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Department Of Water Resources Announces State Water Project For 2022

The Department of Water Resources announcing today its initial State Water Project allocation for 2022. 

Director Karla Nemeth says they plan to deliver almost no water from the project to begin next year. This comes in anticipation of a third dry year with reservoirs at or near historic lows and Nemeth suggesting mandatory cutbacks could come. It's the first time the project has announced a zero allocation initially for the upcoming year. The unprecedented announcement — with only small amounts of emergency supplies possible for some urban areas — means that unless this winter brings significant rainfall, more stringent conservation measures are likely in San Jose, parts of the East Bay and other communities across the state in 2022, including strict limits on landscape watering.

This summer, Governor Newsom asked California residents and businesses to reduce water use by 15% from last year’s levels. But those numbers are falling far short, cutting by only 3.9% in September. The past two years have been the driest back-to-back years in Northern California since 1976-77, leaving major reservoirs at record-low levels. Lake Oroville, in Butte County, the second-largest reservoir in the state and the largest in the State Water Project, was just 30% full Wednesday, according to The Mercury News.

“With the conditions we’ve been seeing, and the reservoir levels where they are, I don’t think we are surprised,” said Aaron Baker, a chief operating officer with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “It is symbolic of the dry, warmer conditions we are in.”

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