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Spring Rain And Snow Bring Increased Water Allocations

By Curtis Jerome Haynes
 

By Curtis Jerome Haynes

The California Department of Water Resources says State Water Project deliveries that had been zero will increase to five percent.

The project delivers water to more than 25 million Californians and nearly a million acres of farmland.

The one caveat: water will be stored in the San Luis Reservoir until September 1st.

“I don’t expect this to make a tremendous amount of difference to Californians," says DWR Director Mark Cowin. "On the other hand, the flexibility even a small amount of water allows for exchanges and transfers so that water can be sent to places of most critical needs.”

Kern County Water Agency is the largest agricultural user. General Manager Jim Beck says it’s unlikely to affect growers because they’ve already made decisions on planting. But Beck says it will still help.

“We’re very appreciative of any water that comes to us this year at all, whether we’re even in December," says Beck. "It will help the system because our growers our water users will be pumping groundwater to offset the shortages throughout the remainder of 2014.”

The US Bureau of Reclamation says it is increasing Central Valley Project water allocations for North of Delta Settlement Contractors and wildlife refuges from 40 to 75 percent.

DWR says the late storms will eliminate the need for rock barriers in the Delta to prevent saltwater intrusion.  The California Department of Fish and Wildife announced that it will fast-track actions to manage and reduce the drought's impact on fish.

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