Bureau Increases Water Allocations – Slightly

The Bureau of Reclamation announced another increase in the Central Valley Project 2024 water supply allocation for south-of-Delta contractors and those in the Friant Division. While all north-of-Delta CVP contractors are currently at 100% of their supplies, south-of-Delta agricultural contractors are being increased from 35% to 40%. Last week, on April 18, the Friant Division Class 1 allocation was increased from 95% to 100% and the Class 2 allocation increased from 0% to 5%.  “Hydrologic conditions have improved enough that we are able to provide this gradual increase,” said California-Great Basin Regional Director Karl Stock.  “We realize that our contractors were hoping to see a greater amount of water, and we understand how critical irrigation is to California agriculture and the surrounding communities. However, continued uncertainty in long-term hydrology and regulatory constraints necessitate Reclamation’s approach with available water supplies.”

According to the Bureau, as the water year progresses, changes in hydrology, actions that impact operations, and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations.   In response, Association President/CEO Roger Isom commented “While we appreciate any increase in the allocation, in many ways this is too little, too late.  Planting decisions are done.  Given the current reservoir conditions throughout the state as well as the snowpack, we are disappointed with the minimal allocation.  The regulatory restrictions in the delta are truly hurting the valley and every single person that lives here.  Less water means less farming, which means less jobs.”