NEWS WORTH NOTING: Central Valley Project begins 2018 water year with 8.9 million acre-feet of storage; Invasive New Zealand Mudsnails found in Carmel River; Weekly Water and Climate Update

Central Valley Project begins 2018 water year with 8.9 million acre-feet of storage

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2018, which runs from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018, with 8.9 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Trinity, Shasta, Folsom, New Melones, Millerton, and the federal share of the joint federal-state San Luis Reservoir). This is 145 percent of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.2 million acre-feet and 4 million acre-feet more than the amount with which the Mid-Pacific Region began WY 2017.

“2017 was an incredible water year, and we are pleased to have bountiful water supplies,” said Regional Director David Murillo. “Now we are focusing on balance. We are heading into winter with our reservoir levels at a safe place with respect to flood control, should we experience another wet winter. At the same time, we believe we have conserved healthy storage levels in the event that we have a dry winter.”

The table below shows capacities and end-of-year storages in WY 2016 and WY 2017 for key CVP reservoirs; the next table compares end-of-year storages from WY 2013 to WY 2017. The amount of stored water at the end of the water year reflects the amount carried over into the new water year. One acre-foot is the volume of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot, enough water to sustain a typical California household of four for one year. In spring 2018, Reclamation anticipates making a preliminary assessment of WY 2018 CVP water supply conditions.

CVP Reservoir Capacities and End of WY 2016 & 2017 Storage in Million Acre-feet

Reservoirs

Annual Storage Comparisons

15-Year
Average Storage

CVP Reservoirs
and Capacities

2017

% of
Capacity

% of 15 Year Avg

2016

% of
Capacity

% of 15 Year Avg

2003-2017

Trinity 2.448

1.8

73

125

0.97

40

69

1.42

Shasta 4.552

3.4

74

138

2.8

62

117

2.45

Folsom 0.97

0.66

68

142

0.31

31

67

0.47

New Melones 2.420

2.0

84

158

0.53

22

43

1.28

Federal San Luis 0.96

0.70

73

247

0.07

7

28

0.28

Millerton 0.52

0.37

70

143

0.23

44

94

0.26

Total 11.8

8.9

75

145

4.9

241

82

6.16

Comparison of Previous End-of-Year Storage in Key CVP Reservoirs

Million Acre-feet

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

1977
(Driest Year)

1983
(Wettest Year)

8.9

4.9

2.9

3.1

5.1

1.5

9.8

The CVP is the largest single source of irrigation water in the state, typically supplying water to about 3 million acres of agricultural land in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys and along California’s central coast. The CVP also provides urban water for millions of people and industrial water essential to the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy. Water from the CVP is also crucial for the environment, wildlife and fishery restoration, and hydroelectric power production.

During WY 2017, CVP power plants generated about 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours. Project use consumed about 20 percent of this energy; the remaining energy was made available for marketing. The Mid-Pacific Region’s hydroelectric generators have a combined capacity of approximately 2.1 million kilowatts.

During the course of 2018, Reclamation will continually monitor and evaluate hydrologic conditions and will adjust water supply allocations, as warranted, to reflect updated snowpack and runoff. Current allocations and background information are available at www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/ .

For additional storage information, please visit www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo or contact the public affairs office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Invasive New Zealand Mudsnails Found in Carmel River – Residents and Visitors Urged to Help Prevent Further Spread

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnails in Monterey County’s Carmel River.

The highly invasive, nonnative snails have been detected by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District at multiple locations in the lower river, including near the Highway 1 crossing, the Valley Greens Drive bridge, and Mid Valley nearly 8 miles upstream from the mouth of the river at the Carmel River State Beach along the Pacific Ocean. No mudsnails were found in locations upriver from Red Rock to the base of Los Padres Dam.

CDFW urges visitors and those in the community to “clean, drain and dry” all recreational and fishing gear in order to prevent the further spread of the snails. It is illegal to import, possess or transport the mudsnails without a permit and offenders can be cited.

Despite their small size, New Zealand mudsnails are a problematic aquatic species. Only 4 to 6 millimeters long on average, dense populations of New Zealand mudsnails can displace and out-compete native species, sometimes by consuming up to half the food resources in a waterway. The snails have been linked to reduced populations of aquatic insects, including mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, chironomids and other insect groups upon which trout and steelhead populations depend.

The Carmel River is home to a fragile population of threatened steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Boaters, anglers and others who may visit the Carmel River, within or outside infested areas, are asked to decontaminate their equipment and follow the “clean, drain and dry” best practices with all equipment used in the river:

  • If you wade, freeze waders and other gear overnight (at least six hours).
  • After leaving the water, inspect waders, boots, float tubes, paddleboards, kayaks or any gear used in the water. Remove any visible snails with a stiff brush and follow with rinsing. If possible, freeze or completely dry out any wet gear.
  • Never transport live fish or other aquatic plants or animals from one body of water to another.

An informational flier on the “clean, drain and dry” directive is available for download at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=3866&inline.

To date, low numbers of New Zealand mudsnails have been identified in two other locations in Monterey County (the Salinas and San Antonio rivers).

In the coming weeks, CDFW will launch a public outreach and education effort, including distribution of information cards, brochures and signage posted at the Carmel River State Beach and at other access points along the Carmel River.

For more information on the New Zealand mudsnail, please visit CDFW’s Invasive Species website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives/Species/NZmudsnail.

The current distribution of mudsnails in California and throughout the United States can be viewed at the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/viewer/omap.aspx?SpeciesID=1008.

Weekly Water and Climate Update: Strong, dry winds drive California wildfires

From the USDA:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

This recent NASA satellite view of the deadly fires in northern California point out the thermal anomalies in areas actively burning and the large smoke plumes over much of the region. The wind-driven combined fires cover over 170,000 acres as of Wednesday, with more than 20,000 residents evacuated. The fires have destroyed several wineries, many businesses, and thousands of homes, with firefighters from many parts of the state and the West joining the firefight.

Click here to read the report.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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