Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for Acquiring up to 9,000 Acre-Feet of Water from Merced Irrigation District

Media Contact: Pedro Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: November 27, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation today released for public review a draft environmental assessment analyzing the impacts of acquiring up to 9,000 acre-feet of water from the Merced Irrigation District during December 2013 through February 2014.

This water would be made available by changing the point of diversion from the MID Main Canal on the Merced River to the Patterson Irrigation District facilities on the San Joaquin River for conveyance to the Delta-Mendota Canal. Water transferred to Reclamation would derive from MID’s pre-1914 water rights to natural flow in the Merced River.

The proposed action would provide additional water that can meet Central Valley Project south of the Delta water supply needs, including those of agricultural and refuge contractors. The acquired water could contribute to increased Merced River flows below Crocker Huffman Diversion Dam, providing further benefits for spawning, incubation, and juvenile-rearing habitat for salmonids in the Merced River.

The draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 or email

Written comments should be should be sent to Russell Grimes, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. Comments may be emailed to or faxed to 916-978-5055. Comments must be received by close of business Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.

For additional information or to request a copy of the EA, please contact Grimes at 916-978-5051 (TTY 800-735-2929). Copies of the document may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional office at the above address.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Draft EA