Today, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) provided an update to the initial Central Valley Project 2021 water supply allocation. In response, Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (“Authority”), released the following statement:
“The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority understands that dryer than expected hydrology is the main driver for Reclamation’s decision to delay access to initial allocations for our member agencies. The Authority wishes that California had experienced more rainfall and snowpack in February and into early March, but unfortunately that did not occur. We appreciate Reclamation’s commitment to preserving the initial water allocation it made in February, while limiting access to its use, given the extraordinary dry conditions this water year. Today’s announcement, while disappointing, is a reasonable approach to meeting the multiple objectives in a very dry year.”
Today’s announcement preserves the allocations for Authority member agencies announced last month, but delays the access to that water by our members and the communities they serve until further notice. Given the dry conditions, California’s Department of Water Resources also announced a reduction in the allocation for State Water Project Contractors from 10 percent to 5 percent.