From: Dan Nelson
Regarding: Potential for rationing program
through August, 2008 (for Central Valley Project)
May 29th, 2008
- Congressional Briefing On Potential
Coming at the end of the driest spring in 88 years on record,
recent preliminary forecasts indicate that the CVP share of San
Luis Reservoir storage will reach an untenable negative 240 TAF at
the end of August absent some combination of additional export
pumping, source shifting, or demand rationing. Following
consultation with Reclamation, the Authority anticipates that
Reclamation will need to implement a strict water allocation
program. This program would most likely begin retroactively on
Tuesday, May 27 and continue until San Luis Reservoir low point,
which is expected to be reached by August 31.
As a result of the extremely dry spring, implementation of the
court ordered Delta Smelt restrictions, and other environmental
restrictions on CVP operations related primarily to conserving
cold water in upstream storage for the benefit of the ESA listed
winter run salmon, it is anticipated that Jones pumping will be at
minimum capacity during June and at 80% during July and August.
While our operators have been in daily consultations with
Reclamation and State operators, the severity of the situation
became apparent after the May runoff forecasts were available and
showed the dramatic reduction of available supply for the summer.
The Authority felt that the earliest possible notification to you
of a likely rationing program was essential.
SWP is also scrambling to meet its south-of-delta demands while
dealing with the worst projected Oroville carryover storage since
1977. SWP operators intend to minimize moving Oroville water south
by maximizing the use of SWP San Luis storage. This will leave no
opportunity for the CVP to borrow SWP storage at the low point.
In anticipation of Reclamation having to limit summer demands, the
Authority has developed a rationing proposal that defines the
maximum amount of 2008 contract water that may be delivered to
each district between now and August 31. This allocation is
currently based on contract quantities. Certain issues, such as
how to account for transfers, remain unresolved. The proposal will
be revised accordingly.
The total volume of water to be allotted to contractors is 904,000
ac-ft, which is the sum of the CVP share of San Luis Reservoir
storage today and the total planned CVP export pumping by Sept 1.
Assuming Reclamation implements the proposed operational changes
listed above, the Authority’s water rationing allocation would be
1) Recognize that deliveries to Exchange Contractors will be
capped at their contractual monthly maximums.
2) M & I Contractors (urban) capped at 2001 demand levels.
3) Agricultural Service contractors allocated the remainder of the
total volume., (Estimated to be 381,600 ac-ft)
The allotted water is the total amount of 2008 project supply that
will be available to each contractor between now and the end of
August. With the exception of contractual delivery rate or
volumetric limits for exchange contractors, each district will
determine how to use its allotted volume.
The intended end result of the Authority’s rationing proposal is
to avoid a catastrophic total depletion of San Luis storage. The
contractor allotments will be periodically updated to reflect
changes in planned export pumping and with Reclamation’s possible
implementation of the additional measures listed above.
Reclamation is thoroughly analyzing it’s options.. We anticipate
that Reclamation will likely implement a strict water allocation
program as soon as they possibly can.
In addition, Reclamation is also still analyzing whether the 45%
allocation will hold for this year. It is likely that there will
be a reduction to the allocation.
The situation we are facing is unprecedented. California has never
had to deal with a drought when so many of our options for
minimizing its impact have been denied to us by administrative,
judicial and statutory restrictions. The challenge for all of our
member agencies over the next three months will involve holding
the inevitable economic and environmental harm from these
reductions to a minimum, while ensuring that the health and safety
of the communities that depend on these water supplies are
protected. The Authority will continue to work closely with its
members and Reclamation to provide as much notice and flexibility
on water deliveries as possible. There are numerous challenges to
overcome between now and August 31 and we will make every effort
to keep you informed on changes as they occur.
If you should have any questions or comments please feel free to
contact Frances Mizuno or myself.
Congressional Briefing On Potential Water
June 2, 10:30 a.m.
Los Banos Fairgrounds, Germino Building
Congressman Jim Costa has called a Congressional Briefing
regarding potential water rationing or other actions that may be
needed this year to address the dry hydrology, Delta pumping
restrictions and San Luis Reservoir low point concerns.
The Bureau of Reclamation will provide an update on these matters
and provide information on the Reclamation’s plans for handling
delivery-related restrictions, as necessary.
The briefing will be held on June 2, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. at the
Germino Building located in the Los Banos Fairgrounds, 403 F
Street, Los Banos (Germino Building can be accessed from 5th
Please plan on attending this important meeting.