Bureau of Reclamation Outlines Water Year 2017 Central Valley Project Water Supply Conditions

Media Contact: Louis Moore, 916-978-5100, wmoore@usbr.gov

For Release: January 20, 2017

RENO, NEV. – In preparation for the initial 2017 water supply allocation announcement, the Bureau of Reclamation is providing an update on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project (CVP). The water year (WY) runs from October 1 to September 30; the contract year for most CVP contractors runs from March 1 to February 28.

The CVP’s reservoir carryover storage from WY 2016 into WY 2017, which began Oct. 1, 2016, was 4.9 million acre-feet, which was 41 percent of capacity and 82 percent of the 15-year average for that date in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, New Melones, Trinity, Folsom, Millerton, and the federal portion of San Luis). The table below shows conditions in those reservoirs as of January 18 for 2014 through 2017.

“Since October 2016, precipitation throughout the Central Valley has been significantly above average in every month with the exception of November,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “In particular, a series of strong storms have brought significant amounts of rain and snow during January. We hope conditions remain wet. Regardless, we must be prudent as we develop our initial CVP water allocation since we know that weather patterns can change.”

CVP Reservoir Storage Comparisons
for 2017, 2016, 2015 & 2014 and 15-Year Average
As of mid-January for Each Year
Storages Listed in Millions of Acre-feet (MAF)

CVP Reservoir
Capacities

2017

% of
15-year
Average

2016

2015

2014

15-Year Average

Shasta 4.552

3.631

134

1.859

1.962

1.659

2.719

Trinity 2.448

1.395

95

.589

.856

1.168

1.461

Folsom 0.977

.447

112

.343

.447

.166

.400

New Melones 2.420

.887

67

.355

.556

1.047

1.319

Millerton 0.520

.380

132

.195

.184

.206

.287

Fed. San Luis 0.966

.577

92

.129

.332

.335

.624

Total 11.883

7.317

107

3.470

4.337

4.581

6.811

As of January 18, DWR reported that the Northern Sierra 8-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 46.2 inches, which is about 201 percent of the seasonal average to date and 92 percent of an average water year (which is 50.0 inches). The San Joaquin 5-Station Precipitation Index Water Year total was 35.5 inches, which is 204 percent of the seasonal average to date and 87 percent of an average water year (which is 40.7 inches).

As required by the exchange and settlement contracts, an initial declaration of whether 2017 is a Shasta Critical year will be announced on or before Feb. 15, 2017. Water supply updates will be made monthly or as appropriate and will be posted on Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water .

Reclamation balances the operation of the CVP and delivery of CVP water for agricultural, municipal and industrial, and environmental purposes based on factors that include hydrology, changing river and Delta conditions, storage in CVP reservoirs, regulatory requirements, court decisions, biological opinions, environmental considerations, operational limitations and input from other agencies and organizations.

For further information, please visit the CVP water supply website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/ 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.