STATEMENT: Farms and Communities Receive Deeper Water Supply Cuts

Today, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) announced an update to the initial Central Valley Project 2021 water supply allocation for municipal and industrial (M&I) water service and agricultural contractors.

Due to worsening hydrologic conditions, Reclamation announced that:

  • M&I water service contractors—north-of-Delta and south-of-Delta—allocation is reduced from 55% to 25% of historic use, which may be adjusted in accordance with the CVP M&I Shortage Policy.
  • The 5% allocation for CVP agricultural water service contractors—both north-of-Delta and south-of-Delta—which was previously suspended until further notice, has been eliminated altogether.

In response to this announcement, Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement reflects drier than expected conditions and affects the nearly 1.2 million acres of highly productive farmland and 3 million people, many living in economically disadvantaged communities, throughout the western San Joaquin, San Benito and Santa Clara Valleys.

“The challenge before us is unprecedented in the history of the Central Valley Project and demands significant engagement by both federal and state governments to reduce the very real impacts of the drought in the short-term while simultaneously significantly increasing investment in long-term and sustainable solutions – we must increase funding to repair and expand the critical conveyance infrastructure that serves as the backbone of California, we must build and expand facilities that increase our ability to store water during those flood years for future dry years we know will come, and we must continue to improve the operational flexibility of our system.

“Authority staff will continue to work with Reclamation and its member agencies to facilitate water transfers and analyze hydrologic conditions as the year progresses.”