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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Jeffrey McCracken
916-978-5100

Released On: February 13, 2004

Reclamation Announces Initial Water Supply Allocation For Water Year 2004
Reclamation today announced its initial Water Year 2004 allocation for available water supplies from the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP). Reclamation's official allocation uses the 90-percent exceedence runoff forecast prepared by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). Reclamation has prepared an operations forecast based on February 1, 2004, forecasted hydrologic conditions with a 90-percent probability of being exceeded (dry-year classification). Reclamation has also prepared an additional forecast for informational purposes with a 50-percent probability of being exceeded (below-normal year classification).

A conservative hydrology is used for this initial allocation; however, conditions in the first half of February have been drier than normal. Continued dry conditions could require adjustments in the available CVP water supply in the future.

Reclamation traditionally expresses the monthly outlook as a percentage (see summary table) of the contract total for each of the contract categories. Allocations are also compared to the recent historic 5-year average of the final forecasts.

Decisions on the allocation are made based on the following: Meeting D-1641 standards set by the State Water Resources Control Board; Meeting water supply and water rights contracts and agreements; Satisfying Endangered Species Act requirements; Implementing Section 3406(b)(2) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) as clarified by court decisions; Implementing the CALFED Record of Decision; and Implementing the Trinity River Mainstem Restoration Record of Decision as limited by a recent court decision

Factors and conditions that influence the allocation include: Changes to hydrology; Opportunities to exercise operational flexibility of the CVP; and Upstream CVP storage and San Luis Reservoir storage conditions

The CVP and California State Water Project will be operated to support the minimum storage needs in San Luis Reservoir through the summer months. Reclamation will review the delivery schedules submitted by the CVP contractors and coordinate the operations with the DWR to achieve the storage targets in San Luis Reservoir. As the water year progresses and the water supply situation becomes more certain, the allocation to all contractors may be modified to fully utilize available resources. Agriculture and Municipal & Industrial (M&I) contractors with conserved 2003 CVP supplies in San Luis Reservoir will be able to augment their 2004 deliveries.

Reclamation is looking at actions in cooperation with other State and Federal agencies within the CALFED Bay-Delta Program to continue improving south-of-the-Delta allocations to 65-70 percent in normal years as called for under the CALFED Record of Decision. Reclamation intends to focus efforts through the CALFED process in the coming months to address the long-term challenges of balancing the need to export to south-of-the-Delta contractors and provide environmental protection and restoration. Reclamation and the other agencies in CALFED remain committed to working closely with the State to resolve both short-term and long-term water reliability and operational flexibility issues.

In the 90-percent exceedence forecast, there is no water supply allocation for CVP East Side Division contractors (Stanislaus River). In the 50 percent exceedence forecast, the allocation is projected to be approximately 4 percent of the contracted amount.

The Friant Division deliveries for Water Year 2004 are projected to be 600,000 acre-feet, or 40 percent of the historic water supply of 1.5 million acre-feet. The allocation for Friant Division contractors will be 75 percent of Class 1 water and 0 (zero) percent of Class 2 water. The projected Friant Division delivery of 600,000 acre-feet is based on the DWR 90 percent exceedence forecast. Through February 13, 2004, precipitation in the San Joaquin River watershed was 18.93 inches compared to 23.37 inches this time last year.

Throughout the precipitation season, updated information will be provided as conditions warrant. For additional information on the Initial Water Year 2004 Allocation press release, contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100, TDD 916-978-5608. In the coming months, additional information will continue to be posted on the Mid-Pacific Region's website at www.mp.usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.