2021 Water Allocations
February 24, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation announced the initial 2021 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project contractors. Allocation amounts are based on an estimate of water available for delivery to CVP water users and reflects current reservoir storages, precipitation, and snowpack in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. This year’s low allocation is an indicator of the dry winter California is experiencing after the dry water year of 2020.
“Although we had a couple of precipitation-packed storms in January and early February, we are still well below normal for precipitation and snowfall this year,” said Regional Director Ernest Conant. “We will monitor the hydrology as the water year progresses and continue to look for opportunities for operational flexibility.”
The California Department of Water Resources reports that as of Feb. 21, statewide average snow water content in the Sierra Nevada was 54% of the Apr. 1 average. Current Northern Sierra precipitation is 52% of the seasonal average to date.
Shasta Reservoir’s 4.5 million acre-feet capacity represents the majority of CVP water storage. Water from Shasta Reservoir is used for many purposes, including contractor supply for north and south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, as well as maintaining temperatures downstream of the dam throughout the summer and fall for threatened and endangered fish species to the extent practicable. Currently, reservoir storage is below the historic average for this time of the year and runoff forecasts predict that overall storage might be limited if typical spring precipitation does not materialize.
Given the low snowpack and low projected runoff this spring and summer, Reclamation is announcing the following initial allocations:
North-of-Delta Contractors (Including American River and In-Delta Contractors)
- Agricultural water service contractors north-of-Delta are allocated 5% of their contract supply.
- Pursuant to Reclamation’s municipal and industrial water shortage guidelines, M&I water service contractors north-of-Delta (including American River and In-Delta Contractors) are allocated 55% of their historic use or public health and safety needs, whichever is greater.
What this means to you:
Because of the severe restrictions being handed down and the apparent loss of supply for this year the District will need to impose water use restrictions for the customer base. We have been allocated a total of 1,898 Acre Feet of water for the entire water year beginning March 1st. Normal water use in recent years has been +/- 3,824.9 Acre Feet.
If this allocation 'sticks' throughout the water year, the District will more than likely need to pump water to augment supplies. Electrical pumping comes at a huge cost and drives the product (water) cost up to around $250.00+ per acre foot, depending on the time of day the demand on the system dictates the need. Please check back often for further alerts and information regarding the current drought status and where we as a community need to be in curtailing our water use.