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California State Water Project initial allocations lowered

March 24, 2021 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Department of Water Resources has lowered initial allocations from the State Water Project for the 2021 water year following a second consecutive dry winter.

The department said Tuesday it expects to deliver 5% of requested supplies instead of the initial allocation of 10% announced in December.

“Initial allocations are based on conservative assumptions regarding hydrology and factors such as reservoir storage,” a department statement said. “Allocations are reviewed monthly and may change based on snowpack and runoff information. They are typically finalized by May.”

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The department said the 5% allocation amounts to 210,266 acre-feet of water, distributed among the 29 long-term SWP contractors who serve more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres (303,521 hectares) of farmland.

The department said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, operator of the Central Valley Project, is expected to adjust its allocation accordingly.