The following water rights are curtailed, effective May 25, 2022, unless and until the State Water Board advises that this determination has been updated:
A subset of three post-1914 appropriative water rights associated with the Central Valley Project in the San Joaquin River watershed, specifically the Upper San Joaquin River and Stanislaus River subwatersheds.
Water supply forecasts will continue to be evaluated regularly to determine if, when, and to what extent the further re-imposition or suspension of curtailments may be appropriate, and the next curtailment status update will be provided by email and web posting no later than June 1, 2022. Please check the Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List for the current curtailment status of each water right and claim in the Delta watershed.
The Delta watershed is facing unprecedented dry conditions. Based on current hydrologic forecasts, curtailments are expected to increase significantly in June, including at the subwatershed level, and continue through the summer and early fall until significant precipitation occurs. Accordingly, water right holders and claimants should plan for reduced supplies even if their water right or claim is not currently curtailed or has not been curtailed in the past.
The Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed continues to indicate that local water supplies may be insufficient to satisfy all water rights in multiple headwater subwatersheds. However, curtailments based on the subwatershed-scale analysis could affect several rim reservoirs that generally have more junior storage rights in the subwatersheds. Curtailing those users would not make water available to senior upstream diverters and could result in the requirement to bypass needed storage as the limited snowpack continues to melt.
Accordingly, consistent with the Board’s direction to consider opportunities and needs to replenish stored water supplies, the Deputy Director for Water Rights has determined in the exercise of his discretion under Section 876.1 subdivision (d) of the Drought Emergency Regulation that today’s curtailments will continue to be based only on watershed-wide conditions, not the analysis of water unavailability at the subwatershed scale.
Regardless of curtailments, all right holders are reminded that they must abide by the terms of their water right and ensure that downstream senior water right holders are not harmed by their diversions. If water right holders or claimants believe their water rights are being impacted by the suspension of curtailments, they may notify the State Water Board by emailing Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov with specific details regarding their concern, or they may file a formal complaint with the Division of Water Rights Enforcement Program.
Today’s curtailment status update is based on the output of the Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed for the calendar month of May. As such, today’s update considers observed water supply data and forecasts from the California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) that were updated on May 24, 2022. The 50% exceedance water supply forecast was selected to determine curtailments at this time. Curtailment statuses will be reassessed next week (or earlier if appropriate) based on daily water supply observations and updated forecasts. Demand data informing curtailments continue to be based on reported diversions from 2018.
Water right holders and claimants are responsible for monitoring their curtailment status online on the Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List. Notice of changes to curtailment status will not be mailed. For those with limited internet access, a pre-recorded curtailment summary can be heard on the Delta Curtailment Status phone line at (916) 323-4643.
For more information about drought in the Delta watershed, please visit the Delta Drought webpage. For more information about curtailment compliance and responses to the Initial Orders Imposing Water Right Curtailment and Reporting Requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed, please visit the Curtailment Compliance and Responses webpage. The Curtailment Compliance and Responses tracker is updated regularly and can be filtered to see the latest changes. If you have any questions, you may send an email to Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov or call the Delta Drought phone line at (916) 319-0960.