order limiting use of the the project’s massive pumps, which draw water released from Oroville out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, sending it to Central Valley farms and urban areas in Southern California.
— Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.