(KTXL) — For the first time since 2006, the California Department of Water Resources is forecasted to deliver 100% of requested water supplies through the State Water Project this year.
This is a 25% increase from March when state officials announced they forecasted to be able to deliver 75% of requested water to serve 27 million of the state’s residents and 750,000 acres of farmland.
“This wet winter and strong runoff conditions has allowed the SWP to make additional water available to any contractor that has the ability to store the water in its own system, including through groundwater recharge,” the DWR wrote in a news release. “DWR is maximizing the capture and storage of this abundance of snowpack across the state.”
This additional water is known as Article 21 water and does not count toward the formal SWP allocation amounts.
According to the DWR, this water is made available to contractors when there is no place to store SWP water and when there is no demand from the south Delta contractors.
So far, 280,000 acre-feet of Article 21 water has been sent to local water agencies with another 37,000 acre-feet planned for next week.
As of Wednesday, California’s two largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, are either near or over 90% of their total capacity and well over 100% historic average for the given day.
Operators at Oroville Reservoir began releasing water on March 10 and reached a peak release of 35,000 cubic feet of water per second as more winter storms made their way into Northern California.
Temperatures in Northern California are expected to rise into the 80s this week which could prompt further snowmelt and runoff into the major river basins that feed California’s reservoirs.