Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region Banner
Reclamation Home             Reclamation Offices             Newsroom             Library            Projects & Facilities

Mid-Pacific Region Highlights

Overview

Eleven Water Projects Serve a Diverse Region

The Mid-Pacific Region encompasses 11 water projects – ranging from relatively small to among the largest in the nation. The unique and essential projects, as shown on the map, are spread across southern Oregon, western Nevada and California.

The Region’s projects provide water for agricultural, municipal, industrial and environmental purposes through complex processes, driven by numerous factors, including hydrology, regulations, court decisions, environmental considerations, operational limits, input from other agencies and organizations, and a changing climate.

The Region’s multi-purpose network of dams, reservoirs, canals, hydroelectric powerplants and other facilities include the Central Valley Project, one of the world’s largest and best-known systems for storing and delivering water. It serves one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States. Shasta Dam forms the CVP’s largest reservoir, near Mount Shasta in Northern California.

static image:  map of Mid-Pacific Region water projects
Mid-Pacific Region water projects

 

static image:  map of the central Valley Project

Map of the Central Valley Project

interactive image:  photo of the Shasta Dam in northern California, a key feature of the central valley project; click for larger photo

Shasta Dam in Northern California is a key feature of the Central Valley Project. This employee contest photo was taken by Scott Dethlefsen.


The Central Valley Project

Overview

The Central Valley Project extends 400 miles, from the Cascade Range in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains near Bakersfield in the south. The CVP’s complex, multi-purpose network of dams, reservoirs, canals, hydroelectric powerplants and other facilities across northern and central California serve agriculture, municipal and industrial needs, and fish and wildlife, in the semi-arid Central Valley.

The project is a major asset to California’s economy, providing water for most of the top agricultural producing counties in the nation’s leading farm state. The California Department of Food and Agriculture reported in its latest California Agricultural Highlights publication that farm production in the state totals more than $36 billion annually. About a third of that production, or about $12 billion, came from the Central Valley.

The CVP provides flood protection for the Central Valley and supplies domestic and industrial water in the valley, as well as to major urban centers in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas.

The project also provides water to restore and protect fish and wildlife, and to enhance water quality. It is a major source of water for 19 wildlife refuges. Five of the refuges are in the Sacramento Valley and 14 are in the San Joaquin Valley.

Construction of major CVP facilities began in 1938 with breaking of ground for Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River near Redding in Northern California. Over the next five decades, the project was expanded into a system of 20 dams and reservoirs that together can hold nearly 12 million acre-feet. The CVP includes 500 miles of canals and aqueducts and 11 hydroelectric powerplants. In Sacramento, the Central Valley Operations Office and the California Department of Water Resources coordinate operations of the CVP and California’s companion water delivery system, the State Water Project.

CVP Facilities/Operation

CVP facilities include reservoirs on several major rivers, including the Trinity, Sacramento, American, Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers.

In Northern California, Shasta Dam is situated on the Sacramento River. Nearby is Trinity Dam on the Trinity River. Water stored in Trinity Reservoir and smaller reservoirs is diverted through a system of tunnels and powerplants into the Sacramento River. Water from all these reservoirs, and others operated by the State Water Project, eventually flow into the Sacramento River.

To the south, the American River, below Folsom Dam and Reservoir, joins the Sacramento River. Some CVP contractors, water rights contractors and water rights holders divert water directly from the Sacramento and American rivers.

The Sacramento River and others carry water to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant, at the southern end of the Delta, lifts water into the Delta-Mendota Canal. The canal delivers water to CVP contractors and exchange contractors on the San Joaquin River and water rights contractors on the Mendota Pool.

CVP water is also conveyed to San Luis Reservoir for deliveries to project contractors through the San Luis Canal. Water from San Luis Reservoir is also conveyed through the Pacheco Tunnel to project contractors in Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

The CVP delivers water from Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River to project contractors serviced by the Madera and Friant-Kern canals. Water is stored in New Melones Reservoir for water rights holders in the Stanislaus River watershed and CVP contractors in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

The CVP and the separate State Water Project convey water in the Sacramento River and the Delta. The project’s reservoir operations are coordinated to obtain maximum yields and deliver water into the main river channels and canals of the projects in the most efficient and environmentally sensitive manner.

