Updated Water Allocations Double, Still Below Half for Southern CVP Agriculture

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Water

The United States Bureau of Reclamation recently announced updated water allocations for Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, doubling the amount that was initially expected.  Agricultural water service contractors south of the Delta have been given an allocation of 40 percent, compared to the 20 percent that was announced back in February.Updated Water Allocations

“Thanks to late March and April precipitation and the positive results of the California Department of Water Resources April snow survey, Reclamation is pleased to announce this increased allocation for CVP water contractors,” Regional Director for Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region David Murillo said in a press release.

The 2017 hydrologic year was the wettest on record for the Sacramento River watershed, resulting in all CVP reservoirs being above their historical average for this date.  Westlands Water District is pleased with the increase but remains disappointed as it claims allocations could have been up to 70 percent. Reclamation cited a need for caution in the allocation process.

“Even with the recent gains in water supply, the year as a whole has still been relatively dry. We will continue to monitor our ability to manage temperature in the Sacramento River and meet other regulatory requirements throughout the system, and may need to adjust our plans as the year evolves. We urge our contractors to continue to exercise conservative use of the resource,” said Murillo.

As part of the updated water allocations, Reclamation increased water allocations for contractors north of the Delta, in-Delta and on the American River to 100 percent.  Reclamation also noted its intention to limit the overall amount of water stored in the San Luis Reservoir and work with contractors south of the Delta to refine a plan for moving forward.  Earlier in the month, Friant Division Class 1 water allocation was increased from 60 percent to 100 percent.  Class 2 water is also currently being delivered to contractors to help manage reservoir conditions and river releases.

Reclamation said that water conditions will continue to be monitored and allocations will be adjusted and updated as appropriate.


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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West