Snow from the High Sierras in northern California helps fill reservoirs throughout the state. The final snow survey this year shows Sierra snow at a dire 7% of normal, much lower than the state average of 18%. This means reservoirs will not be filled as they normally are in the Spring. The rainy season is over too, so there will be no appreciable rain until December or so.
Water allocations for the crucial State Water Project will be a mere 5% for 2014, the lowest ever.
The California State Water Project is a water storage and delivery system of reservoirs, aqueducts, powerplants and pumping plants. Its main purpose is to store water and distribute it to 29 urban and agricultural water suppliers in Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Central Coast, and Southern California. Of the contracted water supply, 70 percent goes to urban users and 30 percent goes to agricultural users.
The Project makes deliveries to two-thirds of California’s population.