News Release Archive

Reclamation Increases Water Releases from Friant Dam for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program's Interim Flows

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100, 10/30/2009 21:17

For Release: October 30, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation will increase the amount of additional water releases, called Interim Flows, from Friant Dam into the San Joaquin River to 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) for a 2-week period starting Sunday, November 1, 2009.  The Interim Flows releases began on October 1, 2009, resulting in approximately 350 cubic feet per second releases at Friant Dam.  Movement of the flows can be tracked on the Program's web site at

These flows, which are experimental in nature, will provide valuable information in many areas that will be used in designing the major improvements needed in the river and informing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game as they craft a salmon reintroduction plan.

The flow rates have been limited so that no flooding or seepage impacts are expected to occur and will be reduced as necessary if any such impacts are anticipated or observed to occur.  Landowners concerned about potential seepage related to the Interim Flows can email Program staff at with their name, contact information, and a brief description of their concerns.  

People who recreate in or along the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to Gravelly Ford should be aware of the potential for periodic higher flows throughout 2010.  While Interim Flows are small relative to typical flood releases, more water will be in the river channel than usual, and flows will be subject to change.  As with all in- and near-water recreation, visitors should adopt appropriate precautions for their safety and the safety of others.  For the most current information on the Interim Flows and real-time flow data or to learn more about the SJRRP, please visit

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The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act was enacted by Congress in March 2009 authorizing and directing the Secretary of the Interior to implement all provisions in a Stipulation of Settlement (Settlement) in NRDC et al., v. Kirk Rodgers, et al reached in September 2006, including Interim Flow releases.  The Final Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant Impact, Initial Study, and Mitigated Negative Declaration for the SJRRP's Water Year 2010 Interim Flows Project are available on the SJRRP web site at or Reclamation's web site at

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.

Relevant Link:

NEPA Document