With above-normal rainfall and snowpack for California this year, state and
federal water authorities have both increased their allocation of water
deliveries to agencies serving farmers in the San Joaquin Valley to 40 percent,
up from previously announced allocations of 30 percent.
The increases were announced May 4 in separate press releases from the U.S.
Department of the Interior and the California Department of Water Resources.
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Bureau of
Reclamation's 2010 Central Valley Project water supply allocations have
increased for agricultural water service contractors in California's San Joaquin
Valley," according to a May 4 press release from the U.S. Department of the
An initial allocation of just 5 percent was announced in February, and that
was increased to 30 percent on April 15.
"Persistent spring storms will allow the Department of Water Resources to
increase its 2010 allocation of state water project deliveries to 40 percent,"
stated a DWR release.
Even with snowpack water content in the Sierra Mountains at 143 percent of
normal, environmental restrictions on pumping water out of the Sacramento
Delta to contractors serving San Joaquin Valley farmers and other water users
south of the Delta "continue to limit the amounts of water that can be
delivered" to those users, according to the DWR press release.
Reductions in water allotments to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have
resulted in hundreds of thousands of acres of once-productive cropland
being left fallow, mainly on the West Side of the valley, and have caused
unemployment rates as high as 40 percent in some agricultural communities
in the valley.