We are facing a challenging water year, but we continue to look for opportunities to facilitate supplemental water supplies through water transfer and exchange programs and new arrangements that could lead to additional flows in the system.
Sacramento, Calif. (PRWEB) March 22, 2013
As a result of extremely dry conditions in California, the Bureau of Reclamation today announced an update to the Water Year 2013 water supply allocation for the Central Valley Project.
Following a wet start to the water year in November and December 2012, the January – March period is tracking to be the driest on record, resulting in a critical classification for both the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins based on the 90-percent exceedence forecast. Reclamation is announcing a decrease in the allocation for the following South-of-Delta water service contractors:
Agricultural water service contractors’ allocation is decreased from 25 to 20 percent of their contract supply.
Municipal & Industrial contractors’ allocation is decreased from 75 to 70 percent of their historic use.
The initial CVP allocation in February was low, based in part on pumping restrictions needed to protect threatened fish species under the Endangered Species Act; however, this decreased allocation for South-of-Delta contractors is based on the critical water year classification, the projection of reduced Delta inflows this spring, significant loss of reservoir storage to support pumping this summer and water quality permit requirements.
“We are facing a challenging water year, but we continue to look for opportunities to facilitate supplemental water supplies through water transfer and exchange programs and new arrangements that could lead to additional flows in the system,” stated Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “We are exploring all options to assist in alleviating the serious impacts of these drought conditions.”
The decreased allocations have occurred despite recent actions being taken by Reclamation to help shore up water supplies as described in the CVP Water Plan 2013, available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water. Some of these actions include the completion of the Delta-Mendota Canal/California Aqueduct Intertie in May 2012 and the securing of water to supplement CVP supplies as a result of the Yuba Accord.
“Reclamation continues working with our partners to find a comprehensive, long-term solution to achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the state’s economy,” Murillo said. “It should be noted that the successful completion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan would include a new diversion and conveyance facility utilizing state-of-the-art protections for endangered fish species, which would improve water supply reliability even in years such as this, while improving environmental conditions in the Delta.”
The full CVP allocation from February 25 follows, including the decreased allocations for certain south of the Delta contractors:
North of the Delta Contractors
Agricultural water service contractors North-of-Delta are allocated 75 percent of their contract supply of 443,000 acre-feet.
M&I water service contractors North-of-Delta who are serviced by Shasta Reservoir on the Sacramento River are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, whose water supply is based upon senior water rights and is subject to pre-established Shasta Reservoir inflow criteria, are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply of 2.2 million acre-feet.
M&I water service contractors North-of-Delta who are serviced by Folsom Reservoir on the American River are allocated 75 percent of their historic use.
The Contra Costa Water District, which receives water directly from the Delta, is allocated 75 percent of its historic use amount of 170,000 acre-feet.
South of the Delta Contractors
CHANGED: The allocation for agricultural water service contractors South-of-Delta is decreased from 25 to 20 percent of their contract supply of 1.965 million acre-feet.
CHANGED: The allocation for M&I water service contractors is decreased from 75 to 70 percent of their historic use.
San Joaquin River Exchange and Settlement Contractors, whose CVP water supply allocation is subject to pre-established Shasta Reservoir inflow criteria, are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply of 875,000 acre-feet.
Wildlife refuges (Level 2) North- and South-of-Delta, which also have allocations subject to pre-established Shasta inflow criteria, are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply of 422,000 acre-feet.
Friant Division Contractors
Friant Division contractors’ water supply is delivered from Millerton Reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River. The first 800,000 acre-feet of water supply is considered Class 1, and the next 1.4 million acre-feet is considered Class 2. Based upon DWR’s February WY 2013 Runoff Forecast, the Friant Division water supply allocation is currently 65 percent of Class 1 and 0 percent of Class 2 and is being further evaluated.
Eastside Water Service Contractors
Eastside water service contractors (Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District and Stockton East Water District), whose water supplies are delivered from New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River, are allocated their full contract supply of 155,000 acre-feet.
Reclamation determines the water allocation for agricultural, environmental and municipal and industrial purposes based upon many factors, including water quality requirements, flow objectives, relative priority of water rights, and Endangered Species Act protection measures, including operational adjustments in accordance with biological opinions to protect threatened and endangered fish species.
Water supply updates will be made as appropriate and will be posted on http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water. For additional information, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608) or email mppublicaffairs(at)usbr(dot)gov.