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Federal Government Announcing 2022 Water Allocation For Central Valley

The federal government is announcing initial 2022 water allocations for Central Valley Project contractors.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation indicated a third consecutive dry year for California. This means that most irrigation districts in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys can expect to receive no deliveries from reservoirs and canals. In a statement, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said weeks of dry weather wiped out many of the gains recorded during the wet December days. “We began the 2022 water year with low CVP reservoir storage and some weather whiplash, starting with a record day of Sacramento rainfall in October and snow-packed December storms to a very dry January and February, which are on pace to be the driest on record,” said Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant. “Further, the December storms disproportionately played out this year in the headwaters - heavy in the American River Basin and unfortunately light in the upper Sacramento River Basin, which feeds into Shasta Reservoir, the cornerstone of the CVP.”

An update forecast from the California Department of Water Resources from February 1 to February 15 shows a total decrease in projected annual inflow to Shasta, Oroville, Folsom, and New Melones reservoirs of 1.2 million acre-feet. The initial water allocation proposed will provide 120,000 acre feet for Friant Division I contractors, although allocations could change during the upcoming months if dry weather continues. With drier conditions persisting, thousands of farmers will not get meaningful supplies from the project.

The Friant Water Authority, which oversees the Friant-Kern Canal, has been imploring State and Federal agencies to continue working to “relieve the significant pressure on groundwater supplies” along with the sacrifices being made for the state, including water conservation and farmers having to plow over or fallow their land that can no longer be used.

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