NOTICE: San Joaquin River Restoration Program to release higher flow bench

From the San Joaquin River Restoration Program:

This notice serves to inform the public that Reclamation plans to release a “flow bench” from Friant Dam that will increase water levels within the San Joaquin River Restoration Area.  The higher flow began on Friday, February 14, 2020 and will continue at least through early March. Flows will be sustained near 525 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs), with small variations possible over the period of higher flows.  The duration of these higher flows will depend upon the developing hydrology; if watershed conditions improve with additional precipitation, this flow bench will be extended into April prior to returning to a more typical 350-420 cfs release from Friant Dam.

Additionally, Reclamation has updated the 2020 Restoration Allocation and Default Flow Schedule on February 7, 2020. This corresponds to an allocation of 70,919 acre-feet (AF) as measured at Gravelly Ford, or 187,785 AF at Friant Dam.  This is a “Critical-High” Water Year Type.  This updated allocation issuance is in response to increasingly dry conditions experienced over the last 60 days.  The Restoration Allocation will continue to be updated regularly until May or June when the final determination will be made. The Restoration Administrator for the Program will return a recommendation based on this allocation in the coming days, resulting in an updated schedule for Restoration Flows between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

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