Press release from the Bureau of Reclamation:
Today, the Bureau of Reclamation announced initial 2022 water supply allocations for Central Valley Project contractors. Allocations are based on an estimate of water available for delivery to CVP water users and reflect current reservoir storages, precipitation, and snowpack in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. This year’s low allocations are an indicator of the third consecutive dry year California is experiencing and will be updated if conditions warrant.
“We began the 2022 water year with low CVP reservoir storage and some weather whiplash, starting with a record day of Sacramento rainfall in October and snow-packed December storms to a very dry January and February, which are on pace to be the driest on record,” said Regional Director Ernest Conant. “Further, the December storms disproportionately played out this year in the headwaters—heavy in the American River Basin and unfortunately light in the upper Sacramento River Basin, which feeds into Shasta Reservoir, the cornerstone of the CVP.”
Currently, CVP reservoir storage is below the historic average for this time of year and runoff forecasts predict that overall storage will be limited if substantial spring precipitation does not materialize. California Department of Water Resources’ forecast update from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15 shows a total decrease in projected annual inflow to Shasta, Oroville, Folsom, and New Melones reservoirs of 1.2 million acre-feet. Without significant precipitation, this may continue to decrease further.
“Losing over a million acre-feet of projected inflow in two weeks’ time is concerning,” said Regional Director Conant. “We’ve got our work cut out for us this year; strengthened collaboration and coordination among agency partners, water and power users, and stakeholders will be instrumental.”
Based on current hydrology and forecasting, Reclamation is announcing the following initial CVP water supply allocations:
- Irrigation water service and repayment contractors north-of-Delta are allocated 0% of their contract total.
- Municipal and industrial water service and repayment contractors north-of-Delta will be provided water for public health and safety needs consistent with the CVP M&I Water Shortage Policy.
- Sacramento River Settlement Contractors’ water supply is based upon settlement of claimed senior water rights and the 2022 water year is currently designated as a critical year, as defined in their Settlement Contracts.
- M&I water service and repayment contractors north-of-Delta who are serviced by Folsom Reservoir on the American River are allocated 25% of their historical use.
- M&I water service and repayment contractors who are serviced directly from the Delta are allocated 25% of their historical use.
- Irrigation water service and repayment contractors south-of-Delta are allocated 0% of their contract total.
- M&I water service and repayment contractors south-of-Delta are allocated 25% of their historical use.
- For San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and San Joaquin Settlement Contractors, the 2022 water year is currently designated as a critical year, as defined in their contracts.
- For water supply for wildlife refuges (Level 2), north- and south-of-Delta, the 2022 water year is currently designated as a critical year, as defined in their contracts.
Friant Division Contractors
- Friant Division contractors’ water supply is delivered from Millerton Reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River via the Madera and Friant-Kern canals. 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. Given the current hydrologic conditions, the Friant Division water supply allocation is 15% of Class 1 and 0% of Class 2.
Water supply allocations for Eastside irrigation and M&I water service and repayment contractors will be announced in May per their contracts.
M&I contractors whose water service and repayment contracts cite the CVP M&I Water Shortage Policy may request a public health and safety adjustment within 30 days of initial allocations consistent with that policy.
As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations. Reclamation will continue to track hydrology and may adjust basin-specific allocations if conditions warrant an update. Water supply updates are posted on Reclamation California-Great Basin Region’s website.