Central Valley Project to provide zero to 100 percent of contracted water
April 1, 2016
• Allocations based on location
• West side San Joaquin Valley to get 5 percent
In water as in real estate, it’s location, location, location. Especially when it comes to divvying up California’s limited water supply.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is driving home that point Friday with its initial water allocations for 2016. They range from 100 percent of contracted amounts to a dribbling 5 percent to dust – zero percent.
Here’s how they’ve sliced it:
• Agricultural water service contractors North-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• Municipal and industrial (M&I) water service contractors North-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• Sacramento River Settlement Contractors are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• The Contra Costa Water District, which receives water directly from the Delta, is allocated 100 percent of its contract supply.
• Agricultural water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 5 percent of their contract supply.
• M&I water service contractors South-of-Delta are allocated 55 percent of their historic use.
• San Joaquin River Exchange and Settlement Contractors are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
• Wildlife refuges (Level 2) North- and South-of-Delta are allocated 100 percent of their contract supply.
Friant Division Contractors
• Pursuant to Reclamation’s March 18 notification to Friant Division contractors and based upon Millerton Lake storage and current and forecasted hydrologic conditions in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin, the Friant Division allocation is 30 percent of Class 1 supplies.
• In addition, an Uncontrolled Season supply of 100,000 acre-feet and Unreleased Restoration Flow supply related to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program of 85,000 acre-feet are being made available as blocks that need to be scheduled and delivered by May 1 and May 15 respectively to avert flood management concerns.
Eastside Water Service Contractors
• Eastside water service contractors (Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District and Stockton East Water District) will receive 0 percent of their contract supply due to a lack of available CVP supplies from New Melones Reservoir.
“In 2015, Reclamation undertook extraordinary actions to provide public health and safety supplies to our M&I contractors, meet our obligations to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and South-of-Delta refuges, and facilitate water transfer and water sharing agreements throughout the Central Valley,” the government agency says.
The CVP began the water year last October with only 47 percent of average storage overall and just 27 percent of average storage in the Federal share of San Luis Reservoir. This compares to 85 percent of average overall for the CVP and 53 percent of average storage in the Federal share of San Luis Reservoir today, it says.
Dry conditions in the fall of 2015 also hampered the filling of San Luis Reservoir. Further, throughout the fall and most of the winter, Reclamation held releases to minimal levels to conserve storage in upstream reservoirs, it says.
“The combined effect of four years of drought, lack of available water at the beginning of the 2016 water year, and restrictions to protect listed species are impacting the amount of water that can be allocated to South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors. As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations,” it says.