The Newsom and Biden administrations have bumped water allocations to the maximum 100% of contracted amounts for both the State Water Project and Central Valley Project.
Reservoirs have neared or exceeded capacity and the spring snowmelt is now underway, meaning much more water from a near-record snowpack is yet to flow down streams and rivers.
Last month the Department of Water Resources bumped deliveries to 75% following a series of more than a dozen atmospheric rivers sweeping into the state. In February allocations were nudged up to just 35%. The Bureau of Reclamation had set CVP deliveries at 80% in March until the announcement Thursday. Now nearly all contractors north and south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will receive 100% of their allocations—though Class 2 Friant contractors are at 70%, up from 20%.
“Water supply conditions and careful management of reservoir operations during this extreme winter allows DWR to maximize water deliveries while enhancing protections for the environment,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “DWR is moving and storing as much water as possible to the benefit of communities, agriculture, and the environment.”
Don’t miss a beat! It’s easy to sign up for a FREE month of Agri-Pulse news! For the latest on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and around the country in agriculture, just click here.
Beyond the allocation amounts, the SWP is making additional water available for capture and storage through a rule known as Article 21. It allows for delivering more water when there is no place to store it in the SWP reservoirs and demand exceeds the contracted amount for districts south of the Delta. SWP has delivered 228,000 acre-feet of Article 21 water since March 22 and plans for another 37,000 next week. The additional water will help with recharging aquifers to boost groundwater storage.
For more news, go to Agri-Pulse.com.