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Full text of "California water plan update : draft"

Caufornm 
JITTER Plan 
Update 



Volume 1 




November 1 993 



DRAFT 



Draft 
Bulletin 160-93 



CALIFORNIA WATER PLAN UPDATE 



Volume I 
November 1993 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Foreword 



FOREWORD 

In 1957, the Department of Water Resources published Bulletin 3, The California Water Plan, a 
comprehensive plan to guide and coordinate the current and future beneficial use of California's water 
resources. Bulletin 3 became the foundation for a series of water plan updates, now known as the 
Bulletin 160 series. These updates were published five times between 1966 and 1987. None of the 
updates contained specific blueprints for water management and development; rather, they provided 
information about and guidance for the use of the State's water resources. All of the updates described 
California's water use and supply at the time of their publication, and all projected future water needs. 
Each of the updates presented the overall outlook for water conditions throughout the State by 
examining total water supply and demand with the technology and analytical methods current at the time 
the updates were being prepared. 

The scope of the water updates has remained essentially the same; however, each took its own 
distinctive approach to water resources planning, reflecting the issues or concerns prevalent at the time 
the updates were being developed. Bulletin 160-93, The California Water Plan Update, continues this 
tradition but differs from its predecessors by: 

O estimating environmental water needs separately and accounting for these needs along with urban 
and agricultural water demands. 

O recognizing and presenting water demand management, including conservation and land 
retirement, as methods that help meet water needs. 

O presenting two separate water balance scenarios. The first compares average demands with 
average supplies, which portrays the general picture. The shortage shown under average 
conditions is a chronic shortage and indicates the need for additional long-term measures. The 
second water balance compares drought year demands with drought year supplies. The shortage 
illustrated under drought conditions requires both long-term and short-term drought 
management measures, depending on local water service reliability requirements. 

This water plan update consists of two volumes. Volume I focuses on statewide issues and reports 
the status of water use and supply. It also discusses the nature of water resource management planning, 
reliability and shortages, and recommends options for balancing water demand and supply in the future. 
Volume II presents the regional analyses used to assess the statewide outlook. Water use and supply 
conditions and issues specific to each of the ten major hydrologic regions are chronicled by region. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Foreword 

This update of the California Water Plan was developed with extensive public involvement in 
accordance with amendments to Sections 10004 and 10005 of the California Water Code. Also, an 
outreach advisory committee made up of representatives of urban, agricultural, and environmental 
interests was established in July 1992 to assist the Department of Water Resources in preparing Bulletin 
160-93. The committee met regularly to review and comment on the content and adequacy of work in 
progress. Public hearings in each of the State's ten major hydrologic regions were held by the California 
Water Commission to receive comments from the public. Summaries of the comments received during 
the public hearing and comment period are appended to this report. 

The inclusion of environmental water needs, the commitment to implementation of extensive water 
conservation measures, and the public involvement in developing this plan reflect current socioeconomic 
priorities. Water resource management has become increasingly complex, and this water plan update 
reveals many of the changes now shaping water management decisions in California. 



director 's signature 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Foreword iii 

PARTI INTRODUCTION 

1 Summary of Volume I 1 

Effects of Recent Changes in the Institutional Framework 2 

California's Water Supplies 4 

Surface Water Supplies, Ground Water Supply; Water Quality Considerations 

The Need and Demand for Water 9 

Will There Be Enough Water? 11 

Recommendations 15 

Demand Management; Supply Augmentation 

2 The Institutional Framework for Water Resource Management 

in California 17 

Allocation and Management of California's Water Supplies 18 

California Constitution Article X, Section 2; Riparian and Appropriative Rights; Water 
Rights Permits and Licenses; Ground Water Management; Public Trust Doctrine; 
Federal Power Act, Area of Origin Statutes 

The Current Regulatory and Legislative Framework 22 

Protection of Fish and Wildlife; Environmental Review and Mitigation; Protection of 
Wild and Natural Areas 

Water Quality Protection 29 

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act; National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System; Federal Safe Drinking Water Act 

San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 31 

State Water Project and Federal Central Valley Project; Decision 1485; Racanelli 
Decision; Coordinated Operation Agreement; SWRCB Bay/Delta Proceedings; Fish 
Protection Agreement; Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement 

Surface Water Management 36 

Regional Water Projects; Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992; Transfer of 
the CVP 

Trends in Water Resource Management 37 

Water Transfers; Water Use Efficiency; Management Programs 

Interstate Water Resource Management 45 

Colorado River; Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1991; 
Klamath Project 

PART II WATER SUPPLY 

3 Surface Water Supplies 47 

Droughts in California 47 

Length and Frequency of Droughts 

Water Supply Development 55 

Local and Imported Supplies; State Water Project; Central Valley Project; Other 
Federal Projects; Colorado River; Water Reclamation 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 Draft of The California Water Plan Update 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Other Water Supplies 78 

Gray Water: Um^-Range Weather Forecasting; Weather Modification: Watershed 
Management 

Recommendations 80 

4 Ground Water Supplies 85 

Ground Water Defined 85 

Ground Water Development 86 

Statewide Ground Water Use 86 

Ground Water Overdraft 96 

Sea Water Intrusion: Subsidence: Ground Water Quality 

Management of Ground Water Resources 98 

Adjudicated Basins: Ground Water Management Agencies: Water Districts with a Pump 
Tax; Other Districts 

Effect of the Drought on Ground Water 106 

Ground Water Levels and Storage: Wells and Ground Water Use 
Conjunctive Use Ill 

Conjunctive Use Programs: Prospects for the Future 
Recommendations 114 

5 Water Quality 115 

Overview of Water Quality in California 115 

Mineralization and Eutrophication; Toxic Pollutants; Pathogens; Disinfection 
Byproducts: Agricultural Pollutants: Urban Pollutants: Other Pollutants; Drinking 
Water Regulations and Human Health: Meeting Water Quality Standards: Source 
Protection 

Critical Components of State Water Supply 1 26 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Quality: Colorado River Water Quality: Ground 
Water Quality; Remediation and Protection of Ground Water Quality 

Quality Considerations for Waste Water Reclamation and Reuse 137 

Costs of Poor Quality Water 1 38 

Recommendations 140 

PART III WATER USE 

Introduction to Part III Water Use 141 

6 Urban Water Use 145 

Population Growth 145 

Urban Land Use 1 49 

Urban Water Conservation 149 

Urban Water Pricing 152 

Urban Retail Water Prices: Urban Ground Water Prices 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Per Capita Water Use 158 

Disaggregating Urban Water Use 1 64 

Urban Water Use Forecasts 166 

Urban Water Use Forecast to 2020 
Recommendations 168 

7 Agricultural Water Use 173 

Factors Affecting Agricultural Water Use 178 

Definition of Crop Consumptive Use; Historical Unit Water Use; Irrigation 
Management and Methods; Drainage and Salinity; Water Price and Production Costs; 
Cropping Patterns in California; Historic Agricultural Acreage; Water Supply and 
Water Price; Agricultural Retail Water Prices; Agricultural Ground Water Production 
Costs 

Agricultural Water Conservation 190 

Drainage Reduction; San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program; Irrigation Efficiency 

Agricultural Water Demand Forecast 194 

7990 Level of Development; Agricultural Acreage Forecast; Urbanization of 
Agricultural Lands; 2020 Agricultural Water Demands 

Recommendations 204 

8 Environmental Water Use 205 

Bay/Delta Estuary 207 

Bay/Delta History; The Physical System; Water Development; Biological Resources and 
Processes; Bay/Delta Environmental Water Needs; Other Activities That May Affect 
Bay/Delta Water Allocation 

Environmental Instream Flows 221 

Sacramento River Region; San Joaquin River Region; Eastern Sierra; Coastal Streams; 
Existing Environmental Instream Flow Requirements 

Wetlands 239 

Federal Wetland Policies and Programs; California Wetland Policies and Programs; 
Wetland Water Supply and Demands; Future Water Needs for Wetlands 

Summary of California's Environmental Water Needs 248 

Recommendations 250 

9 Water Based Recreation 251 

Recreation and Water Management 25 1 

Reservoir Recreation; River Recreation; Wildland Recreation; Water Based Recreation 
Policy and Planning Responsibility; The Davis-Dolwig Act; Federal Water Project 
Recreation Act 

Trends in Recreation Area Use 255 

Water Use for Recreation 256 

Water Project Operations and Recreation Benefits 257 

State Water Project Recreation 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 Draft of The California Water Plan Update 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Drought Impacts on Recreation 261 

Direct Effects on Facility Availability: Reservoir Recreation Impacts; River Recreation 
Impacts: Winter Recreation Impacts 

