DWR 2006 study: “too much risk” taken with reservoir operations

In 2006, for the first California Climate Assessment, DWR published a study of operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project with climate change. The report was titled, "Progress on Incorporating Climate Change Into Management of California’s Water Resources." DWR's 2006 modeling predicted the current crisis, with Shasta, Folsom, and Oroville reservoirs being … Continue reading DWR 2006 study: “too much risk” taken with reservoir operations

On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

The Delta Independent Science Board has just released their draft Water Supply Reliability Review. We strongly agree with their recommendation on water supply system models: The next generation of state-sponsored water supply system models for reliability estimation should be built, updated, and evaluated by a broad consortium of state and federal agencies and external experts … Continue reading On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

Uncertainty in future demand as Urban Water Management Plans finalized

Uncertainty

Population growth in California has changed dramatically due to COVID and a reduction in immigration. The state’s population declined by 182,083 people in 2020, the first time since 1900.  This has resulted in large uncertainty in population projections by the Department of Finance (DOF), which are used by urban water agencies for demand projections for … Continue reading Uncertainty in future demand as Urban Water Management Plans finalized

State Water Contractors objected to development of a drought operations strategy for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project

Lake Oroville March 2021

Our May 10, 2021 blog post, DWR Chief Engineer warned of climate change draining Northern California reservoirs explained how Francis Chung, the Department of Water Resources’ Bay-Delta modeling chief, sounded the alarm in 2010 that climate change could drain major Northern California reservoirs. Chung recommended that DWR develop a reoperation strategy for the State Water Project … Continue reading State Water Contractors objected to development of a drought operations strategy for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project

The “greedy” strategy for SWP and CVP reservoir operations

Current operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project reservoirs in the Sacramento Valley are an example of a greedy strategy.[1] Under the greedy strategy, the system operators export as much water as possible in any given year. The strategy results in maximum water deliveries in a given year, but with the risk … Continue reading The “greedy” strategy for SWP and CVP reservoir operations

The State Water Project was originally designed for a six year drought

Lake Oroville March 2021

A 1983 Bulletin by the Department of Water Resources (Bulletin 160-83) [1] documents that Oroville reservoir was designed to provide long-term carryover storage and reliable water deliveries in case of a repeat of the 1928-1934 drought. The Department of Water Resources  proposed in the same Bulletin 160-83 to change State Water Project operations to take … Continue reading The State Water Project was originally designed for a six year drought

California’s Water Resilience Portfolio should reduce GHG emissions

On Monday, April 29, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-10-19, “directing the secretaries of the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to identify and assess a suite of complementary actions to ensure safe and resilient water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the … Continue reading California’s Water Resilience Portfolio should reduce GHG emissions

Taxpayers could be on the hook for Oroville spillway third-party claims, spillway reconstruction

It is not generally known that the State Water Project Water Supply Contracts explicitly bar recovery of damages or general liability for operations of the State Water Project. For example, Metropolitan Water District's contract states the following: 13.  Responsibilities for Delivery and Distribution of Water. (b) Neither the District nor any of its officers, agents, … Continue reading Taxpayers could be on the hook for Oroville spillway third-party claims, spillway reconstruction