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.