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State Water Project To Deliver 20 Percent of Requested Water In California

Photo / Curtis Jerome Haynes

Harvey O Banks Pumping Plant near Tracy, part of the State Water Project.

Photo / Curtis Jerome Haynes

California cities and farms that depend on water from the State Water Project will receive just 20 percent of what they requested for 2017.

The State Water Project provides water to more than 25 million Californians and irrigates hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.

The California Department of Water Resources says winter storms in the coming months may boost the initial water allocation above 20 percent. It frequently changes. In 2016, the initial allocation was just 10 percent but the final allocation was 60 percent. Final allocations aren't issued until May -- after the state's wettest months have passed.

The Department says October storms and recent rainfall in Northern California have brightened the picture, but the state could still end up in a sixth year of drought. Much of the October rainfall was soaked up by the state's dry ground.

The State Water Project's largest reservoir, Lake Oroville, holds 70 percent of its historical average.

The last time the State Water Project was able to deliver 100 percent of requested water was in 2006.