Draft Environmental Documents Released for Exchange of Water Between Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors

Media Contact: Louis Moore, 916-978-5100

For Release: May 09, 2014

FRESNO, Calif.--The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review draft environmental documents assessing the proposed exchange of up to 30,000 acre-feet of Arvin-Edison’s available water supplies in San Luis Reservoir for a larger amount of San Joaquin River water that would have been released for delivery to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors by Reclamation from Millerton Lake.

The proposed exchange would occur between May 2014 and February 28, 2015. The proposed action is 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 Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact 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=17422. If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 or e-mail mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Please email comments to Rain Emerson, Bureau of Reclamation at remerson@usbr.gov. Written comments may also be mailed to Emerson, Bureau of Reclamation, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721 or faxed to Emerson at 559-487-5397. Comments are due by May 16, 2014. For additional information or to request a copy of the Draft EA/FONSI, please contact Rain Emerson at 559-487-5196 (TTY 800-735-2929). Copies of the Draft EA/FONSI may also be viewed at Reclamation’s Fresno 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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.