Calif. Water Levels at 55 Pct But Storage to Cover Shortfallgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Calif. Water Levels at 55 Pct But Storage to Cover Shortfall
Reuters April 11, 2001
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California officials warned Wednesday that water runoff forecasts have fallen to 55 percent of normal but said reservoirs, full from six previous wet years, would meet most of the state's non-agricultural water needs, including the state's key hydropower dams.
``We've had a dry winter and the early run-off in March hasn't helped, but the reservoirs will fill the gap because of the wet winters we've had in recent years in California,'' said Maury Roos, chief hydrologist at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).
The agency said Wednesday the statewide runoff forecasts were lowered by about 15 percent from a month ago to 55 percent due to dry March weather that triggered early snowmelt.
Reservoir storage on a statewide basis was forecast at 105 percent of average compared to last year's 115 percent.
While full overall, California's overall reservoir picture hides huge shortfalls in individual reservoirs, a key reason why many parts of the state's Central Valley -- which fields most of the state's $27 billion a year agriculture sector -- will see localized shortages this year.
Meanwhile, state energy officials have acknowledged this year's dry winter, but said hydroelectric facilities, which typically generate close to a quarter of all the electricity used in the state, could see just minor reductions in output.
The California Energy Commission said in late March it did not expect a drop in hydro power produced to meet hot afternoon demand, when power consumption peaks, but said there there could be small decreases in baseload output, which is used throughout the day.
A primary reason for the differing outlooks for California's farms and its hydroelectric facilities is that substantial portions of the melted snow running through state hydro facilities has to be used for other purposes.
Instead of more water being pumped into the Central Valley much of the water that spills through the hydro turbines is used to maintain adequate flow levels for fish and other environmental purposes.
In addition, not all the snow that has melted in past weeks can flow at this time into all of the state's reservoirs because many are already near capacity or must abide by flood-level requirements.
Some reservoirs are also located in areas, like northern California, that have simply not seen as much rain as other parts of the state, like southern California.
DWR's Roos said today that a second dry winter next year would raise much larger concerns and threaten wider water shortages in the state.
``That's a whole new ballgame. If we had a second dry year in a row we certainly would not anticipate having the cushion of storage we have right now,'' he said.
The last time California faced water shortages, in 1994, overall hydroelectric generation output was cut around 30 percent, he said. ^ REUTERS@
Copyright 2001, Reuters News Service
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), April 11, 2001
These droughts are from the Lord.
-- Phil Maley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2001.
Or there from the Devil. Caused by chemtrail's to curtail our food supply by the globalist group.
-- NdewTyme (NdewTyme@NdewT.com), April 12, 2001.
Satan cannot do anything without the Lord's approval, he is just another creation who does the Lord's bidding.
-- Phil Maley (email@example.com), April 13, 2001.