DWR Announces Initial Water Allocation

The Department of Water Resources released this announcement.

The initial State Water Project allocation is 5% of requested supplies for 2023.

The SWP provides water to 29 public water agencies that serve 27 million Californians.

As the state prepares for a fourth dry year and continued extreme drought conditions in California, DWR will also assess requests for additional water that may be necessary for health and safety including minimum domestic, sanitation, and fire suppression needs. 

“This early in California’s traditional wet season, water allocations are typically low due to uncertainty in hydrologic forecasting.

But the degree to which hotter and drier conditions are reducing runoff into rivers, streams and reservoirs means we have to be prepared for all possible outcomes,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.

Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s largest reservoir, ended Water Year 2022 about 400,000 acre-feet higher than the previous year, which was the lowest storage level on record.

However, Oroville remains just 55% of average for this time of year. 

DWR is conserving existing storage in Lake Oroville in the event dry conditions continue.

The initial 5% allocation would be met by flows from winter storms entering the Delta as well as stored water in San Luis Reservoir.

If storage levels in Lake Oroville improve as the wet season progresses, DWR will consider increasing the allocation if warranted.