Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Document on San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority CVP Water Transfers

Media Contact: Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5100

For Release: March 13, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority have released for a 20-day public review a draft Environmental Assessment  Initial Study  and draft Mitigated Negative Declaration on the effects of proposed water transfers from willing sellers to buyers in the Central Valley. The SLDMWA consist of 29 water services contractors.

This draft EA/IS analyzes transfers of Central Valley Project water through CVP or State Water Project facilities and transfers of non-CVP water supplies that require the use of CVP facilities. The water would be made available for transfer through a combination of cropland idling and groundwater substitution. The transfers could originate in Colusa, Glenn, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter, Tehama, or Yolo counties. The transfer buyers could be in Fresno, Kings, Merced, San Benito, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, or Stanislaus counties.

While the 2014 water year, which extends from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, is only partially complete, the hydrologic conditions so far have been critically dry. These conditions are worsened by the dry conditions statewide in 2012 and 2013, which affected reservoir storage coming into water year 2014. With severe dry hydrologic conditions and low water allocations, there is a need for water contractors to supplement local and imported supplies to meet demands. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to facilitate the transfer of water from willing sellers to buyers that are experiencing water shortages in 2014.

Other transfers not involving the SLDWMA could occur during the same time period. The Bureau of Reclamation and the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority are releasing a separate EA/IS to analyze transfers from a very similar list of sellers to the TCCA Member Units. These two documents reflect different potential buyers for the same water sources; that is, the sellers have only the amounts of water listed in the EA/IS available for transfer, but the water could be purchased by SLDMWA or TCCA members.

The draft EA/IS was developed to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. The document is available for review at If you encounter problems accessing documents online, please contact the public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 or email

Written comments on the EA/IS are due by close of business Wednesday, April 2, 2014, and should be mailed to Brad Hubbard, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento, CA 95825; or email or faxed to 916-978-5290. For a copy of the documents or for additional information, please contact Hubbard at 916-978-5204 (TDD 916-978-5608).

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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.