CVP Allocations Reflect Disappointing Lack of Rain and Snow

Brian German Agri-Business, Water

The Bureau of Reclamation released initial 2022 water allocations for Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors. The CVP allocations reflect a lack of rain and snow since the beginning of the calendar year. As of February 23, the California Department of Water Resources reports that the statewide snowpack is just 66 percent of average for this time of year. Allocations for the CVP incorporate current water storage conditions and snowpack levels in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.

South-of-Delta irrigation water service and repayment contractors have received a zero percent allocation. Municipal and Industrial repayment and water service contractors are being allocated 25 percent of their historic use. In a statement, Westlands Water District expressed disappointment in the CVP allocations, but understands the troublesome hydrologic conditions.

CVP Allocations

Friant Division contractors are being allocated 15 percent of their Class 1 water supply and zero percent of Class 2. Friant Water Authority (FWA) was appreciative of the timeliness of the announcement, understanding the need to be cautious with allocation levels. However, FWA also expressed concern about the conservative CVP allocations.

“Based on the current snowpack and reservoir conditions in and above Millerton Lake, FWA believes there is ample justification for an allocation higher than 15%,” FWA noted in a press release. “Not allocating water that is clearly available will only exacerbate an unnecessary rush to pump groundwater, causing additional overdraft.”

North-of-Delta contractors on the Sacramento River are receiving zero percent of their contract total, while contractors serviced by the Folsom Reservoir on the American River are being allocated 25 percent of their historical use. Contractors who are serviced directly from the Delta have also been allocated 25 percent of their historical use.

Reclamation will continue monitoring hydrologic conditions and adjust allocations if warranted. Runoff forecasts indicate that overall water storage will be limited barring significant rain events in the coming weeks.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West