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Bay Delta Conservation Plan: A Foundation of Southland’s Long-Term Water Plan
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
For Southern California, stabilizing the region's traditional imported supplies, expanding our local sources and lowering demand through conservation and water-use efficiencies are all important water management tools. What's equally important is how one is not in competition with another.
Metropolitan District staff recently outlined for the board of directors how the emerging effort to stabilize imported supplies from Northern California is central to having a broad "portfolio" of reliable, sustainable supplies.
"The cornerstones of that portfolio approach are stable, reliable imported supplies from the State Water Project and the Colorado River," said Deven Uphadyay, manager of Metropolitan’s Water Resources Management Group.
Historic Storms Add Unexpected Water to Lake Powell
While most of the rain from the historic and disastrous storms that pounded Colorado recently fell on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains, enough fell on the west slope to significantly impact water flow into the Colorado River. Lake Powell will capture most of the unexpected water. It'’s estimated the amount of water coming into the reservoir will be more than 800,000 acre feet, or about the amount used by 2 million Southern California households in a year.
Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation estimated that in the four months between Aug. 1 and Dec. 1 inflow into Lake Powell would be 970,000 acre-feet. After the storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated the projection to 1.8 million acre feet, nearly twice the Aug. 1 estimate.
Although the added supplies will help improve storage levels in Lake Powell, storage overall will remain low as a result of the years-long drought in the Colorado River Basin. Powell will remain at less than half full. Ultimately, as water from the storms is stored in Lake Powell, it will allow the Bureau of Reclamation to balance levels between Powell and Lake Mead, from which Metropolitan receives water that goes into the district’s Colorado River Aqueduct.
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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012