Folsom Lake 2018

Interior Region 10 Drought

Central Valley Project 2022 Water-Year Timeline

October

  • The water year begins October 1 each year and ends September 30. Water years 2020 and 2021 are the second driest two-year period on record, behind 1976-1977. Shasta Reservoir—the state’s largest reservoir and cornerstone of the Central Valley Project (CVP)—received the lowest inflow on record during water year 2021.
  • October 13Reclamation’s CVP begins the 2022 water year with 3.21 million acre-feet of water—one of the lowest starting points in recent years.   
  • October 25 – Weather whiplash… Sacramento sets a new 24-hour rainfall record with 5.44 inches, surpassing the previous record of 5.28 inches set in 1880.

December

  • December 1 – Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) submit a Temporary Urgency Change Petition to the State Water Resources Control Board to operate under modifications to the water quality and water right permit requirements in the Delta from February 1 through April 30.  
  • December 1 DWR announce initial State Water Project allocations for 2022, which focuses on the health and safety needs of the 29 water agencies that contract to receive State Water Project supplies.
  • Major storm conditions necessitate various responses by Reclamation at CVP facilities; Reclamation works to store as much water as possible from winter storms in Shasta Reservoir for releases later in the year when most needed.
  • December 20 The influx of water into the system increases flow and associated turbidity into the Delta creating conditions that could draw endangered fish species into proximity of the CVP and State Water Project pumping facilities. To comply with federal endangered species permits, pumping is reduced for 14 consecutive days to reduce the direct impacts to endangered fish, specifically delta smelt.
  • December 28 – Folsom Reservoir levels rise with the recent storms; additional storage, combined with forecasted inflow from recent and projected storms, calls for temporary flood operations to begin under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Control Manual for Folsom Reservoir.  
  • December 30 – DWR’s first snow survey reveals 78.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 20 inches, which is 202% of average.

January

February

  • February 1 – DWR’s second snow survey reveals the effects of a dry January, with 48.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 19 inches, which is 109% of average.
  • February 23Reclamation outlines initial 2022 water allocations for CVP contractors
  • Agricultural water service contractors – 0%
  • Municipal & Industrial (M&I) water service contractors – 25% (with exception of North-of-Delta M&I contractors who received Health and Safety due to low storage level in Shasta Reservoir)
  • Sacramento River Settlement Contractors and San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors – water supply based on critical water year designation
  • Friant Division Contractors – 15%
  • Wildlife refuges - water supply based on critical water year designation

March

  • March 1 – DWR’s third snow survey reveals the effects of the driest January and February ever recorded, with 35 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 16 inches, which is 68% of average.
  • All reservoir storage levels are below average, with Trinity and Shasta near historic low storages. DWR’s February 1-15 forecast update shows a decrease in projected annual inflow to Shasta, Oroville, Folsom, and New Melones reservoirs of 1.2 million acre-feet.
  • March 18 Reclamation and DWR jointly file a Temporary Urgency Change Petition with the State Water Resources Control Board to temporarily modify requirements in water right permits and licenses for the CVP and State Water Project between April 1 and June 30. These changes are expected to conserve vital water supplies in upstream reservoirs for critical needs later in the year, including public health and safety, and environmental needs.
  • March 18DWR announce a reduction in State Water Project allocation to 5% of requested supplies for 2022, due to a historically dry January and February, with no significant storms in the forecast for March.
  • March 28 Following the driest first three months in the state’s recorded history, California Governor Gavin Newsom calls on local water suppliers to move to Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which requires locally appropriate actions that will conserve water across all sectors.
  • March 29 State, federal and local water leaders announce a broad agreement on measures to provide additional water flows and new habitat to help improve conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta watershed. The memorandum of understanding outlines terms for a process to provide new flows for the environment to help recover salmon and other native fish, create new and restored habitat for fish and wildlife, and provide significant funding for environmental improvements and water purchases.
  • March 29 – Federal and state agencies, along with Sacramento River Settlement Contractors announce agreement on approach to address CVP operations on the Sacramento River (mid-April through November) during third consecutive year of drought.

April

  • April 1 – Reclamation updates Central Valley Project water supply allocation for M&I contractors; all M&I water service contractors now at health and safety.1
  • April 1 – Reclamation begins supplementing Central Valley Project water supply for San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors from the San Joaquin River due to limited water supplies north-of-Delta.
  • April 4 - State Water Resources approves Temporary Urgency Change Petition to temporarily modify requirements in water right permits and licenses for the CVP and State Water Project between April 1 and June 30.
  • April 6 – Amid critically dry conditions in the Central Valley, highlighted by the driest January through March period on record, Reclamation transmits its draft Temperature Management Plan (TMP) for the Sacramento River for Water Year 2022. Required by the State Water Resources Control Board, the TMP affects Reclamation’s operations of Keswick Dam, Shasta Dam, the Spring Creek Power Plant and the Trinity River Division in relation to temperature control in the Upper Sacramento River for the protection of fish. The draft TMP establishes temperature locations and targets through October 31, and estimates winter-run Chinook salmon egg mortality, dates for operation of the side gates on Shasta Dam's Temperature Control Device and end of September cold water pool.
  • April 25 – Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors complete the placing of 20,000 tons of spawning gravel on the west bank of the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam. With the passage of time and the arrival of high flow, the gravel will wash downstream into the riverbed, creating the vital habitat that helps ensure the species’ survival.

May

  • May 5 - State and federal biologists begin moving endangered adult winter-run chinook salmon to the upper reaches of Battle Creek and threatened spring-run chinook salmon to Clear Creek in Northern California, where colder water temperatures will better support spawning and help their eggs survive the continuing drought. The transport of adult winter-run chinook to upper Battle Creek builds on the “jumpstart” reintroduction program that began in 2018 with annual releases of juvenile salmon in lower reaches of the creek.
  • May 6 - Noting the “unprecedented efforts” of Reclamation and the other agencies and water users involved in Sacramento River temperature management during  the historic dry conditions, low Shasta Reservoir storage levels, and other challenges, the State Water Board conditionally approves the Temperature Management Plan.

 

 

Last Updated: 5/11/22