News Release Archive

Central Valley Project Begins Water Year 2016 with 2.9 Million Acre-Feet of Storage

Media Contact: Shane Hunt, 916-978-5100, shunt@usbr.gov

For Release: October 06, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016) with 2.9 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones and Millerton reservoirs and the federal share of the joint federal/state San Luis Reservoir). This is 47 percent of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.1 million acre-feet and 200,000 acre-feet less than the amount with which the Mid-Pacific Region began WY 2015 on Oct. 1, 2014.

“WY 2015 was very difficult, and we are beginning WY 2016 with even less water in our reservoirs,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “We are continuing to work closely and cooperatively with our partner agencies and stakeholders to make the best possible use of our limited water resources, especially as we are now entering what could be the fifth year of drought.

The following tables show reservoir capacities and end-of-year storage comparisons for WYs 2014 and 2015 for key CVP reservoirs and compare end-of-year storage from WY 2011 to 2015. The amount of water in storage at the end of the water year reflects the amount carried over into the new water year. One acre-foot is the volume of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of one foot, enough water to sustain a typical California household of four for one year.

CVP Reservoir Capacities and End of WY 2015 Storage in Million Acre-feet

Reservoirs

Annual Storage Comparisons

15-Year
Average Storage

CVP Reservoirs
and Capacities

2015

% of 
Capacity

% of 15 Year Avg

2014

% of 
Capacity

% of 15 Year Avg

1999-2015

Shasta  4.552

1.6

35

68

1.2

26

47

2.36

New Melones  2.420

.27

11

21

.52

21

37

1.30

Trinity  2.448

.55

22

38

.60

25

40

1.49

Folsom  .977

.17

18

38

.35

36

70

.46

Millerton  .520

.19

37

79

.18

35

75

.24

Federal San Luis  .966

.07

8

27

.25

26

84

.27

Total  11.8

2.9

24

46

3.1

27

47

6.12

Comparison of Previous End-of-Year Storage in Key CVP Reservoirs

Million Acre-feet

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

1977
(Driest Year)

1983
(Wettest Year)

2.9

3.1

5.1

6.9

9.3

1.5

9.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CVP typically provides irrigation water to about 3 million acres of agricultural land in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys and along California’s central coast. The CVP also provides urban water f or millions of people and industrial water essential to the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy. Water from the CVP is also crucial for the environment, wildlife and fishery restoration, and hydroelectric power production.

During WY 2015, CVP powerplants generated about 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours. Project use consumed about 25 percent of this energy; the remaining energy was made available for marketing. The Mid-Pacific Region’s hydroelectric generators have a combined capacity of approximately 2.1 million kilowatts.

In January 2016, Reclamation will announce a preliminary assessment of WY 2016 CVP water supply conditions and in February will announce the initial CVP water supply to be made available under contracts (prior to the start of the contract year, which begins on March 1).

Reclamation will continually monitor and evaluate hydrologic conditions and will adjust the initial water supply allocations, as warranted, to reflect updated snowpack and runoff. Current allocations and background information are available at www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water.

For additional storage information, please visit www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo or contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.