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Water Transfers

Since the 1970’s, the Mid-Pacific Region (Region) of the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has recognized the practice of transferring water from one water user to another through authorized legislation, Secretarial directives, policy statements, transfer agreements, and water transfer guidelines.

Water transfers can be an effective incentive for improved water management, as well as a way to promote water conservation, particularly in drought years, as long as transfers are consistent with state and federal law.

The Region continues to facilitate transfers of both Central Valley Project (CVP) and non-CVP water.  The transfer of CVP-water may occur as long as it is consistent with the transfer provisions set forth in §3405(a) of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), and the transfer of non-CVP water is consistent with California State Law.  Non-CVP water transfers requiring the use of Federal facilities for conveyance and/or storage are supported through Warren Act contracts.

To increase the efficiency of the logistical and administrative processes of water transfers that require Reclamation approval or conveyance through Federal facilities, Reclamation created the Water Transfer Brochure (Brochure).  The Brochure is a general guidance document on communicating, preparing, and submitting a proposal, as well as presents estimated timelines for associated requirements and actions necessary to effectuate a transfer.

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(Click to open brochure) (pdf - 2.03 MB | Not 508 Compliant/Not VI Compliant) (Click to open Factsheet)


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For assistance or additional information about this website, please contact Public Affairs
Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region
2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento CA  95825-1898
Main 916-978-5100   |   FAX 916-978-5114   |   TTY 916-978-5608
Reclamation Officials' Telephone Number

Last update: June 25, 2014

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