Bureau Files Recaptured River
Water Environmental Findings
Returning San Joaquin River Restoration Program flows to Friant users has always been one of the program’s goals and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is taking steps to do just that over the next five years.
Reclamation has released for public review draft environmental documents regarding recirculation of Restoration flows to contractors in the Central Valley Project’s Friant Division through February 28, 2018.
Development of a recapture and recirculation plan was required by the 2006 Settlement in San Joaquin River litigation. It is part of the implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program’s Water Management Goal.
“For Friant, the Water Management Goal is equal in importance to the River Restoration Goal,” said Ronald D. Jacobsma, Friant Water Authority General Manager. “It is to reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts to all Friant long-term contractors that result from Interim and Restoration flows.”
Significant amounts of Interim Flow water have already been recirculated to Friant through storage (by exchange at Mendota Pool) in San Luis Reservoir and delivery through the California Aqueduct and Cross Valley Canal in Kern County. Once San Joaquin River Flows begin to reach the Delta, water recapture and recirculation is anticipated to be much more challenging than the Mendota Pool exchange currently utilized given Delta pumping restrictions under salmon and Delta smelt biological opinions. San Joaquin River flows have a lower priority for use of the pumping facilities and south of Delta contractors are and have been experiencing significant reductions in water supplies due to pumping restrictions.