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The California Aqueduct. (Photo: CA State Water Project)

State Water Project Announces 0% Allocation of Requested Water To Districts

We’re looking at alternatives seriously now; may see some big advances in water reclamation, desalinization, and even newer agricultural methods

By Evan Symon, December 2, 2021 12:31 pm

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced on Wednesday that the initial 2022 State Water Project (SWP) will be at 0% for the first time in state history due to the ongoing drought.

The decision by the State Water Project, which is one water source out of several for 29 districts that cover 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland in California through a system of dams, reservoirs, and canals, is only the latest water reduction measure employed by the state this year. Local water districts throughout the year have employed voluntary reductions, with the state adding more and more counties to the drought State of Emergency, until October when Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all counties would be covered due to the severity of the drought.

Higher temperatures, a reduced snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, lower precipitation levels, and the state releasing large amounts of water solely for environmental reasons, are issues the state says caused the drought, which has become California’s worst in decades and may last as long as the mid-2010’s drought that saw statewide water restrictions be implemented. The DWR’s previous 0% yearly allocation amount, came in 2014 during that drought, highlighting the severity of where the drought is projected to be next year.

According to officials on Wednesday, the 0% allocation may be only the initial setback for net year, with mandatory water restrictions and other measures likely coming next year.

“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. That means we need to prepare now for a dry winter and severe drought conditions to continue through 2022,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”

“It is going to take a multi-pronged approach to successfully respond to these unprecedented drought conditions. If conditions continue to be this dry, we will see mandatory cutbacks.”

While the DWR will release some water next year to water districts, it will only be for critical health and safety reasons and not a part of the official allocation that gives water for general purposes like irrigation and landscaping reasons. The state can also raise the allocated amount in early 2022 based on how much water winter storms and snowpack melt give, but it is largely dependent on just how wet this winter will be throughout the state.

Following the announcement on Wednesday, many water districts in the affected areas immediately issued statements calling for residents to reduce water usage even further to combat the 0% allocation.

“The dramatic reduction of our northern California supplies means we all must step up our conservation efforts,” said Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Adel Hagekhalil on Thursday. “Reduce the amount you are watering outside by a day, or two. Take shorter showers. Fix leaks. If we all do our part, we’ll get through this together.”

Water experts noted on Thursday that the 0% allocation would likely put pressure on water districts to enact more stringent reductions sooner rather than later, with many areas looking for any possible new resources in the coming years.

“More and more places are looking for new water resources,” said water engineer Shane Alexander, who has worked on numerous water projects in California and with other Western states currently affected by the drought, to the Globe. “On the coast, desalination plants are on the rise, with a ton being planned in the coming years. Many are using Carlsbad as a model, and environmentalists are being put more at ease by green space initiatives around the plant and clean energy powering them as a way to offset any concerns.”

“Some ideas, like piping in water from the Mississippi River or the Great Lakes, are a literal pipe dream, but we’re looking at alternatives seriously now, so we may see some big advances in water reclamation, desalinization, and even things like newer agricultural methods in the coming years with global implications. These new allocations, well, they’re not great, but they are making us figure out more clearly on what to do with less water.”

In addition to the restrictions, SWP operations are planned to be improved statewide to capture and store water as much as possible, with a special focus put on the San Francisco Bay area. The reservoirs in Northern California have the lowest levels in the state, prompting the DWR to try and get the maximum amount of water possible into places like Lake Oroville for next year.

The water allocations amounts will likely fluctuate based on an increase of water going into the DWR system, with final allocations to be set by May 2020.

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33 thoughts on “State Water Project Announces 0% Allocation of Requested Water To Districts

  1. The governor needs to implement mandatory rationing for all state residents starting now.
    Climate change, the primary cause of drought, is only going to get worse. Water is necessary for all life and we all need to do our part to save as much as we can.
    You can go to CA’s govt website and leave messages for the governor and legislators. They need to take action now!

    1. Vast quantities of water are being wasted on concrete and dust mitigation for the California SuperTrain Project (aka High Speed Rail). Rationing should start there.

    2. really? How long have you lived in California? You do know the reason all of our reservoirs were built was because of our climate and location. The reservoirs were made to hold enough water for 5 years of poor rain, not to send down the river for smelt and some salmon.

    3. “Water is necessary for all life and we all need to do our part to save as much as we can.”

      when those ballot initiatives passed for more water storage – what did they do with it? surely it never went to storage – instead they DRAINED THE STORAGE WE DID HAVE. That is your Democrat logic (tax and waste).

    4. Governor Climate Change needs to spend more time working to fix the problems that he and the Democraps created in this state. Not spending time taking lavish expensive vacations and living the high life. Climate change is the biggest hoax the world has seen and only Grimm could have written a bigger fairy tale. http://www.climatedepot.com cfact.org.

