California State Water Project Boosts Irrigation Allotment

Fresh on the heels of a boost to 100 percent for federal water contractors south-of-the-Delta, California water managers upped their initial allocation to full allotments for northern California users and 85 percent for those south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta .

Acting California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director William Croyle hopes to boost the south-of-Delta allocation as the state continues to monitor hydrologic conditions, which have never been wetter in California’s recorded history.

Any boost to the water allocation could come later this spring.

News of the increased allocation comes as state officials initially predicted a 20 percent delivery of the 4.1 million acre feet of water requested by the 29 public agencies that use State Water Project (SWP) water. That water serves more than 25 million people and nearly a million acres of irrigated farmland in the state, according to DWR.

The announcement also comes as DWR awards a contract to repair the main spillway at Oroville Dam. That structure failed earlier this year after rainfall eroded the hillside adjacent to the main spillway and the spillway collapsed.

Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. of California was awarded a $275.4 million contract to repair damaged facilities at Oroville Dam. Three bids were submitted for the project. The top bid for repairs exceeded $344 million.

This is critical because Lake Oroville is the state’s main State Water Project reservoir. The reservoir can hold 3.5 million acre feet of water in storage.

Source: Todd Fitchette, Western Farm Press

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