Long-Term Drought Plan for the State Water Project

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Water

Long-Term Drought Plan

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released its first comprehensive Long-term Drought Plan for the State Water Project (SWP). This plan addresses the potential impacts of future droughts on the SWP, which supplies water to 27 million Californians. Despite recent years of adequate rainfall and reservoir levels, the plan aims to ensure continued access to clean water amid increasingly severe droughts.

“While California is coming off of two straight years of above average precipitation and adequate reservoir levels across the state, we need to plan for the next drought because it is right around the corner,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a press release. “The State Water Project’s Long-term Drought Plan keeps us on a path to ensuring continued access to a clean, reliable water supply in the future.”

Key elements of the plan include modernizing infrastructure through the Delta Conveyance Project to capture and store more water during high-flow events, exploring additional water storage opportunities statewide, and planning for drought salinity barriers in critical areas to protect water quality. Additionally, the plan advances Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations and improves seasonal forecasting to enhance water supply management and flood protection at Oroville Reservoir. It also invests in environmental resiliency through habitat creation and restoration projects. The Long-term Drought Plan consolidates previously scattered information into a single public report and will be updated every five years or after major droughts to ensure continued adaptability.

Listen to the report below.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West