California Farmers Set to Receive Zero Federal Water Allocations This Year

Reflecting the seriousness of California’s fourth consecutive year of drought, the federal Bureau of Reclamation today announced an initial 2015 water supply allocation of zero percent for most of its Central Valley Project (CVP) agricultural customers.

It’s an “unprecedented situation” that agricultural water contractors in the nation’s No. 1 farm state may face a second year of receiving no water from the federal project, the Bureau of Reclamation said.

Today’s announcement also applies to municipal and industrial contractors.

“The CVP announcement is both saddening and maddening,” California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) president Paul Wenger said. “It’s saddening because the continued cutoff of water will prolong the impact of water shortages on farmers, their employees and rural communities. It’s maddening because California still struggles to manage water wisely and flexibly, especially in dry years.”

Despite several significant rain events since last fall, California continues to see extended periods of dry weather. Last month marked the driest January in recorded history for northern California. With almost two months remaining in California’s rainy season, officials are hoping improved conditions materialize. That could boost CVP water supplies for agricultural users. <more>

Feb. 27, 2015 Dairy Today