About the Study

The Central Valley Project (CVP) is a multi-purpose water resources project that supplies water to over 250 long-term contractors throughout California’s Central Valley. The CVP also generates hydroelectric power first for project use purposes and second to partially meet the electricity needs of over 70 preference power customers. Congress authorized the CVP to serve water supply, power, flood control, fish and wildlife, recreation, navigation, and water quality needs, with portions of the costs for CVP facilities to be reimbursed by the water and power users. Cost allocation is a process to determine and distribute the costs of the multi-purpose CVP facilities among the various purposes and identifies responsibilities for repayment from project beneficiaries.

The Bureau of Reclamation has begun a process to develop a new cost allocation for the CVP. The last major cost allocation of the CVP was completed in 1970, with a minor update in 1975. Since that time, the 1975 allocation has been subject to minimal annual adjustments related to project water and power uses. The new allocation will replace the 1975 allocation in its entirety.

The allocation will use the Separable Cost-Remaining Benefit method to apportion project costs among the CVP’s seven Congressionally-authorized purposes. The completion of this significant effort will be led by Mid-Pacific Reclamation staff, but will require coordination with multiple Federal organizations, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Western Area Power Administration, and Reclamation staff from other regions. Throughout the cost allocation process, Reclamation will provide the public with briefings, progress reports and opportunities to provide comments and feedback.

Over the past several months, Reclamation staff has been developing a workplan, schedule and budget for the effort. Although still very preliminary, it is estimated that the cost allocation study (CAS) will take approximately 6 years to complete, consisting of the following components:

CVP CAS Process & Schedule

CVP CAS Process & Schedule

  • Development of Workplan, Schedule & Budget Year 1
  • Data Collection & Modeling Years 2-3
  • Evaluation/Allocations Analysis Years 4-5
  • Report Preparation Year 6
  • Public Outreach Ongoing


Michael Mosley
Chief, Water Supply Planning Branch

Lisa Navarro
Public Affairs Specialist
Last Updated: 4/27/17