Water Supply Contracts and Water Rights

Water supply contracts for the Friant Division reflect its original design as a conjunctive use project.

  • Class 1 contracts: the first 800,000 acre feet stored in Millerton Lake in any given year is delivered as a guaranteed supply.
  • Class 2 contracts: additional stored supplies beyond 800,000 acre feet, up to 1,400,000 acre feet, that if available can be delivered in lieu of groundwater pumping and for groundwater recharge.

When the Friant Division was planned, the Bureau of Reclamation obtained water rights to store water from the San Joaquin River from riparian water users along the river downstream from Mendota Pool. In exchange for their San Joaquin River water, these water users, the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors (Exchange Contractors) receive an annual supply of 840,000 acre feet of Northern California CVP water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and delivered in the Delta-Mendota Canal. The cost of construction, operations, and maintenance of facilities that supply both the Exchange Contractors and Friant with CVP water deliveries are borne by Friant Division long-term water contractors. Under certain conditions, the provisions of the contracts and agreements between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Exchange Contractors allow for some amount of San Joaquin River supplies to be delivered to the Exchange Contractors.