    5. Right. We need rationing, because California is a sanctuary state, and the water is needed for illegal immigrants.

  2. Sure, sure, I will get on board with the mandatory water rationing. It makes sense. After all millions of gallons are sent out to the Pacific Ocean to save the smelt that no longer need saving despite those very efforts, the smelt is essentially extinct. It just has not been made official. King Dum, Dum needs to get out the scroll and the trumpets with great fanfare. A proclamation on a special date like on 2-2-22, so we never forget! He can then tell us to be MINDFUL of 2222, and the loss of aquatic life.
    If only the farmers would have given a little more to the cause! I mean how many almonds,, peaches, oranges and apples does the world need?
    Only then I will stop taking showers and washing my dirty unmentionables . I will drink only one glass of water per day. I will stop watering my veggies that sustain my family. Sounds like a solid plan!

    Oh that Climate Change really walloped people’s critical thinking skills. What we lack in water storage, desalination plants, we gain decrees and alarmist policies and a train to nowhere!

    Life is Good in California or it use to be, but what’s the difference?????

    1. YOu and John “The Stupid” Patriot should just leave the state. Go to a red state with a low IQ republican governor.

      1. No you should leave the state and take as many Democrats with you. I have lived in this state my entire life with the exception of one year. During this time I have watched the slow destruction that Democratic rule has inflicted on this once great state of California.
        It is as follows:
        Rapidly rising crime rates due to coddling of criminals, a Governor banning the death penalty after voters approved it in two consecutive general elections, defunding law enforcement departments, no bail requirements, a Governor releasing THOUSANDS OF VIOLENT CRIMINALS FROM PRISON, laws that make felonies into misdemeanors, and on and on.
        Water shortages that are man made due to releasing our fresh water supplies into the ocean.
        Energy shortages that are created by shutting down power plants and replacing them with “green” unreliable energy like solar and wind.
        Homeless people living on the streets and sidewalks.
        Destroying a once great education system that was the envy of the country.
        Destroying 40% of small businesses with illegal and unjust lockdowns.
        Highways littered with potholes and cracks when we have the highest gas taxes in the nation which are supposed to address this.
        Highest taxes in the nation.
        No people like you should leave and just maybe we might get our state back and maybe have some sanity in California.

      2. Just about any state has smarter people than California, since California has the distinction of having ranking second lowest in IQ.

      3. Colorado USED to be a great state with our low IQ republican governors, five LOWER IQ democrat governors
        later and too many LOWEST IQ californian dummycrats, now we are granolafornia lite. thx morans!

  3. CA voted for multiple ballot initiatives about water….for what? draining it and not producing more storage…what a joke

    Seems like they want to crush farmers so they have sell on the cheap while pushing for less food production (maybe famine is the goal)

    1. I think you are right. Bill Gates will sweep in and buy it up so he can add to his massive ag land ownership and starve out the peons he so despises. Pure evil. I used to work at DWR… all the loonies are now in charge; same at the Water Board.

  4. 0 water storage added since New Malones in 1979, population has doubled, I’m no mathematician but… Maybe it’s time for some “green” movement reflection, and really what is their end goal

  5. W16521 must be Newsom. Nobody else would post such babbling. Forget the fish. Use the water and EAT the fish.

      1. @One Fed Up Cali Girl, I could not resist and did search using the above URL. EW…
        As you suspect @W16521, may be Newsom. Another possibility is Biden. He also enjoys an unnatural shower from time to time. For God’s Sake, @W16521, please pull down the shower wand.

  6. They say hindsight is 20/20 so its taken a bit of time to see the agenda unfold here. Newsom took office as governor and promptly emptied the reservoirs – they were full for five years when he took office. Two years in, they were empty just waiting for the dry part of the regular weather cycle to occur so he could declare another emergency and grind us further under his boot.
    I will agree to stop watering and destroy my landscaping when the state stops flushing our water into the pacific ocean. Also I want to see Newsom’s landscaping at any and all of his properties die before I sacrifice mine.

  7. Another example of how the Democrats have turned California into a Communist Third World state. Ask anyone who has lived in a Communist country, and they will tell you this is normal.
    If Californians had gotten their heads out of the b##ts, and voted for Republicans for the past 30 years, I guaranty there would be PLENTY of water right now or everyone.

  8. “…the state releasing large amounts of water solely for environmental reasons,…”

    Here’s the reason for “the drought” right here… PISS POOR MANAGEMENT of the most crucial natural resource for life, all being WASTED for UNIMPORTANT reasons….

    Democrats apparently are without any critical reasoning skills…

    1. Leave the back door open to high-birth rate illegals (5-6 kids each) and you have a demographic time bomb that goes off in just a few years, and really explodes when that first high birth rate generation then starts exponentially reproducing themselves.

      Thank the California teachers unions for leaving the back door open, just to fill their failing K-12 schools. Keeping the teacher union dues flowing was far more important than over-whelming the state’s ability to double in size and now quadruple in size in just one generation of illegal border crossing.

      The state encouraged this very recent population explosion. Why has it refused to support it? Or stop it.

  9. Tankering, tunneling or piping water in from Central America needs to be explored. They have plenty and need a new source of revenue – ship water to SW United States.

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