Tag Archive for: Delta

Major Earthquake in the Delta Could Be Disastrous for California’s Water Supply

While the earthquake that struck near Isleton Wednesday morning wasn’t strong, the location did raise questions about the possible risk to an area that is critical to the state’s water supply.

The Delta region in Sacramento County relies on more than 1,000 miles of aging levees to protect local farms and communities that could be vulnerable in a more powerful quake.

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.

DWR, Reclamation Submit Request to Adjust Water Right Permit Conditions to Conserve Storage

Following the driest three-year period on record, California experienced one of the wettest three weeks in January. But now those extreme wet conditions have activated a water quality standard in the Delta that, coupled with the extended dry period since then, could result in a sharp reduction in the amount of water that can be retained or moved into storage for both the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project.

The Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are working in real time to operate the state’s water system to maximize water supply while protecting species and the environment. However, California continues to experience unprecedented swings in weather impacting water management operations.

Opinion: California’s Water Conundrum Hinges on Delta

The most important piece of California’s water puzzle is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the 1,100-square-mile estuary where the state’s two most important rivers meet. The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers drain a watershed of mountains and hills that stretches about 400 miles from Mount Shasta, near the Oregon border, to the Sierra southeast of Fresno.

Delta Residents Gather to Protest Delta Tunnel Proposal

Approximately 100 concerned Delta residents gathered at a public forum in the community of Hood Tuesday to express concern with the Delta Tunnel proposal. Among the speakers was State Senator Bill Dodd, Attorney Osha Meserve, State Assemblymember Lori Wilson and State Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua.

Feds Propose Protections for California’s Longfin Smelt

The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Endangered Species Act protections Thursday for a crucial population of the longfin smelt, an unassuming California fish that has pit farmers against environmentalists and could end up redirecting the future course of the state’s water.

Reversing earlier calls made during both the Obama and Trump administrations, FWS said the San Francisco Bay-Delta distinct population segment of longfin smelt should be added to the list of endangered species.

Tidal Marsh or ‘Fake Habitat’? California Environmental Project Draws Criticism

Southwest of Sacramento, the branching arms of waterways reach into a patchwork of farm fields and pastures. Canals and wetlands fringed with reeds meet a sunbaked expanse of dry meadows.

These lands on the northwestern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have now been targeted for restoration following the widespread destruction of estuary marsh habitats that began over a century ago.

California Water: New $16 Billion Delta Tunnel Plan Released by Newsom Administration

Three years ago, amid shaky political support and uncertain funding, Gov. Gavin Newsom killed plans by his predecessor, Jerry Brown, to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Delta to more easily move water south.

Thousands of Central Valley Farmers May Lose Access to Surface Water Amid Worsening Drought

As California endures an increasingly brutal second year of drought, state water regulators are considering an emergency order that would bar thousands of Central Valley farmers from using stream and river water to irrigate their crops.

Drought: Emergency Project Being Built to Protect California Water Supplies

In a new symbol of California’s worsening drought, construction crews are putting the finishing touches on a $10 million emergency project to build a massive rock barrier through part of the Delta in Contra Costa County to preserve water supplies for millions of people across the state.

The 800-foot long barrier — the size of San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid laid on its side — is essentially a rock wall, 120 feet wide, built in water 35 feet deep.

Its purpose: To block salt water from the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay from flowing too far east and contaminating the huge state and federal pumps near Tracy that send fresh water south to 27 million people — from San Jose to Los Angeles — and to millions of acres of farmland in the Central Valley and beyond.