For Immediate Release
Contact: Diana Giraldo
Westlands Water District
Statement from Westlands Water District on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Initial Water Supply Allocation
FRESNO, CA – Today, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) announced a 35% initial water allocation for south-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) agricultural water service contractors.
Westlands appreciates that this initial allocation is higher than it otherwise would have been but for the diligent work by Reclamation staff to make the initial allocation as high as practicable. However, given the current hydrologic conditions, including above average precipitation and snowpack in the northern and central Sierra Nevada Mountains, a 35% allocation is further evidence that the 2009 biological opinion controlling temperature management of Shasta Reservoir is placing unreasonable restrictions on CVP operations. Moreover, the 35% initial allocation demonstrates the need to update the existing biological opinions to reflect the science that has emerged over the last decade.
This year total runoff into the Shasta, Trinity, and Folsom reservoirs during the months of April-July is projected to be 1.0 million-acre-feet (MAF), more than was projected at this time in 2012 when the District received a final allocation of 40%. Similarly, the same comparison shows the San Joaquin basin is expected to have 1.1 MAF more runoff into the New Melones, Don Pedro, and McClure reservoirs, and storage at the San Luis Reservoir is on track to be 140-thousand-
For Westlands farmers, low initial allocations create uncertainty about how much of their land can be farmed and how much productive farmland will need to be fallowed and contribute to
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Westlands Water District is the largest agricultural water district in the United States, made up of more than 1,000 square miles of prime farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties. Westlands provides water to 700 family-owned farms that average 653 acres in size.