Almost all of the more than 27 million people who call California home have benefited from January’s record rainfall and snowfall.
The State Water Project (SWP) will be able to boost its annual deliveries to 29 local water agencies thanks to the additional rainfall, as stated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Thursday.
The organization had indicated in December that it would only provide 30% of the materials requested by local organizations.
DWR said in a statement that the two largest reservoirs in the SWP (Oroville and San Luis) have acquired storage of 1.62 million acre-feet of water, which is enough to supply water to 5.6 million homes for a whole year.
“We are pleased that we can increase the allocation now and provide more water to local water agencies,” said @CA_DWR Director Karla Nemeth. #cawater #AtmosphericRivers #CAwx 💧 pic.twitter.com/AfQfUza25D
— Ed Joyce (@EdJoyce) January 26, 2023
Starting at the end of December and lasting for weeks, several rain and snow storms caused flash floods, felled trees, and other damage in various sections of California. Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains was above seasonal averages, while the state received more than three feet of rain from the storms.
The percentage of Californians experiencing extreme drought, the second-worst category of drought, decreased from 27.1% to 0.32%. As reported by the United States Drought Monitor between January 3 and January 10. In the same time frame, the percentage of areas experiencing severe drought (the third highest degree) decreased from 71% to 46%.
“These storms made clear the importance of our efforts to modernize our existing water infrastructure for an era of intensified drought and flood. Given these dramatic swings, these storm flows are badly needed to refill groundwater basins and support recycled water plants,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a statement.
Californians may experience a return to warm and dry conditions before April 1, when the wet season officially ends, the government warned.