NOTICE: San Joaquin River Restoration Program Begins Restoration Flows

From the San Joaquin River Restoration Program:

This notice is to inform you that Restoration Flows within the San Joaquin River Restoration Area will resume Restoration Flows at noon on July 11, 2019. This change will be effective immediately throughout the system.

Friant Dam has been managed for flood control from March 15 through April 5, 2019 and again since May 21, 2019, precluding the release of Restoration Flows. However, because flood releases into the San Joaquin River are no longer necessary for reservoir management, Restoration Flows will resume.

Water users should be aware that diversions of Restoration Flows are not allowed unless authorized by Reclamation. Restoration Flows are dedicated for preservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife resources pursuant to Water Code section 1707 and are protected under the California Water Code.  Restoration Flows shall not be diverted or stored unless otherwise authorized by Reclamation, subject to the conditions of Reclamation’s water rights.

This change in operations to Restoration Flows is consistent with the Stipulation of Settlement, Restoration Flow Guidelines (V. 2.0, February 2017) and the Final 2019 Restoration Allocation & Default Flow Schedule issued May 20, 2019 remains a Wet Restoration Year Type with a Restoration Allocation of 556,542 acre-feet as measured at Gravelly Ford.

The current Restoration Administrator recommendation schedules 187,343 acre-feet as Restoration Flows, with the balance of 341,199 acre-feet as Unreleased Restoration Flows and 28,000 acre-feet lost to flood spill. These Unreleased Restoration Flows were sold to Friant long-term contractors, with the revenue benefiting the Restoration Goal. A copy of the allocation and default flow schedule is available here: http://www.restoresjr.net/?wpfb_dl=2308

The schedule for Restoration Flow releases is provided below, which is based on Restoration Administrator’s May 14 Recommendation with minor amendments — this schedule may be further amended in response to changing river and groundwater conditions.

Date Estimated Flow Release from Friant Dam (cfs) Scheduled Restoration Flows at Gravelly Ford (cfs) Scheduled Restoration Flows from Sack Dam (cfs) Volume of Scheduled Restoration Flows 3
(acre-feet)
Jul 11 –
Jul 15
750 cfs declining to 500 cfs variable 200 5,690
July 16 –
July 29
530 300 200 8,331
July 30 —
Sep 30
400-420 190 109 23,742
Oct 1 –
Oct 31
350 190 109 11,683
Nov 1 –
Nov 10
700 570 451 11,305
Nov 11 –
Dec 31
350 230 147 23,266
Jan 1 –
Feb 29, 2020
344 244 160 29,256
Previous Volume of Restoration Flow Releases 74,070
Total Volume of Scheduled Restoration Flows (Mar 1, 2019 through Feb 29, 2020) 187,343

1 Release at Friant Dam may be higher or lower than estimated due to channel infiltration losses, holding contract demands along the San Joaquin River, and other factors.
2 Restoration Flows at Gravelly Ford do not include 5 cfs for Holding Contracts, therefore total flow at the Gravelly Ford gauge (the Gravelly Ford flow target) will typically be 5 cfs greater than the Restoration Flows shown here.
3 Final volume of Restoration Flows will be based on the actual flows at Gravelly Ford. The scheduled flow volumes based on the Gravelly Ford gauge are shown here.

Reclamation will regularly evaluate releases at Friant Dam to achieve the flow target at Gravelly Ford. For Information about Restoration Flows, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net/restoration-goal/restoration-flows/. Restoration Flows will be limited such that no flooding or seepage impacts are expected to occur.  Reclamation will reduce Restoration Flows as necessary to maintain compliance with the Seepage Management Plan. Reclamation maintains a Seepage Hotline at 916-978-4398.

To access the Restoration Administrator recommendations, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net/documentsreports/ra-recommendations/.
For additional information about the Program, please visit our website at www.restoresjr.net or contact Josh Newcom, Public Affairs Specialist, at 916-978-5508 or via e-mail at snewcom@usbr.gov.

 

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