Statement by Federico Barajas regarding the Initial 2024 CVP Water Allocation Announcement by the Bureau of Reclamation

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) announced the initial 2024 Central Valley Project water supply allocation. In response, Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (“Authority”), released the following statement:


“It’s crucial for us to understand that Reclamation’s initial allocation of 15% for Authority irrigation water service and repayment member agencies is based on the February 1st forecast and does not reflect recent storm events. Many expected the initial allocation to be higher, particularly given current reservoir conditions. This low initial allocation is particularly challenging for agricultural producers, who are reliant on these projections for planning crops to grow during the year and for acquiring the financing necessary to support food production.

“The last decade – in which Authority members received water allocations below 20% six times, including four years with no allocation, and 75% or above three times – continues to reinforce that California’s water system is no longer able to provide the reliability necessary to support the demands placed on it. Rainfall and snowpack patterns are changing and our water management strategies must be responsive to this new reality.

“To that end, in recognition of recent efforts to develop a south-of-Delta drought resilience plan, the Authority and participating members have been working with Reclamation to reserve some of the water currently in San Luis Reservoir to contribute to a drought reserve pool for use at a later time.

“We hope California will continue to receive additional rainfall and snow during the coming months and that the allocation will increase as the information received from the March forecast is incorporated as the year progresses.”


Today’s announcement marks the initial allocation to Authority irrigation water service and repayment and municipal and industrial member agencies. Water supply updates will be posted on Reclamation California-Great Basin Region’s website.  


About Us: The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority was established in January of 1992 and consists of 27 member agencies within the western San Joaquin, San Benito, and Santa Clara Valleys, that provide water service to approximately 1,200,000 acres of irrigated agriculture, 2.5 million people, including many living in economically disadvantaged communities, and 130,000 acres of managed wetlands of importance to the Pacific Flyway.