OAKLAND, April 23, 2012
EBMUD's annual water supply report says there will be enough water this summer and far into the future
The East Bay Municipal Utility District anticipates less snow melt runoff will come cascading down the Sierras to refill its reservoirs than normal over the next few months as summer approaches. But enough is forecast, in the range of 440 thousand acre-feet (TAF), to meet this summer’s demand and go into the next rain season with more than 500 TAF in storage, falling below that level triggers District water shortage concerns. An average year’s runoff for the District is 745 TAF.
Under the emerging scenario, EBMUD which still could receive some unanticipated rain or snow estimates it will have 535 TAF in total system storage at the end of September relative to the District’s target of 600 TAF. The state Department of Water Resources (DWR) projected Mokelumne River runoff will be only 64 percent of the District average in its April 1 forecast.
A key reason the District will make it through the summer with a sufficient supply despite the below normal runoff is reservoirs were close to full when this water year started and water demands have dropped significantly in recent years.
The reduction in water use after the last drought beginning in 2007 and a dip in water use due to the slumping economy are the primary reasons the District will not need supplemental water. If needed, EBMUD could take a dry year water supply from the Sacramento River at Freeport under its Central Valley Project federal contract.
“Our investments in water supply, infrastructure and the environment ensure that our East Bay customers will receive the high quality water they need this year and also in future years,” said EBMUD Board President Andy Katz.
It is anticipated water demand will return to pre-2007 drought levels within the next 10 to 15 years. And, in the long-term looking out to 2040, when water demands are expected to be higher due to population growth and infill development, the District will need additional water supplies in drought years.
“EBMUD is well along in planning for these additional supplies recommended in our 2040 plan which includes a portfolio of new supplies including recycled water, water transfers and new partnerships that will bring water into the District in times when new drought challenges are anticipated,” Katz said.