Even in dry year, Valley farmers see a bump in water allocation

Farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta received some welcome news on Tuesday.

After a set of spring storms in April, water allocations from the Central Valley Project are increasing almost across the board at a rate of 5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced.

Water users on the westside of the San Joaquin Valley will see a five percent increase in water allocation – from 15 to 20 percent of their contracted amount.

Municipal and industrial users, similarly, saw a five percent bump to 70 percent of their contracted amount of water.

Meanwhile, Class I Friant Division water users saw their allocation increase to 60 percent. Class II Friant users remain at a 0 percent allocation.

Reclamation noted that the increase in water allocations are driven by water releases from Folsom Dam and are not in conflict with a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Drozd temporarily halting pumping action under the new biological opinions for the Central Valley Project.

“Even with the recent gains in water supply, the year as a whole has still been relatively dry,” Reclamation regional director Ernest Conant said in a statement. “Reclamation will continue to monitor conditions and adjust accordingly. We urge our contractors to continue to exercise conservative use of the resource.”

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at