As California enters its fourth year of drought, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is increasing the amount of State Water Project (SWP) water allocated to state agencies by 5 percent—from 10 percent of the requested amount to 15 percent. This translates to a total allocation of 635,759 acre-feet annually to 29 agencies, compared to the requested 4,172,686 acre-feet. DWR is able to make this increase thanks to early-December storms that raised reservoir water levels. Last year at this time, no water was initially allocated.
DWR states that this allocation is consistent with the long-term water supply contracts and public policy. DWR considered several factors prior to settling on this increase, such as existing storage, operational constraints (i.e., potential harm to endangered fish), and contractor demands. DWR may revise the allocations over the course of the year based on changing water supply and sustainability conditions.
The two largest regions in terms of water received are the San Joaquin Valley at 170,035 acre-feet, and Southern California at 394,433 acre-feet.