The Bureau of Reclamation reports that, due to continued dry conditions, the initial 2015 water supply allocation released on Feb. 27 for Central Valley Project agricultural contractors and municipal and industrial contractors remains unchanged.
“When we announced the initial allocation, we committed to providing regular water supply updates, recognizing the severe impacts of this fourth year of drought on our water users,” stated Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “We continue to work closely with our customers, contractors and federal and state partners to do everything possible to deliver the maximum amount of CVP water, including the 3.1 million acre-feet of CVP water already announced for allocation to our senior water contractors and urban water users last month.”
A complete breakdown of the initial allocation is available at www.usbr.gov/mp/PA/water/docs/1_CVP_Water_Quantities_Allocation.pdf.
The February allocation was based on a conservative runoff forecast driven by critically dry hydrologic conditions, low storage levels, water quality requirements, flow objectives, relative priority of water rights and endangered species protection measures. Currently, the California Department of Water Resources reports that the snow water content statewide is only 12 percent of average for this time of year.
This is the second consecutive Shasta Critical Year for purposes of determining maximum contract quantities for senior water rights holders and wildlife refuges in the Central Valley. Those contractors and refuges have been put on notice that their contract supplies will be reduced due to persistent dry conditions. Reclamation remains committed to working with these contractors to meet their demands through the summer.
Reclamation and DWR are operating the CVP and State Water Project consistent with the 2015 Drought Contingency Plan. The Plan outlines actions to help the CVP and SWP manage limited water supplies and outlines potential adjustments to regulatory requirements. As the water year progresses, Reclamation will continue to monitor changes to hydrology and opportunities to exercise operational flexibility of the CVP that could influence the allocation. Water supply updates will be made as appropriate and posted on Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water.
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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 western states.