County, USBR Negotiate Local System’s Transfer

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is negotiating with Fresno County Waterworks District No. 18 for the long-term transfer of operation and maintenance of Reclamation-owned facilities located at Friant Dam that are used to supply municipal water to the town of Friant.
The county is one of the Friant Division’s municipal and industrial water contractors. Also being considered is proposed modification of Reclamation-owned pipelines and other infrastructure near Friant Dam and execution of an agreement for operation and maintenance of those facilities.

Eaton Trail Effort Now 25 Years Old

One of the Fresno area’s major green space efforts – the San Joaquin River Parkway and its Lewis S. Eaton Trail – now is 25 years old.
The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust began its efforts a quarter of a century ago to provide recreation and river vistas while protecting the river bottom area through the metropolitan Fresno area.

West Side Firm Marks 100 Years

Another San Joaquin Valley water agency has become a centenarian.
The San Luis Canal Company, which serves 45,000 acres between Dos Palos and Los Banos, marked its 100 year anniversary with special exhibits and a dinner at the Los Banos Fairgrounds.
The company is one of the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors, holding historic rights to San Joaquin River water handed down from the former West Side cattle company Miller & Lux.
An outside exhibit featured a reconstruction of the company’s original San Joaquin River diversion still known as Sack Dam.
Also exhibited, the Los Banos Enterprise reported, were original tools of the trade such as a 1920 cement mixer, an original headgate and other historic equipment.
A video about the company was shown.
“I believe Miller & Lux would have been very proud of how our local landowners continue to farm in the tradition that was expected of them by their forefathers,” Chase Hurley, the company’s General Manager, said.

Red Bluff Dam Decommissioned

A $3.28 million contract has been awarded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for decommissioning of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River.
The dam’s 11 gates will be braced permanently in a fully-raised position. Various pumping features, piping and associated equipment are to be salvaged.
Existing fish ladders will be modified to prevent fish entrapment during high water periods.
Work will also include salvaging fish screens from the Central Valley Project’s Tehama-Colusa Canal and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities, located south of the dam. The dam structure will not be removed.
“This is the final stage of what is one of the most significant measures being implemented to improve fish passage in the Sacramento River and marks the final stages of the successful completion of the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project,” said Commissioner of Reclamation Michael L. Connor.
The diversion dam’s gates used to be lowered to provide gravity diversion of irrigation water from the river into the Tehama-Colusa and Corning canals, which created an impediment to migrating fish.
A new screened pumping plant was built to supply the canals with CVP water.

Watershed Science Receives Big Gift

The University of California, Davis has received a $10 million gift for its Center for Watershed Sciences to help solve California’s critical water issues
The San Francisco-based S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation presented the gift to enable the center to expand its research on how to solve problems such as drinking water safety and reliability, flood protection, agricultural production and hydroelectric power.

Massive Storms Don’t End Drought

Massive September storms in Colorado dumped a year’s worth of rain in under a week and caused disastrous flooding but the extraordinary weather event is considered unlikely to improve conditions on the Colorado River in the near term or to break 14 consecutive years of drought.
The Colorado River supplies water to Southern California, six other Western states and parts of Mexico.
The rain increased the elevation at Lake Powell by 2 feet, said Lisa Iams of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Inflows also raised the elevation at Lake Mead.

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