Reclamation halts water deliveries to northern Calif. farmers

More than a month after announcing it was suspending water deliveries to farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, the Bureau of Reclamation delivered equally bad news to farmers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Their water supplies, tabbed at 5 percent of their contracted amount, were not available for delivery via the Central Valley Project due to limited supply.

“Northern California has about 48% of average precipitation for this time of year; statewide average snowpack levels are at 24% of average,” the Federal water agency said Wednesday. “With a dry forecast and warm temperatures, much of the remaining snowpack is expected to melt over the next few weeks; however, the dry preexisting conditions will limit snowmelt-driven reservoir inflow.”

The move is a rare sign of the worsening effects of the current drought in California.

A PPIC study released earlier this week found that the present drought, while affecting the San Joaquin Valley in roughly the same manner as the 2014 drought, has unleashed worse conditions across Northern California.

This story will be updated.

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