Drought busted: Bureau of Reclamation boosts water allocation to 100 percent for west-side farmers
Drought busted: Bureau of Reclamation boosts water allocation to 100 percent for west-side farmers.
They received a 5 percent allocation last year, causing them to fallow at least 200,000 acres in the Westlands Water District.
With one of the wettest winters in years, “there shouldn’t have been a question mark … this is something we should have seen in February.” What changed the bureau’s mind?
“Following the California Department of Water Resources exceptional March 30 snow survey results, Reclamation is pleased to announce this increase to a 100 percent allocation for our South-of-Delta water contractors,” acting regional director Pablo Arroyave said in a news release.
“However, as Gov.
The Central Valley Project was designed to deliver full supplies in all types of water years with allocations to be made in mid-February so farmers can make planting decisions, Westlands said.
From 2014 to 2015 the allocation was zero.
In 2016, farmers got 5 percent but were told it could not be used during the irrigation season, the water district said.
“For farmers who had to make planting decisions several months ago, (Tuesday’s) announcement of an increase in supply comes too late in the season to aid their operations,” Westlands said in a news release.
We look forward to a timely, adequate allocation for the next growing season.” A pair of Valley congressional leaders applauded the full water allocation but also recognized the need to improve the water system.