10 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 263 

Delta Flows 265 

Reverse Flow and Carriage Water 
Key Delta Issues 270 

Fish and Wildlife Issues: U)cal Issues 
Delta Water Quality Standards 27 1 

Racanelli Decision: SWRCB Bay/Delta Proceedings: Meeting Water Quality Standards 
Flooding in the Delta 274 

Stability of Delta Levees 

Delta Water Resource Management and Planning 275 

Past Delta Water Management Programs: Current Delta Regulatory Decision-Making 
Process: Role of the U.S. EPA in the Delta 

Options for Enhancing Urban Water Quality, Water Supply Reliability, 

and Improving Delta Environmental Conditions 282 

Ongoing Delta Planning Programs: Long-Term Delta Planning Programs 

Recommendations 289 

11 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 288 

Reliability Planning: Maintaining the Balance Between 

Water Supply and Demand 288 

Supply Reliability and Demand Variability 

Options for Enhancing Water Supply Reliability 293 

Level 1-Reliability Enhancement Options 294 

Long-Term Demand Management Options: Short-Term Demand Management Options: 
Water Supply Management Options 

Level II — Reliability Enhancement Options 332 

Long-Term Demand Management Options: Water Supply Management Options 

12 Water Supply and Demand Balance 356 

Water Supply 356 

Existing Water Management Programs: l^vel I Water Management Options: Future 
Water Management Options: Level II Options 

Water Demand 363 

California Water Balance 366 

Recommendations 369 

Demand Management: Supply Augmentation 

Economic Costs of Unreliability 37 1 

Contingency Ijosses: Long-Term U).sses: Envinmmental Costs of Unreliability: 
Economic Impacts of the Drought 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

APPENDIXES AND GLOSSARY 

Appendix A Statutes and Regulations Affecting 

Water Management in California 379 

Appendix B Public Comments on Draft of The California 

Water Plan Update 389 

Glossary 391 

FIGURES 

Figure 1-1 . Water Project Facilities in California 3 

Figure 2-1 . Wild and Scenic Rivers in California 28 

Figure 3-1. Disposition of Average Annual Water Supply 48 

Figure 3-2. Distribution of Average Annual Precipitation and Runoff 49 

Figure 3-3. Sacramento River Index Since 1906 51 

Figure 3^. Comparison of Droughts 52 

Figure 3-5. Comparison of Droughts 53 

Figure 3-6. Comparison of Multi-year Droughts 54 

Figure 3-7. Storage in 155 Major In-state Reservoirs 58 

Figure 3-8. Historical Development of Reservoir Capacity 59 

Figure 3-9. Regional Water Transfers 61 

Figure 3-10. State Water Project Service Areas 64 

Figure 3-11. State Water Project Deliveries 65 

Figure 3-12. Major State Water Project Facilities 66 

Figure 3-13. Central Valley Project Service Areas 69 

Figure 3-14. Central Valley Project Deliveries 70 

Figure 3-15. Central Valley Project Annual Hydroelectric Energy Production 71 

Figure 3-16. Colorado River Service Areas 73 

Figure 3-17. California Use of Reclaimed Water 1990 Level 75 

Figure 4-1 . Locations of Adjudicated Ground Water Basins 101 

Figure 4-2. Locations of Ground Water Management Districts Or Agencies 104 

Figure 4-3. Tulare Lake Region Cumulative Change In Ground Water Storage 107 

Figure 4-4. San Joaquin River Region Cumulative 

Change in Ground Water Storage 108 

Figure 4-5. Sacramento River Region Cumulative 

Change In Ground Water Storage 109 

Figure 4-6. Annual Well Completion Reports 110 

Figure 5-1. Disinfection Byproduct Precursors (DBP) in 

The Delta: July 1983 - June 1992 128 

Figure 5^. Mass Discharge of Rice Herbicide to the 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 133 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



VOLUME I CONTENTS 



Figure III-A. Derivation of Applied Water. Net Water Use, and Depletion 

Example of Water Use in Inland Areas 142 

Figure Ill-B. Derivation of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and Depletion 

Example of Area with Salt Sink 143 

Figure III-C. Derivation of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and Depletion 

Example of Inland Areas with High Efficiency 144 

Figure 6-1. Comparison of California Population Projections 147 

Figure 6-2. Comparison of Department of Finance and Council 
of Governments Population Projections For California's 
Two Largest Metropolitan Areas 148 

Figure 6-3. Common Urban Water Rate Structures 154 

Figure 6-4. Urban Per-capita Water Use, San Francisco Bay Area, 1920-1990 159 

Figure 6-5. Urban Per-capita Water Use, 1940-1990 160 

Figure 6-6. Comparison of Per Capita Water Use 

by Selected Communities 162 

Figure 6-7. Average Monthly Urban Per-capita Water Use 

Statewide 163 

Figure 6-8. Urban Applied Water Use by Sector 165 

Figure 7- 1 . Comparison of Irrigated Acreage Projections 

Bulletin 160 Series 174 

Figure 7-2. Yield of Cotton Lint, Alfalfa, and Rice Per Acre 

1910- 1990 179 

Figure 7-3. On-Farm Average Seasonal Application Efficiency of 

Various Irrigation Methods 183 

Figure 7-5. Irrigated Land Acreage In California 

1870-1990 186 

Figure 7-6. Various Estimates of Irrigated 

Crop Acreage In California 195 

Figure 7-7. Irrigated Vegetable Acreage In California 

1920 - 1990 199 

Figure 7-8. Irrigated Pasture Acreage In California 

1950 - 2020 200 

Figure 7-9. Irrigated Land Acreage In California 

1870 - 2020 202 

Figure 8-1 . Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay 208 

Figure 8-2. Striped Bass Abundance Sacramento-San Joaquin E.stuary 214 

Figure 8-3. Estimated Ocean Harvest of Chinook Salmon 1967-1991 218 

Figure 8-4. Fall Chinook Salmon Runs on Other Rivers 219 

Figure 8-5. Examples of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and 
Depletion for Instrcam Fishery Flows 
Example of Central Valley Streams — Average Year 237 

Figure 8-6. Publicly Managed Freshwater Wetlands 240 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



VOLUME I CONTENTS 



Figure 10-1 . The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta 264 

Figure 10-2. Land Surface Below Sea Level Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 266 

Figure 10-3. Tidal Flows In The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 267 

Figure 10-4. Delta Flows Components and Comparisons 268 

Figure 10-5. Flow Distribution, With and Without Reverse Flows 269 

Figure 10-6. Delta Decision-Making Process 278 

Figure 10-7. Proposed Interim South Delta Water Management Program 283 

Figure 10-8. Proposed Isolated Facilities (1982) 287 

Figure 10-9. Proposed Delta Wetlands Project (1990) 288 

Figure 1 1-1 . Least-Cost Reliability Planning Total Costs of Alternative Plans 295 

Figure 11-2. Relationship Between Drought 

Contingency Measures and BMPS 301 

Figure 11-3. Water Sources and Allocations of the 1991 and 

1992 Drought Water Banks 306 

Figure 11-^. 2020 Delivery Capability of SWP with Existing Facilities 

and Level I Programs Based on D-1485 311 

Figure 11-5. SWP Urban and Agricultural Deliveries with Existing Facilities and 

Level I Programs Based on D-1485 2020 Level of Demand 313 

Figure 1 1-6. Future Delivery Capability Objectives of Various Projects 314 

Figure 1 1-7. Los Banos Grandes Facilities Location 316 

Figure 11-8. Proposed Coastal Branch Phase II 

and Central Coast Water Authority Extension 319 

Figure 11-9. Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Site and Facilities 333 

Figure 1 1-10. Usable Transfer Capacity With Existing SWP/CVP Facilities 

from the Delta to South Coast Region 342 

Figure 11-11. Monthly Variation of Usable Transfer Capacity with 

Existing SWP/CVP Facilities from the Delta to South Coast Region 

Based on D-1485 343 

Figure 1 1-12. Clair Engle Enlargement and Westside Sacramento Valley 

Storage and Conveyance Concepts 349 

SIDEBARS 

The Governor's Water Policy 2 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 

1993 CVP Operations 5 

California's Water Supply Availability 9 

What is Navigable? 19 

Point Source Versus Nonpoint Source Pollution 30 

Water Transfer Criteria 40 

Possible Effects of Global Climate Change 56 

Estimating Perennial Yields of Ground Water Basins 87 

Procedure for Adopting a Ground Water Management Plan 

in accordance with Water Code Section 10750 1(X) 

Principles of Water Utility Management as Set Forth by 

the Source Water Quality Committee of the California-Nevada Section, 

American Water Works Association 124 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 Draft of The California Water Plan Update 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Water Price and Agricultural Production 185 

