Draft EA/FONSI Available for a 5-Year Water Acquisition Project for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: August 01, 2007

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a 5-year water acquisition project entitled Annual Acquisition and Conveyance of up to 20,000 Acre-Feet of Water to Meet Kern National Wildlife Refuge Level 4 Water Supply Needs During Water Years 2007-2011.  The Draft EA and FONSI are available for a 20-day public review and comment period.

Under the proposed action, Reclamation will enter into annual agreements with Kern-Tulare Water District (KTWD) to acquire up to 20,000 acre-feet annually to meet Level 4 water supply needs for the Kern National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) during water years 2007 through 2011 (March 1, 2007, through February 29, 2012).  (Reclamation’s contract water year is the period from and including March 1 of each calendar year through the last day of February of the following calendar year.)  Reclamation may annually purchase water acquired by KTWD through transfer from Friant Division Central Valley Project (CVP) Contractors.  Water annually transferred from the Friant Division CVP Contractors to KTWD is subject to annual transfer approval or acknowledgment by Reclamation.  KTWD will enter into annual agreements with Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (Rosedale) to exchange the Friant water for Rosedale’s State Water Project water for delivery to the Kern NWR.

The Draft EA and FONSI were developed to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  They are available online at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=2802.  If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please contact Ms. Lynnette Wirth at 916-978-5102 or e-mail lwirth@mp.usbr.gov.
To request a copy of the documents or for additional information, please contact Mr. Brad Hubbard at 916-978-5204 or e-mail bhubbard@mp.usbr.gov.

Written comments on the Draft EA and FONSI are due by close of business Monday, August 20, 2007, and should be sent to Mr. Brad Hubbard, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 95825, e-mailed to bhubbard@mp.usbr.gov, or faxed to 916-978-5290.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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