Shasta Dam at Sunset

Central Valley Project Operations Timeline

2023 Central Valley Project Water Operations Timeline


  • The water year begins October 1 each year and ends September 30.
    After a third straight year of severe drought, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project begins the 2023 water year with 3.6 million acre-feet of water in storage — one of the lowest starting points in recent years.


  • November 28 -- Reclamation asks its contractors receiving Central Valley Project water for municipal and industrial use to begin planning for potentially extremely limited water supply conditions in 2023.


  • December 1 -- The Department of Water Resources announces an initial State Water Project allocation of 5 percent of requested supplies for 2023.
  • December 29 – A series of atmospheric rivers require temporary flood operations to begin at Folsom Dam. Releases are steadily increased to make room for incoming flows.


  • January 1 -- Based on recent storm events, Reclamation increases the water allocation for Friant Division Class 1 contractors from 30% to 35% under their 2022 contract year for use through March 1
  • January 3 -- A late December storm event triggers a first flush event, restricting exports to limit Old and Middle River flows to be no more negative than -2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for 14 days, which ended on January 16. On January 17, the Turbidity Bridge Avoidance restriction continued this -2,000 cfs flow through January 21st.
  • January 5 -- Reclamation increases releases from Friant Dam into the San Joaquin River and announces the availability of non-storable (Section 215) water available on the American River.
  • January 26 -- The Department of Water Resources increases State Water Project contract deliveries to 30 percent of requested water supplies – or 1.27 million acre-feet.



Last Updated: 1/26/23