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More April Showers: That Could Mean…. May Water Allocation?

April 21,2014

Model show rain adding up by Saturday

Model shows rain adding up by Saturday

After a dry few weeks the forecast for Redding California, next to Lake Shasta, the state’s most important  reservoir calls for rain over the next five days. The weather model GFS suggests next Friday and Saturday could see rain over much of the state,a welcome dose of perhaps one half inch in many parts and good news for Central Valley water contractors awaiting an upgrade from a zero water allocation from the big Central Valley Project.
The king pin of that project is Shasta where storage has built-up to 2.4 million acre ft this week and the promise of more.
“We think you can make the case that Shasta has enough water to supply the Valley Exchange Contractors with 75% of their annual allotment” metered out through the summer.That 75% is the trigger point that allows Friant water contractors further south to keep water stored above Friant Dam says Friant GM Ron Jacobsma.Less than that Friant has to back fill the the Exchange Contractors with some San Joaquin River water by long term agreement.
This past week the Bureau of Reclamation announced contractors north of Sacramento would get 75% allocation, up from 40%, due to the storms in March and early April.
Could the Exchange contractors around Los Banos get the same?
Jacobsma says he expects they will hear from the Bureau by the end this week.”We told them our people need to know to see if they are going to keep some trees alive or not” depending on if they they receive any irrigation water this spring and summer. Some irrigation districts have little or no groundwater.
Water engineer Dennis Keller says more storms could make a difference impacting run off.
While the Spring ski season may be over for most – Tahoe is expecting  some snow Tuesday and then again Friday with 6 to 9 inches and more than foot west of the Lake says forecaster Bryan Allegretto. NWS Hanford says the Central Sierra could get some snow  both days as well. Another system could follow or stay north and early May may could offer some rain as well.
Rain is expected Friday as far south as San Luis Obispo.
NOAA’s 6 to 10 day forecast, shown here, is promising.

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