The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is evaluating the feasibility of using recirculation strategies to improve water quality and flow in the lower San Joaquin River (SJR). Specifically, Reclamation is evaluating the feasibility of the Delta-Mendota Canal (DMC) Recirculation Project (Project) in which water from the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta (Delta) would be recirculated through the Central Valley Project (CVP) pumping and conveyance facilities to the SJR upstream from Vernalis.
The DMC, which is part of the CVP, would be the primary conveyance facility utilized. The DMC is 120-mile canal that begins at the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant (Jones) and ends at Mendota Pool, near the town of Mendota.
Jones pumps water from the Delta into the canal. Water would be released from the canal into either Newman Wasteway or Westley Wasteway and would flow back into SJR near its confluence with the Merced River (Newman Wasteway) or with the Tuolumne River (Westley Wasteway). The water would re-enter the Delta near the town of Vernalis.
In 2004, Reclamation initiated the DMC Recirculation Project Feasibility Study (Study). The Study is authorized by the CALFED (California Federal Bay-Delta Program) Bay-Delta Authorization Act of 2004 (118 Stat. §§ 1681-1702.; Public Law 108-361) and a similar study is required by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) as part of Water Right Decision 1641 (D-1641).
The purposes of the PFR are (1) to provide information on the existing and potential resources that may be affected by the Project and (2) to present the results of the evaluation of the alternative plans that were carried forward from the 2008 Initial Alternatives Information Report (IAIR). The alternative plans are compared and ranked and the next steps in the study are presented.