Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announcement today of a 40% water allocation for south of Delta agricultural water service contractors. The initial projection for 2012 was 30%. Following an extremely dry winter and spring, the 2012 Federal Water Allocation will be lower than the 2011 allocations for the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley.
"In light of recent conditions, we have been pushing Reclamation to be flexible and increase the water allocation for our Valley," said Costa. "While I appreciate Reclamation's efforts, time is of the essence with land that is currently laying fallow and the effects on unemployment. I hope this announcement has come in time for farmers as they make financial and cropping decisions for this water year. It will provide some cost savings, but we need a better system to provide certainty to water users. I would urge the Department of the Interior and all other agencies to work with us on any further administrative action and legislation."
"This year is the 50th anniversary of when President Kennedy came to the Valley to break ground on the San Luis Dam. The vision that inspired our leaders to build out and expand the Central Valley Project and State Water Project is sorely needed today as we are constrained by regulations and changing hydrology from year to year. We cannot afford to wait another 50 years to bring stability and security to our water supply. We must work toward a long-term solution for our broken water system in California. Our future depends upon it."
Today's announcement is the second official water allocation of Water Year 2012 for the Central Valley Project. Water supply updates are made monthly and can be found on Reclamation's website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/pa/water.