PALMDALE – Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency (AVEK) was notified by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Jan. 20 that their 2022 State Water Project (SWP) Table A Allocation would increase from 0% to 15%, the agency announced Wednesday.
For AVEK, the third largest of 29 state water contractors, 15% equates to 21,727 acre-feet, a minimal portion of the Agency’s contracted entitlement with DWR of 144,844 acre-feet annually at 100%. As a wholesale water provider, AVEK depends on allocations determined by DWR to meet the demands of their retail customers who provide water to residential consumers, as well as business and agricultural users.
In regards to the allocation, DWR’s SWP Deputy Director Ted Craddock stated that the 15% increase to most long-term contractors was based on “recent precipitation, runoff and current water supply conditions”. In a statement, the State Water Contractors collectively acknowledged that the recent storms and allocation increase does not signal an end to the drought or risk to water supplies throughout the state. SWP said 2020 and 2021 combined were the two driest years ever recorded in California’s precipitation history.
“While we are grateful the recent storms have made a 15% allocation increase possible and brought early-season snowpack to the Sierras, we are cautious about becoming too optimistic amid historic drought conditions and dry forecasts. Fortunately, AVEK’s Board has been visionary in developing water storage programs where excess water supplies are held in wet years for use in dry years and times of drought. It was not only having that foresight, but acting on it, that enabled the Agency to keep water flowing to its customers,” said Dwayne Chisam, AVEK’s General Manager.
To AVEK, a 15% allocation means more water can be left in storage to safeguard against continued drought conditions.
AVEK serves more than 20 municipal users, along with Edwards Air Force Base, Plant 42 and U.S. Borax, within a 2300 mile territory that includes portions Los Angeles, Kern and Ventura Counties.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency.]