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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Jeffrey McCracken
916-978-5100

Released On: January 24, 2003

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS FOR SACRAMENTO RIVER SETTLEMENT CONTRACTORS 2003 IRRIGATION SEASON WATER TRANSFER PROGRAM AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
Reclamation has made available for public review and comment the Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI) on Reclamation's Consent to Water Sale and Transfers Under the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors 2003 Irrigation Season Water Transfer Program.

Reclamation's proposed action is to approve 1-year transfers of up to 110,000 acre-feet of Base Supply water from eight Sacramento River Settlement Contractors. Associated with the transfers will be the potential use of Warren Act contracts with Reclamation that will allow storage of up to 10,000 acre-feet of Base Supply water in Shasta Reservoir per contractor during the 2003 irrigation season for later release.

The purpose of the proposed water sales and transfers is to offset a possible shortfall of water in 2003 that would have otherwise been delivered to the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) due to the Secretary of the Interior's decision to reduce MWD's allotment of California diversions from the Colorado River beginning on January 1, 2003. In the event that MWD does not exercise its option to obtain their full water transfer amount, or a portion thereof, under the agreements with the Contractors, the water would become available for sale to other customers. The water could be purchased by the California Department of Water Resources' Dry Year Program which provides water to make up losses of normal supplies due to hydrologic shortages or CALFED’s Environmental Water Account Program which provides water that enables strategic cuts at the export pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, or to other Central Valley Project or State Water Project contractors.

The Draft EA/FONSI is available online at www.mp.usbr.gov. Written comments should be received by close of business Friday, February 7, 2003. Mail comments to: Mr. Frank Michny, Division of Environmental Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. For additional information or to request a copy of the draft document, please contact Mr. Bob Eckart at 916-978-5051, 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 www.usbr.gov.