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Major Accomplishments

Introduction

Director Comments on Regional Priorities, Strategies; Opportunities Presented by ARRA Funding

static image:  photo - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project

The report of 2010 achievements by the Mid-Pacific Region begins in 2008-09 with the Region recommitting to improvement of organizational efficiency and effectiveness, relationships essential to accomplishing tasks, and workload management and acquisition processes.

Then in 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted. When ARRA funding was made available to Reclamation, it was used to address important but unfunded projects. The projects had to meet specific ARRA requirements and be positioned to move forward into the construction phase.

Many Mid-Pacific Region projects and programs received ARRA funding, which allowed construction to begin on previously unfunded but needed projects, and was used to accelerate ongoing projects and programs. The Region was able to add the new tasks to its existing work because of the success of improved efficiency, performing the increased workload with the same staffing levels and organization design.

The following section of this report provides updates on numerous programs in the Region, beginning with these five projects.

Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement
interactive image:  photo - Contractors building an access road; click for larger photo
Contractors building an access road.

The Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam has been identified as a high priority. About $115 million in ARRA funding was made available to move forward with the project, making it the largest single outlay of ARRA funds in the Department of the Interior. These facilities will help provide safe passage for fish while protecting the area’s farming economy and jobs. (Please see page 20.)

“The emphasis within the regional office of improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness positioned us to respond to this priority project. Had we not made those changes, we would not have been as successful this year” – Regional Director Don Glaser

Battle Creek Restoration

interactive image:  photo - Obsolete fish ladders such as this on Battle Creek are being replaced; click for larger photo
Obsolete fish ladders such as this on Battle Creek are being replaced.

 

In 2010, ARRA funds were used to accelerate construction of the Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project, which involves removal of five dams to open 48 miles of premium spawning habitat. The project includes installation of fish ladders and construction of bypasses. A major northern California power company will forego some of its hydroelectric production from the area. (Please see
page 24.)

“Battle Creek restoration is a great collaborative project, with both public and private members, that opens up premiere cold-water habitat for the recovery of salmon and steelhead” – Regional Director Don Glaser

 


Intertie of Canals in Central Valley

interactive image:  photo - Contractors begin work on the Intertie Project along the Delta-Mendota Canal; click for larger photo
Contractors begin work on the Intertie Project along the Delta-Mendota Canal.

ARRA funding allowed construction to begin on the Delta-Mendota Canal/California Aqueduct Intertie project, which involves constructing a link between two integrated canals in California’s Central Valley to improve water supply reliability south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The project will provide both the federal Central Valley Project and California’s State Water Project with more operational reliability and flexibility. (Please see page 28.)

“The Intertie illustrates what we need to do in the future to make
effective use of a limited water supply” – Regional Director Don Glaser

Folsom Dam Improvements

interactive image:  photo - Construction improvements underway at Folsom Dam; click for larger photo
Construction improvements underway at Folsom Dam.


During 2010, Reclamation and federal, state and local agency partners continued a unique partnership to further protect more than a million residents in communities surrounding Folsom Dam and Reservoir. Numerous construction projects were either begun or completed during the year to improve flood protection and reduce dam safety risks at the Folsom facility on the American River, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento. These and pending projects represent more than $1 billion in improvements. (Please see
page 32.)

“The dam is immediately upstream from a major metropolitan area that, to a great extent, is built on a flood plain and is protected by levees. We are further ensuring it will safely pass very large storm events without putting the community, or the facility, at risk”
—Regional Director Don Glaser

San Joaquin River Restoration

interactive image:  photo - Releases from Friant Dam are being used in restoration of the San Joaquin River; click for larger photo

Releases from Friant Dam are being used in restoration of the San Joaquin River.

 


The San Joaquin River Restoration Program required water releases in October 2009 into a riverbed that had been allowed to go dry half a century earlier. By March 2010, the river was reconnected to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for the first time in more than 60 years, except for flood releases. The program is a comprehensive, long-term effort to restore flows to the river from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River, re-creating a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts from restoration flows. (Please see page 36.)

“The program is an indication of changing public values. There was a deliberate decision in the 1950s to dry the river up, as a matter of public policy, and to eliminate the southern-most run for Pacific Coast salmon. Decades later, we find there has been a change in public values and interest. Water remains important for agricultural, municipal, industrial and electricity production purposes, but the public is now saying that should not come at the expense of natural resources”
– Regional Director Don Glaser

April 1, 2011