Although the water year started out very strong, a dry January has reminded us that hydrologic conditions in the Region can change quickly.
Reno, Nev. (PRWEB) January 25, 2013
In preparation for the Bureau of Reclamation’s initial Water Year 2013 water allocation announcement in February, Reclamation is providing information on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project. At today’s meeting of the Mid-Pacific Region Water Users’ Conference, Reclamation provided the following table comparing CVP reservoir storage for January 2013 with January 2012, 2011 and 2010 and the 15-year average. Reclamation’s water year runs from October 1 to September 30.
Water conditions in the Sacramento Valley over the past three years have fluctuated from “Below Normal” in WY 2010 to “Wet” in WY 2011 and back to “Below Normal” in WY 2012. The California Department of Water Resources’ first snow surveys for 2013 held this month showed California’s statewide mountain snowpack to be 134 percent of average for this date. This is 49 percent of the average April 1 measurement. In contrast, DWR’s first snow surveys last year showed California’s mountain snowpack to be among the driest on record, with the snow-water content at only 19 percent of normal for that date.
“Although the water year started out very strong, a dry January has reminded us that hydrologic conditions in the Region can change quickly,” said David Murillo, Regional Director for Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region.
Abundant rain and snowfall from October through December 2012 provided hydrologic conditions well above average for the season. As of January 24, DWR reported that the Northern Sierra 8-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 33.8 inches, which is about 137 percent of the seasonal average to date and 68 percent of an average water year (which is 50.0 inches). Additionally, the San Joaquin 5-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 19.6 inches, which is 105 percent of the seasonal average to date and 48 percent of an average water year (which is 40.8 inches).
The CVP’s carryover storage from WY 2012 into WY 2013 was 6.9 million acre-feet, which was 58 percent of capacity and 98 percent of the 15-year average for October 1 in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, New Melones, Trinity, Folsom, Millerton and Federal San Luis).
Reclamation balances the allocation of CVP water for agricultural, environmental and municipal and industrial purposes based on factors that include hydrology, conditions as reported by DWR, storage in CVP reservoirs, regulations, court decisions, biological opinions, environmental considerations, operational limitations and input from other agencies and organizations.
The first official WY 2013 CVP water allocation announcement is planned for mid-February as required by contract terms. Water supply updates will then be made monthly or more often as appropriate and will be posted on Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water.
To receive the latest update on CVP operations, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608) or email mppublicaffairs(at)usbr(dot)gov.