CVP irrigation and municipal water is delivered in accordance with long-term contracts negotiated with irrigation districts, cities and other users. Water is also delivered to wildlife refuges in accordance with the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and its programs to restore and protect wildlife.

CVP Reservoir Capacities and End of Water Year (Sept. 30, 2012) Carryover Storage In Million Acre-feet
Reservoirs
Annual Carryover Storage Comparisons
15-Year Average Carryover Storage 1997-2012
CVP Reservoirs and Capacities
2012 Carryover Volume
% of Reservoir Capacity
% of 15-year Average
2011 Carryover Volume
% of Reservoir Capacity
% of 15-year Average
Volume
% of Reservoir Capacity
Shasta, 4.552
2.6
57
96
3.3
73
124
2.7
59
New Melones, 2.42
1.5
62
97
2.1
85
128
1.6
66
Trinity, 2.448
1.8
74
108
2.2
89
135
1.7
69
Folsom, .977
.45
46
84
.74
76
135
.54
55
Millerton, .52
.32
61
124
.36
68
148
.26
50
Federal San Luis, .966
.25
26
78
.64
67
268
.32
33
Total, 11.8
6.9
58
98
9.3
78
135
7.0
59


Comparison of Previous End of Year (Carryover) Storage
Million Acre-feet
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
1997
(Lowest Carryover)
6.9
9.3
7.4
4.8
4.1
1.5


Major CVP Canals
Canal
Length (miles)
Capacity (cubic feet per second)
2012
2011
2010
Corning
  21.0
     500
Tehama-Colusa
110.9
  2,530
Contra Costa
  47.7
     350
Folsom South
  26.7
  3,500
Delta-Mendota
117.0
  4,600
Friant-Kern
151.8
  5,000
Madera
  35.9
  1,250
Coalinga
  11.6
  1,100
San Luis (Joint Federal/State)
102.5
13,100


Major CVP Dams and Reservoirs
Dam and Reservoir
River System
Storage Capacity
(Acre-Feet)
Active Storage Capacity*
(Acre-Feet)
Shasta Dam and Reservoir
Sacramento
4,552,000
3,964,960
Trinity Dam and Reservoir
Trinity
2,448,000
2,135,010
Folsom Dam and Reservoir
American
   977,000
    894,000
New Melones Dam and Reservoir
Stanislaus
2,420,000
2,417,000
Friant Dam and Millerton Reservoir
San Joaquin
   520,000
    433,800
San Luis Dam and Reservoir
Offstream Storage
2,039,000
(Total storage)
966,000
(Federal share)
1,961,320
(Total Active Storage)

*Active Storage Capacity - The reservoir capacity assigned to regulate reservoir inflow for irrigation, power, municipal and industrial use, fish and wildlife, navigation, recreation, water quality, and other purposes. It does not include exclusive flood control or joint use capacity. It extends from the top of the active conservation capacity to the top of the inactive capacity (or dead capacity where there is no inactive capacity).

CVP Divisions and Units

The complex operations of the CVP are organized into divisions and units: The Shasta Division in Northern California that includes Shasta Reservoir on the Sacramento River and the nearby Trinity Division that directs water into the Sacramento River; the Sacramento River Division, Sacramento Canals Unit; the American River Division near Sacramento that includes Folsom Reservoir; the Delta Division, which includes the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant and the Delta-Mendota and Conta Costa canals; the East Side Division, New Melones Unit that includes New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River in the San Joaquin Valley; the Friant Division that includes Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin River; the West San Joaquin Division, San Luis Unit, that includes San Luis Reservoir; and the San Felipe Division that serves the central coastal portion of California.

static image:  photo - Delta-Mendota Canal in the San Joaquin Valley
Delta-Mendota Canal in the San Joaquin Valley.

CVP Water Deliveries

The CVP’s water comes from rain and runoff from the Sierra Nevada snowpack flowing into reservoirs. Releases from dams pass through rivers and canals to the Central Valley, serving contractors in the northern half, referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and the southern half, known as the San Joaquin Valley.

