Winter rain the past two months is letting California increase its water allocation to 29 agencies, the California Department of Water Resources announced Thursday.
The allocation has increased from 5% to 30% of requested supply or 413 billion gallons.
The state had not allocated 30% of requested water since 2019, according to the Sacramento Bee. It has not fulfilled 100% of requested water supply in 17 years.
The sixfold spike in allocation by DWR is a consequence of late December storms and the nine atmospheric rivers that buffeted the state in January. The rivers deposited 32 trillion gallons of rain and snow on California, according to the Associated Press.
The influx of water replenished the snowpack atop the Sierra Nevada mountains and added 1.62 million acre-feet of water, a 66% increase in volume, to California’s two largest reservoirs in Oroville and San Luis, enough to provide water to 5.6 million households for a year.
“We are pleased that we can increase the allocation now and provide more water to local water agencies. … Given these dramatic swings, these storm flows are badly needed to refill groundwater basins and support recycled water plants,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a department news release.