Environment
6:43 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

California's Demand for Water May Far Exceed Supply in 2014

San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos
Credit CA Dept of Water Resources

Californians may have to be more cautious with their water use in the coming year. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, initial projections indicate there won’t be much to go around.

The Department of Water Resources says it will only be able to initially fulfill five percent of requested water deliveries in 2014. Every year water agencies throughout California request water through the State Water Project. More than 25 million people and 700 thousand acres of farmland depend on the supply.

DWR says the water allocation may go up as California enters its rainy season, but there are no guarantees. In 2010, following three years of drought, the initial five percent allocation was eventually increased to 50 percent.

The State Water Project relies largely on reservoir levels when calculating initial allocations and, so far, levels are low. For example, the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County is only at 25 percent of capacity.

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