Land Use Survey F*rogram 1 87 

Criteria for Summary of Present and Proposed Environmental Water Flows 204 

Least-Cost Planning Process for Evaluating Water Management Plans 294 

California's Water Supply Availability 296 

SWP Reliability Planning Process 309 

SWP Drought Year Supply 310 

EBMUD Reliability Planning Process 324 

MWDSC Reliability Planning Process 329 

Water Transfer Costs 345 

California's Water Supply Availability 355 

TABLES 

Table 1-1. California Water Supply with Existing Facilities and Programs 
(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Action 
for Delta Supplies) 6 

Table 1-2. Net Ground Water Use by Hydrologic Region 7 

Table 1-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 8 

Table 1-4. Net Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 11 

Table 1-5. California Water Supply with Level I Water Management Options 
(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Actions 
for Delta Supplies) 13 

Table i-6. California Water Balance 14 

Table 2-1 . California Water Code Requirements for Water Transfers 39 

Table 3-1 . Pre-1900 Dry Periods and Droughts Since 1900 55 

Table 3-2. Major Central Valley Project Reservoirs 67 

Table 3-3. Statewide Use of Reclaimed Water In 1990 76 

Table 3-4. Suitable Uses of Reclaimed Water 77 

Table 3-6. Major Surface Water Reservoirs In California 81 

Table 4-1. Net Ground Water Use by Hydrologic Region 87 

Table 4-2. Ground Water Management In California 

1990 Level of Development 88 

Table 4-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 97 

Table 5-1 . Threats to Water Quality 120 

Table 5-2. Contaminants Regulated under The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act 

August, 1993 121 

Table 5-3. Proposed Contaminants to be Regulated under the 

Federal Safe Drinking Water Act August 1993 122 

Table 5-4. Average Water Quality of Selected Sources 

1986 - 1992 129 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Table 6-1 . Urban Population by Hydrologic Region 146 

Table 6-2. 1990 Population Densities of Selected States and Countries 149 

Table 6-3. Best Management Practices for Urban Water Use 151 

Table 6-4. 1991 Single Family Residential Monthly Water Uses 

and Costs for Selected Cities 156 

Table 6-5. 1991 Commercial and Industrial Monthly Water Uses and Costs 

for Selected Cities 157 

Table 6-6. 1992 Urban Ground Water Costs by Hydrologic Region 158 

Table 6-7. 1990 Distribution of Residential Interior Water Use 164 

Table 6-8. Present and Projected Urban Unit Applied Water by Hydrologic Region 166 

Table 6-9. 1990 Percentage of Urban Water Use by Sector 167 

Table 6-10. Applied Urban Water Reductions and Reductions in Depletions 

by Hydrologic Region 167 

Table 6-1 1 . California Urban Water Demand 169 

Table 6-12. Potential Best Management Practices 170 

Table 7-1 . Crop Yields in California 175 

Table 7-2. Crops Where California Influences or Dominates the U.S. Market 176 

Table 7-3. 1990 California Agricultural Export Data 177 

Table 1-A. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Quantity Index 

of Agricultural Imports 178 

Table 7-5. Agricultural Imports by Country of Origin 178 

Table 7-6. Ranges of Unit Evapotranspiration of Applied Water 1 80 

Table 7-7. Ranges of Unit Applied Water for Agriculture 

by Hydrologic Region 181 

Table 7-8. Crop Acreage Irrigated by Various Methods 182 

Enlarged Section of Brentwood Quad from 1991 Delta Survey 187 

Table 7-9. 1991 Agricultural Retail Water Costs by Hydrologic Region 189 

Table 7-10. 1992 Agricultural Ground Water Production Costs by 

Hydrologic Region 189 

Table 7-11. Summary of Current Efficient Water Management Practices 191 

Table 7-12. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage by Hydrologic Region 1990 196 

Table 7-13. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage 

by Hydrologic Region 2020 (Forecasted) 198 

Table 7-14. Annual Agricultural Applied Water Reductions and 

Related Reduction Depletions by Hydrologic Region 2020 (Forecasted) 201 

Table 7-15. California Agricultural Water Demand 203 

Table 8-1. Estimated Winter Run Chinook Salmon 

at Red Bluff Diversion Dam 215 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 Draft of The California Water Plan Update 

VOLUME I CONTENTS 

Table 8-2. Estimated Fall Run Chinook Salmon in the Feather River 217 

Table 8-3. Summary of Present and Proposed Fishery Flows for Major California 

River Systems 222 

Table 8-4. California Instream Environmental Water Needs 238 

Table 8-5. Wetland Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 246 

Table 8-6. California Environmental Water Needs 249 

Table 9-1. Recreation Use and Minimum Rafting Flows on 

Some Popular California Rivers 253 

Table 9-2. Estimated Current Annual and Cumulative Attendance 

(through 1990) At State Water Project Reservoirs 258 

Table lO-l. Major Permits Required for Implementation of 

Delta Water Management Programs 280 

Table 11-1. Level I Demand Management Options 297 

Table 1 1-2. Short-Term Water Transfers 1982 through 1992 303 

Table 1 1-3. Recent Major Water Transfers For Environmental Uses 304 

Table 1 1-4. 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Bank Purchases and Allocations 307 

Table 1 1-5. Level I Water Supply Management Options 308 

Table 11-6. State Water Project Supplies 310 

Table 11-7. Annual Fresh Water Displaced 321 

Table 1 1-8. Level II Water Management Options 336 

Table 1 1-9. Applied Water Reductions by 2020 with and without Implementation 
of the Plan Recommended by the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural 

Drainage Program 338 

Table 11-10. SWP and CVP Usable Transfer Capability from The Delta 344 

Table 11-11. Annual 1990 and Potential Future Ocean Desalting by Region 352 

Table 12-1 . California Water Supply with Existing Facilities andPrograms 358 

Table 12-2. California Water Supply with Level I Water Management Options 359 

Table 12-3. State Water Project Supplies 362 

Table 12-4. California Water Demand 364 

Table 12-5. California Water Balance 368 

* * * 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update November 1993 



State of California 

The Resources Agency 

Department of Water Resources 



CALIFORNIA WATER COMMISSION 



James J. Lenihan, Chairman, Mountain View 
Audrey Z. Tennis, Vice- Chairman, Forest Ranch 



Stanley M. Bames Visalia 

Katherine B. Dunlap Los Angeles 

Clair A. Hill Redding 

Michael D. Madigan San Diego 

Martin A. Matich San Bernardino 



Orville L. Abbott 
Executive Officer and Chief Engineer 



The California Water Commission serves as a policy advisory body to the Director of Water Resources on all 
California water resources matters. The nine-member citizen commission provides a water resources forum 
for the people of the State, acts as a liaison between the legislative and executive branches of State Govern- 
ment, and coordinates federal, state, and local water resources efforts. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



November 1993 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

In July 1992, the Department of Water Resources established an outreach advisory committee made up of 
people representing urban, agricultural, and environmental interests from various regions of the Stale to eval- 
uate and advise DWR as to the adequacy of work in progress to update the California Water Plan. 

DWR is indebted to the members of the Bulletin 160-93 Advisory Committee, who provided critical feed- 
back on the content and analyses required to produce this California Water Plan update. While this report is a 
product of DWR and does not necessarily reflect the specific viewpoint of each committee member or their 
organization on certain issues, the Department appreciates the committee's support of the balanced approach 
taken to develop this water plan. 

DWR gratefully acknowledges the input from the members. 



Bob Reeb, Chair 



California Water Resources Association 



George Baumli State Water Contractors 

Hal Carter UC Agricultural Issues Center 

Cindy Chadwick Department of Fish and Game 

Grace Chan The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 

Vernon Conrad County Supervisors Association of California 

Bill DuBois California Farm Bureau 

Lyle Hoag California Urban Water Agencies 

Laura King Natural Resources Defense Council 

John Krautkraemer Environmental Defense Fund 

Billy Martin California Central Valley Flood Control Association 

Shel Meyer NorCal Fishing Guides and Sportsman Association 

Christine Morioka City of San Francisco Water Department 

Larry Preston North State Water Association 

Stuart Pyle Association of California Water Agencies 

Jim Sequeira City of Sacramento Department of Utilities 

Charles Shreves Imperial Irrigation District 

Polly Smith League of Women Voters 

A. J. Yates Department of Food and Agriculture 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



November 1993 



STATE OF CALIFORNIA 
Pete Wilson, Governor 

THE RESOURCES AGENCY 
Douglas P. Wheeler, Secretary for Resources 

DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES 
David N. Kennedy, Director 



