Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Documents on Annual Transfers of Up to 7,500 acre-feet of Firebaugh Canal Water District’s Central Valley Project Water in Response to Drought

Media Contact: Louis Moore, 916-978-5100

For Release: May 09, 2014

FRESNO, Calif. -- The Bureau of Reclamation today released final environmental documents for the proposed annual transfers of up to 7,500 acre-feet of Firebaugh Canal Water District’s Central Valley Project  water to the Pacheco, Panoche, San Luis, and Westlands water districts over a period of five years.

The proposed transfers would occur from April through December of each year water is transferred. In order to make FCWD’s CVP water supplies available for the transfers, common landowners in FCWD and Pacheco, Panoche, SLWD, and WWD would pump a like-amount of groundwater for use in FCWD in lieu of receiving the CVP supplies.

The actions are in response to drought conditions in the San Joaquin Valley. The U.S. Drought Monitor, a multi-agency federal hydrology report, shows that conditions in the San Joaquin Valley have intensified from “severe” drought in May 2013 to “exceptional” drought in May 2014. “Exceptional” is the worst of the five stages of the Drought Monitor Classification. Other locations in the United States that are classified “exceptional” are in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada.  

The Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Findings of No Significant Impact were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and are available online at  If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 or email

For additional information or to request a copy of the Final EAs and/or FONSIs, please contact Rain Emerson at 559-487-5196, 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.