“Several weeks ago, as California emerged from its second consecutive dry year, Yuba County Water Agency General Manager Curt Aikens was withholding judgment about the possibility of the local drought stretching into its third year.
“But after looking at the long-term forecast and examining New Bullards Bar storage levels, Aikens is withholding judgment no more.”
“NASA says an airborne mission helped water managers for 2.6 million Californians achieve near-perfect water operations this summer.
“Despite the driest year in California’s recorded history, high-resolution snow maps of the Tuolumne River Basin in the Sierra Nevada provided by the prototype Airborne Snow Observatory mission helped optimize reservoir filling and hydroelectric generation at a reservoir and dam that serves the San Francisco Bay Area, the space agency reported Monday.”
“A proposed water bond announced on Monday would fund $5.8 billion in water storage projects and establish water of origin rights to protect water in the North State from being sent south.
“The bond was introduced by 3rd District Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue, who said the two water storage projects the bond would finance — Sites Reservoir near Williams and Temperance Flats Dam near Fresno — would be a cheaper alternative than the water tunnels proposed by Gov.
From the KMTG [Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard] Natural Resources Blog:
“California’s Department of Water Resources announced yesterday [Nov. 19] an initial 5% allocation of requested deliveries of Table A water to State Water Project contractors for 2014. …
“Low storage levels in the state’s major reservoirs are largely responsible for the low initial SWP allocation. Lake Oroville in Butte County is at 41 percent of capacity (66 percent of its historical average for the date). Lake Shasta north of Redding is at 37 percent of capacity (61 percent of average).
“On the heels of a very dry year, the California Department of Water Resources announced today that California’s water agencies, those that get water from the State Water Project (SWP), should initially expect only five percent of SWP water supplies. Only one other time in the history of the SWP has the initial allocation been such a small percentage. …
“’We lost an opportunity earlier this year to capture a significant amount of water due to our outdated water system,’ said Terry Erlewine, General Manager of the State Water Contractors.
“The general strength of farming was a key theme at the second annual California Food & Ag Summit at the DoubleTree Hotel. But speakers also noted the state’s water issues, including a drought now in its third year and a shortage of reservoir space when the big storms do come.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“The Central Valley Project (CVP) began the 2014 water year that started on Oct. 1 with 5.1 million acre-feet of water stored in its major reservoirs, the lowest amount since 2009.
“Surface storage in California has taken a big hit after consecutive dry years. Two years ago there was 9.3 million acre-feet in the CVP’s six big reservoirs — Folsom, Millerton New Melones, Shasta, Trinity and the federal-state San Luis. A year ago there was 6.9 million acre-feet. The 15-year average carry-over for these reservoirs on Oct.
“San Joaquin County officials this week proposed abandoning a plan to build a reservoir in the rolling hills east of Stockton, a project that was touted for years as being critical to the region’s future water supply.”
From Capital Public Radio, the first in its five-part series California’s Delta: Inside and Out:
“The State Water Project is the nation’s largest state-built water delivery system, consisting of more than 700 miles of canals, reservoirs, pumping stations and power plants. From Oroville, water flows down the Feather River to the Sacramento River and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.”
From the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region website:
Michael L. Connor, commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, testified July 16 before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power on the “Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study.”
An excerpt from his statement: “Today the Colorado River is facing a record drought. The period from 2000 to 2013 is shaping up to be the lowest 14-year period in the over 100-year historical record for the Colorado River.
From the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region July 15:
“Due to better than expected hydrologic conditions through the latter part of June and first 12 days of July, the Bureau of Reclamation has determined that it will further increase the Central Valley Project’s Friant Division water supply allocation.
“In consultation with Friant Division contractors, the Friant Division Class 1 water supply allocation is being increased from 55 percent to 62 percent. On June 13, Reclamation announced an increase from 50 percent to 55 percent. Class 2 water remains at 0 percent.