SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation Wednesday issued updated Central Valley Project South-of-Delta allocations for the 2019 contract year. This update reflects ongoing water supply improvements due to continued precipitation in March and early April.
“This has been a great year for California’s water supply,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant. “The increased precipitation has allowed us to increase the amount of water we allocate to our South-of-Delta contractors. Our goal is to maximize the supply available to our contractors in the short term, while continuing to improve the reliability of CVP water supplies in the long run. This is the type of year when additional storage and conveyance capacity would benefit the CVP.”
With this month’s update, South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors’ allocations are increased to 65% of their contract total. South-of-Delta allocations for municipal and industrial contractors’ allocations are increased to 90% of their historic use.
The CVP Friant Division’s allocation remains unchanged for Class 1 contractors at 100%. However, the period for uncontrolled season deliveries to Class 2 contractors has been extended to April 30. (The first 800,000 acre-feet of available water supply is considered Class 1; Class 2 is considered the next amount of available water supply up to 1.4 million acre-feet).
All other CVP contractors’ allocations were previously increased to 100% of their contract totals in recent months.
Precipitation has been well above average in 2019. Snowpack throughout the state is still more than 150% of average for this time of year, allowing Reclamation to meet full allocations for most CVP water users. However, Reclamation has had ongoing challenges in providing higher allocations for South-of-Delta water service contractors in recent decades. Even in above average water years, threatened and endangered species’ requirements, storage limitations and lost conveyance capacity from land subsidence pose challenges on Reclamation’s ability to export water South-of-Delta.
Reclamation is currently engaged in several processes to improve its ability to meet the water supply needs of the CVP in an environmentally and economically sound manner. These include several efforts directed by the October 2018 Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West, such as the effort to develop new biological opinions for the long-term coordinated operations of the CVP and State Water Project.
Water supply updates are posted at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.