GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

California drought: report from Congressional Research Service

Posted by George J Janczyn on January 6, 2010

Here’s a link to the Congressional Research Service report, “California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues” issued in December.

Interestingly, in analyzing State Water Project and Central Valley Project water exports during previous droughts, the report found that “more water is being exported in 2009 than during the worst years of the previous major drought, even accounting for reductions due to the new Delta smelt BiOp … and post-1992 regulatory restrictions” (pg. 18). The increase in water shipments, however, went to municipal and industrial contractors, while certain agricultural water service contractors saw reduced allocations. Lowered groundwater levels are likely due both to drought conditions and increased pumping.

The report concluded that “In the absence of the current three-year hydrological drought, it is unlikely that the existing regulatory water delivery restrictions would have created controversy of a similar magnitude. Rather, the current drought has created a fundamental shortage of supply.”


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