California water officials say they will cut delivery as drought deepens - @BloombergNews
California Water Officials Cut Delivery as State Drought Deepens
Jan 31, 2014 2:49 PM ET
Officials in drought-stricken California said that for the first time in the state’s history, they won’t be able to provide any water to contractors that supply two-thirds of the population and a million acres of farmland.
The California Department of Water Resources, which had predicted it would be able to supply about 5 percent of the amount requested, said it now projects that it won’t be able to provide any of the 4 million acre-feet of water sought by local agencies. An acre-foot is the volume needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep with water.
The reduction means that agencies will have to rely on existing water supplies such as ground water or what is in storage behind damns. The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District, serving 19 million people in Southern California, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which supplies much of the Bay Area, have built up water reserves and won’t be as hard hit as places such as Sacramento and the Central Valley farming region.
About two-thirds of Californians get at least part of their water from northern mountain rains and snow through a network of reservoirs and aqueducts known as the State Water Project, according to the Water Resources Department, the state’s largest water supplier.
The system serves households and businesses from the San Francisco Bay area to Southern California and irrigates crops in the San Joaquin Valley near the center of the state -- the world’s most productive agricultural region.