California Drought to be Declared ‘Over’ by Governor

On Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 California governor Jerry Brown is expected to lift California’s drought status. The three year state of drought, will likely be removed due to a California wet winter full of downpours and rising reservoir levels. The governor will wait to make his final decision until the seasons final snow survey is conducted. However, it is expected that the previous administration’s declaration of drought will be lifted. The state of drought could have been lifted last year, but the reservoir storage level had not been safely reached and many government officials and water managers feared the states reservoirs would run dry. However, this year’s winter has been vastly different. Releases from the states reservoirs are up, projections of summer water deliveries are up, and the Sierra Nevada snow pack is 159% above normal for this time of year. 

The California State Water project is expected to see an increase in deliveries as well. This water project consists of shipping water from the Northern parts of California to the much drier Southern parts. Irrigation water deliveries look promising as well. The state’s Central Valley Project, which supplies the California’s Central Valley with irrigation deliveries is promising to supply all of their allocated districts. This means many state farmers will have more water allocation than last year for their crops. California’s major reservoirs are currently above normal as well. The Lake Oroville reservoir is 81% full, while the states largest reservoir Shasta Lake is 92% full of capacity. In the meantime, Californians are still encouraged to do what they can to continue saving water.

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