Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency officials reported Friday their projected allocation so far from the state — just two months into a water season that starts in October — means they’re off to a good start so far.
While the SCV has received 1.1 inch of rain so far this year, and statewide, water officials say 2023-24 is off to a below-average start for precipitation, water officials said the SCV is in good shape.
“The Dec. 1 initial water supply forecast is the first allocation of the new water year and is based on current reservoir storage and an assumption of very dry conditions,” according to a statement Friday by Ryan Endean, public affairs specialist for the Department of Water Resources. “So far in October and November, storms have not brought as much rain and snow.”
Kevin Strauss, spokesman for SCV Water, said the local optimism is the result of the fact that the forecast puts the agency in a better place than it was at the same time last year and because SCV Water has a supply that it will be carrying over in storage from last year’s 100% allocation. That was the first time agencies had received such an allocation in about six years.
The 2022-23 water season ended up being one of the wettest in the SCV’s history, with the Newhall Pass station recording 44.69 inches for the year.
“A 10% allocation translates to about 9,500 acre-feet of water, which is an equivalent of 15% of SCV Water’s service area average annual demand,” Strauss wrote in an email Friday. “This allocation is a good start — better than where we were last year — especially knowing that reservoirs are in better condition, and we look forward to increasing the allocation throughout the next five months.”
The rain meant the state started the water year with 217% of the annual average for its reservoirs, only the fourth time since 1950 the state has had more than 200%. However, it’s not rare for the initial allocation forecast to be low following very wet years, according to officials.
“The allocation is calculated based on October and November precipitation, dry soils, runoff, and storage in Lake Oroville,” Endean added. “It has no bearing on current water supplies or water captured in 2023.”