State Increases Water Allocations for Year

The Department of Water Resources announced it would be increasing its allocations to 15 percent for State Water Project participants this year, which reflects a 5 percent increase to the state’s initial estimation in December. 

Yuba City is one of 29 agencies that are part of the State Water Project. The project’s largest reservoir in Lake Oroville.

Opinion: It’s Vital We Remember The Years Of Water Scarcity During Rainy, Snowy Time

Hopefully, we all remember the pictures from a few years ago: During the last check of the snowpack of the season, where officials should have been walking on snow … they were walking on bare earth.

Measuring snowpack? There was none to speak of. And we had water-use restrictions. Things seemed grim. Then the weather changed, thankfully.

Work Continues At Lake Oroville Dam

The California Department of Water Resources still has unfinished business at Lake Oroville, despite completion of major construction on the spillways earlier this year following the 2017 events that triggered more than 180,000 people living downstream to evacuate.

Major construction on the main spillway that was heavily damaged in 2017 was completed this spring by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., along with the emergency spillway next to it. The company’s contract work is expected to be substantially complete this December with the contractor fully offsite by next spring.

A Healthy Late-Spring Snowpack

The Department of Water Resources said California’s snowpack is healthy as the state prepares for peak runoff months. Following the final survey of the year at Phillips Station on Thursday, DWR found the snowpack was 188 percent of its average for that location. Statewide, the results showed the snowpack contained 31 inches of snow water equivalent (144 percent of its average for this time of year), which is the depth of water that would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously. The information will help water managers across the state plan for spring and summer snowmelt runoff into rivers and reservoirs.

OPINION: Sites Proponents Have Years Of Advocacy Ahead Of Them To Get the 500,000 acre-foot lake finally under construction

Sites Reservoir proponents are happy with what’s happened this year … they’ve collected commitments for some serious coinage – state and federal. They can stay grounded, however, by the fact that they’ve got several billion dollars still to go. There’s a lot of work ahead. The off-stream reservoir adds a sizable storage capacity to Northern California, with none of the environmental and fewer political traps of an on-stream dam.

Department of Water Resources Announces Initial State Water Project Allocations

Despite the last few storms that brought the North State much needed rain, this water year has been relatively dry, and those conditions are reflected in the Department of Water Resources’ initial State Water Project allocations. DWR announced Friday that the 29 participating members of the State Water Project can expect to receive 10 percent of the requested allocations in 2019. Yuba City is one of the contractors that receives water each year from the project. The percentage is likely to change as the water year progresses.

New Water Year Brings Uncertainty

Monday marked the beginning of the 2019 water year. Experts say it’s hard to know what this year will bring – considering the state’s significant weather variability on a year-to-year basis – but steps are being taken to prepare in spite of the uncertainty. “It’s been relatively dry so far this past water year, but it’s no indication of what kind of year we are going to have in Water Year 2018-19,” said Mike Inamine, executive director of the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency.

With State Allocation Set, Sites Reservoir Officials Begin Securing More Funding

The Sites Reservoir project will move forward, according to officials, despite being awarded in a recent California Water Commission announcement about half what project backers sought. They will spend the next few months securing the necessary financing to begin the next phase. The Commission announced Tuesday that Sites could expect $816 million in state funding. “We are pleased to reach this milestone,” said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Project Authority.

Sites Reservoir Officials: $1 Billion Falls Short Of Hopes

The California Water Commission – the entity responsible for awarding $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funds to water storage projects in a few months – didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with officials pushing for Sites Reservoir, primarily on the benefits to salmon the project would provide. When final public benefit ratio scores came out earlier this month, the commission said Sites, situation on the Colusa and Glenn counties border, was eligible for $1 billion – about $600 million short of what Sites officials requested.