The Bureau of Reclamation announced on Tuesday south-of-Delta agricultural water districts will now have a 20% allocation for the water year, up from the previous 15% for their contracted amounts.
This puts Class 1 users in the Friant Division up slightly at 60%. The Friant Water Authority responded in a statement that this “reduces both the strain on our already overtaxed groundwater aquifers and the likelihood that small farms may go under this year.” Yet the added supply comes at the cost of Class 2 users, who remain at zero and will have to rely on groundwater pumping.
Reclamation explained the update is based on the operations for Folsom Dam (pictured) and was not impacted by the recent court order. A federal judge had approved an injunction on some new Central Valley Project operations on May 11, lasting until the end of the month. It was part of a state lawsuit against the federal administration over the biological opinions.
Due to the relatively dry water year, Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant urged contractors to still “exercise conservative use” of the water supply.