Carroll M. Hamon 

Deputy Director 



Robert G. Potter 

Chief Deputy Director 



John J. Silveira 

Deputy Director 



L. Lucinda Chipponeri 

Assistant Director for Legislation 



Susan N. Weber 
Chief Counsel 



DIVISION OF PLANNING 

Edward F. Huntley, Chief 

DIVISION OF LOCAL ASSISTANCE 

Carlos Madrid, Chief 



This bulletin was prepared under the direction of 

Raymond D. Hart Chief, Statewide Planning 

by 

Naser J. Bateni Chief, Water Resources Evaluation 

Edward A Craddock Chief, Land and Water Use 

Raymond F. Hoagland Chief, Economic Analysis 



Jack A. Berthelot 
Dave P. Bilyeu 
Bishu Chatterjee 
Stephen W. Cowdin 
Debbie M. Cunnagin 



assisted by 

Farhad Farnam 
Maria J. Hambright 
Thomas E. Hawkins 
Tracey J. Lindberg 
J. Scott Matyac 



Richard A. Neal 
James W. Rich 
Kenneth M. Turner 
Robert H. Zettlemoyer 



with major contributions from 

Randal L. Brown Chief, Environmental Services Office 

Katherine W. Hansel Wetlands Coordinator 

Carl J. Hauge Hydrogeologist 

Maurice D. Roos Chief Hydrologist 

Richard P. Woodard Chief, Water Quality Assessment 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update November 1993 



The following people gave special assistance to various studies related to the investigation: 

David B. Anderson Judy A. Higley Price J. Schreiner 

Sushil K. Arora Kathlin R. Johnson Brian E. Smith 

George W. Barnes, Jr. Tariq N. Kadir A. G. "Bud " Thrapp 

Dave Brown Hamid Kharazi Bill T. Smith 

Stan Cummings John R. Kramer Sean Sou 

Paul C. Dabbs Claire LaFlore Josephine Turner 

Donald W. Fisher Jonas Minton Edward D. Winkler 

John R. Fielden Doug K. Osugi 



The regional analyses and summaries of this bulletin were prepared by the DWR Districts: 
North Coast, Sacramento River, and North Lahontan Regions 

Linton A. Brown, Chief 
Northern District 

assisted by 

X. Tito Cervantes Douglas N. Denton Todd L. Hillaire 

Andrew J. Corry Charles L. Ferchaud Ralph N. Hinton 

San Francisco Bay, Sacramento River, and San Joaquin River Regions 

Dennis C. Letl, Chief 
Central District 

assisted by 

Andrew A. Aguilar Sandra R. Maxwell Dean W. Reynolds 

Richard Cocke R. A. "Bud" McGuire James H. Wieking 

Luis Toccoy Dudley John E. Morris Waiman Yip 
James R. Haupt 

Central Coast, San Joaquin River, and Tulare Lake Regions 

Louis A. Beck, Chief 
San Joaquin District 

assisted by 

Ben B. Igawa Frederick E. Stumpf Ernest D. Taylor 

Michael E. McGinnis Arvey A. Swanson Iris M. Yamagata 

David L. Scruggs 

South Coast. South Lahontan, and Colorado River Regions 

Charles R. White, Chief 
Southern District 

assisted by 

Glenn I. Bergquist David A. Inouye Mark R. Stuart 

Vcm T. Knoop Michael P. Maisner 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



November 1993 



Editorial and Production Services were provided by 

Gayle E. Dowd Nancy L. Pate Susan M. Tatayon 

Norm Hughes Edward A. Pearson Lori E. Thompson 

Dale Koike Joanne E. Pierce Nancy D. Ullrey 

Chuck M. Lano Peter M. Stoiber 



A special acknowledgement for technical consultation goes to 
William J. Bennett Wayne MacRostie Warren J. Cole 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Parti 



INTRODUCTION 



1 Summary of Volume I 

2 Institutional Framework for Water 
Management in California 



1 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



1 SUMMARY OF VOLUME I 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

1 SUMMARY OF VOLUME I 

For the first time in recent history, Califomians are finding that existing water management systems 
are no longer able to provide sufficiently reliable water service to users. In most areas of the State, the 
1987-92 drought: caused increased water conservation, and in some cases mandatory rationing, for urban 
water users; drastically curtailed surface water supplies for many agricultural water users; and strained 
environmental resources. In response to the prolonged drought, urban water agencies developed drought 
emergency plans to address water supply shortages of up to 50 percent of normal supply. The six-year 
drought stretched California's developed supply to its limits, yet innovative water banking, water 
transfers, water supply interconnections, and changes in project operations to benefit fish and wildlife all 
helped reduce the harmful effects of drought. 

In light of the increased complexities in water resources planning brought about by these significant 
events. Water Code Section 10004 was amended in 1991 to require that the California Water Plan be 
updated every 5 years and that the Department of Water Resources "conduct a series of hearings with 
interested persons, organizations, . . . agencies, and representatives of the diverse geographical areas and 
interests of the state." 

Since the last water plan update in 1987, California Water: Looking to the Future, Bulletin 160-87, 
evolving environmental policies have introduced considerable uncertainty about much of the State's 
water supply. For example, the winter-run chinook salmon and the Delta smelt, having experienced 
substantial population declines, were listed under the State and federal Endangered Species Act, 
imposing restrictions on Delta exports, and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (P.L. 102-575) 
was passed in 1992, reallocating over a million acre-feet of CVP supplies for fish and wildlife. 

These actions determine the export capability from California's most important water supply hub, the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while also imposing restrictions on upstream diverters. The Delta is the 
source from which two-thirds of the State's population and millions of acres of agricultural land receive 
part or all of their supplies. Other actions, such as the State Water Resources Control Board's Bay/Delta 
Proceedings, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency's intention to promulgate Bay/Delta 
standards of its own, suggest even more stringent requirements could be imposed. 

The drought and actions to further protect fish and wildlife emphasized the need for a comprehensive 
water policy to guide California's water management and planning. On April 6, 1992, the governor 
announced his policy, which has provided general direction in developing demand management and 
supply augmentation alternatives put forth in this California Water Plan update. 

The following overview summarizes each of the major elements (chapters) required to produce a 
water plan. It begins by discussing the effects of recent changes to the institutional framework for water 
management in California, presenting California's existing water supplies along with water quality 
considerations, assessing the need and demand for water, and ending by balancing those demands with 
supply in the California Water Balance and presenting demand management and water supply 
augmentation options for enhancing water supply reliability to meet California's water needs to the year 
2020. Discussion of regional issues and the results of regional analyses used in developing the California 
Water Balance can be found in Volume II. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 



The Governor's Water Policy 

Here are key elements of the Governor's water policy. As the Governor stressed, 
each of these elements must be linked in such a way that no single interest (urban, 
agricultural, or environmental) gains at the expense of another. 

□ Fixing the Delta Q Water Conservation 

□ Reduction of Ground Water Over- □ Water Recycling 
draft Q Desalination 

□ Water Marketing and Transfers ;-, Transfer of the federal Central Valley 

□ Additional Water for Fish and Project to State Control 
Wildlife Q Colorado River Water Banking 

□ Additional Storage Facilities 



Effects of Recent Changes in the Institutional Framework 

Chapter 2, The Institutional Framework for Water Management in California, presents an overview 
of the major constitutional requirements, studies, court decisions, and agreements that form the 
framework for many water resource management and planning activities in California. 

Probably the most far reaching action affecting water resources management in California in the last 
decade was the federal listing of the winter-run chinook salmon and the Delta smelt, combined with the 
biological opinions that followed. The opinions effectively pre-empted short-term measures to provide 
environmental protection for the Bay/Delta as proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board's 
Draft Water Right Decision 1630. Such actions and restrictions placed on water project operations 
contained in the biological opinions have immediate and future consequences on Delta export capability. 
The preci.se magnitude of tho.se con.sequences is, thus far, unknown. Furthermore, the CVPI A reallocates 
a portion of CVP supplies for environmental purposes. About 400,000 AF of the reallocation was used 
in 1993 to benefit winter-run salmon and Delta smelt; however, how the environmental water will be 
u.sed on a long-term basis has yet to be determined. 

Another major action that could have far reaching consequences is the EPA's propo.sed promulgations 
of more stringent and costly drinking water quality standards. Other decisions and laws that affect 
current water supply reliability are the Mono-Owens decision, which reduced the imports of supplies 
historically available to the South Coa.st Region, and a multitude of water management and water transfer 
legislation that has begun to open up the water market in California. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Summary of Volume I 



FIGURE 1-1. WATER PROJECT FACILITIES IN CALIFORNIA 




Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

California's Water Supplies 

In the day-to-day planning and management of California's water resources, the term "reliability" is 
defined as a measure of a water service system's expected success in providing an adequate supply that 
meets expected demand and in managing drought shortages without serious detrimental effects. 
Reliability is not strictly a water supply characteristic because it includes demand management actions 
that can mitigate the effects of shortages (such as emergency water allocation programs during drought 
years). Given this definition, California generally had an adequately reliable supply that met the 1990 
level of urban, agricultural, and environmental water demands. However, in certain regions, the 1990 
drought experience found some California communities and the environment suffering from a somewhat 
less than reliable drought supply to meet drought year needs. 

