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Delta Watch

As California continues to struggle with the ongoing drought, environmental restrictions are making the situation worse by limiting the ability of water users to move what little water the state received in December to areas south of the Delta where it needs to be. Pumping curtailments on the State Water Project and Central Valley Project kicked in on December 15 and have cost water users more than 300,000 acre-feet of water so far.

For all of those who thought that a couple weeks of storms would wash away California’s ongoing drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor Index has a sobering picture. Even with the early winter precipitation, more than 94 percent of California remains in at least a ‘severe drought.

Recent storms are a welcome development after three straight years of extreme drought conditions in the state. Precipitation in many regions is running well above normal to date, but the weather year just got started and we have a long way to go.