Bella Vista Water District responds to Bureau of Reclamation “Initial Declaration of Water Made Available for 2023"
February 22, 2023
Today, the Bureau of Reclamation issued an “Initial Declaration” of Water Made Available to Central Valley Project Contractors for 2023. Unfortunately, the letter includes several cautionary comments and caveats that result in significant uncertainty for the District and other North of Delta Water Service Contractors such as…
- Continued dry conditions through the spring
- Pending court decisions relating to the Interim Operations Plan for the Central Valley Project
- Pending development and approval of the Shasta Reservoir Temperature Management Plan
“The 35% of the Water Made Available for 2023 could be reduced significantly [Emphasis Added]. Please take all necessary preparatory actions should a significant reduction occur.”
Additionally, the letter indicates that “storage withdrawals” for agricultural irrigation will not be permitted pending the decisions referenced above.
Due to these highly uncertain conditions, the District recommends that Agricultural Customers carefully consider participation in the Supplemental Water Program as a hedge against a reduction or possibly another zero supply allocation. The deadline for updating your application, quantity and deposit is being extended until 12:00 p.m. noon on Monday, February 27th.
Municipal Customers should continue to conserve water unless or until conditions further improve.
Despite considerable precipitation and improved reservoir storage in January, uncertainty and shortage conditions remain for the 2023 water year.