Thanks to increased precipitation in December and January, Desert Water Agency stands to receive increased water allocations from the State Water Project (SWP).
The Department of Water Resources announced the statewide increase which provides the majority of SWP contractors with 15 percent of their requests for 2019, up from the initial 10 percent. Desert Water Agency is hopeful that this increase is the first of several more to come before the final allocation is announced – likely in April.
DWA is one of 29 SWP contractors in California. The potential increase in allocation – announced in late January – means DWA and its neighbor Coachella Valley Water District will be able to replenish the underground basin with more water.
While the agencies’ combined State Water Project water allocation is 194,100 acre-feet, the actual amount delivered varies each year based on a variety of factors.
The recent winter storms have helped boost most of the state’s reservoirs to at or above their averages for this time of the year.
Groundwater replenishment is a key component of the Coachella Valley’s water management efforts, combined with conservation, increased use of recycled water and imported Colorado River water for agriculture and golf course irrigation.
CVWD and DWA became SWP contractors in the 1960s and began importing water for replenishment in 1973. The groundwater basin is the valley’s primary water source. It is a public resource managed by public agencies. Water replenishment is factored into water rates and private pumpers that have their own wells pay a replenishment charge that pays to bring water into the basin to replace what is pumped out.
Water replenishment is factored into water rates and private pumpers that have their own wells pay a replenishment charge that pays to bring water into the basin to replace what is pumped out.