Program to Meet Standards (PTMS)
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region (Reclamation), has initiated implementation of a program to provide greater flexibility in meeting existing water quality standards and objectives for which the Central Valley Project has responsibility in order to reduce reliance on releases from New Melones Reservoir for those purposes. Implementation of this program is consistent with direction given by Congress in the Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act (Public Law 108-361) to develop and initiate a Program to Meet Standards - PTMS. A February 2006 report, Program to Meet Standards, Response to CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act (Public Law 108-361) CALFED Bay-Delta Program, California summarizes the scope, activities, and management approach Reclamation is pursuing for the program.
Reclamation, as operator of the Central Valley Project (CVP), delivers water to the San Joaquin Valley via the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC). Reclamation and other nonpoint source (NPS) dischargers, such as Federal and State wildlife refuges, and agriculture and irrigation dischargers are subject to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Board) requirements for managing salt discharges to the Lower San Joaquin River (LSJR). In the 2006 Basin Plan amendment, the Board identified Reclamation as responsible for 47 percent of the salt load discharged to the LSJR via the DMC. The amendment required all NPS dischargers to meet salt load requirements or to participate in a Salinity Real Time Management Program (RTMP).
In 2008, Reclamation signed the Management Agency Agreement (MAA) with the Board. The MAA required Reclamation to facilitate participation in a RTMP. In 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Board signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSC) to coordinate and fund Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) projects.
Reclamation is working with the Board, CVSC, and Grassland Water District (GWD), and the Westside San Joaquin River Watershed Coalition to develop a RTMP and have the RTMP Framework in place by December 2013. The framework will provide the road map for the real-time program. Our activities include:
- Provided dilution flows from New Melones to meet salt water quality objectives at Vernalis
- Released Technical Memoranda for the Westside Salt Assessment (WSA) Water, Salt and Nitrate Budgets (See link to WSA reports).
- Initiated interest in the RTMP by coordinating discussions with the Board and CVP water users to define the requirements and process.
- Participated in CV-SALTS meetings and workshops, and provided leadership for the Technical Advisory Committee.
- Worked with Westside San Joaquin River Watershed Coalition and San Joaquin Valley Drainage Authority to coordinate the framework, management, and funding approaches.
- Initiated the 2-year pilot study to demonstrating real-time salt management at the GWD.
- Developed a visualization tool to demonstrate how salt discharges can be managed to coincide with the optimum river flows.
- Initiated improvements to the San Joaquin River Forecast model for assimilative capacity.
- Provided leadership for the Technical Advisory Committee.
- Met the MAA requirements and submitted quarterly reports to the Board since 2008.
- Coordinated the Phase 2 MAA between Board and Reclamation.
- Technical Memorandum Salt and Nitrate Budget
- Technical Memorandum Water Budget
- Technical Memorandum Salt and Nitrate Budget
- Transmittal of the Technical Memoranda for the Water Budget and the Salt and Nitrate Budget for the Westside Salt Assessment, Lower San Joaquin River, California
- Program to Meet Standards, Response to CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act (P.L. 108-361), CALFED Bay-Delta Program, California (pdf - 1.2 MB)
Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSALTS) is a non-profit coalition of Public Agencies, Business, Associations and other members working together to better manage Salts in the Central Valley of California
Nigel W.T. Quinn PhD, P.E., D.WRE, Research Group Leader, HydroEcological Engineering Advanced Decision Support, Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Quinn's papers on RTMP, salinity, and selenium in the Central Valley can be accessed through Research Gate link: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nigel_Quinn/publications/?pubType=article.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region
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Last update: January 17, 2014