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

USDA Reports Review

The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) for July was met with much skepticism based on the corn numbers. With production 195 million bushels (mb) higher than in June and nearly 375 mb above the average trade estimate, the corn market sloughed off early weakness and closed sharply higher....

Helping wheat, corn producers target fertilizer needs

A few years ago, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Akron, Colorado began noticing a pattern to their wheat harvests: yields were higher in low-lying areas. But it was the extreme variability in yields that surprised the researchers. ...

Grants help rural businesses lower energy costs

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today encouraged farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs....
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

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

×