March GM Report: Another Dry Year Ahead
On Feb. 23, 2021, AVEK General Manager Dwayne Chisam informed Agency Directors at their board meeting that Californians, including those in the Antelope Valley, will face another dry year.
One month later, the Agency was informed that its State Water Project allocation from the Department of Water Reosources was reduced from 10% to 5%. Based on current indications April will be dry. We need more precipitation.
In some past years, precipitation in March or April helped bring the allocation to 20%. That doesn’t seem likely this year.
We’re bracing for a dry year. Fortunately, AVEK’s water banking program will allow us to get through this year with no significant impact.
On a more positive note, AVEK’s water quality is excellent. All samples taken look good as far as the levels of Trihalomethanes, known as THMs. These disinfection byproducts develop when chlorine contacts naturally occurring organic or inorganic substances such as decaying plant matter. AVEK’s THM levels fall below the allowable levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency. AVEK's Laboratory Manager, Jordan Wray, presented the Annual Water Quality Report at our March 23, 2021 Board Meeting. AVEK is in compliance with all Safe Drinking Water standards.
Oroville Dam plays a significant role for State Water Contractors, like AVEK, and also furnishes environmental needs. The base of the dam provides cold water for fish releases. Oroville Dam also provides electricity that helps in fire season, which proves even more menacing in a dry year.
Oroville Dam is an earth-fill embankment on the Feather River. The dam’s Edward Hyatt Power Plant is the largest State Water Project hydroelectric facility. It can generate 644 megawatts of electricity and when operating together with the Thermalito Power Plant can produce 725 megawatts.
As of April 18, 2021, all major water storage reservoirs in California were measured below historical averages and significant portions of the state are facing severe to extreme drought: