Bureau Of Reclamation Announces Initial Water Supply Outlook For Water Year 2004

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 23, 2004

Reclamation today announced its initial Water Year 2004 outlook for available supplies from the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP). Reclamation prepared two forecasts: one for dry conditions (90-percent exceedence) and one for above-normal conditions (50-percent exceedence). In the dry forecast, the water year inflow into Shasta Reservoir is about 4.4 million acre-feet (the Shasta inflow is a criteria for imposing shortages to water rights contractors, refuges, and managed water under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act [CVPIA]). This early announcement of the available water supply outlook is based on January 2004 water runoff information prepared by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

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 allocations are made based on the following:

Meeting Water Rights Decision 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 CVPIA

Implementing the CALFED Record of Decision

Implementing the Trinity River Mainstem Restoration Record of Decision as modified by recent court decisions.

Joint Points of Diversion and increased integration with SWP operations.

Factors and conditions that will influence the allocations as the year progresses include:

Changes to hydrology

Opportunities to exercise operational flexibility of the project.

Reclamation is looking at actions in cooperation with other State and Federal agencies within the CALFED Bay-Delta Program to improve south-of-the-Delta allocations. 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 to resolve both short-term and long-term water reliability and operational flexibility issues.

In the 90-percent exceedence forecast, the allocation for CVP Eastside Division contractors (Stanislaus River) is projected to be zero percent. In the 50-percent exceedence forecast, the allocation is projected to be approximately 12 percent of the contracted amount.

Reclamation is also making a preliminary water allocation for the San Joaquin portion of the CVP (also included is the Friant Division and the Cachuma Project) for WY 2004. A preliminary allocation of 75 percent of Class 1 water supply is based on a very conservative forecast for January 1, 2004, prepared by DWR. Reclamation will provide an official allocation on February 16, 2004.

Throughout the precipitation season, updated information will be provided as conditions warrant. To receive the latest forecast on CVP operations, contact Paul Fujitani at 916-979-2197. In the coming months, additional information will be posted on the Mid-Pacific Region's website at www.usbr.gov/mp/.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.