Central Valley Project begins water year with close to average storage
October 4, 2012
• Has 6.9 million acre-feet of water in its reservoirs
• Equal to 98 percent of the 15-year average
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project has started the new water year with 98 percent of its 15-year average amount of water in its reservoirs, it says Thursday.
That works out to approximately 6.9 million acre-feet of water in six key reservoirs.
As of Oct. 1, the 15-year average carry-over for the reservoirs -- Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones and Millerton reservoirs and the federal share of the joint federal/state San Luis Reservoir -- is 7.0 million acre-feet of storage.
One acre-foot is the volume of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot, or enough water to sustain a typical California household of four for one year. California’s “water year” runs from October 1 of one year through September 30 of the next.
Precipitation in WY 2012 was about 83 percent of the historic seasonal average or 41.6 inches as measured at eight key locations in Northern California from the Upper Sacramento River watershed near Shasta to the American River watershed near Blue Canyon, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, citing figures from the California Department of Water Resources’ Northern Sierra Nevada 8-Station Index.
For the Friant Division, the precipitation total for the Huntington Lake station was 24.89 inches or 57 percent of the historic seasonal average, it says.
During WY 2012, CVP powerplants generated about 4.8 billion kilowatt-hours. About 25 percent of this energy was used to pump water with the remaining sold. The Mid-Pacific Region’s hydroelectric generators have a combined capacity of approximately 2.1 million kilowatts.
The initial forecast of CVP water supply allocations for the contract year (which begins March 1) will be made in late February. The allocation will be adjusted monthly or more often if warranted, to reflect the updated snowpack and runoff.