Statement by Federico Barajas regarding the April Water Allocation Update by the Bureau of Reclamation

Today, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) provided another update to the Central Valley Project 2024 water supply allocation announced in February and updated on March 22. Reclamation has increased water supply allocation to South of Delta irrigation water suppliers by 5% to 40% of contracted amounts.

Both snowpack and reservoir levels in the state have continued to improve since initial water allocations in February.

Since making initial allocations in February, Statewide snowpack conditions have continued to improve to average conditions, at 97% of normal for this date, with the Northern Sierra snowpack at 109% of normal for this date, and the Central Sierra snowpack at 90% of normal.

Reservoirs in the state have experienced increases in reservoir storage levels since March, with all North of Delta reservoirs exceeding 110% of historical average water levels, and only San Luis and Castaic Reservoirs South of Delta reservoirs below 110% of historical average water levels. The state’s largest reservoir, Shasta, is at 116% of historical average.

San Joaquin River flows are below normal and CVP export operations have been limited by Endangered Species Act requirements.

While we welcome this moderate allocation increase for South of Delta Irrigation Water Service and Repayment Contractors, it is disappointing given current water conditions in California. Water allocations in a year where most CVP reservoirs are full and snowpack is above average should be much higher.said Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority.Today’s allocation update reflects the challenge we have with additional constraints to CVP operations that are creating high levels of uncertainty that have resulted in lower allocations than expected.”

Today’s announcement increases the allocations for Authority member agencies announced last month. Reclamation announced the following changes to Authority member agency allocations:

  • Irrigation water service and repayment contractors have increased to 40 percent from 35 percent of their contract totals.
  • Municipal and Industrial (M&I) service and repayment contractors remain unchanged at 75 percent of their contract totals.

As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology, actions that impact operations, and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations. Water supply updates will be posted on Reclamation California-Great Basin Region’s website.