California State Water Project doubles allocations

March 27, 2024
The Department of Water Resources in California announced a doubling in allocations to the State Water Project after February storms.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced March 22, 2024 a second increase in the State Water Project (SWP) allocations forecast for 2024. The forecasted allocation is now 30 % of requested supplies, up from the 15 % allocation update announced in February 2024.

According to a press release, the revised allocation forecast is based on snow survey measurements and data up until March 1, and spring runoff forecasts up until March 8. The next possible allocation update would come after the next round of surveys the beginning of April.

The SWP has been focused on maximizing the capture and storage from the winter storms. Storage has increased by 780,000 acre-feet between Lake Oroville (630,000) and San Luis Reservoir (150,000) since January 1.

The presence of threatened and endangered fish species has significantly impacted the ability to move water south through the system. This reduction in pumping has limited the ability to move water into San Luis Reservoir.

DWR’s efforts to adapt to a changing climate include the construction of new infrastructure that would make it possible to move more water during high flow events while helping protect the fish species from current pumping infrastructure.

Allocations are updated monthly as snowpack, rainfall and runoff data is assessed. A final allocation is typically determined in May or June following the April survey.