Agricultural Water Service Contractors South-of-Delta Receive 40 Percent Allocation
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Bureau of Reclamation's 2010 Central Valley Project (CVP) Water Supply allocations have increased for agricultural water service contractors in California's San Joaquin Valley.
“I am pleased to announce that the water allocation for the hard hit, South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors has increased to 40 percent, up from the initial 5 percent allocation in February,” said Salazar. “It is because of the determination and cooperation of our partner agencies, water users, and stakeholders, and because of the support of Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressional Representatives Miller, Cardoza, Costa, Thompson, and Grace Napolitano that we are able to make this announcement today.”
The improved allocation is based in large part on the efforts announced by Secretary Salazar in February to secure additional sources of water to boost allocations for South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and improved storage and runoff into the CVP reservoirs, in particular the American River watershed. The California Department of Water Resources has been a key partner in the effort to shore up supplies. Since the February announcement, Reclamation has continued to firm up supplemental water supplies through the following actions:
• Improved operations through more precise compliance with Old and Middle River flows by the Bureau of Reclamation and the State Water Project;
• Additional water transfers to be made available from senior east side water users to the west side, through groundwater substitution and other actions;
• Adjusting the timing of water use (sometimes referred to as source shifting) to address low point issues in San Luis Reservoir;
• Capturing and temporarily using excess San Joaquin River Restoration Program flows in the Mendota Pool;
• Applying Joint Point Diversion operations to allow for more flexibility between the state and Federal projects.
“While this improvement is welcome news, California's Central Valley is still struggling to overcome the effects of three years of drought and water system operational constraints needed to address water quality and fish species of concern in the Delta,” added Secretary Salazar. “The department continues to work with the state and other water interests to improve the reliability of water delivery throughout California.”
Compared to the previous allocation and using a conservative forecast (generally referred to as the 90-percent exceedance forecast):
• The allocation for Municipal and Industrial (M&I) water service contractors north of the Delta, including American River and Contra Costa M&I contractors, remains at 100 percent.
• M&I water service contractors south of the Delta remains at 75 percent allocation.
• Agricultural water service contractors north of the Delta remains at 100 percent allocation.
• Agricultural water service contractors south of the Delta are allocated 40 percent—up from the 30 percent allocation made on April 15, 2010.
• Friant Division agricultural water service contractors' allocation of Class 2 water supply increases to 30 percent—up from 15 percent; Class 1 allocation remains at 100 percent.
• Eastside Division agricultural contractors' (Stanislaus River) allocation remains at 100 percent of their contract quantities.
• The allocation for settlement contractors with claims to senior water rights along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers remains at 100 percent of their contract quantities.
• Wildlife refuges' allocation north and south of the Delta remains at 100 percent of their “Level 2” water.
For additional information on today's announcement, please see the Mid-Pacific Region's website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water. For questions or additional information, please contact the Region's Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608) or e-mail email@example.com.