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AVEK Receives DWR Allocation Bump to 15%

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) notified AVEK on February 21, 2024 that its 2024 State Water Project (SWP) Table A allocation will increase to 15%, up from the initial 10% allocation announced in December. For AVEK, the third largest of 29 State Water Contractors,  a 15% allocation equates to 21,727 acre-feet (AF) of the agency's 144,844 contracted annual entitlement. 

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This increase in allocation is a result of a recent Pineapple Express storm that brought significant rainfall from an atmospheric river. DWR stated that the increase “translates to about 200,000 acre-feet of additional water for the 29 public water agencies that serve 27 million Californians.” 

“We will continue to assess our State Water Project allocation forecast as more storms materialize in February and March,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “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.”

As a wholesale water provider, AVEK depends on DWR allocations to meet its customer’s demands. Surplus Table A water which exceeds customer demands can be stored in water banks, ensuring supply reliability as a safeguard for future dry years. That excess water is also available for supply exchanges with other SWP Contractors, or may be sold to offset Agency expenses.

DWR may revise the SWP allocation up or down depending on the rest of the year’s hydrologic conditions and available SWP water supplies.

In presenting current precipitation conditions at AVEK's February 27 Board Meeting, AVEK Assistant General Manager Peter Thompson said conditions in the Northern Sierras were above average for January and February. As of February 27, precipitation in the Northern Sierras reached 92% of average. Lake Oroville, where the State Water Project begins, was at 84% of its total capacity. San Luis Reservoir, where AVEK draws its State Water Project supplies was at about 81% of its capacity. Thompson noted there wasn’t great amounts f water coming from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. “The Silver Lining,” he added, “we’re not going to spill water.” That situation occurs when there’s insufficient storage facilities to contain excess amounts of water and the overflow gets lost to the ocean.

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