News Release Archive

Reclamation Announces Initial 2012 Central Valley Project Water Supply Allocation

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100, 02/22/2012 14:00

For Release: February 22, 2012

The Bureau of Reclamation announces the initial Water Year (WY) 2012 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project (CVP) agricultural contractors, municipal and industrial contractors and federal refuges. This allocation reflects precipitation and snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas as of Feb. 1, 2012, which the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reported to be far below normal for the date with the snow water content statewide at only 37 percent. This allocation is also based on DWR's February WY 2012 Runoff Forecast, which indicates a critical water year type for the Sacramento Valley and CVP carryover reservoir storage from WY 2011 into WY 2012.

Precipitation in Northern California as of February 16 was 51 percent of the seasonal average to date compared to 120 percent of the seasonal average to date last year. Precipitation in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin as of February 20 was 43 percent of the seasonal average to date compared to 146 percent of the seasonal average to date last year.

Reclamation balances the allocation of CVP water for agricultural, environmental and municipal and industrial purposes based upon many factors. This initial allocation, based on the conservative runoff forecast, is driven by dry hydrologic conditions and water quality requirements and flow objectives required to meet water rights terms and conditions.

- Agricultural water service contractor's North- and South-of-Delta are allocated 30 percent of their contract supply of 443,000 acre-feet and 1.965 million acre-feet respectively.

- Municipal and Industrial (M&I) water service contractors North- and South-of-Delta are both allocated 75 percent of their historic use. This allocation may be adjusted to meet public health and safety needs.

- Sacramento River Settlement Contractors and San Joaquin River Exchange and Settlement Contractors, who receive their CVP water supply based upon pre-CVP held water rights and is tied to pre-established Shasta inflow criteria, are allocated 75 percent of their contract supply of 2.2 million acre-feet and 875,000 acre-feet respectively.

- Wildlife refuges (Level 2) North- and South-of-Delta, whose allocations are also based upon pre-established Shasta inflow criteria, are allocated 75 percent of their contract supply of 422,000 acre-feet.

- Friant Division contractors' water supply is delivered from Millerton Reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River. The first 800,000 acre-feet of water supply is considered Class 1; any remaining water is considered Class 2. Based upon DWR's February WY 2012 Runoff Forecast, the Friant Division water supply allocation is 35 percent of Class 1 and zero percent of the contracted supply of 1.4 million acre-feet of Class 2.

- Eastside water service contractors (Central San Joaquin Water Conservancy District and Stockton East Water District) whose water supplies are delivered from New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River, are allocated their full contract supply of 155,000 acre-feet.

Mid-Pacific Regional Director Don Glaser stated, "Hydrologically, 2012 is shaping up to be a challenging year. December ? traditionally one of our wettest months ? ended up being one of the driest on record and this pattern continues today. The good news is that we started the water year with exceptional carryover storage ? 9.3 million acre-feet ? and storage in our reservoirs now stands at 103 percent of the 15-year average. This storage is the foundation for this initial allocation, and with almost two months remaining in California's rain season, we continue to hope for improved precipitation."

Reclamation is developing a series of actions for WY 2012 to help support water management efforts this year as hydrologic conditions develop. The CVP Water Plan 2012, will be posted at, and actions identified in it relate to Joint Point of Diversion, pumping capacity at the State Water Project's Banks Pumping Plant, Exchange Contractors transfers, and full San Luis and Intertie operations. Any one of these actions may offer opportunities to better manage water supplies as the water year continues.

Changes to hydrology and opportunities to exercise operational flexibility of the CVP are factors and conditions that will influence allocations as the water year progresses. Water supply updates will be made as appropriate and will be posted on Reclamation's website at

For additional information, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608) or e-mail

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.

Relevant Link:

Reclamation's Water Supply Website