Restrictions intended to protect native fish in the Delta, imposed under the Endangered Species Act, have had significant effects on water exports over the past decade, under both wet and dry hydrological conditions. Even after a years with historically wet winters, like in 2017, allocations are disappointingly low the following years.

The State Water Project has not received a full allocation since 2006. This year’s initial allocation is just 10 percent, despite healthy snowpack and reservoir levels. 

The charts below shows the allocations for the Central Valley Project south of the Delta (CVP) and State Water Project contractors (SWP) and the water losses in the Delta over the past several years.

SWP allocations

CVP allocations

History of Water Supply Restrictions

  • 1991 – Endangered Species Act – Winter Run Salmon Temperature Control
  • 1992: Central Valley Improvement Act
  • 1994: Endangered Species Act – Delta Smelt Biological Opinion
  • 1995: Water Quality Control Plan/Clean Water Act
  • 1997: Anadromous Fish Restoration Program
  • 2000: Trinity Restoration Plan
  • 2008: Delta Smelt Biological Opinion
  • 2009: Salmon Biological Opinion