The CVP has long-term agreements to supply water to more than 250 contractors in 29 of California’s 58 counties. Deliveries by the CVP include providing an annual average of 5 million acre-feet of water for farms; 600,000 acre-feet of water for municipal and industrial uses (enough water to supply about 2.5 million people for a year); and water for wildlife refuges and maintaining water quality in the Delta.

CVP Powerplants and Capacities (in megawatts)
Northern California Area Office (NCAO)
Shasta Dam
710 MW
Trinity Dam
140 MW
Judge Francis Carr
154 MW
Spring Creek
180 MW
Keswick Dam
105 MW
Lewiston Dam
.350 MW
Central California Area Office (CCAO)
Folsom Dam
207 MW
Nimbus Dam
17 MW
New Melones Dam
383 MW
South-Central California Area Office (SCCAO)
O’Neill
14.4 MW
San Luis
202 MW

CVP Hydroelectric Power Production and Benefits

There are 11 hydroelectric powerplants in the CVP with a combined capacity of about 2,100 megawatts. (A megawatt is enough to supply nearly 1,000 homes.)

CVP powerplants produce about 4.5 million megawatt hours in an average water year. (A megawatt hour is continuous production of one megawatt over an hour.)

About a third of the electricity generated by the CVP is used for pumping water throughout the project. The rest is made available to the Western Area Power Administration for sale and distribution in the western United States.


interactive image:  photo - the C.W. "Bill" Jones Pumping Plant is located at the southern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; click for larger photo

The C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant is located at the southern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

CVP’s Delta Pumping Plant

The C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant, near Tracy, Calif., at the southern end of the Delta, lifts water nearly 200 feet through 15-foot diameter pipes into the Delta-Mendota Canal. At full capacity, with the Intertie operating, the plant can pump 4,600 cubic feet per second, which is 9,100 acre-feet per day.

The canal delivers water to CVP water service contractors, exchange contractors and wildlife refuges. The contractors provide agricultural and urban water service in the western San Joaquin Valley, and portions of San Benito and Santa Clara counties. The CVP water is also conveyed with pumping units to the San Luis Reservoir for deliveries to CVP contractors through the San Luis Canal.

CVP’s Tracy Fish Collection Facility

The Tracy Fish Collection Facility is a system of louvers, bypasses and holding tanks operated to protect and salvage fish from the operations of the nearby Jones pumping plant.

The facility collects Delta fish species as a primary mitigation feature for the pumping plant and returns them to the Delta. Threadfin shad, striped bass, and American shad made up the bulk of the collection. There are about 50 species of fish collected at the facility, including listed species such as the Delta smelt, winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon.

interactive image:  photo - The Tracy Fish Collection Facility, near the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant, helps protect fish; click for larger photo

The Tracy Fish Collection Facility, near the C.W. "Bill" Jones Pumping Plant, helps protect fish.

CVP’s Agricultural Benefits

Based on a California Department of Food and Agriculture report, the following agricultural production occurs annually on acreage served by the CVP:

interactive image:  photo - Farmworkers harvest produce in the San Joaquin Valley; click for larger photointeractive image:  photo - Birds feed and rest at a Central Valley wildife refuge; click for larger photo

Left: Farmworkers harvest produce in the San Joaquin Valley.
Right: Birds feed and rest at a Central Valley wildife refuge.


Other California Projects

Northern California

Orland
The Orland Project, which is located in the Sacramento Valley about 100 miles north of Sacramento, collects runoff from the eastern Coast Range. The project provides irrigation water to about 20,000 acres of farmland. The project is comprised of East Park Dam on Little Stony Creek and Stony Gorge Dam on Stony Creek. It also includes Rainbow and Northside diversion dams.

Central California

Solano
The Solano Project, which is located northeast of San Francisco Bay on Putah Creek, collects runoff from the eastern Coast Range. The project provides irrigation water to about 95,000 acres of farmland and municipal and industrial water to the cities of Vallejo, Vacaville, Fairfield, Benicia and Suisun. The project is comprised of Lake Berryessa, behind Monticello Dam. It also includes Putah Diversion Dam, Putah South Canal, Green Valley Conduit and Terminal Dam and Reservoir.

