Water Authority Official Comment on the Signing of the Record of Decision on Reinitiation of Consultation on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.
Statement by Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
February 25, 2020
Sacramento, CA - "The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Authority) is pleased with the signing of the Record of Decision on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP). This action implements a long overdue update to the operating rules for the Federal and State Water Projects that provide water to California's farmland and farming communities, its municipal and industrial regions, and important wildlife refuges south of the Delta.
"The Record of Decision is based on new Biological Opinions that provide more flexibility to the operations of California's water projects while protecting listed species and enhancing the conditions in which they live in the Delta and its tributaries.
"The Biological Opinions are based upon the best available science developed over the past ten years and rely on a variety of new programs and management procedures intended to enhance protection of endangered species.
"They rely on systemwide enhancements that are based on real-time risks rather than the prior, calendar-based pumping schedule that failed to achieve its goals over the past decade. The new efforts include real-time monitoring of fish populations, a commitment to reduce pumping when sensitive species are present, along with actions that increase monitoring effectiveness.
"This is an important step forward to manage the operations of California's water projects in a way that is responsive to real-time conditions." said Federico Barajas. "Ensuring the efficient operation of critical infrastructure, like the Jones Pumping Plant, into the future, is vital for California's economy, its managed wetlands and for the United States, which depends on California farms for more than 50 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables produced nationwide."
The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, or California Delta, is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The Delta is formed at the western edge of the Central Valley by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and lies just east of where the rivers enter Suisun Bay. The Delta is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta was designated a National Heritage Area on March 12, 2019. The city of Stockton is located on the San Joaquin River on the eastern edge of the delta. The total area of the Delta, including both land and water, is about 1,100 square miles. Its population is around 500,000 residents
The Delta–Mendota Canal is a 117 mi aqueduct in central Calif. The canal was designed and completed in 1951 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Project to supply freshwater to users downstream of the San Joaquin River. Freshwater is diverted into the Madera Canal and Friant-Kern Canal at Friant Dam.