Snowpack at 143% of normal but state says it can only deliver 30% to us

Water Resources spokesman blames fish protection regulations, low levels at Lake Oroville for supply shortfall

The Sierra Nevada snowpack's water content is well above average but the amount of water that will be delivered to farms and 25 million state residents will be 30 percent of what is requested, a state Department of Water Resources spokesman said Friday.

The department took its fifth and final snow survey of the season Friday, and determined that water content in the snowpack is 143 percent of normal.

However, the State Water Project, which provides water to millions of Californians, including residents in the North Bay, East Bay and South Bay, will only be able to deliver a portion of the water amount requested from 29 agencies throughout the state.

Those agencies include the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the Solano County Water Agency, the Alameda County Water District, Zone 7 Water Agency, which serves the Pleasanton area, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Department spokesman Don Strickland said despite the high water content in the snow packs, the state agency is only able to deliver 30 percent of the requested water because the storage supply in Lake Oroville is still below average, and there are regulatory restrictions to protect fish species in the Delta.

However, Strickland said the department might decide to increase that percentage in the coming weeks after analyzing the data from Friday's survey.

The surveys are done around the first of each month from January to May, and Strickland said the content in Friday's survey was higher than last month's, which is usually the peak month for snowpack readings.

In 2009, the State Water Project delivered 40 percent of the requests and the average over 10 years is 68 percent of the amount requested by farms and water contractors.

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Posted by get a proofreader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2010 at 9:04 am

Dear PW -- do you just cut and paste this stuff or do you actually creat it and use a proofreader?
"it can only delivery 30% to us"

Like this comment
Posted by stevep
a resident of Parkside
on May 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

'creat'? Proofreading, indeed.

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Posted by dan
a resident of Country Fair
on May 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

Regarding the snowpack totals - it's bad new when it's low and it's bad news when it high. Not sure why we even have the darn information available!

Like this comment
Posted by Chet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

When are the voters in this state going to wise up and start getting rid of the liberal loons in the state legislature, the U. S. Congress, and the judiciary? California has to get serious about its water supply, and soon. This is going to require putting the clamps on environmental extremists, curtailing immigration, and investing in water infrastructure. On the present course, water shortages will make oil shortages look insignificant.

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Right you are, Chet. Water rights have long been a contentious issue, which is only being made worse by power grabbing politicians.
Development also has to be curtailed, since we can't continue to feed water to housing when the supply isn't increased to offset their consumption. You think anyone for the low income housing in Pleasanton is even aware of this fact of life? Or more likely they are in favor of taking water away from someone else who's already here.

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Posted by Anna
a resident of Castlewood
on May 3, 2010 at 9:32 am

Last year we had a supposed 'drought' and we received 40% and this year we've had an incredibly rainy season and it's 30%...hmmmm.
Too many political games (especially environmental) over our water here in this beautiful state.

Like this comment
Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

There's no droughts or water shortages: just incompetent state agencies and corrupt politicians. This proves it. They admit there's plenty of snow pack and water, yet they don't want to deliver the water. Throw out the politicians and get rid of the incompetent state agencies.

California hasn't added to the water infrastructure in 30 years, but how much has population and agricultural production increased?

Like this comment
Posted by JOHN
a resident of Dublin
on May 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

Once again we are lied to by another state agency! This is another in your face lie that continues from Sacramento. 143% of Normal but yet we will only receive only 30% percent of the requested amount for our farms and 25 million residents? Like that in Sacramento and Washington D.C. too many agencies.....far too many lobbyists and special interests along with greedy self serving politicians leads us the hard working tax paying middle class to potential disaster! From Obama to Arnold....This kind of change and leadership is not what we want,need in California Or anywhere else in America!

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Posted by Chad
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

Once again Pleasanton Weekly presents another misleading and inflammatory article, just like the one where they accused an innocent college kid of rape before all the facts were in.

The headline insinuates only 30% of the water in a snowpack of 143% of normal is being delivered, but in reality it is 30% of the request. The two numbers are not directly related.

I wonder if they are going to start censoring this article like they did with their rape accusation one...

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Posted by John
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 3, 2010 at 11:09 am

Anna wrote:
Last year we had a supposed 'drought' and we received 40% and this year we've had an incredibly rainy season and it's 30%...hmmmm. Too many political games (especially environmental) over our water here in this beautiful state.

Anna, use your head. It is very likely that agencies are asking for more and more water. PW has not done us the service of telling us how much was actually asked for. ...hmmmm.

Like this comment
Posted by You Get What You Elect
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Dear Voters: Read the above comments by many others and think carefully the next time you vote for any candidate for any office. The voters of this region, state and country are the source of this water "shortage".

Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Del Prado
on May 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

Humans are more important than fish. We need to clean house on all these "boards" that impact our daily lives.

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Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 4, 2010 at 8:33 am

regarding Frustrated's comment on "boards": absolutely - the state has many useless and/or obstructionist, and expensive boards. Cutting them will save costs in more ways than one. Maybe a new governor will have the guts to eliminate these boards.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

Julia from Alamo...Well it's a breathe of fresh air to read what we should do...okay folks, NOW lets put our vote where are mouth is... As the sign says that's planted on a hill in Alamo, "Throw ALL the Bums Out" and start Fresh.
Hey We The People, They ALL are self serving and corrupt. But the real truth is, even if there are a few riding in on a white horse with good intentions...the old corrupt group immediately corner them and read them the good old boy policy. If you don't follow our rules, don't plan to be here long enough to hang you up your coat. It's very dirty politics and we the people continually allow it to happen. In fact, instead of fighting them, most of us just try and figure out how to get in on some of their actions...they know it and they spread the goodies around just enough to keep the stupid masses in line. Another words folks...we all are screwed and we will always be screwed...we created it, so now we have to live with it...or maybe NOT. Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini, from beautiful downtown, one traffic-light, Alamo.

Like this comment
Posted by Jose
a resident of Downtown
on May 4, 2010 at 10:39 am

This is what happens when environmental groups go too far with over-the-top rhetoric: the more pragmatic arguments get lost in the noise.

Do you really think California has enough water to fulfill all the requests? The answer is no, not even in a good year like this one. Do you really think the only problem is the water reserved to protect the delta smelt? The answer is no, that's just the canary in the coal mine.

Yes, politicians are scum, the big farms are greedy corporations, but the vast majority of Californians are ignorant fools (just look at some of the idiotic comments in this thread!)

Educate yourselves people! Read about the climatology of the Central Valley. Learn about how the San Joaquin valley is actually a semi-arid place. We suck a huge amount of water out of Northern California and the Sierra to support agriculture. Learn about how the population of California has grown tremendously over the past 50 years, outstripping every water project ever created.

You can ignorantly complain all you want about politicians, but there is no political solution. This is simple economics: there's way too much demand for the supply.

Like this comment
Posted by Dave Ferguson
a resident of San Ramon
on May 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Are you using 1.28 gallon per flush toilets? If you are not, you are using 1.6 or the older 3.5, or your 1.6 may have been modified by an untrained person and may now be 2 or more gallons per flush. Are you trying to be water wise in other areas? Do you have water saving shower heads? Do you have a hot water ciculating pump to prevent the unused dicharge of cold water while waiting for hot water? Think about it. Water is a precious resource that needs to be handled as such.
Dave Ferguson
Mr. Rooter Plumbing of the Tri-Valley

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