Three California Seacoast Projects: Capturing Seasonal Floodwaters for Beneficial Uses

Cachuma
The Cachuma Project is located near Santa Barbara on the Santa Ynez River. The project provides irrigation water for about 35,000 acres of farmlands and municipal and industrial water for the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito and Carpinteria. The project is comprised of Lake Cachuma behind Bradbury Dam, Lauro Dam and Reservoir, Ortega Dam and Reservoir, Carpinteria Dam and Reservoir, Glen Anne Dam and Reservoir, Tecolote Tunnel, South Coast Conduit and Sheffield Tunnel.

Santa Maria
The Santa Maria Project is located about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles on the Cuyama River. The project provides irrigation water for about 35,000 acres of farmland. It is comprised of Twitchell Dam and Reservoir.

Ventura River
The Ventura River Project is located about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles on the Ventura River. The project provides irrigation water to about 7,000 acres of farmland and supplies water to about 60,000 municipal and industrial users. It is comprised of Casitas Dam and Reservoir, Robles Diversion Dam and Fish Passage Facility, and Robles-Casitas Canal.

interactive image:  photo - East Park Dam in the Orland Project; click for larger photointeractive image:  photo - Monticello Dam, with a morning glory spillway, in the Solano Project; click for larger photo

Left: East Park Dam in the Orland Project.
Right: Monticello Dam, with a morning glory spillway, in the Solano Project.


Nevada Projects

Newlands
The Newlands Project is located in western Nevada and the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The project provides irrigation water from the Truckee and Carson rivers for about 57,000 acres of farmland in the Lahontan Valley, near Fallon and Fernley, in western Nevada. The project also serves the Pyramid Lake Paiute Indian Tribe. It is comprised of the Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, Lake Tahoe Dam, Derby Diversion Dam, Truckee Canal and Carson River Diversion Dam.

Washoe
The Washoe Project is located in west-central Nevada and eastern California. The project provides water from the Truckee and lower Carson rivers to benefit fish and wildlife. It is comprised of Prosser Creek Dam and Reservoir, Stampede Dam and Reservoir, Marble Bluff Dam and Pyramid Lake Fishway.

Truckee
The Truckee Storage Project is located in western Nevada on the Little Truckee River. The project provides irrigation water for about 29,000 acres of farmland in Truckee Meadows, surrounding Reno and Sparks. It is comprised of Boca Dam and Reservoir.

Humboldt
The Humboldt Project is located in northwestern Nevada, near Lovelock, on the Humboldt River. The project provides irrigation water for about 45,000 acres of farmland. It is comprised of the Rye Patch Dam and Reservoir.


Oregon Projects

Klamath

The Klamath Project is located in southern Oregon and northern California. The project provides water from the Klamath River and Lost River for irrigation of about 210,000 acres of farmland. It is comprised of Clear Lake Dam and Reservoir, Gerber Dam and Reservoir, Link River Dam, Lost River Diversion Dam, Anderson-Rose Diversion Dam, Malone Diversion Dam, Miller Diversion Dam, Tule Lake Tunnel and Klamath Straits Drain.

interactive image:  Klamath map; click for larger photo

Klamath map


static image:  photo - Fishing enthusiasts at Nimbus Dam. Employee contest photo by Joyce Fernandez
Fishing enthusiasts at Nimbus Dam. Employee contest photo by Joyce Fernandez.

Recreation

The Region has more than 60 recreation areas, including reservoirs, campgrounds, wildlife refuges, hiking trails and fish hatcheries.

The facilities provide a wide range of recreation opportunities such as boating, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, biking, rock climbing, sightseeing and viewing of wildlife.

Their locations range from areas near cities to rugged, remote sites. Some are managed by the Region; others by federal, state and local government partners, among them, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Nevada Division of State Parks, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Region directly manages recreation in five areas:

The Region’s other major recreational sites include:

The Region’s educational offerings include tours of Shasta Dam in Northern California. The tours include an elevator ride down inside the dam, where guides discuss the construction, history and purpose of the project; and a look at the powerplant, California’s largest hydroelectric generating station.

Educational offerings in Central California include the American River Water Education Center near Folsom Reservoir. The center’s mission is to increase the public’s knowledge of the American River watershed -- both the natural features and human interactions within the watershed.

Region facilities also provide interpretive activities such as those at New Melones Reservoir in the central Sierra Nevada foothills and Lake Berryessa in Napa County.

February 22, 2013