THIS JUST IN … Reclamation seeks comment on proposed changes to its operations in California

Aerial view looking North along Old River, in the center is Fay Island.  Photo taken March 08, 2019.
Ken James / California Department of Water Resources

Alternatives use new science to optimize water delivery and species protection

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation released a draft environmental impact statement analyzing potential effects associated with long-term water operations for the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. Reclamation’s goal is to incorporate updated science into CVP and SWP operations to optimize water deliveries for communities and farms, while protecting threatened and endangered species. The draft environmental impact statement will be available for public input for a 45-day review period.

“This is a huge undertaking that affects water operations throughout California. It is important we listen to as many voices as we can,” said Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant. “Seeking public input is an essential part of the process to ensure our actions are improving the quality of life for people and also protecting our valuable natural resources.”

Proposed actions outlined in the document include temperature management at Shasta Dam, habitat and salinity measures in the Delta, and management of fish entrainment related to water exports from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta. Together, these proposed actions aim to give water operators more flexibility to deliver water, optimize power generation and protect threatened and endangered species.

Three public meetings are scheduled:

  • July 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m. – San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority (842 6th St, Los Banos, CA 93635)
  • July 31, 3:00-5:00 p.m. – Kimpton Sawyer Hotel/Magnolia Ballroom (500 J St., Sacramento, CA 95814)
  • August 1, 5:00-7:00 p.m. – Lakeside Pavilion (2565 California Park Dr., Chico, CA 95928)

Current CVP and SWP operations are guided by 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 2009 NOAA Fisheries biological opinions. Since completion of those opinions, the Department of the Interior, the state of California, federal and state contractors, non-governmental organizations and others invested significant resources to advance the science of the Central Valley and Delta to more effectively manage this system.

The draft environmental impact statement is available here. Submit written comments to sha-mpr-bdo@usbr.gov by close of business August 26.

 

 

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