A good year for state water — so far

The agency that manages much of the state’s water supply will fill 25 percent of the amount requested by downstream agencies for 2011 — a big improvement over last-year’s lowest-ever allocation of five percent.

The figure, likely to be revised upward through the year ahead, represents the state Department of Water Resources‘ “initial allocation” to the water agencies it serves.

“We’re off to a good start for this year,” the department’s director, Mark Cowin, told reporters in a conference call Monday. “Precipitation stands at 165 percent of average, primarily because of an extremely wet October.”

There is reason for caution, he said.

“We are experiencing strong La Niña conditions in California,” he said. “This could mean drier conditions later in the year.”

Still, it looks like a good year on for the State Water Project, which stores and delivers water and is an important source of supply for much of the state.

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