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News for Immediate Release

12/1/09

 

Contacts: - Ted Thomas, Chief Public Information Officer (916) 653-9712

- Don Strickland, Public Information Officer (916) 653-9515

 

 

DWR ReleasesInitial 2010 State Water Project Allocation

 

Sacramento – The Department of Water Resources (DWR)today announced an initial allocation of five percent of total contracted water deliveriesto the State Water Project (SWP) contractors for 2010. Five percent isthe lowest initial allocation percentage since the SWP began delivering waterin 1967.

 

“The Legislature took a major step forward earlier thismonth to address the state’s water needs by heeding Governor Schwarzenegger’scall and passing the most comprehensive water package in California history,” said DWR Director Lester A. Snow.“Nevertheless, on the heels of a three-year drought, we need to prepare now sothat we have adequate water supplies for homes, farms and businesses.”

 

The previous low for an initial allocation as a percentageof SWP contractors’ requests was 10 percent in 1993, but that number wasincreased to 100 percent during the year as supply conditions improved. Theinitial figure for 2009 of 15 percent was increased to a final allocation of 40percent in May.

 

The historical average of final SWP allocations as apercentage of initial requests over the past 10 years has been 68 percent.

 

The initial allocation is a very conservative estimate ofwhat DWR expects it can delivery as a percentage of SWP contractors’ initialrequests for contracted water deliveries for a calendar year.

 

This year, the contractors have requested 100 percent of themaximum contractual amount allowed -- 4,171,996 acre-feet. While the initial2010 allocation is only five percent of that amount, actual deliveries areexpected to increase during the year once actual hydrologic and water supplyconditions are known. SWP contractors provide water to more than 25 millionCalifornia residents and more than 750,000 acres of farmland.

 

The initialallocation figure reflects the low carryover storage levels in the state’smajor reservoirs, ongoing drought conditions and federally mandatedenvironmental restrictions on water deliveries from the Sacramento-San JoaquinDelta to protect endangered fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

 

TheDepartment of Fish and Game’s most recent survey indexes indicate that all four Delta pelagic fish species (Delta smelt, Longfin smelt, Striped bass andThreadfin shad) are at their lowest-ever population levels.

 

DWR will continue to monitorwater supply conditions and drought impacts to identify any necessarysupplemental response actions this year and will move aggressively to plan fora potentially dry 2010 in coordination with other state, federal and localagencies and the water community.

 

The announcement is part of the Department’s effort toimplement Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Drought Executive Order (S-06-08) directing DWRto help local water districts and agencies proactively address theseconditions.

 

A notice to SWP contractorsappears on DWR’s State Water Project Analysis Office Web site at: http://www.swpao.water.ca.gov/notices/

 

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