On Jan. 31, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced it would reduce allocations for the State Water Project from 5 percent of normal to zero.
The move was anticipated by several local municipalities that use state water to supplement local supplies, but the announcement serves as another sign of California’s growing water crisis. The department may alter the allocation level later, depending on water supplies, according to the Jan. 31 notice.
In the meantime, local water officials will be left with only the existing carryover. According to a DWR list of water supplies, San Luis Obispo County has a carryover of 7,332 acre feet of water, less than one-third of its annual requested amount of 25,000 acre feet. However, the county also has an “excess allocation” of 16,513 acre feet, according to Public Works.
Within the county, state water has been allocated for 11 municipalities ranging from the California Men’s Colony to Cuesta College. Morro Bay, which recently adopted severely restricted water supply conditions, receives the largest local supply of state water.