News

California’s Surface Water Deliveries Dip Well Below Long-run Averages


California is now entering the fifth year of a major drought, and by many measures, 2014 and 2015 have been the worst years of the drought for California agriculture.

In California, measures of exposure to local water shortages are only part of how the drought is affecting farms.

California agriculture relies heavily on irrigation, and much of the irrigation water is supplied by large-scale State and Federal water projects that store, transport, and deliver water across hundreds of miles.

The two largest overarching mechanisms for delivering surface water in California are the State Water Project (SWP) and the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP).

On average, 70 percent of annual State Water Project supplies go to urban users and 30 percent to agricultural users.

In contrast, the Central Valley Project, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, allocates, on average, about 70 percent of its delivered water to agriculture.

Relative to longrun averages, deliveries from both projects were down modestly in 2012 and 2013, and then dropped dramatically in 2014, with similar delivery shortfalls for 2015.

In an historical context, the current drought is at least as bad, from a deliveries perspective, as the 1977 and 1991-1992 droughts.

While surface water from these projects is delivered through much of the State, the impacts of these reductions are most pronounced in the Central Valley of California.

Farms in Southern California receive much of their surface water from the Colorado River, which has not been as heavily impacted by the current drought.

View the related chart here.

Source: Agri Marketing

ProAg Quick Links

Agent Toolbox Grower Toolbox Careers

ProAg News

Michigan Farmers Bring Aid to Nebraska Flood Victims

Fahley was part of a group from Michigan, organized under the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Ag Community Relief, that has made four trips with trucks loaded with supplies to aid farmers in Nebraska and Iowa after a historic bomb cyclone and mass flooding in mid-March hit major portions of those states....

Should Nitrogen Take a Back Seat to Weed Control, Planting?

With major storm systems working their way across the Plains, Midwest and South this week, planting may seem a more distant dream than ever. For some farmers, it may be time to start prioritizing some fieldwork over others, crop experts told DTN....
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×