According to GWSSA manager Mark Sovine, water is typically released from the lake beginning in mid-March, but this year the start is being delayed until April 1 and possibly longer due to the low water levels in the reservoir.
“Because of the low lake level, we are starting the year in a deficit,” Sovine said, adding that this year’s water levels would have to reach about 150 percent of normal just to catch up.
According to Sovine, the lake’s current level is at 337 acre-feet, compared to an average of 1,260 acre-feet. In addition, this year’s spring runoff is not expected to begin until late April, he added.
A letter explaining the operating committee’s decision was drafted by Sovine on Wednesday morning and is being mailed to Ken’s Lake irrigation users this week.
Sovine said this year’s water outlook so far is “about normal, and is expected to remain at average.”
During 2012’s remarkably dry water year, Ken’s Lake irrigation users were able to use just 60 percent of their normal allotment, thanks to a mandatory 40 percent reduction that was imposed by the agency.
Sovine said that while a decision has not yet been made regarding any restrictions for 2013, he believes that such a move is likely to happen.
“We will look at it in mid-March, but we are preparing to implement a 30 percent restriction at this time,” Sovine said.
Sovine noted in the letter to water users that the potential 30 percent restriction, which is based on current projections, is subject to change.
“We hope to have a more accurate picture as we get closer to start-up and adjustments will be made accordingly,” he wrote.