State water boost won’t affect county’s supplies

Water issues

While the state Friday announced it will increase its annual water allocation from 0 percent to 5 percent, the change won’t affect San Benito County because the local district receives all of its outside supplies from the federal government.
In light of somewhat improved conditions statewide in an extraordinarily dry rainy season, the California Department of Water Resources on Friday decided to allocate the limited supplies.
“It doesn’t have any direct impact locally,” said Jeff Cattaneo, executive director of the San Benito County Water District.
Cattaneo pointed out that San Benito County gets all of its outside allocation from the federal Bureau of Reclamation for its blue valve water.
The federal allocation – 0 – hasn’t changed for agricultural customers, Catteneo said. The federal government does allocate 50 percent for manufacturing and industrial uses.
As for those recent rains, Cattaneo said the moisture didn’t do anything to boost levels in the county’s primary reservoirs. Precipitation resulted in “almost no runoff” – as the water tends to percolate into the ground instead of running off, he said.

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