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Program to Meet Standards (PTMS)

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region (Reclamation), has initiated implementation of a program to provide greater flexibility in meeting existing water quality standards and objectives for which the Central Valley Project has responsibility in order to reduce reliance on releases from New Melones Reservoir for those purposes. Implementation of this program is consistent with direction given by Congress in the Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act (Public Law 108-361) to develop and initiate a Program to Meet Standards - PTMS. A February 2006 report, Program to Meet Standards, Response to CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act (Public Law 108-361) CALFED Bay-Delta Program, California summarizes the scope, activities, and management approach Reclamation is pursuing for the program.

Reclamation, as operator of the Central Valley Project (CVP), delivers water to the San Joaquin Valley via the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC).  Reclamation and other nonpoint source (NPS) dischargers, such as Federal and State wildlife refuges, and agriculture and irrigation dischargers are subject to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Board) requirements for managing salt discharges to the Lower San Joaquin River (LSJR). In the 2006 Basin Plan amendment, the Board identified Reclamation as responsible for 47 percent of the salt load discharged to the LSJR via the DMC.  The amendment required all NPS dischargers to meet salt load requirements or to participate in a Salinity Real Time Management Program (RTMP).

In 2008, Reclamation signed the Management Agency Agreement (MAA) with the Board. The MAA required Reclamation to facilitate participation in a RTMP. In 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Board signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSC) to coordinate and fund Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) projects. 

Reclamation is working with the Board, CVSC, and Grassland Water District (GWD), and the Westside San Joaquin River Watershed Coalition to develop a RTMP and have the RTMP Framework in place by December 2013.  The framework will provide the road map for the real-time program. Our activities include:


Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSALTS) is a non-profit coalition of Public Agencies, Business, Associations and other members  working together to better manage Salts in the Central Valley of California

Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS)

Nigel W.T. Quinn  PhD, P.E., D.WRE, Research Group Leader, HydroEcological Engineering Advanced Decision Support, Berkeley National Laboratory.  Dr. Quinn's papers on RTMP, salinity, and selenium in the Central Valley can be accessed through Research Gate link: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nigel_Quinn/publications/?pubType=article.

Reginald Dones, Project Manager
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region
(916) 978-5094

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Last update: January 16, 2015

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