Section 215 Water
The Bureau of Reclamation announced the availability of Section 215 Water for South-of-Delta water service contractors. It is uncertain how long this temporary supply will be available because its availability depends on water demands, hydrologic conditions, regulatory fisheries actions, and project operations. Section 215 refers to a section in the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 that defines temporary water supplies and allows non-storable water to be applied to lands otherwise ineligible to receive federal water. This water is available because San Luis Reservoir is full and Jones Pumping Plant’s export capacity exceeds south of Delta service area demands.
The District plans to take delivery of Section 215 Water and substitute it for deliveries made by water users until Section 215 Water is discontinued by Reclamation. This decision could result in a credit to growers because Section 215 Water is less expensive than Interim Contract water. The amount of the credit could range from $20-$50 per acre-foot depending on the volume of Section 215 Water that is delivered by the District.
In addition, the District lost 31,300 acre-feet due to the Bureau of Reclamation’s cap on the amount of water that was allowed to be rescheduled into the 2019-20 Contract Water Year (“Cap Loss”). The District also projects that without an increase in demands between now and the drawdown of San Luis Reservoir, approximately 100,000 acre-feet could be lost due to the application of foregone pumping (“Rescheduling Loss”). For reference, both losses will be applied to water user accounts at the end of Rescheduling Period (San Luis Reservoir drawdown date), per the District’s Article 2.10, Rescheduled Water (PDF).
Water users are encouraged to increase