As a clear indicator of the worsening drought in California, the Newsom administration announced on Wednesday that it should expect cities and farms to receive virtually no water from state water projects next year. From Silicon Valley to San Diego.
An unprecedented announcement-very small amounts of emergency supplies are possible in some urban areas-will be in San Jose, parts of East Bay, and the entire state in 2022, unless this winter brings heavy rainfall. It means that more stringent conservation measures may be taken in the community of. Includes strict restrictions on landscape watering.
“We are moving out of a historic set of situations,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the Department of Water Resources.
Nemes is also a compulsory city, similar to what was set up by former Governor Jerry Brown during the last drought in California in 2012-16, if it doesn’t rain this winter. He said he was likely to impose water conservation goals in California.
“If these dry conditions continue, it’s probably late winter, early spring,” she said.
This summer, Newsom asked California residents and businesses to reduce city water usage by 15% from last year’s levels. However, they are much scarce, with a reduction of only 3.9% in September.
The last two years have been the driest years in Northern California from 1976 to 1977, with major reservoirs remaining at record lows. Lake Oroville in Butte County is the state’s second largest and largest reservoir for state water projects, with only 30% full on Wednesday.
Northern California was hit by heavy rains in October, many of which soaked into dry ground rather than flowing into reservoirs. It hasn’t rained much since then.
Approved by voters in 1960, the State Water Project, an important legacy of former Governor Pat Brown, will move water from Northern California to the south. It takes snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and transports it from Lake Oroville through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to the Los Angeles Basin. It typically supplies drinking water to two out of every three Californians and irrigates approximately 750,000 acres of farmland.
Nemes said her department will receive state water project water next summer to receive a “very modest” amount of “health and safety” water for firefighting, hospitals, and some indoors. It has uses such as drinking water, toilets, showers, washing, etc., but cannot be used for landscape irrigation, said it is discussing with 7 of the 29 cities and agricultural institutions that have contracted.
She said the amount would be 55 gallons per person per day. She added that if the local water department cannot meet that amount, the state can make a difference. The total that the state expects to supply such “health and safety” water is 340,000 acre feet. By comparison, all cities and farmlands have 4.2 million acre-foot state contracts.
Wednesday’s announcement is the first since January 2014 with a 0% allocation during the last drought depth, and the first such announcement was made in early December of winter.
Among the institutions affected by Wednesday’s news is the Santa Clara Valley Water District in San Jose, which provides drinking water to 2 million South Bay residents. Also a hit: Alameda County Aqueduct. It supplies 360,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The Zone 7 Water Department serves Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.
This news does not affect customers in the East Bay Municipal Utility District, Contra Costa Aqueduct, Marine Municipal Aqueduct, or the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission receiving water from other water sources or projects.
Urban areas such as San Jose, Fremont, and Livermore, along with Los Angeles and Napa, need to find other water sources, such as local reservoirs, groundwater, more conservation, and purchases from agricultural institutions, to survive next year. And many farmers need to pump more groundwater and fallow land.
Aaron Baker, Chief Operating Officer of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, said: “It is a symbol of the dry, warmer conditions we are in.”
According to Baker, the Santa Clara Valley waters will use purchases from local groundwater, conservation, and Sacramento Valley agricultural institutions with senior water rights to avoid serious shortages. The 10 local reservoirs are currently only 11% full.
This summer, the district asked residents of Santa Clara County to reduce water usage by 15% from 2019 levels to maintain supply. So far, they have decreased by only 7%.
Baker said Santa Clara County residents should expect stricter water-saving rules next summer if it doesn’t rain this winter.
On Wednesday, the Marin Municipal Water District, which serves 190,000 people in Marin County, fined offenders and banned watering of all outdoor landscapes seven days a week. Similar rules have been in place for months in Healdsburg, Sonoma County.
“We need local leaders to step up and make those decisions,” Nemes said. “If they don’t, the state will.”
State Water Project will deliver no water to most communities next year – Times-Herald Source link State Water Project will deliver no water to most communities next year – Times-Herald