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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Margaret Gidding
916-978-5100

Released On: March 11, 2014

Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents on Fresno Irrigation District Temporary Pumping Facility

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review a draft Environmental Assessment and draft Finding of No Significant Impact for a proposed temporary pumping facility to introduce water from the Fresno Irrigation District’s Gould Canal into Reclamation’s Friant-Kern Canal.

As announced on Jan. 31, 2014, Reclamation reduced the San Joaquin River Restoration Program’s Restoration Flows one month earlier than called for in the Stipulation of Settlement, making available
12,500 acre-feet of water to the Central Valley Project’s Friant Division long-term contractors.

California is experiencing unprecedented water management challenges due to drought in recent years. Both the state and federal water projects are forecasting very low storage conditions in all major reservoirs. Specifically, the Friant Division long-term contractors have experienced reduced water supply allocations in the last three years due to dry hydrologic conditions, with an initial allocation this year of zero percent. As a result, Reclamation and the District are working together to provide an alternative source of water to meet the critical health and safety needs of the Friant contractors.

The proposed five-year temporary facility would provide for the exchange of up to 40 cubic feet per second, up to 20,000 acre-feet per year, of Kings River water into the Friant-Kern Canal. The Kings River water delivered into the Friant-Kern Canal is in exchange for SJRRP and CVP water previously banked within the District. The temporary facility would be used to first fully satisfy public health and safety needs, with any remaining water used to meet critical agricultural needs within the CVP’s Friant Division.

The draft EA/FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available online at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=16761. If you encounter problems accessing the document, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Written comments must be received by close of business Wednesday, March 19, and should be faxed to Rebecca Victorine at 916-978-5469 or emailed to rvictorine@usbr.gov. To request a copy of the draft EA and/or draft FONSI, please contact Victorine at 916-978-4624 (TTY 800-877-8339) or rvictorine@usbr.gov.

For more information on the SJRRP, please visit www.restoresjr.net.

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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.