The Bureau of Reclamation today announced the 2017 water supply allocation for the remaining Central Valley Project contractors. On Feb. 28, 2017, Reclamation announced the water supply allocation for CVP contractors in the Friant Division (Millerton Reservoir), Eastside Division (New Melones Reservoir), and the American River Division (Folsom Reservoir).For my story, check CapitalPress.com soon.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reports that as of March 20, the statewide average snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada was 44 inches, as compared to 25 inches last year. Precipitation is currently 199 percent of the seasonal average to date for the Sierra Nevada for this point in the water year (which began Oct. 1, 2016).
“As previously announced, Reclamation is taking a unique approach to announcing CVP water allocations,” said Acting Mid-Pacific Regional Director Pablo Arroyave. “In February, we notified the Refuge Contractors, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors, and Sacramento River Settlement Contractors that, since this is not a Shasta Critical Year, they will receive 100 percent of their contract supply. We then provided additional allocations on February 28. Now, following DWR’s March 1 snow survey and completion of runoff forecasts, we are able to announce the remainder of the CVP contractors’ allocations. While this allocation approach was warranted for this water year, in future years Reclamation will continue to strive to release initial allocations for all water users in February.”
Reclamation determines the water allocation based upon many factors, including hydrologic conditions, reservoir storage levels, water quality requirements, water rights, contractual obligations, and endangered species protection measures. After evaluating these factors, Reclamation is announcing initial allocations to the following:
• M&I water service contractors North-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• Agricultural water service contractors North-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• The Contra Costa Water District, which receives water directly from the Delta, is allocated 100 percent of its contract supply.
• M&I water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 90 percent of their contract supply.
• Agricultural water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 65 percent of their contract supply.
Given the magnitude of this allocation, the amount of water carried over from last year, and the overall availability of surface water, Reclamation strongly encourages the use of surface supplies instead of ground water wherever possible through the remainder of the 2017 water year. In order to promote effective use of supplies in San Luis Reservoir this year and efficiency for next year’s operations, Reclamation will limit the overall amount of water to be carried over to the 2018 contract year to 150,000 acre-feet. This represents approximately 10 percent of this year’s allocation. In addition, Reclamation will work with contractors regarding a strategy for water carried over from the 2016 water year and plans to effectively carry over water for the 2018 contract year.
As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations. Water supply updates will be made as appropriate and posted at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.