The Bureau of Reclamation announced February 28 the initial 2017 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project contractors in the Friant Division who will get 100% of Class 1.
“The 2017 water year has been an extreme year thus far, with precipitation throughout the Central Valley on track to be the highest in our historic records,” said Reclamation’s Acting Mid-Pacific Regional Director Pablo Arroyave.
Reclamation has notified the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors and Refuge Contractors they will get a full allocation.
Reclamation is targeting districts that receive water directly from Folsom, New Melones and Millerton reservoirs given the large snow pack and unusually high projected runoff this spring and summer.
The remaining water service contractors can expect an initial contract allocation amount in mid-to-late March. Specific to the South-of-Delta water service contractors, a substantial amount of CVP water is already in storage south of the Delta, and the Federal share of San Luis Reservoir will be full within the first week of March says the Bureau.
“ Given the extraordinary large snow pack and very high river flows this year, much of the water currently in storage in the Federal share of San Luis Reservoir will be available for delivery to CVP water service contractors this spring and summer. Reclamation currently estimates that at least 900 thousand acre-feet of water will be available for delivery to South-of-Delta water service contractors this year, and additional supplies will likely be available once seasonal operational forecasts are developed later in March.”
The 900 taf estimate represents the combined delivery of both 2017 CVP supplies and carryover supplies from last year. The exact amount of each type of supply is subject to hydrologic conditions this spring, and the overall allocation of water south of the Delta must be validated by the operational studies to be based on the March 1 snow surveys and runoff forecasts.
The California Department of Water Resources reports that as of Feb. 27, 2017, the statewide average snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada was 45 inches, as compared to 21 inches on Feb. 27, 2016. Precipitation is currently over 200 percent of the seasonal average to date for the Sierra Nevada for this point in the water year (beginning Oct. 1, 2016).
Friant contractors are also eligible for Class 2 flood water being evacuated from Millerton as well as Unreleased Restoration Flowsupply related to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program of 358,730 acre-feet are being made available in a block that needs to be scheduled and delivered by June 15 to avert flood management concerns.
Pine Flat Makes Room
Pine Flat Dam continues a 5600 cfs flood release this week as the Corp of Engineers makes room in the 1 million acre ft reservoir for Spring runoff. The high level peaked a few days ago, February 25 at about 781,000 af – now down to 775,550 af Wednesday with a dry pattern in store at the start of March the includes 70 degree days in the Valley.