Water Allocations Tweaked Slightly Upward

A few drops of good news for farmers and cities this week: a heftier late-spring snowpack means there will be slightly more water headed their way this summer.

Earlier this week, the State Department of Water Resources said it will increase water from state reservoirs from 15% of what cities and farms had hoped for, to 20%.  Today the federal Bureau of Reclamation (Central Valley Project) followed suit and nudged some of its projected allocations up, too.

The five-percentage-point bump is mildly good news for some northern California farmers.  But farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley are still slated to get zero gallons from federal reservoirs. For that to change would require an April of historically soggy proportions.

The previous nadir for State Water Project deliveries was set in 1991, when urban and industrial customers got 30% of their requested water and farms got zero.