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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero
916-978-5100

Released On: November 19, 2009

Central Valley Project Begins Water Year 2010 with 4.4 Million Acre-Feet of Storage (39 Percent of Capacity)

The Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project (CVP) begins Water Year (WY) 2010 (October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010) with approximately 4.4 million acre-feet of water (39 percent of capacity) in five key CVP reservoirs.  The total reservoir storage is the combined amount of water remaining at the end of WY 2009 in Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, and New Melones Reservoirs and the Federal share of the joint Federal/State San Luis Reservoir.  The 15-year average carry-over for these reservoirs is 6.7 million acre-feet of storage (59 percent of capacity).  An acre-foot is the volume of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot, enough water to sustain a household of four for 1 year.     

Precipitation in WY 2009 was about 94 percent of average or 47 inches according to the State of California's Northern Sierra Nevada 8 Station Index.  The seasonal average for precipitation is 50 inches.  While WY 2009 approached average precipitation levels for northern California, runoff remained low at about 70 percent of normal due to the 3 years of dry conditions (based on the Sacramento River Index).  In the CVP, runoff is a better indicator for water supply availability than precipitation.   

Non-interactive graphic

During the past 5 years, the CVP delivered an average of about 6 million acre-feet of water annually for agriculture, cities, and the environment.  The 2009 CVP contract year deliveries are generally based on the period March 1 through February 28 each year and are estimated to be 5.3 million acre-feet.

During WY 2009, CVP powerplants generated about 3.6 billion kilowatt-hours, enough power to run 360,000 homes for a year.  Project-use consumed about 33 percent of this energy.  The remaining energy was made available for marketing.  Mid-Pacific Region generators have a combined capacity of approximately 2.1 million kilowatts.

The Friant Division estimated deliveries for the 2009 contract year are 1.19 million acre-feet, which is 103 percent of the historic water supply of 1.15 million acre-feet.  This total includes 800,000 acre-feet of Class 1 and 392,000 acre-feet of Class 2 water.  The final allocation for Friant Division contractors is 100 percent of Class 1 and 28 percent of Class 2 water.  The precipitation total for the San Joaquin River watershed was 34.69 inches or 78 percent of average and the runoff for the San Joaquin River was 1.46 million acre-feet (79 percent of normal).

As WY 2010 gets under way, Reclamation will be closely monitoring and evaluating hydrologic conditions as they develop.  The initial forecast of CVP water supply allocations for 2010 will be made in late February 2010.  The allocation will be adjusted monthly thereafter to reflect the updated snowpack and runoff information.

For information on end-of-year storage for specific reservoirs or for general information about Reclamation programs, please call Mr. Pete Lucero in the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100, TDD 916-978-5608 or e-mail at plucero@usbr.gov.

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