State Cautious With Water Allocations

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SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Water Resources says the 29 water agencies that receive water from the massive state water project can only expect 20 percent of what they are asking for in 2017.

Despite the record rainfall in Northern California, where most of the systems reservoirs are, November has turned out to be below average.

The water that is delivered goes down the Sacramento River into canals that carry the water as far south as Los Angeles. Most of the water agencies, both agricultural and urban, have other sources of water, but a 20 percent allocation may mean more cost to their customers.

DWR says half of the state's precipitation comes in December, January and February, so there is a chance that allocations will be increased as they did last year.

"It went from a preliminary estimate of 10 percent to a final allocation in April of 60 percent of the requests," said DWR spokesperson Doug Carlson.

But at this early stage the allocation could go down as well.

After an October which saw 400 percent of normal precipitation in areas of Northern California, November received an underwhelming 73 percent of normal precipitation.

DWR says it may not be until March until the final allocation is set.

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