In the short-term, those areas of California relying on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies 
face great uncertainty of water supply reliability due to the unknown outcome of actions currently being 
undertaken to protect aquatic species in the Delta. Until solutions to complex Delta problems are 
identified and put into place, many Califomians will experience more frequent and severe water supply 
shortages. Without solutions to key Bay-Delta problems, major proposed water supply programs north 
or south of the Delta are not feasible. At the same time, California's water supply infrastructure is 
severely limited in its capacity to transfer marketed water due to constraints placed on export pumping 
from the Delta. For example, in 1993, an above normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited 
CVP deliveries to 50 percent of contracted supply for all federal water service contractors in the area 
from Tracy to Kettleman City. Such limitations will exacerbate ground water overdraft in the San 
Joaquin River and Tulare Lake regions because surface supplies in wet years will not be available to 
recharge ground water that was used in dry years to replace much of the shortfall in surface water 
supplies. 

Surface Water Supplies 

The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers have provided Califomians with an average of nearly 15.5 
MAF annually for urban and agricultural uses. However, recent and future actions to protect aquatic 
species and reallocation of a portion of the Central Valley Project water supplies to the environment 
could reduce the annual supply availability for urban and agricultural uses by about 1 to 3 MAF. 

Colorado River supplies to the South Coast Region for urban and agricultural uses could eventually 
decline from about 5.0 MAF to California's allocated supply of 4.4 MAF annually as a result of Arizona 
and Nevada taking more of their allocated supplies. With those states using less than their apportionment 
of water, their unused supply of Colorado River water was made available to meet California's 
requirements. Southern Califomia was spared from severe rationing during most of the 1987-92 drought 
primarily as a result of the 6(K),(K)() AF annually of Arizona and Nevada's unused Colorado River water 
that was made available to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern Califomia. Kven w ith this supply, 
however, much of Southern California experienced significant rationing in 1991 . Supplemental Colorado 
River water cannot be counted on to meet needs in the future as Arizona and Nevada continue to use 
more of their allocated share of Colorado River water. 

In response to the 1987 92 drought, many creative approaches to cope with water shortages were 
implemented throughout California, including constmction of more interconnections between local. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 



Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 
1993 CVP Operations 

The 1993-94 water year is the first year of dedicated water use for fish and wild- 
life under the CVPIA (Title 34 of Public Law 102-575). Operations for 1993 dedicated 
800,000 acre -feet, of which up to 400,000 is for the benefit of the Delta smelt. The 
1993 prescribed measures include the following: 

Sacramento and American River Basins 

□ At least 8,000 cubic feet per second pulse flow from Keswick Dam for a five-day period in late 
April to assist downstream migration of juvenile fail-run chinook and help provide the pulse 
flow needed in the Delta for Delta smelt and striped bass. 

□ At least 4,000 cfs releases from Keswick Dam to the Sacramento River from October through 
March, and at least 1 ,750 cfs from Nimbus Dam to the American River from October through 
February. These are to eliminate flow fluctuations for the spawning, incubation and rearing of 
fall-run and late fall-run chinook salmon and steelhead trout. 

□ Close the Delta Cross Channel gates during May to reduce entrainment of downstream mi- 
grating fall-run chinook salmon, striped bass eggs and larvae, and other Delta species. 

Stanislaus and San Joaquin River Basins 

□ Two pulse flows from New Melones Resen/oir of at least 1 ,500 cfs: (1) from April 24 to May 16 
primarily to help move fall- run chinook salmon smolts downstream and past the Delta 
pumps, secondarily to benefit Delta smelt; and (2) from May 20 to June 2 primarily to aid Delta 
smelt, secondarily to benefit striped bass and fall-run chinook salmon. 

□ A pulse flow of 1 ,000 to 2,000 cfs below New Melones Reservoir for a 7- to 14-day period in 
fall 1993 to attract upstream migrating fall-run chinook salmon. 

□ A base flow release of at least 300 cfs from New Melones Reservoir to the Stanislaus River 
from October through March to improve spawning and rearing conditions for fall -run chinook 
salmon. 

□ A carryover of 1 00,000 to 1 1 5,000 acre-feet in New Melones Reservoir beyond spring of 1 994 
for improved water temperatures and as a contingency against drought. 

Q The Delta 

□ No reverse flow in the western Delta in May and June, maximum reverse flow of 1 ,000 cfs in 
July, and maximum reverse flow of 2,000 cfe in August, December and January, specifically to 
benefit Delta smelt. 

□ A springtime pulse flow of about 4,500 cfs on the San Joaquin River side of the Delta. (Stanis- 
laus River pulses and releases from other tributaries described above should provide this 
flow.) 

□ A pulse flow of at least 1 8,000 cfs from about April 20 to May 4 in the Sacramento River side of 
the Delta at Freeport. (The Keswick Dam pulse described above should contribute greatly to 
this.) From April 20 through May 30, the 14-day running average flow at Freeport should be 
at least 13,000 cfs, with daily minimums of at least 9,000 cfs. 

□ Base flows at Chipps Island between 14,000 and 7,700 cfs from May through July. 

□ Pumping reductions to 1 ,500 cfs (federal and State combined) from April 26 to May 1 6 (during 
the San Joaquin River pulse flows.) Increased pumping to 4,000 cfs for the remainder of May, 
and 5,000 cfs for the month of June. 

The prescribed Delta measures will benefit outmigrating salmonids, striped bass, 
Delta smelt, as well as other migratory and resident estuarine species. 



State, and federal water delivery facilities. The City of San Francisco's connection to the SWP's South 
Bay Aqueduct allowed emergency drought supplies to be conveyed into the city's system for use by 
communities along the San Francisco peninsula. Toward the end of the drought, the City of Santa 
Barbara constructed a sea water desalination facility and received limited SWP supplies through an 
emergency interconnection and a series of exchanges with other water agencies. Throughout California, 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

water agencies were buying and exchanging water to meet critical needs. The State Drought Water Bank 
played a vital role in meeting some of those critical water needs. 

Prior to changes in water allocations from the Sacramento-San Joaquin and Colorado river systems, 
California had roughly enough water to meet average annual urban and agricultural water demands at the 
1990 level while complying with existing SWRCB standards, as specified in Water Rights Decision 
1485. Chapter 3 summarizes historical water supply and discusses the current supply system. Table I-l 
shows California's water supply with existing facilities and programs as operated in accordance with 
D-1485. 

Table 1-1. California Water Supply with Existing Facilities and Programs 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Action for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 



Supply 


1990 




2020 




Change 




Developed Supplies 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average Drought 


Surface: 














Local 


10.1 


8.2 


10.3 


8.4 


0.2 


0.2 


Imports by local agencies^ 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


0.7 


0.0 


0.0 


Colorado River^ 


5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


-0.8 


-0.7 


CVP 


7.5 


5.0 


7.9 


5.1 


0.4 


0.1 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.2 


0.8 


0.0 


0.0 


swpi 


2.8 


2.2 


3.4 


2.1 


0.6 


-0.1 


Reclaimed 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


Ground Water 


7.5 


12.2 


8.3 


12.9 


0.8 


0.7 


Ground Water Overdraft 


1.0 


1.0 


0.7 


0.7 


-0.3 


-0.3 


Dedicated Natural Flow 


27.2 


15.1 


27.8 


15.6 


0.6 


0.5 


Total Supplies 


63.7 


50.5 


65.2 


50.9 


1.5 


0.4 



' 1990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset reduction of supplies from ttie Mono and 

Owens basins to the South Coast hydrologic region. 
^ Colorado River Aqueduct. 

Average annual supplies at the 1990 level of development are about 63.7 MAP (includes natural 
flows dedicated for instream use) and could increase to 65.2 MAP by 2020 without any additional 
facilities or programs. A possible substantial reduction in Colorado River supplies could be offset by 
short-term transfers and increased SWP Delta diversions, in addition to water management programs of 
the MWDSC. The 1990 level of development drought year supplies are about 50.5 MAP and could 
increase about 0.4 MAP by 2020 without additional storage and water management options. However, 
until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified, SWP Delta diversions will continue to be 
impaired. 

(•round Water Supply 

California's ground water storage is estimated to be about 850 MAP, about l(K) times the State's 
annual net ground water use. stored in some 450 ground water basins statewide. Probably less than half 
of this total is usable because of quality considerations and the cost of extraction. However, the large 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Summary of Volume I 



quantity of good quality ground water in storage makes it a crucial component of California's total water 
resource. 

