The amount of water that will be delivered through the State Water Project is still the second lowest in history.
It may seem counter-intuitive in a fourth year of drought, but state water managers are increasing the amount of water they send to water agencies from 10-percent of what was requested to 15-percent.
“We depend on three four or five major storms a year to refill our reservoirs and allow for state and federal project operation," says Mark Cowin, director of the Department of Water Resources. "This year we’re lucky enough to have one really good storm in December.”
Cowin says December storms helped raise water levels in reservoirs enough that the state is in better shape than last January when the initial water allocation was zero.
“You might say that we’ve gone from really, really, really bad to really, really bad,” says Cowin.
The new allocation gives water agencies 626,000 acre-feet. Water agencies requested more than four million acre-feet. An acre-foot is enough to meet the needs of a family of four for a year.