Some observers were surprised when Central Valley Project contractors on the Stanislaus River — namely, Stockton East Water District and Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District — were told they would receive 55 percent of their requested water this year, unless conditions change.
In a year like this, 55 percent is a big number.
It’s 55 percent more than CVP farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley will receive. It’s 55 percent more than CVP farmers in the Sacramento Valley will receive. It’s more than refuges, cities and businesses will receive.
What’s the difference?
Louis Moore, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said today that the Stanislaus River allocations are calculated differently than the rest of the CVP.
They are, after all, coming from a different source. Most CVP water comes from Shasta Lake, which is just 53 percent of normal.
New Melones, where Stockton East and Central San Joaquin divert their water, is 72 percent of normal.
“New Melones is slightly better off water-wise right now,” Moore said.
Emphasis on “slightly.” Nevertheless, that’s what might make the difference to the tune of 85,000 acre-feet of additional water for Stockton and farms in east San Joaquin County.