Reclamation issues Record of Decision on long-term water transfer program

Media Contact: Mary Lee Knecht, 916-978-5100, mknecht@usbr.gov

For Release: April 07, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation today signed a Record of Decision allowing consideration of water transfers to increase water reliability for those suffering shortages during dry times.

“By signing this Record of Decision, we will be able to streamline the regulatory process for water transfers based on real-time hydrologic conditions,” said Ernest Conant, regional director of Reclamation’s California-Great Basin. “This is essential to providing flexibility in California’s water supply system.”

The water transfers could occur on an annual basis sending water from willing sellers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to water users south of the Delta and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on annual approvals, the transfers could occur through 2024. In addition, the transfers could occur by various methods, including groundwater substitution, cropland idling, reservoir releases and conservation.

The water transfers will assist participating water districts who experience severe reductions in Central Valley Project water supplies during dry hydrologic years and due to operations resulting from regulatory requirements. When these water users experience water shortages, they may look to water transfers as part of this Reclamation-approved program to help reduce potential impacts.

The Record of Decision was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available here: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_project_details.php?Project_ID=18361.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.