Statement on the State Water Project Allocation and Recent Water Supply Losses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Due to Fish Protections

February 26, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ — The California Department of Water Resources announced today that public water agencies are projected to receive 15 percent of their contracted water supply for 2010, up from its previous five percent projection. While this is an early estimate that may change throughout the year, it is indicative of the troubled state of our water supply. The low allocation is partially due to the increased pumping restrictions on the State Water Project because of Delta smelt and salmon protections, which kicked in at the beginning of the year simultaneously with the welcome precipitation.

“We welcome any boost in our water supply. However, it is extremely frustrating that our allocation remains such a small percentage of normal despite what so far is a normal rainfall year.

“We have lost more than 305,000 acre-feet of water since January 1 due to pumping restrictions that were triggered by fish that showed up near the pumps. That is enough water to serve San Francisco for nearly three years or all of San Diego for nearly two years. Deliveries are down because we are only pumping at about half of our traditional levels. Water agencies throughout California are seeing firsthand how the regulatory restrictions are preventing us from reaping the benefits of rain and snowfall.

“Our present system doesn’t allow us to move the water when nature provides it. We’ve been forced into a two-smelt-and-you’re-out regime. When a water delivery system can be severely compromised by as few as two fish, it is a sign that something is seriously wrong. The need for wildlife agencies and water districts to work together toward lasting and genuinely effective solutions has never been greater.”

For recent Delta water operations information, please call 818-760-2121.

Laura King Moon

Assistant General Manager

State Water Contractors

The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 25 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural lands. For more information on the State Water Contractors, please visit www.swc.org.

SOURCE State Water Contractors

Source: newswire

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