Bureau Announces Initial Allocations for CVP Contractors

  • by ACWA Staff
  • Feb 22, 2024
  • Water News

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Feb. 21 announced initial 2024 water supply allocations for Central Valley Project water users. Water supply allocations are based on an estimate of water available for delivery to Central Valley Project water users and reflect current reservoir storage, precipitation, and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

“The wet hydrologic conditions we experienced during the 2023 water year left most of our reservoirs in good shape as we progressed to the 2024 water year,” Bureau California-Great Basin Regional Director Karl Stock stated in a news release. “Precipitation totals this water year started off slowly, evidenced by the fact we were well below average at the time of the Feb. 1 water supply forecast. Since that time, several storms have boosted the Sierra Nevada snowpack, bringing us to near normal conditions for Northern California. It is likely we will see the water supply benefits from these storms in the March 1 forecast update. At the same time, we must be prepared for and respond accordingly to the possible re-emergence of drier conditions.”

A Bureau news release outlined the initial allocations based on contractor type and usage.

“We recognize mother nature is unpredictable and forecasting water allocation is hard work and challenging. We appreciate the staff at Reclamation for their efforts to deliver water — a critical resource — to our family farmers so they can grow the produce that nourishes not just our region, but beyond,” Westlands Water District General Manager Allison Febbo stated in a news release. “To be resilient to changes in climate and to be prepared for future drought conditions, the district has been focused on implementing solutions like groundwater recharge to replenish our aquifers and working with our farmers to explore alternative use for fallowed land like solar.”

The Friant Water Authority also issued a statement.

“After a slow start to the water year, several large storms have begun to pack the Northern and Central Sierra Mountain ranges with much needed precipitation and snowpack. And thankfully so,” Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips stated in a news release. “On behalf of FWA and the entire Friant Division of the CVP, I’d like to thank the US Bureau of Reclamation for the early initial allocation announcement of 60% for Class 1 Contractors. Under the latest inflow forecasts we anticipate the need for an increased allocation soon even under dry conditions to avoid spilling of Millerton supplies this spring. We look forward to frequent updates to the allocation and continued coordination from Reclamation as this water year progresses.”

In recognition of recent efforts to develop a south-of-Delta drought plan, the Bureau also announced that it is reserving approximately 83,000 acre-feet of water currently in San Luis Reservoir that will contribute to a drought reserve pool and is not considered as a volume of water available for water supply allocations.

 

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