Feds match 40 percent water allocation

The federal Bureau of Reclamation quickly followed the lead of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and matched DWR water allocation increase for the 2010 Central Valley Project (CVP).

Federal and state water deliveries are now both projected at 40 percent of contract.

Both started the water projection season projecting just 5 percent of contract, but a series of storms have resulted in higher than average rainfall and snowfall and the water availability has gone up accordingly.

According to a Interior Department news release, the additional water also came “in large part” on the efforts announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in February to secure additional sources of water to boost allocations for South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and improved storage and runoff.

Reclamation also claims it has continued to firm up supplemental water supplies through the following actions:

• Improved operations through more precise compliance with Old and Middle River flows by the Bureau of Reclamation and the State Water Project.

• Additional water transfers to be made available from senior east side water users to the west side, through groundwater substitution and other actions.

• Adjusting the timing of water use (sometimes referred to as source shifting) to address low point issues in San Luis Reservoir.

• Capturing and temporarily using excess San Joaquin River Restoration Program flows in the Mendota Pool.

Applying Joint Point Diversion operations to allow for more flexibility between the state and Federal projects.

“While this improvement is welcome news, California’s Central Valley is still struggling to overcome the effects of three years of drought and water system operational constraints needed to address water quality and fish species of concern in the Delta,” added Salazar. “The department continues to work with the state and other water interests to improve the reliability of water delivery throughout California.”

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