Bureau of Reclamation says it can make water available south of Delta

The Bureau of Reclamation said that current hydrologic conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, export and operational capability at the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant (Jones Pumping Plant), and storage conditions at San Luis Reservoir have provided an opportunity to make available otherwise non-storable Section 215 water for water service contractors south of the Delta who enter into a “Temporary Water Service Contract for Surplus Water” with Reclamation, according to a news release.

The federal share of San Luis Reservoir, which totals about 965,000 acre-feet, filled on January 2, and current Central Valley Project (CVP) water demands in the South-of-Delta service area are less than the operational and export capability at the Jones Pumping Plant.

Section 215 refers to a section in the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-293) which defines temporary water supplies that are unusually large and not storable for project purposes and, among other measures, allows non-storable water to be applied to lands otherwise ineligible to receive federal Reclamation water. The conditions which make this surplus water available will be monitored daily and may cease to exist on short notice if hydrologic or tidal conditions change our operational requirements. As such, the actual amount of Section 215 water made available will depend on actual conditions in the Delta.

The availability of this Section 215 is a separate action unrelated to the initial CVP water supply outlook which will be announced later this month.

San Luis Reservoir, located 12 miles west of the city of Los Banos, is part of the San Luis Joint-Use Complex, which serves the CVP and the State Water Project. Completed in 1967, San Luis Reservoir is one of the nation’s largest offstream reservoirs, storing water diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

For additional information, please contact Michael Jackson, Area Manager, South-Central California Area Office, at559-487-5116 (TTY 559-487-5933) or email mjackson@usbr.gov.