Tag Archive for: Central Valley Project

Why No One Won in This Year’s Water Wars

EVERY DROP COUNTS: California had (is still having, amazingly) a really good water year. But all the rain and snow is doing almost nothing to lubricate the state’s perpetual conflicts between fish and farms.

Feds Say He Masterminded an Epic California Water Heist. Some Farmers Say He’s Their Robin Hood

Robert Zavala was fresh out of the Marines and looking to escape dead-end work at a poultry plant in the early 1990s when his old baseball coach — now the head of a local water district — swooped to the rescue with a job offer.

California’s Lake Shasta Set to Fill Completely

Lake Shasta could reach its full capacity this spring, following a high amount of rainfall in California. The largest reservoir in California has been steadily rising since the beginning of March. It has gone up sharply since the start of the year, which saw its levels at 1,012 feet, compared to its current level on April 5 of 1,058 feet

Inside California’s Effort to Use Ocean Water as a Future Water Source

California has more than 1,000 thousand miles of coastline and the water in the Pacific Ocean presents an opportunity for more fresh water in the state. Unlocking the opportunity takes time, money and resources, and some experts say it’s not for everyone.

The Sierra’s Remarkable Recovery: ‘Snow Drought’ Fears Overturned In A Flash

Concerns that California might remain in a “snow drought” this winter have eased after a series of storms this month blanketed the Sierra Nevada with a near-average amount of snow for this time of year.

OPINION – Water Policy In California Is Missing A North Star

Water policy in California is missing a north star. Think of the last time you started on a difficult journey without a plan for where you wanted to end up. Seems silly right, how could you possibly succeed if you don’t know where you are headed?

This Year’s 100% Water Allocation in California Does Not Mean the Water Crisis is Over, Experts Say

The West may be out of the woods in ensuring its water supply this year, but the water crisis is still very much alive, experts caution.

Last week, the California Department of Natural Resources announced that the state would receive 100% water allocation for the first time since 2006, meaning that communities and farmers under the State Water Project would receive all of its water requests for the year.

Supply Allocation-Central Valley Project-Bureau of Reclamation

Reclamation Increases Central Valley Project 2023 Water Supply Allocations

The Bureau of Reclamation March 28, announced an increase in Central Valley Project 2023 water supply allocations. After below average precipitation in February, Reclamation announced a conservative initial water supply allocation for the CVP on Feb. 22. Additional atmospheric river systems have since boosted hydrological conditions and storage volumes, allowing for a more robust water supply allocation.

Since making initial allocations last month, Shasta Reservoir, the cornerstone of the Central Valley Project, has increased from 59% to 81%, and San Luis Reservoir, the largest reservoir south-of-Delta, from 64% to 97%. Record-breaking snowpack conditions currently exist in the Southern Sierra coupled with significant snowpack in the Central Sierra and Northern Sierra/Trinity.

2023 Central Valley Project supply allocations increased

Based on current hydrology and forecasting, Reclamation is announcing the following increases to CVP water supply allocations:

North-of-Delta Contractors

  • Irrigation water service and repayment contractors north-of-Delta are increased to 80% from 35% of their contract total.
  • Municipal and industrial water service and repayment contractors north-of-Delta are increased to 100% from 75% of their historic use.

South-of-Delta Contractors

  • Irrigation water service and repayment contractors south-of-Delta are increased to 80% from 35% of their contract total.
  • M&I water service and repayment contractors south-of-Delta are increased to 100% from 75% of their historical use.

Friant Division Contractors

  • Friant Division contractors’ water supply is delivered from Millerton Reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River and categorized by Class 1 and Class 2. The first 800,000 acre-feet of available water supply is considered Class 1; Class 2 is considered the next amount of available water supply up to 1.4 million acre-feet. Class 1 remains at 100% and Class 2 was previously increased from 20% to 70% on March 7.

Friant Dam is currently being operated for flood control purposes; as long as these conditions exist contractors are able to take delivery of all available water from Friant Dam to the maximum extent of their respective contracts.

All other CVP water supply allocations remain the same as noted in the Feb. 22 announcement.

As the water year progresses, changes in hydrology, actions that impact operations, and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations. Reclamation will continue to monitor hydrology and may adjust basin-specific allocations if conditions warrant an update. Water supply updates and past year’s allocations are posted on Reclamation California-Great Basin Region’s website.

Despite Storms, Water Challenges Persist

New snow blankets the landscape of Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir. Last week, California water officials announced that the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack was recorded at 190% of seasonal average on March 3. Meanwhile, at a water conference, state officials warned they expect warming conditions to persist and called for partnering on water supply solutions.

‘A Foundation of Racism’: California’s Antiquated Water Rights System Faces New Scrutiny

It’s an arcane system of water law that dates back to the birth of California — an era when 49ers used sluice boxes and water cannons to scour gold from Sierra Nevada foothills and when the state government promoted the extermination of Native people to make way for white settlers.

Today, this antiquated system of water rights still governs the use of the state’s supplies, but it is now drawing scrutiny like never before.