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2020 Initial Water Supply Outlook

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Initial Water Supply Outlook 2020

At the midpoint of the winter wet season, the water supply outlook is mixed. While rainfall is near average for this time of year and reservoir storage is healthy at 94% of capacity, stream flows and runoff are significantly below average at a time of year when they typically at a peak for the season. 

Even with lackluster runoff, the chances of experiencing a water shortage in the coming year are low. In addition to good carryover storage from last year, water demand system-wide remains low, showing only slight recovery from levels experienced during the recent drought. 

The Water Department will continue to monitor water supply conditions, reevaluate the water supply outlook, and prepare an annual water supply and demand assessment at the end of March or early April. 

This is a summary of the Initial Water Supply Outlook, for the more detailed version, click here.

For weekly water supply condition updates, please visit:


Monthly and cumulative rainfall amounts for the city of Santa Cruz are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

Fig1 Fig2

Figure 3 shows the long term precipitation forecast for the United States for a 3-month period February through April 2020. This forecast was generated by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center on January 16th, 2020. 


The mean monthly stream flow in the San Lorenzo River is presented in Figure 4.



Cumulative Runoff from the San Lorenzo River and  Water Year Classification for Water Year 2020 is shown in Figure 5


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