Historic low water levels will not impact the DMC water supply this year


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The historic low water levels in Lake Oroville will not impact the Santa Clarita Valley water supply this year, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency.

Dirk Marks, the agency’s director of water resources, said water from Oroville, located in northern California, made up 5% of the water the agency pledged to receive from the state. Water Project.

SWP sites include Oroville, Castaic Lake, and many other intermediate sites and facilities that help transport water from Northern California to Southern California.

Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board issued an emergency order giving it the power to restrict the rights of water holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Although SCV Water does not have any rights to water in the delta, its State Water Project water supply comes from Lake Oroville, across the delta, according to Kathie Martin, a spokesperson for SCV Water.

“We rely heavily on the reserve water reserves and other sources that we have,” said Marks, noting that SCV Water receives between 55% and 60% of its SWP allocation during years of average rainfall. “We made the difference because we have a very diverse water supply portfolio.

In addition to water imported from northern California, SCV Water receives water from the water storage districts of Buena Vista and Rosedale Rio Bravo in Kern County.

Marks said water from Kern districts is more expensive than water from SWP.

“To the extent that our customers are able to conserve water, that means there will be less of this expensive water supply that we have access to,” he said.

The agency also uses local groundwater sources, recycled water and groundwater reserves, which involves “storing the SWP surface water supplies available during wet years in the water basins. underground “, according to SCV Water’s 2020 urban water management plan.

The historic low elevation of Lake Oroville also has implications for 2022, Marks said.

“Hydrologists tell us that if we have normal or average perception in 2022, that will probably still only result in a 20% allocation (of the SWP), as opposed to the 60% we would normally expect,” he said. he declares.

The watersheds are so dry, Marks said, that precipitation in 2022 will be absorbed by the soil. And with 2022 likely another dry year, SCV Water will again have to tap into its groundwater banks.

“The benefit of conserving water now is that it leaves extra water in 2022, 2023, and 2024,” Marks said.

Martin said customers can read more about water conservation online at dryreadyscv.com.

Lowering of Lake Castaic

The California Department of Water Resources announced last week that construction of the Castaic Dam Tower Access Bridge has started.

The upgrades will strengthen the bridge “to reduce seismic risk during a major earthquake,” according to a press release from DWR.

Advanced work on the 500-foot-long bridge required a “temporary lowering” in May that lowered the water level of Castaic Lake, an artificial body of water completed in 1974, by more than 100 feet.

“Work on the access bridge to the intake tower of the Castaic dam should continue until spring 2022, then Lake Castaic will resume normal activities with water levels based on the hydrological conditions available at that time. there, “the DWR statement said.

DWR also urged recreational lake users to follow warning signs and be aware that boating capacity may be limited during drawdown.

SCV Water has rights to 3% of the water in Lake Castaic.

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