The recent storms have delivered good news for Valley growers. The Bureau of Reclamation today provided an initial allocation to some Central Valley Project contractors and increased the allocation to Friant Division contractors for the 2018 contract year.
Friant Division Class 1 water allocation has been increased to 60% — up from the 30% initial allocation Feb. 20. Class 1 water can be managed through storage regulation and delivered at the contractor’s convenience, the bureau said in a news release.
Class 1 Supplies Will Be Evaluated Weekly
Reclamation also said that it would be able to increase this supply based upon improved forecast hydrologic conditions, commercial power operations in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin, current storage in Millerton Lake, and continued cooler weather demand patterns. The Class 1 water supply will be assessed at weekly intervals until further notice, officials said
“This winter has been very dry in Northern and Central California, and though conditions have improved during March, the dynamics of the hydrology necessitated a conservative approach to the initial allocations,” said Jeff Rieker, CVP operations manager. “We are monitoring the situation closely. This allocation maintains flexibility to adjust as changes in the hydrology or operational conditions warrant.”
For agricultural water service contractors north of the Delta, Reclamation provided an initial allocation of 20%. Municipal and industrial service contractors north of the Delta, in-Delta and on the American River are allocated the greater of 70% of their historic use or public health and safety needs.
Today’s announcement includes contractors throughout the Trinity, Shasta, Sacramento River, American River and Delta divisions of the CVP.
Water Prospect Brighten Since February
In February’s initial CVP allocation, Reclamation was unable to provide an allocation to these contractors due to extremely low snowpack and associated runoff forecasts, combined with the uncertainty in the ability to manage river temperatures for endangered species later in the year.
As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations. Water supply updates are posted at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.