New groundwater banking project to increase water supply flexibility for California farmers

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5101, eccurtis@usbr.gov

For Release: December 27, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Environmental documents are complete for a new groundwater recharge project to bank up to 45,000 acre-feet of water annually in California’s agricultural-rich San Joaquin Valley. The project, part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, will expand Pixley and Delano-Earlimart irrigation districts’ groundwater recharge efforts and improve area groundwater levels.

In addition to an 800-acre groundwater recharge basin, the project will install a 4.5 mile pipeline connecting the new recharge basin to the Friant-Kern Canal and 16 groundwater recovery wells within the Pixley Irrigation District – all expected to be operational in 2019.

The Bureau of Reclamation will provide $7.5 million in partial project construction funding authorized under Public Law 111-11. This funding provides financial assistance to local agencies within the Central Valley Project for planning, designing and constructing local facilities to bank and recharge groundwater. The project contributes to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program goal of reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts to Friant Division long-term contractors.

The project Finding of No Significant Impact is based on analysis of potential impacts as disclosed in the South Valley Water Banking Authority Modified Pixley Groundwater Banking Project Environmental Assessment/Initial Study. The FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the EA/IS was prepared in accordance with NEPA and the California Environmental Quality Act. Both documents are available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=25157.

For additional information about the documents or the project, please contact Kellye Kennedy at 916-978-4640 (TTY 800-877-8339) or kkennedy@usbr.gov. For information about the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, please visit www.restoresjr.net or contact Josh Newcom, public affairs specialist, at 916-978-5508 or snewcom@usbr.gov.

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