In a year of average precipitation and runoff, an estimated 14 MAF of ground water is extracted and 
applied for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use. This is nearly 20 percent of the total applied water 
supply statewide, and ranges from 20 to 90 percent locally, depending on the area. However, because of 
deep percolation and extensive reuse of applied water, current average annual net ground water use is 
about 8.6 MAF, including about 1 .0 MAF of ground water overdraft. Also, there could be an additional 
0.2 MAF of overdraft due to possible degradation of ground water quality in the trough of the San 
Joaquin Valley ground water basins. In drought years, the net use of ground water increases significantly 
to 13.2 MAF (including 1.0 MAF of overdraft), which indicates the importance of the State's ground 
water basins as storage facilities to meet drought year water needs (see Chapter 4). Table 1-2 shows 
regional ground water use. 



Table 1 -2. Net Ground Water Use by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Region 


1990 


2020 with Existing 
Facilities & Programs'' 


2020 with Additional 
Facilities & Programs'* 




Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


North Coast 


260 


280 


300 


320 


290 


310 


San Francisco Bay 


100 


130 


160 


170 


110 


140 


Central Coast 


940 


1,020 


1,000 


1,110 


910 


1,050 


South Coast 


1,110 


1,320 


1,610 


1,610 


1,540 


1,610 


Sacramento River 


2,510 


2,880 


2,530 


3,080 


2,510 


3,080 


San Joaquin 


1,280 


2,340 


1,070 


2,280 


1,050 


2,270 


Tulare Lake 


1,730 


4,550 


1,660 


4,410 


1,320 


4,230 


North Lahontan 


120 


150 


150 


170 


150 


170 


South Lahontan 


300 


330 


330 


340 


310 


340 


Colorado River 


160 


160 


150 


150 


100 


100 


Statewide 


8,510 


13,160 


8,960 


13,640 


8,290 


13,300 



■I Assumes SWRCB D-1485 operating criteria for surface water supplies from the Delta. Recent actions to protect aquatic 
species have made supplies from the Delta more uncertain; which will increase ground water overdraft in portions of the San 
Joaquin Valley. 



Annual ground water overdraft in 1990 was reduced by about 1 .0 MAF from the 1980 level of 2 
MAF. The reduction is mostly in the San Joaquin Valley and is due primarily to the benefits of imported 
supplies to the Tulare Lake Region and construction and operation of new reservoirs in the San Joaquin 
River Region during the 1960s and 1970s. Table 1-3 shows regional overdraft. However, until key 
Delta issues are resolved and additional water management programs are implemented, the reductions in 
overdraft seen in the last decade in the San Joaquin Valley will reverse as more ground water is pumped 
to make up for lost surface water supplies from the Delta. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

Table 1 -3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



2020^ 



Region 1980 1990 



with Existing 
Facilities & 
Programs 


with Additional 
Facilities & 
Programs 














250 


250 








30 


30 








280 


60 








70 


70 


70 


60 



North Coast 

San Francisco Bay 

Central Coast 230 250 

South Coast 110 20 

Sacrannento River 1 20 30 

San Joaquin 420 210 

Tulare Lake 990 340 

North L^hontan 

South Lahontan 1 00 70 

Colorado River 60 80 



Statewide 2,030 1,000 700 470 

' Assumes SWRCB D-1485 operating criteria for surface water supplies from the Delta. Recent actions to protect aquatic 
sp>ecies have made supplies from the Delta more uncertain; which will increase ground water overdraft in portions of the San 
Joaquin Valley. 



Efficient use of surface and ground water through conjunctive use programs has become an extremely 
important water management tool. Conjunctive use programs promise to be less costly than new 
traditional surface water projects because they increase the efficiency of existing water supply systems 
and generally have less adverse environmental impact than new surface water reservoirs. Conjunctive 
use programs must address potentially undesirable results such as loss of native vegetation and wetland 
habitat, adverse effects on third parties and fish and wildlife, land subsidence, and degradation of water 
quality in the aquifer There are also questions about the feasibility and legal complexity of water 
transfers involving ground water 

Water Quality Considerations 

Water quality considerations directly affect the quantities of water available for use in California. 
Poor water quality for the intended use has inherent costs, such as treatment and storage costs for 
drinking water, reduced crop yields, higher handling costs, and damage to fish and wildlife. The real 
challenge is to avoid these costs by protecting water sources from degradation in the first place. 

Of critical importance to many Califomians is the water quality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta. Water soluble minerals, municipal and industrial waste discharges, and agricultural drainage 
increase the salt content of water as it flows from higher elevations to the Delta. Sea water intrusion is a 
major source of mineralization in the Delta. Bromides from sea water are of particular concern because 
in combination with dissolved organic compounds present in .soil they contribute to the formation of 
harmful disinfection byproducts of drinking water treatment. On the average. Delta influences are 
responsible for elevating the salt concentration at Banks Pumping Plant about 150 milligrams per liter 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

above that of the fresh water inflows to the Delta. Most of the Delta water quality objectives relate to 
salinity. The SWP and CVP are required to release sufficient fresh water to meet Delta salinity standards. 

Disease-causing organisms and other harmful microorganisms which are found in raw water can pose 
serious health risks. New and more costly federal and State surface water treatment rules, effective in 
June 1993, require that all surface water supplied for drinking receive filtration, high level disinfection, 
or both. The cost to construct new filtration facilities to meet new regulations can be quite high. 

Human activities introduce a variety of pollutants which contribute to the degradation of water 
quality in various ways. Mining can be a major source of acids and toxic metals. Agricultural drainage 
may contain chemical residues, toxic elements, salts, nutrients, and elevated concentrations of chemicals 
which cause harmful disinfection byproducts. Municipal and industrial discharges, including storm 
runoff, are regulated by State and federal environmental protection laws and policies. Waste water must 
be treated to render it free of certain disease-carrying organisms and reduce its environmental impact. 
Unfortunately, normal waste water treatment plant processes may not completely remove all water-borne 
synthetic chemicals. 

Increasingly, more stringent and costly water quality standards for public health are affecting the 
continued reliability and cost of water supplies. The above water quality concerns and others are 
detailed in Chapter 5. 

The Need and Demand for Water 

Prior California Water Plan updates determined the existing "base case" for water supply and 
demand, then balanced forecasted future demand against existing supply and future supply and demand 
management options. To better illustrate overall demand and supply availability, two water supply and 
demand scenarios, an average year and a drought year, are presented for the 1 990 level of development 
and for projections to 2020. 

Shortages shown under average conditions are chronic shortages indicating the need for additional 
long-term water management measures. Shortages shown under drought conditions can be met by both 
long-term and short-term measures, depending on the frequency and severity of the shortage and water 



California's Water Supply Availability 

Average year supply: the average annual supply of a water development system 
over a long period. For this report the SWP and CVP average year supply is the aver- 
age annual delivery capability of the projects over a 70-year study period (1922-91). 
For a local project, it is the annual average deliveries of the project during 1984-1986 
period. For dedicated natural flow, it is the long-term average natural flow for wild 
and scenic rivers or it is environmental flows as required for an average year under 
specific agreements, water rights, court decision, and congressional directives. 

Drought year supply: the average annual supply of a water development system 
during a defined drought period. For this report, the drought period is the average of 
water years 1 990 and 1 991 . For dedicated natural flow, it is the average of water 
years 1990 and 1991 for wild and scenic rivers or it is environmental flows as required 
under specific agreements, water rights, court decisions, and congressional direc- 
tives. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

service reliability requirements. Urban, agricultural, and environmental water needs along with water for 
recreation are detailed in Part III of this report. The main conclusions are: 

O California's population is projected to increase to 49 million people by 2020 (from about 30 
million in 1990). Even with extensive water conservation, urban annual net water demand will 
increase by about 3.8 MAP to 10.5 MAP by 2020. Nearly half of the increased population is 
expected to occur in the South Coast Region, increasing that region's annual water demand by 
1 .5 MAP (see Chapter 6). 

Q Irrigated agricultural acreage is expected to decline by nearly 400,0(X) acres, from the 1990 level 
of 9.2 million acres to a 2020 level of 8.8 million acres, representing a 7(X),(X)0-acre reduction 
from the 1980 level. Reductions in projected irrigated acreage are due primarily to urban 
encroachment onto agricultural land and land retirement in the western San Joaquin Valley where 
poor drainage conditions exist. Increases in agricultural water use efficiency, combined with 
reductions in agricultural acreage and shifts to growing high-value, lower-water-use crops, are 
expected to reduce agricultural annual net water demand by about 2 MAP to 25 MAP by 2020 
(see Chapter 7). 

O The 1990 level and projections of environmental water needs to 2020 include water needs of 
managed fresh water wetlands (including increases in supplies for refuges resulting from 
implementation of the CVPIA), instream fishery requirements, Delta outflow, and wild and 
scenic rivers. Environmental water needs during drought years are considerably lower than 
average years reflecting principally the variability of natural flows in the North Coast wild and 
scenic rivers. Average annual net water demand for existing environmental needs is expected to 
increase by 0.9 MAP to 29. 1 MAP by 2020. Purthermore, regulatory agencies have proposed a 
number of changes in instream flow needs for major rivers including the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin. These proposed flow requirements are not necessarily additive; however, an increase 
from 1 to 3 MAP is presented to envelope potential environmental water needs as a result of 
proposed additional instream needs and actions under way by regulatory agencies, both of which 
benefit fisheries. (See Chapter 8.) 

