Jun 11, 2020

San Francisco County Farmers Receive Increased Water Allocations

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued increased water allocations on May 19 for Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors 

water allocations

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued increased water allocations on May 19 for Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors for the 2020 contract year following storms, reported the Sun Gazette. 

The bureau oversees operations of the CVP, one of the nation’s largest water conservation developments. 

According to the bureau, the Central Valley Project was built to integrate California's water way to protect against water shortages and hazardous floods. The project also: produces hydroelectric power and provides flood protection; navigation; and recreation and water quality benefits. The CVP serves farms, homes and industry in the Central Valley, San Joaquin Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

"This multiple-purpose project plays a key role in California's powerful economy, providing water for 6 of the top 10 agricultural counties in the nation's leading farm state," said the bureau. "The CVP is the largest single source of irrigation water in the state while also dedicating 800,000 acre-feet per year to fish and wildlife pursuant to the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act."

CVP’s Friant Division, conveys water deliveries to more than 15,000 small farms along the east side of the Valley. This division will receive 60% instead of 55% of its Class 1 water supply due to improved hydrologic conditions and the forecasted snowmelt runoff in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin, reported the Sun Gazette. 

“We thank Reclamation for continuing to react quickly to changes in this year’s hydrology that allow for more water to be delivered to farms and communities on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley,” said Johnny Amaral, chief of external affairs for the Friant Water Authority. “Each increase in the Friant Division’s allocation reduces both the strain on our already overtaxed groundwater aquifers and the likelihood that small farms may go under this year.”

South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors allocations are increased from 15% to 20% of their contract total. Municipal and industrial water service contractors south-of-Delta are now allocated 70% of their historic use, up from 65%.

Changes in hydrology and opportunities to deliver additional water will influence future allocations, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. 

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