Agriculture water contractors south-of-the-Delta will receive all of their water allocations in 2017. The Bureau of Reclamation announced the increase from 65 percent to 100 percent. This will be the first year in a decade where Central Valley Project agriculture contractors will get their full allocations.
From the Bureau of Reclamation:
The Bureau of Reclamation announced an update to the 2017 water supply allocation for all Central Valley Project contractors South-of-Delta to 100 percent of their contract supply for the first time since 2006.
“Following the California Department of Water Resources exceptional March 30 snow survey results, Reclamation is pleased to announce this increase to a 100 percent allocation for our South-of-Delta water contractors,” said Acting Regional Director Pablo Arroyave. “However, as Governor Brown reminded us last week when lifting California’s drought state of emergency, the next drought could be around the corner. It is crucial that we remain vigilant in conserving our precious water resources.”
On Feb. 28 and March 22, 2017, Reclamation announced a 100 percent allocation for all CVP contractors with the exception of agricultural water service contractors South-of Delta (contractors in the Delta Division, San Felipe Division, and the San Luis Unit), who were initially allocated 65 percent of their contract supply, and Municipal and Industrial (M&I) contractors South-of-Delta, who were initially allocated 90 percent of their contract supply.
On March 30, 2017, DWR reported an average statewide snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada of 45.8 inches, or 164 percent of the historical average for March 30 (27.9 inches). As a result of the water availability south of the Delta and the amount of snowpack in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, Reclamation is able to make this significant water supply allocation increase.
Reclamation is announcing the following updated allocations:
• M&I water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• Agricultural water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 100 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. Reclamation will continue to 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.
Information on CVP water supplies is available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.