In this, the third consecutive dry year, California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its plans to determine the initial December allocation for State Water Project contractors like AVEK.
The allocation for 2022 will focus on health and safety needs of consumers within the 29 contracted agencies water supply areas.
DWR advised the agencies to expect an initial allocation based on health and safety water needs, with no specific mention of agricultural needs.
The announcement stated that the SWP “will not be planning water deliveries through its typical allocation process until the state has a clearer picture of the hydrologic and reservoir conditions going into the spring.”
Four categories have been identified as priority areas of need: water for health and safety needs and Delta salinity control; water for endangered species; water to reserve in storage; and water for additional supply allocations if the hydrology allows.
“Despite a wet start to the water year, conditions have dried out since that first storm and we are still planning for a below-average water year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “That means we need to prepare now for a dry winter and severe drought conditions to continue through 2022. We will be working with our federal partners and SWP contractors to take a conservative planning approach to balance limited water supplies with the needs of residents, businesses and the environment.”
The lowest historic initial December allocation was 5% in 2010 and 2014. Last December the initial allocation was 10% but lowered to 5% because of increasing dry conditions.