Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for Westlands Water District Warren Act Contract

Media Contact: Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5100

For Release: April 18, 2014

FRESNO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a five-year Warren Act Contract proposed to be issued to Westlands Water District. Due to drought conditions, Westlands needs to convey non-Project supplies to existing crops within the district in need of supplemental irrigation water. The Warren Act authorizes Reclamation to enter into contracts to impound, store or convey non-Project water in federal facilities when excess capacity is available.

Various well owners within Westlands would be allowed to pump up to 10,000 acre-feet per year of groundwater into the Coalinga Canal. The non-Central Valley Project water would then be conveyed to Westlands Water District turnouts and diverted to the existing distribution system. The groundwater would be tested to demonstrate that the water standards are met before owners would be allowed to discharge to the Canal.  An easement or other license would also be issued for the pipes used to discharge to the Canal, which are already in place. The land use authorization would be for a period of 25 years.

The Draft EA and FONSI were released for public comment from March 7, 2014 to April 8, 2014.  No comments were received during the comment period.

The Final EA/FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and are available online at If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail

For additional information or to request a copy of the EA/FONSI, please contact Ben Lawrence at 559-487-5039 (TTY 800-735-2929).

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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.