Home Ā» Federal, State Water Managers Give Early Water Delivery Estimates

Federal, State Water Managers Give Early Water Delivery Estimates


The state’s two major water supply managers announced widely different early-year estimates of how much water their systems will provide this year.

While the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates that most cities and farms will receive anywhere from between 65 percent and 100 percent of requested water amounts, the California Department of Water Resources estimate came in at just 15 percent.

While the state number appears low, it’s five percent more than its last estimate from December 2023 and doesn’t include snow or rainfall totals after Feb. 1.

“We will continue to assess our State Water Project allocation forecast as more storms materialize in February and March,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a news release Wednesday. “This season is an important reminder of our extreme conditions and shift to bigger, flashier storms and the need to continue increasing the state’s ability to capture and store stormwater when it comes as rain instead of snow.”


A major factor in the differences between the federal and state allocation numbers is that all the higher delivery estimates from the Bureau of Reclamation are for water users north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, where the bulk of the state’s rain and snow accumulates.

“There is a very large difference in the Central Valley project and the State Water Project in that we have a significant number of water supply contractors that are north of the Delta,” said Bureau of Reclamation Deputy Regional Director Kristin White.

White said the federal system’s south-of-Delta water users — while fewer than those that rely on the state system — will largely receive allocations similar to the state system’s.

DWR runs the State Water Project, which delivers water to 29 public agencies serving 27 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland.


The Central Valley Project, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, delivers water to wholesalers and retailers in 29 of the state’s 58 counties, including five million acre-feet to farms and 600,000 acre-feet — a year’s supply for roughly 2.5 million people — to cities and towns. “The wet hydrologic conditions we experienced during the 2023 water year left most of our reservoirs in good shape as we progressed to the 2024 water year,” said Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Karl Stock. Stock said that precipitation levels since October, the start of the “water year,” were initially unimpressive but have rebounded somewhat.

“Since that time, several storms have boosted the Sierra Nevada snowpack, bringing us to near normal conditions for Northern California. It is likely we will see the water supply benefits from these storms in the March 1 forecast update,” he said.

According to DWR estimates, statewide snowpack is currently at 86 percent of average, and is 69 percent of the April 1 average, which is considered the peak snowpack measurement date and the start of the spring runoff.

Also, most major reservoirs are at or above their average water storage levels, including Oroville at 134 percent of average, Shasta at 124 percent, New Melones at 139 percent, San Louis at 84 percent and Sonoma at 115 percent, according to data posted on the DWR website.


Antonius February 22, 2024 - 12:58 PM - 12:58 PM

Water Managers watching all the water go back home to the ocean. Build new homes for Water.

Original G February 22, 2024 - 2:56 PM - 2:56 PM

Couple information sources, prefer info from sources rather than press releases.
Daily Reservoir Storage Summary
State of California
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Snow water equivalent

parent February 22, 2024 - 3:05 PM - 3:05 PM

California Dept of Water will only give water to Newscum supporters, hence the 15%. That sounds about the right number of people, if not on the high side, in this state who still support that moronic dictator.

CJRN February 22, 2024 - 7:46 PM - 7:46 PM

I guess Iā€™m not getting water this year!

No Excuses February 22, 2024 - 6:47 PM - 6:47 PM

Feds… all departments are being run under orders of DEI or else! Water: Bureau of Reclamation [runs under Dept of Interior…aka the dept of ~~”a little bit of everything-split up into enough parts and de-parts to hire all your friends and family” ~~ and has become, more or less, the sister of the Bureau of Indian Affairs…except they are their own dept. … It’s a really long story. However… ‘Reclamation’ knows more about Northern Calif water BECAUSE there are a lot more “native” settlements, etc in NorCal… and… they don’t really have an inclination to worry too much about water for the Valley… especially if the State of Ca favors the Valley over the North…šŸ’šŸ»… check it out.

Atticus Thraxx February 22, 2024 - 7:43 PM - 7:43 PM

That’s like asking Beevis and Butthead how much weed is left. Wildly different answers should be expected. May not even understand the question.

Lou February 23, 2024 - 6:05 AM - 6:05 AM

From the river to the sea?

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