News Release Archive

Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Document for Proposed Water Storage Project on Upper San Joaquin River

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100,

For Release: September 05, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation. The DEIS describes possible benefits and impacts of increasing water storage through a proposed dam and reservoir on the upper San Joaquin River, about 25 miles northeast of Fresno in California’s Central Valley.

“Releasing this draft for public comment today is a vital step toward building drought resilience in California,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo. “The unprecedented drought we are facing reinforces the need to do everything we can to develop and manage our limited and variable supplies to help meet the challenges of lean water years.”

The proposed alternatives would improve water supply reliability and flexibility for agricultural, urban and environmental uses. The alternatives would also enhance San Joaquin River water temperature and flow conditions for anadromous and other native fish populations.

The location of the proposed dam site is at Temperance Flat on the upper San Joaquin River, between Friant and Kerckhoff dams. The dam and reservoir would be 665 feet high with a capacity of 1.33 million acre-feet, adding 1.26 million acre-feet to the existing storage in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin. 

The investigation is one of five surface water storage studies included in the 2000 CALFED Bay-Delta Programmatic Record of Decision. The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is a 30-year program among 25 federal and state agencies with responsibility in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It includes a series of interrelated programs to provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of ecosystem quality, water supply reliability, water quality, and Delta levee and channel integrity.
Public hearings on the Draft EIS to gather public comments are scheduled as follows:

Sacramento, California
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m. -- 3 p.m.
Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region
2800 Cottage Way
Cafeteria Conference Rooms 1001-1002
Sacramento, CA 95825

Fresno, California
Thursday, Oct. 16, 6 p.m. -- 8 p.m.
Piccadilly Inn
2305 West Shaw Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711

The Draft EIS addresses the potential physical, biological, cultural and social impacts of five action alternatives. The document, which also includes a no-action alternative, is available on Reclamation’s website:

A 45-day public comment period on the Draft EIS begins today, Sept. 5. Written comments may be provided at any time before midnight Tuesday, Oct. 21, and should be mailed to Melissa Harris, Project Manager, Reclamation, Planning Division, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825-1893, faxed to 916-978-5094, or emailed to Comments may also be typed into a form on the project website a All comments will be considered during preparation of the Final EIS.

For questions, please contact Harris at 916-978-5075 (TTY 800-877-8339).

To request an electronic copy of the draft document, please contact Steve Geissinger in Reclamation’s Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 or email

Copies of the documents may also be viewed at the Reclamation Regional Library, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, by calling 916-978-5593. For more information about the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Storage Investigation, please visit

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.