CRS Report: ‘Central Valley Project Operations – Background and Legislation’
CRS Report: ‘Central Valley Project Operations – Background and Legislation’.
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This represents an improvement from one year prior to that date, when 73% of the state was in severe drought conditions, and two years prior, when 92% fell under this designation.
Stress on water supplies due to drought resulted in cutbacks in water deliveries to districts receiving water from federal and state facilities, in particular the federal Central Valley Project (CVP, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation) and the State Water Project (SWP, operated by the State of California).
In 2015, California mandated a 25% reduction in water use for nonagricultural water users, and overall SWP deliveries were limited to 20% of contractor requests.
For the first time in years, initial water allocations for most CVP water contractors were 100%.
Previous cutbacks to CVP deliveries (in particular during periods of increased precipitation) have caused some to criticize Reclamation’s management of the CVP and question the extent to which factors beyond limited water supplies (e.g., restrictions to protect endangered species and water quality) influence water management and the quantity of water delivered to contractors.
They argue that congressionally directed changes in the operation of the CVP that would result in increases to water allocations are needed.
Legislation enacted in the 114th Congress (Subtitle J of S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation [WIIN] Act) incorporated provisions from multiple California drought-related bills that had been considered dating to the 112th Congress.
Congress may consider this and similar legislation, as well as oversight of CVP operations and implementation of WIIN Act CVP provisions.