Reno, Nev. (PRWEB) January 24, 2014
In preparation for the Bureau of Reclamation’s initial water year 2014 water allocation announcement in late-February, Reclamation is providing information on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project. Reclamation’s water year runs from October 1 to September 30; the contract year runs from March 1 to February 28.
The CVP’s carryover storage from WY 2013 into WY 2014 was 5.1 million acre-feet, which is 43 percent of capacity and 75 percent of the 15-year average for October 1 in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, New Melones, Trinity, Folsom, Millerton and the federal portion of San Luis). The following table shows conditions in those reservoirs as of January 22 for 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, as well as the 15-year average.
Water conditions in the Sacramento Valley have fluctuated from Below Normal in WY 2010, to Wet in WY 2011, Below Normal in WY 2012, and Dry in WY 2013. The California Department of Water Resources’ first snow survey for 2014, held on January 3, showed the statewide mountain snowpack to be about 20 percent of average for the date, which is only 7 percent of the average April 1 measurement.
As of January 23, DWR reported that the Northern Sierra 8-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 3.5 inches, which is about 14 percent of the seasonal average to date and 7 percent of an average water year (which is 50.0 inches). Additionally, the San Joaquin 5-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 3.0 inches, which is 16 percent of the seasonal average to date and 7 percent of an average water year (which is 40.8 inches).
Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo stated, “Since 2014 is developing into a critically dry water year, Reclamation must be extremely cautious as we begin determining our initial allocation numbers for CVP contractors. Reclamation’s and DWR’s Drought Management Teams are working cooperatively in managing CVP and State Water Project operations and are coordinating actions and activities to address impacts from water shortages throughout California.”
The Mid-Pacific Region began to proactively address drought conditions in 2014 by holding a series of meetings in summer 2013 with CVP water contractors, power customers, tribes, non-governmental organizations, environmental groups, and state and federal agencies to brainstorm additional water management strategies. Stakeholders provided ideas and suggestions, and the Region examined operational flexibilities, actions and water management strategies. The resultant “Draft WY 2014 Water Plan” contains a listing of those actions and strategies and may be viewed at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/Water_Supply_Meetings/index.html.
The first official 2014 CVP water allocation announcement is planned for late-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.
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.
For further information, please visit the CVP water supply website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water or contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or mppublicaffairs(at)usbr(dot)gov.