Recent storms boost water allocation for Friant farmers

April 6, 2020
by Lois Henry
Lois Henry

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NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the Bureau of Reclamation updated the water supply allocation for Friant Division Central Valley Project contracts for the 2020 contract year. The Friant Division provides water for 15,000 family farms and several cities in the Central Valley. Initial allocations were made on February 25, 2020.

Reclamation considered many factors in making the water supply allocation adjustment, including the latest hydrologic information, operational conditions in both the Upper San Joaquin River Basin and at Millerton Reservoir, as well as canal schedules from Friant Division contractors.

“Given the relatively dry conditions throughout the state, this update is welcome news. The increase will allow Friant contractors to stretch their limited CVP water supplies further into the growing season. At the same time, the increase will reduce energy costs and potential subsidence concerns associated with the over-pumping of the groundwater basin that occurred during the most recent drought,” said Michael Jackson, Area Manager of Reclamation’s South-Central California Area Office.

Friant Division contractors’ water supply develops in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Watershed and is delivered from Millerton Lake through Friant Dam to the Madera Canal and Friant-Kern Canal. Friant Division water supply is divided into two classifications: Class 1 and Class 2. The first 800,000 acre-feet of available water supply is considered Class 1. Class 2 is considered the next amount of available water supply up to 1.4 million acre-feet. Given the current hydrologic conditions, Reclamation is increasing the Class 1 allocation from 20% to 40%; Class 2 remains at 0%.

As the water year progresses and conditions change, water supply updates may be made as appropriate. Updates are posted at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.

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