Shasta Dam image via U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

published on February 20, 2018 - 4:14 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The U.S Bureau of Reclamation has announced an initial water allocation of 20 percent for growers on the westside of the Central Valley.

That was the announcement Tuesday for Central Valley Project contractors located south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which includes growers on the westside.

For Friant Division contractors receiving federal water, the allocation is 30 percent.

The allocations are based “on a conservative estimate of the amount of water that will be available for delivery to CVP water users and reflects current reservoir storages, precipitation and snowpack in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.”

The allocation could increase with late-season precipitation, but experts are seeing that as an increasingly unlikely scenario.

“Despite the historic rainfall last year, California’s lack of sufficient water storage forces us to operate on a year-to-year basis. The amount we can store in our reservoirs is not enough to get us through these very dry years,” said David Murillo, Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Director. “Given what we know today, and what we see in the forecast, we must be very conservative with our allocation. If this lack of rain and snow continues, we could very well be right back in drought operations. A situation like this really underscores the need for more storage in California.”

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