Exports from the Bay-Delta may reach an all-time high in 2011. Through July 15, pumping for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project has totaled 4.86 million acre-feet. With ample supplies in northern reservoirs and Sierra rivers still full of melting snow, it is likely that the pumps will continue to run at or near capacity through the end of the water year (September 30).
As shown in Figure 1, the annual export total is projected to reach 6,610,000 acre-feet – 140,000 acre-feet more than the previous record of 6,470,000 acre-feet set in 2005.
The record export level is expected even though pumping levels were reduced not only during much of the winter and spring to protect salmon and other endangered fish but also in the late fall and early winter due to mechanical problems at State Water Project facilities.
It is rare of course that water is as abundant as it is this year. In drier years let's make sure limited supplies are distributed fairly to all — families, farmers and fishermen alike.