Just six weeks after “Why all that rain in California won’t solve its drought” bleating from Vox.com comes news that this year’s record snow pack has saved the day.
California is managing water supplies to expand storage, maximize delivery throughout the state, mitigate flooding, and help communities recover from years of extreme drought – announcing a 100% water allocation for the State Water Project, the highest since 2006.
SACRAMENTO – With reservoirs nearing capacity and snowmelt runoff beginning, the state today announced that it will boost water deliveries for state water contractors to 100% of requested supplies for 29 public water agencies that serve 27 million Californians.
This is the highest allocation since 2006, with the state actively managing water supplies to distribute it throughout the state, mitigate flooding, expand storage, benefit the environment, and help replenish groundwater and aquifers that have been depleted from years of extreme drought.
“California is taking action to maximize the capture and storage of water from recent storms and snowpack, increasing water deliveries to 100% for the first time in nearly two decades,” said Governor Newsom. “California is moving and storing as much water as possible to meet the state’s needs, reduce the risk of flooding, and protect our communities, agriculture, and the environment.”
On top of the 100% allocation, the state is also sending additional water to regions for groundwater recharge and added reservoir supplies. Since March 22, the state has delivered 228,000 acre-feet of water to local water agencies for groundwater recharge and boosting reservoir supplies, with 37,000 acre-feet planned for next week.
Statewide, reservoir storage is at 105 percent of average for this date.
Here’s what the Newsom Administration, in partnership with the California Legislature, is claiming to have done. If true, these are steps in the right direction and show that by fixing infrastructure the “climate chaos” becomes much easier to deal with.
- TULARE LAKE BASIN FLOOD RESPONSE: Governor Newsom signed an executive order to expedite levee repairs, floodwater diversion, and other emergency response activities in the Tulare Lake Basin. California has also secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support storm response and recovery. State agencies and departments are on the ground to support impacted communities, assist local agencies managing the flood response and provide runoff modeling and forecasts to assist flood planning efforts.
- EXPANDING SUPPLY & STORAGE BY 1.1 MILLION ACRE-FEET: California has bolstered supply and storage through groundwater recharge and other projects, including a combined 1.1 million acre-feet of water – enough for 2.2 million households’ yearly usage.
- EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO CAPTURE & STORE MORE WATER: During recent storms, Governor Newsom signed executive orders to accelerate stormwater capture to boost groundwater recharge and other conservation measures.
- FAST-TRACKING GROUNDWATER RECHARGE: The state is expanding groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet in potential capacity – streamlining permits and $1 billion for groundwater recharge projects for 88,000 more acre-feet per year.
- MAXIMIZING STORMWATER CAPTURE: $176 million for 67 stormwater projects and streamlining permitting to take advantage of major storm events.
- EXPANDING STORAGE ABOVE & BELOW GROUND: California is supporting seven locally-driven water storage projects that would expand the state’s capacity by 2.77 million acre-feet – about three times as much water as Folsom Lake can hold.
- ADVANCING CLEAR, AMBITIOUS TARGETS: 142 actions to improve water resilience and bolster water supplies, and a roadmap for expanding urban stormwater capture capacity by 250,000 acre-feet and adding 4 million acre-feet of water storage capacity.
- MODERNIZING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: California is working to modernize aging water conveyance systems across the state to safeguard long-term water reliability and help carry winter storm runoff into storage.