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Despite Cutbacks to the Rest of the State, Some Ag Districts Get Full Allotment of Water

Even as most agricultural water supplies are being cut to the bone, with California descending into a third year of extreme drought, the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractor districts will apparently receive 650,000 acre feet — 100% of their “critical year” allotment.

The move is just one of the quirks in California’s byzantine world of water rights.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation has increased the amount of water coming out of the Friant Dam above Fresno to help satisfy its contract with the Exchange Contractors.

 

Friant Dam Water Releases Increasing. Why There’s Concern on San Joaquin River

With a major warming trend in the forecast and temperatures in Fresno reaching the 80s on Sunday, the Bureau of Reclamation is alerting the public to monitor flow conditions and to exercise caution when on the San Joaquin River due to increased releases from Friant Dam.

The bureau started releases into the river on Friday to help meet contractual obligations to deliver Central Valley Project water to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors on the west side of the Valley

Touring Friant Dam in Fresno and Yolo Bypass, Assistant Secretary Trujillo Highlights Infrastructure Law Investments in Water Management and Drought Mitigation

Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo wrapped up a three-day trip to California today where she highlighted President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $8.3 billion investments in water management and drought resilience. During her visit, Assistant Secretary Trujillo met with elected officials, water managers, scientists, and local leaders to hear about the impacts that the climate crisis is having on the region and the Department’s commitment to investing in Western communities’ water infrastructure.

“As the West continues to face the impacts of the climate crisis and aging infrastructure, the Department of the Interior is working closely with local and federal partners to deploy critical resources to drought-stricken communities,” said Assistant Secretary Trujillo.

Creek Fire: Water Deliveries from Dams Might be Affected Due to Evacuations

Among the people forced to flee the Creek Fire were workers who keep the vast network of hydroelectric dams running. Eric Quinley is general manager of the Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District. He said reservoir releases were reduced to minimum levels. Friant Dam, located at the end of the water delivery network, was at just 30% capacity right now.