THIS JUST IN … Reclamation updates 2019 Central Valley Project South-of-Delta water allocations

South-of-Delta ag allocation now 75%

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation Friday issued updated Central Valley Project South-of-Delta allocations for the 2019 contract year. This update reflects ongoing water supply improvements due to May’s late-season precipitation.

“I am pleased to announce that South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors’ allocations have been increased to 75% of their contract total because of May’s snow and rain totals,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant. South-of-Delta allocations for municipal and industrial contractors have been increased to 100% of their historic use.

Unusual May snow and rainfall set some new records in Central Valley locations and some mountain regions experienced over five inches above normal precipitation. Flood flows from Friant Reservoir and the King’s River have offset supplies from the Delta, prompting this increased allocation.

The CVP Friant Division’s allocation remains unchanged for Class 1 contractors at 100%. However, the period for uncontrolled season deliveries to Class 2 contractors has been extended to June 30. (The first 800,000 acre-feet of available water supply is considered Class 1; Class 2 is considered the next amount of available water supply up to 1.4 million acre-feet).

All other CVP contractors’ allocations were previously increased to 100% of their contract totals in recent months.

The wet conditions this year have allowed Reclamation to meet full allocations for most CVP water users. However, Reclamation has had ongoing challenges in providing higher allocations for South-of-Delta water service contractors in recent decades due to regulatory restrictions.

Even in above average water years, threatened and endangered species’ requirements, storage limitations and lost conveyance capacity from land subsidence pose challenges on Reclamation’s ability to export water South-of-Delta. Reclamation is currently engaged in several processes to improve its ability to meet the water supply needs of the CVP in an environmentally and economically sound manner. These include several efforts directed by the October 2018 Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West, such as the effort to develop new biological opinions for the long-term coordinated operations of the CVP and State Water Project.

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