O With California's increasing population and higher levels of affluence since World War II, water 
based recreation has become an integral part of satisfying urban society's ability and need for 
escape from the congestion of growing urban areas. State, federal and local public water supply 
projects have helped to provide recreational facilities in addition to natural lakes and streams. In 
some cases, these projects have enhanced downstream flows during times of year when natural 
flows are diminished, thus creating Whitewater rafting opportunities that were not possible before 
reservoir regulation. Often there are confiicting values and needs for the same river system. 

in 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

Recreation at reservoirs, natural lakes, and streams must be managed to prevent overuse and 
degradation. (See Chapter 9.) 

Table 1^ shows California's regional net water demands. A majority of the environmental net water 
demand occurs in the North Coast hydrologic region, reflecting the large dedicated natural flows of the 
North Coast wild and scenic rivers system, about 17.8 MAF in an average year. The Tulare Lake Region 
has the largest net water demand for agriculture, about 7.9 MAF in an average year, and the South Coast 
Region has the highest net water demand for urban use, about 3.5 MAF in an average year. Dedicated 
instream flow under Decision 1485 makes up the largest portion of the San Francisco Bay Region's net 
water demand (about 4.6 MAF), while urban and agricultural net water demands for the region amount to 
1.3 MAF. 

Table 1 -4. Net Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 
(thousands of acre-feet) 



Region 



1990 2020 Change 

average drought average drought average drought 



North Coast 
San Francisco Bay 
Central Coast 
South Coast 
Sacramento River 
San Joaquin River 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahonton 
South Lanhonton 
Colorado River 



20.0 


9.9 


20.2 


10.1 


0.2 


0.2 


6.3 


4.9 


6.6 


5.0 


0.3 


0.1 


1.1 


1.2 


1.3 


1.4 


0.2 


0.2 


4.4 


4.5 


5.9 


6.1 


1.5 


1.6 


11.6 


11.8 


12.4 


12.6 


0.8 


0.8 


6.8 


7.2 


6.8 


7.1 


0.0 


-0.1 


8.3 


8.5 


8.0 


8.1 


-0.3 


-0.4 


0.5 


0.6 


0.5 


0.6 


0.0 


0.0 


0.6 


0.5 


0.7 


0.7 


0.1 


0.2 


4.1 


4.1 


4.0 


4.0 


-0.1 


-0.1 



Total 63.7 53^ 66.4 55.7 2.7 2.5 



Will There Be Enough Water? 

The California water balance, Table 1-6 (repeated in Table 12-5), compares total net water demand 
with supplies from 1990 through 2020. (Delta supplies assume SWRCB's D-1485 without endangered 
species actions.) Today's average annual supplies are generally adequate for today's average demands. 
However, during drought, present supplies are insufficient to meet present demand, which results in a 
shortage of over 2.7 MAF under D-1485 criteria in 1990. In the drought years 1991 and 1992, these 
shortages were reflected in urban mandatory water conservation (rationing), agricultural land fallowing 
and crop shifts, reduction of environmental flows, and short-term water transfers. 

After accounting for future reductions of 1.3 million MAF in net water demand resulting from 
implementation of urban Best Management Practices, agricultural Efficient Water Management Practices, 
and accounting for increased agricultural irrigation efficiencies (discussed in Chapters 6 and 7), and 
another 0. 1 5 MAF reduction due to future land retirement, projected 2020 net demand for urban, 
agricultural, and environmental water needs amounts to 66.4 MAF in average years and 55.7 MAF in 

11 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

drought years. These demand amounts could increase by I to 3 MAF depending on the outcome of a 
number of actions being taken to protect aquatic species (see Chapter 8). 

By 2020. without additional facilities and improved water management, an annual shortage of 2.2 to 
4.2 MAF could occur during average years depending on the outcome of various actions taking place to 
protect aquatic species. This shortage is considered chronic and indicates the need for implementing 
long-term water supply augmentation and management measures to improve water service reliability. 
Similarly, by year 2020, annual drought year shortages could amount to 5.8 to 7.8 MAF under D-1485 
criteria, also indicating the need for long-term measures in addition to short-term drought management 
measures. 

However, water shortages would vary from region to region and sector to sector. For example, the 
South Coast Region's population is expected to increase to over 25 million people by 2020, requiring an 
additional 1 .5 MAF of water each year. Population growth and increased demand, combined with a 
possibility of reduced supplies from the Colorado River once Arizona and Nevada u.se more of their 
Colorado River apportionments, mean that the South Coast Region's annual shortages for 2020 could 
amount to 0.4 MAF for average years and 1 .0 MAF for drought years. If solutions to complex Delta 
problems are not found and proposed local water management programs and additional facilities for the 
SWP are not constructed, projected shortages would be larger. 

Water managers are looking into a wide variety of management actions to supplement, improve, and 
make better use of existing resources. The single most important action will be solving key issues in the 
Delta. This water plan update presents both long-term and short-term water management and supply 
augmentation options for meeting future water supply needs. Future water management options are 
presented in two levels to better reflect the status of investigations required to implement them. 

O Level I options are those that have undergone extensive investigation and 
environmental analyses and are judged to have a higher likelihood of being 
implemented by 2020. 

O Level II options are those that could fill the remaining gap shown in the 
balance between supply and urban, agricultural, and environmental water 
demands. These options require more extensive investigation and 
alternative analyses. 

Level I water management options could reduce projected shortages by implementing short-term 
drought management options. Included are short-term drought management options (demand reduction 
through urban rationing programs or water transfers that reallocate existing supplies through use of 
reserve supplies and agricultural land fallowing programs) and long-term demand management and 
supply augmentation options (increased water conservation, agricultural land retirement, additional waste 
water recycling, benefits of a long-term Delta solution, more conjunctive use programs, and additional 
south-of-the-Dclta storage facilities). If all Level I options were implemented, there would still be a 
potential shortfall in annual supplies of about 1 .9 to .3,9 MAF in average years and 2.7 to 4.7 MAF in 
drought years that must be made up by future water supply augmentation and demand management 
programs shown as Level li options. (Chapter 1 1 explains these options.). Further, Level I options 

12 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

would reduce reliance on ground and surface water supplies by 0.9 MAF in average years and 0.4 MAF 
in drought years, thus reducing overdraft by 0.5 MAF per year by 2020 by making more surface supplies 
available in wet or above normal runoff years. Table 1-5 shows California's water supplies with Level I 
water management options. 



Table 1-5. California Water Supply with Level I Water Management Options 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Actions for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 



Supply 


1990 




2020 




Change 




Developed Supplies 

Surface: 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average Drought 


Local 


10.1 


8.2 


10.3 


8.4 


0.2 


0.2 


Imports by local agencies'' 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


1.0 


0.0 


0.3 


Colorado River 


5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


-0.8 


-0.7 


CVP 


7.5 


5.0 


7.7 


5.0 


0.2 


0.0 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.2 


0.8 


0.0 


0.0 1 


swpi 


2.8 


2.2 


4.1 


3.0 


1.3 


0.8 


Reclaimed 


0.2 


0.2 


0.7 


0.7 


0.5 


0.5 


Ground water 


7.5 


12.2 


7.8 


12.8 


0.3 


0.7 


Ground water overdraft 


1.0 


1.0 


0.5 


0.5 


-0.5 


-0.5 


Dedicated Natural Flow 


27.2 


15.1 


27.8 


15.6 


0.6 


0.5 


Total 


63.7 


50.5 


65.5 


52.2 


1.8 


1.7 



^ 1990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset reduction of supplies from the Mono and 
Owens basins to the South Coast hydrologic region. 

Short-term drought management options include 1 .0 MAF possible from an urban rationing program 
plus 0.8 MAF from agricultural land fallowing and drought water transfer programs. The urban rationing 
program is illustrative of a 10 percent shortage for drought events that could occur about once every 20 
years. During less frequently occurring and more severe droughts (i.e., an event that occurs once every 
100 years), much greater shortages would occur causing substantial economic impacts to urban and 
agricultural areas and impacting fish and wildlife. Although a 10-percent shortage (after accounting for 
demand hardening due to implementation of urban BMPs) is used to illustrate this Level I option, 
planning for such drought rationing programs must include evaluation of the cost of shortages versus the 
cost of providing the supply. Further, drought rationing programs will vary from region to region 
depending on each region's water service reliability needs. 



