It’s been quite a while since we have posted a water supply update for California. The main reason is that we absolutely hate bad news. And its hard to believe that the news could be worse. But we can only expect it to get worse for the next six months or so, knowing the normal precipitation pattern for the State — even in wet years — provides almost no rain from May through October, and sometimes nothing until November or December.
With no rain in sight for months to come, we will continue to draw down on our storage. Long time MOST readers know that we focus on the largest storage component of the State Water Project, Lake Oroville, for a quick read on the water supply. Here is the latest from the Department of Water Resources:
This graph shows the daily storage levels for each of the past five years. At this point in 2014, we are about 1 million acre-feet behind the previous low, which was last year. And in a typical year, due to the low rainfall months from May through December, we typically see storage decline over 1 million acre-feet at Oroville during these months.
What’s most troubling about that is that we have less than one and one-half million acre-feet in storage today. That could mean that Oroville — the largest storage component of the State Water Project — will be essentially empty by next January 1.
Forget about “Happy New Year.” Pray for rain!