2018-2019 Water Supply Update – Rescheduling
This notice updates information provided in District Notice No. 539, sent on April 24, 2018.
In its June 15, 2018, update concerning 2018 Central Valley Project water allocations, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an increase of South-of-Delta allocations to agricultural water service contractors to 50 percent. At that time, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) indicated that it “[was] still planning to limit the overall amount of water in San Luis Reservoir that is rescheduled at the end of the contract year into the 2019 contract year. Discussions are ongoing with South-of-Delta contractors and others to refine end-of-year rescheduling concepts and implementation.”
District staff has been participating in those ongoing discussions, and on August 1, Reclamation announced that it would revise terms related to rescheduled water that may be incorporated into the final 2018 Rescheduling Guidelines for the Federal Share of San Luis Reservoir. Reclamation indicated that a cap on rescheduling CVP Contract Water into the 2019 contract year would be 10 percent of a contractor’s contract total. This cap is intended to apply to the 2018 allocation of Project water and any Project water allocated in a prior year but rescheduled into the 2018 contract year. Based on the quantity of the District’s water service contracts, this cap will allow the District to reschedule approximately 120,000 acre-feet.
Reclamation also indicated that the cap would not apply to non-Project water stored by a contractor under (non-Project) Warren Act contracts. Nor would the cap apply to Project water acquired by a contractor from sources other than South-of-Delta 2018 allocations, i.e., Oakdale/South San Joaquin Irrigation Districts. It should be noted, however, non-Project water stored in this manner and Project water acquired from sources upstream of the Delta are at a higher risk of loss if San Luis Reservoir fills.
Reclamation explained that this cap, which is likely to become a regular element of the rescheduling program, is intended: (1) to encourage the use of surface water when surface water is available in order to reduce over-reliance on groundwater and to promote in-lieu recharge, and (2) to provide Reclamation with greater certainty in its annual allocation process.
The District anticipates that it will acquire approximately 50,000 acre-feet of additional water this year with about half of that being non-Project water. District staff will manage the delivery of this water to maximize total carryover storage that is made available to all water users, without unduly increasing the risk of loss. Water users are reminded that under the District’s Rescheduling Guidelines, loss is applied to accounts based on volume per acre and not on water type.
The District will continue to monitor this issue and provide updated information, if any, as it becomes available. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.