For Immediate Release
Contact: Diana Giraldo
Westlands Water District Responds to Reclamation’s Delay in Access to Water Allocation for South-of-Delta Repayment and Water Service Contractors
Fresno, California (March 23, 2021) – In response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) announcement that South-of-Delta agricultural repayment and water service contractors will have delayed access to their water allocation, Tom Birmingham, Westlands Water District general manager, issued the following statement:
“Given extraordinary dry conditions this water year, Reclamation’s announcement represents a balanced, prudent approach that ensures it can fulfill both its regulatory and contractual obligations for water from the Central Valley Project. We recognize the challenge presented by the ongoing drought conditions, and we remain committed to working with partners at the federal, state, and local levels to find sensible approaches that reduce harm to people in rural areas and California’s important ecosystems by maximizing the beneficial use every drop of water available.”
Today’s announcement preserves the 5 percent allocation for South-of-Delta agricultural repayment and water service contractors announced last month, but delays the contractors’ ability to access the water until a later date. In response to current dry conditions, the Department of Water Resources also announced a reduction in the allocation for State Water Project contractors from 10 percent to 5 percent.
About Westlands Water District
Westlands Water District is recognized as a world leader in agricultural water conservation and has served the farmers and rural communities on the west side of Fresno and Kings counties for more than five decades. As stewards of one of California’s most precious natural resources, Westlands continually invests in conservation, and champions farmers deploying innovative irrigation methods based on the best available technology.