News Release Archive

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Final Environmental Document Available for Water Year 2011 Interim Flows

Media Contact: Michelle Banonis, 916-978-5457, interimflows@restoresjr.net
Margaret Gidding, 916-978-5461, mgidding@usbr.gov

For Release: September 22, 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation today released the Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program's Water Year 2011 Interim Flows Project. The document was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (SEA/FONSI) describes the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the Water Year 2011 Interim Flows Project and the No-Action Alternative. The WY 2010 Interim Flows Project, as approved and authorized, ends September 30, 2010. The SEA describes and analyzes the effects of an additional year of Interim Flows for Water Year 2011 (WY 2011) from October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011.

The continuation of this action would temporarily change Friant Dam operations in WY 2011 to release Interim Flows as specified in the Stipulation of Settlement (Settlement) in NRDC, et al. v. Kirk Rodgers, et al. The Interim Flows would be conveyed down the San Joaquin River channel, and potentially down the Eastside and Mariposa bypasses, to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Under the Proposed Action, WY 2011 Interim Flows would be recaptured by existing water diversion facilities along the San Joaquin River or in the Delta for agricultural, municipal and industrial, or fish and wildlife uses, to the extent possible. Potential diversion locations for recapturing WY 2011 Interim Flow releases are Mendota Pool, Arroyo Canal, Lone Tree Unit of the Merced National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), East Bear Creek Unit of the San Luis NWR, Banta-Carbona Irrigation District facility, West Stanislaus Irrigation District facility downstream of the Stanislaus River confluence, Patterson Irrigation District facility between the Tuolumne and Merced River confluences, and Central Valley Project and State Water Project Delta export facilities.

As described in the Settlement, the purpose of the Interim Flows is to collect relevant data concerning flows, temperatures, fish needs, seepage losses, recirculation, and recapture and reuse. The San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP) Implementing Agencies include Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Fish and Game. They will conduct a variety of monitoring and study actions for the WY 2011 Interim Flow release period.

Estimated Interim Flow releases for October 2010 will be 350 cubic feet per second (cfs). Starting November 1 for 10 days, flows will increase to 700 cfs, and then drop back down to 350 cfs until December 2. The current schedule for Interim Flow releases is based on hydrology for a wet year and is subject to change based on updated hydrologic information and recommendations from the SJRRP Restoration Administrator as the water year progresses. The SEA/FONSI is available for viewing during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at Reclamation's Sacramento office at 2800 Cottage Way, San Joaquin River Restoration Program office, and at Reclamation's South-Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, Fresno. The SEA/FONSI is also available on the SJRRP web site at www.restoresjr.net or Reclamation Web site http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=3612.

For questions regarding the document, contact Michelle Banonis, natural resources specialist, at 916-978-5457 or interimflows@restoresjr.net. If you wish to request a compact disk containing the document, please contact Margaret Gidding at 916-978-5461 or mgidding@usbr.gov.

To learn more about the SJRRP, please visit www.restoresjr.net.

# # #

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.