Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Did Reclamation Do Right by Westlands With 55% Allocation?
GV-Wire-1
By gvwire
Published 5 years ago on
March 19, 2019

Share

There is good news from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for Westlands Water District growers.

The Bureau has increased this year’s water allocation to district farmers from the 35% announced last month to 55%.

“With the improved CVP storage conditions and the latest runoff forecasts, we are pleased to increase the amount of water allocated to many of our water service contractors.” — Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conan

But, according to the district, the news should have been better considering California’s snowpack and rainfall totals. Westlands noted that Lake Shasta is at 85 percent capacity and 111 percent of its historical average; San Luis Reservoir is at 99 percent capacity and 113 of its historical average.

“The increase is an improvement for the farmers and farmworkers in the Westlands Water District, but, given the healthy hydrological conditions throughout the state, today’s announcement is a disappointment,” the district said in a news release Friday.

“For years, we have been told that the farmers served by south-of-Delta ag service contractors received water allocation reductions due to water shortages. But this year, water is abundant, which is why today’s announcement is so frustrating.

“A 55 percent allocation, during a year with snowpack and reservoir levels well above average, further illustrates the extent to which California’s water supply system is broken and how important it is that we find long-term solutions to problems plaguing the water delivery system in California.”

After Seven Years, California is Drought Free

The Bureau’s announcement came Friday — one day after experts said that California was free of drought for the first time in more than seven years.

“The precipitation we’ve experienced since mid-February has provided a significant boost to the projected water supply for the Central Valley Project this year,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant in a statement released Friday. “With the improved CVP storage conditions and the latest runoff forecasts, we are pleased to increase the amount of water allocated to many of our water service contractors.”

The Bureau previously said that 322,000 acre-feet of Millerton Lake water would be used for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which seeks to restore a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery in the river. That is the amount released in what the Bureau calls a “normal-wet” water year.

Boosts for Three CVP Allocation Areas

The three updated allocation areas are:

— North of the Delta, in-Delta and American River contractors’ allocations, for both agricultural water service and municipal and industrial service contractors, increased to 100 percent.

— South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors’ allocations increased to 55 percent of their contract total.

— South-of-Delta allocations for municipal and industrial contractors’ allocations increased to 80 percent of historic use.

Friant Division’s allocation remains unchanged with Class 1 contractors at 100 percent.

The Bureau stated that as the water year progresses, changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water would influence its future allocations.

Bureau water supply updates are posted here.

Photo of Jesse Hagan evacuating his apartment complex
Sycamore Court resident Jesse Hagan evacuates to higher ground in the apartment complex in lower Guerneville, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

More on the Drought’s End

California is drought-free for the first time since Dec. 20, 2011, said the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which jointly produces the monitor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The state had experienced some form of drought for 376 consecutive weeks,” the center tweeted.

The state came close to being drought-free in soggy 2017 when it was whittled down to less than 9 percent of the state and then-Gov. Jerry Brown lifted an emergency declaration intended to conserve water.

The change this year has been dramatic. On Jan. 1, more than 75 percent of California was in some level of drought and less than 8 percent was entirely free.

Storms since have been a boon to water supplies as well as skiers and snowboarders as the snowpack deepened in the Sierra Nevada and in other ranges, but they have also brought problems including river flooding that swamped much of the Sonoma County wine country town of Guerneville.

(Information from Associated Press was used in this report.)

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

UP NEXT

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

UP NEXT

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Finding an Apartment May Be Easier for California Pet Owners Under New Legislation

UP NEXT

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

UP NEXT

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

21 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

1 day ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

1 day ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

1 day ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

1 day ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

1 day ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

2 days ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

2 days ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

21 hours ago

21 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

21 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

21 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

21 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

1 day ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

1 day ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

1 day ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend