News Release Archive

Draft Environmental Documents Available for Temporary One-Year Water Transfer and Exchange from Madera Irrigation and Chowchilla Water Districts to Red Top

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer, 916-978-5100,

For Release: March 22, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Bureau of Reclamation today released a Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact proposing to facilitate a temporary one-year transfer and exchange of up to 20,000 acre-feet of recaptured San Joaquin River Restoration Program Interim Flows from Madera Irrigation and Chowchilla Water Districts to the Red Top area. This action would occur during Water Year 2013, from April 1, 2013, through February 28, 2014. The need for the action is to reduce or avoid water supply impacts to Friant Contractors by providing mechanisms to ensure that recirculation, recapture, reuse, exchange or transfer of SJRRP flows occurs.

This proposed action assists in achieving the SJRRP Water Management Goal of the Stipulation of Settlement and the SJRR Settlement Act (part of Public Law 111-11) by allowing MID and CWD, Friant-Division Long-Term Contractors, to transfer water to the Red Top area. 

The area for the proposed action is on the western side of Fresno and Madera counties in the San Joaquin Valley. This area, called Red Top, is a location south of Highway 152, near the areas of Avenue 18 ½ and Avenue 20 ½, near the Eastside Bypass and the San Joaquin River. The land use in the area consists of existing agricultural utilization for the growing of pistachios, vineyards and alfalfa.

The Draft EA and FONSI are available for a seven-day public review that closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2013. The documents were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 916-978-5608) or email

For additional information or to request a copy of the Draft EA and/or FONSI, please contact Michelle Banonis at 916-978-5457 or

For more information about the SJRRP, please visit

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Relevant Link:

The Draft EA and FONSI