Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Documents for the Friant-Kern Canal Program that Allows for an Annual Introduction and Conveyance of Up to 50,000 Acre-Feet of Pumped Groundwater into the Canal

Media Contact: Louis Moore, 916-978-5100

For Release: May 12, 2014

FRESNO, Calif. -- The Bureau of Reclamation has released the final environment documents on the Friant-Kern Canal Pump-In Program, in which Reclamation will issue Warren Act agreements to Central Valley Project contractors within the Friant Division, along the Friant-Kern Canal, to allow the introduction and conveyance of pumped groundwater in the canal.

The amount of water introduced into the canal by each contractor will vary, but the total volume of water for all contractors will not exceed 50,000 acre-feet per year. The term of the contracts will be for one year, with an option for a second one-year term. Authorizations will also be issued to the contractors to cross Reclamation right-of-way with the pipes and hoses used to introduce groundwater to the canal.

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 Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact were released for public comment from April 10, 2014 to April 17, 2014. Comments were received from Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District. Reclamation’s response is in the Final EA.

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.