Reclamation Invites Comments on Scope of EIS for the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project, San Diego County, California

Media Contact: Bill Steele, 951-695-5310
Colleen Dwyer, 702-293-8420

For Release: November 17, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton, and the Fallbrook Public Utility District, intends to prepare an environmental impact statement/environmental impact report (EIS/EIR) for a proposed conjunctive use water resource development project on the Santa Margarita River, in San Diego County, California.

The EIS/EIR will evaluate the potential environmental effects of proposed improvements to an existing groundwater recharge and recovery system on Camp Pendleton. Studies suggest that this system, which currently produces about 7,000 acre-feet of water per year, could produce as much as 16,200 acre-feet per year. The proposed project would improve existing diversion and percolation facilities and install new wells, an advanced potable water treatment plant, pump stations and a pipeline to Fallbrook. Potential alternatives could involve in-stream water retention structures, reclaimed wastewater, off-stream storage, or recharge of other groundwater basins on MCB Camp Pendleton.

The project area will include the lower Santa Margarita River, MCB Camp Pendleton, the unincorporated community of Fallbrook, and the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station. The EIS/EIR is planned to satisfy the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Interested parties and individuals are invited to comment on the scope of the issues to be addressed in the EIS and to identify significant issues that should be evaluated. Written comments should be sent by January 31, 2005, to Mr. Bill Rohwer, Southern California Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation, SCAO-7000, 27708 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 202, Temecula, California 92590. Public scoping meetings will be held on January 12, 2005, at the Oceanside library and on January 13, 2005, at the Fallbrook Public Utility District. Questions should be directed to Mr. Rohwer at the address above, or telephone (951) 695-5310. To be placed on a mailing list for subsequent information, please write or telephone Mr. Rohwer, or fax to (951) 695-5319.

More details on this activity can be found in the November 1, 2004, Federal Register notice posted on Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region web site at:

# # #

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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.