13 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Summary of Volume I 



Table 1-6. California Water Balance 
(millions of acre -feet) 



Net Demand/Supply/Balance 



1990 



2020 



average drought average drought 



Net Demand 

Urban - with 1990 level of conservation 

- reductions due to long-term consen/ation measures (Level I) 
Agricultural - with 1990 level of conservation 

- reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level I) 

- land retirement in poor drainage areas of San Joaquin Valley (Level 1 ) 
Environmental 

Other 
Subtotal 

Proposed Additional Environmental Water Demands^ 

Case I - Hypothetical 1 MAF 

Case II -Hypothetical 2 MAF 

Case ill - Hypothetical 3 MAF 



6.7 



27.0 



28.2 

1.8 

63.7 



7.1 



28.3 



16.1 

1.7 

53.2 



11.4 
-0.9 
25.5 
-0.4 
-0.1 
29.1 
1.8 
66.4 

1.0 
2.0 
3.0 



Total Net Demand 
Case I 
Case II 
Case III 



63.7 



53.2 



Total Water Supplies 



63.7 



50.5 



67.4 56.7 

68.4 57.7 

69.4 58.7 



Water Supplies w/Existing Facilities Under D-1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Exports 

Developed Supplies 

Surface Water 28.0 22.2 28.4 

Groundwater 7.5 12.2 8.3 

Ground Water Overdraft 1.0 1.0 0.7 

Subtotal 36.5 35.4 37.4 

Dedicated Natural Flow 27.2 15.1 27.8 



65.2 



Demand/Supply Balance 
Case I 
Case II 
Case III 



0.0 



-2.7 



-2.2 
-3.2 
-4.2 



Level I Water Management Options: ^ 

Long-Term Supply Augmentation 

Reclaimed 

Local 

Central Valley Project 

State Water Project 
Short-term Drought Management 

Potential Demand Management 

Drought Water Transfers 
Subtotal- Level I Water Management Options: 

Net Ground or Surface Water Use Reduction Resulting from Level I Programs 



1.0 
0.8 
1.8 



Net Total Demand Reduction/Supply Augmentation 



T5" 



0.5 
0.0 
-0.2 
0.7 



1.0 

-0.3 



ST 



Remaining Demand/Supply Balance Requiring Future Level II Options 
Case I 
Case II 
Case III 



0.0 



-0.9 



-1.5 
-2.5 
-3.5 



' Proposed Environmental Water Demands-Case i-lll envelope potential and uncertain demands that have immediate and future conse- 
quences on supplies available from the Delta, beginning with actions in 1992 and 1993 to protect winter-run salmon and Delta smelt (ac- 
tions which could also indirectly protect other fish species). 

^ Protection of fish and wildlife and a long-term solution to complex Delta problems will determine the feasibility of several water supply 
augmentation proposals and their water supply benefits. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

Recommendations 

The California Water Balance, Table 1-6, indicates the potential magnitude of water shortages that 
can be expected in average and drought years if no actions are taken to improve water supply reliability. 
The water balance also illustrates the water supply benefits of short and long-term water management 
programs under Level I options and the need for a program to address fishery needs. These needs must 
be more clearly defined so that the water supply requirements can be assessed and the remaining water 
supply needs and sources identified. 

The Delta is the hub of California's water supply infrastructure; key problems in the Delta must be 
addressed before several of the Level I options in this California Water Plan Update can be carried out. 
Finding solutions to those problems should be the first priority. Also, a proactive approach to improving 
fishery conditions — such as better water temperature control for spawning, better screening ofdiversions 
in the river system to reduce incidental take, and better timing of reservoir releases to improve fishery 
habitat — must be taken so that solutions to the Delta problems mesh with basinwide actions taken for 
improving fishery conditions. To that end, many of the restoration actions identified in the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act for cost sharing with the State can improve conditions for aquatic 
species. Once a Delta solution is in place and measures for recovery of listed species have been initiated, 
many options requiring improved Delta export capability could become feasible. 

The following are the major Level I options recommended for implementation to meet California's 
water supply needs to 2020, along with their potential benefits. Many of them still require additional 
environmental documentation and permitting, and in some instances, alternative analyses. Before these 
programs can be implemented, environmental water needs must be identified and prioritized and funding 
issues addressed. 

Demand Management 

►Water conservation — by 2020, implementation of urban BMPs could reduce annual urban 
applied water demand by 1 .3 MAF, and net water demand by 0.9 MAF, after accounting for reuse. 
Implementation of agricultural EWMPs, which increase agricultural irrigation efficiencies, could reduce 
agricultural applied water demands by 1 .7 MAF and net water demand by 0.3 MAF, after accounting for 
reuse. Further, lining of the Ail-American Canal will reduce net water demand by 0.07 MAF. 

►Drought land fallowing and water bank programs — temporary, compensated reductions of 
agricultural net water demands and purchases of surplus water supplies could reallocate at least 0.6 MAF 
of drought year supply by 2020. 

►Drought demand management — voluntary rationing averaging 10 percent statewide during 
drought could reduce annual urban applied and net water demand by 1 .0 MAF in 2020. 

►Land retirement — retirement of 45,000 acres of land with poor sub-surface drainage on the 
western San Joaquin Valley could reduce annual applied and net water demand by 0. 1 3 MAF by 2020. 



15 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Summary of Volume I 

Supply Augmentation 

►Water reclamation — plans for an additional I MAF of waste water recycling and ground water 
reclamation by 2020 could provide annual net water supplies of nearly 0.6 MAF after accounting for 
reuse. 

►Solutions to Delta Water Management Problems — improved water service reliability and 
increased protection for aquatic species in the Delta could provide 0.3 to 0.5 MAF annually of net water 
supplies (under D-1485) and make many other water management options feasible. 

►Conjunctive use — more efficient use of major ground water basins through programs such as the 
Kern Water Bank could provide 0.5 MAF of drought year net water .supplies (under D-1485). 

►Additional storage facilities, including Los Banos Grandes (SWP), could provide 0.3 MAF of 
average and drought year net water supplies (under D-1485), and Domenigoni Valley Reservoir 
(MWDSC) could provide 0.2 MAF of drought year net water supplies. 

In the short-term, those areas of California relying on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies 
face uncertain water supply reliability due to the unpredictable outcome of actions being undertaken to 
protect aquatic species and water quality. Until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified and 
put in place, and demand management and supply augmentation options are implemented, many 
Califomians will experience more frequent and severe water supply shortages. For example, in 1993, an 
above-normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited CVP deliveries to 50 percent of contracted 
supply for federal water service contractors in the area from Tracy to Kettleman City. Limitations of 
surface water deliveries will exacerbate ground water overdraft in the San Joaquin River and Tulare Lake 
regions because ground water is used to replace much of the shortfall in surface water supplies. At the 
same time, California's water supply infrastructure is severely limited in its capacity to transfer marketed 
water through the Delta due to constraints to protect aquatic species placed on export pumping from the 
Delta. 

Finally, it is recommended that Level II options (which include demand management and supply 
augmentation measures such as additional land retirement, increa.sed waste water recycling and desalting, 
and surface water development) be evaluated, expanded to include other alternatives, and planned for 
meeting the potential range of average year shortages of 1 .6 to 3.6 MAF and the potential range of 
drought year shortages of 2.5 to 4.5 MAF. Several mixes of State and local Level II options should be 
looked at to address the range of uncertainty of demand and supply illustrated in the California Water 
Balance. Such uncertainty will affect the identification and selection of Level 11 options needed to meet 
California's water supply needs. Thus, a specific plan for implementing Level II options for meeting the 
remaining water supply requirements cannot be put forth in this update of the California Water Plan. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, No>cmbcr 1993 



2 THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK 

FOR WATER RESOURCE 

MANAGEMENT IN CALIFORNIA 




WdUT Rii^lu Dfcision and some of the Slate and federal laws 
and court decisions affecting water management. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

2 THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR WATER 
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN CALIFORNIA 

Water resource management in California is at a critical juncture as evolving policies and physical 
limits of the State's water supply infrastructure collide. Three major interest groups — urban, agricultural, 
and environmental — must work their way through California's institutional framework toward solutions 
that should benefit all Califomians and their environment. 

Since 1957, when the first comprehensive California Water Plan was published, attitudes toward and 
methods for managing the State's natural resources have gone through many changes. Califomians have 
become more environmentally sensitive, as reflected in statutes such as the California Environmental 
Quality Act, the State Endangered Species Act, and the State Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. 

The situation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a prime example of an area where concerns 
about aquatic species compete with urban and agricultural water supply needs. The Delta provides 
valuable habitat and migration corridors for many species, including the winter-run salmon and Delta 
smelt, which are listed under the State and federal Endangered Species Acts. The long-fin smelt, 
Sacramento split-tail, and spring-run salmon are also being considered for listing under the State and 
federal acts because of their low populations. Natural resource managers are looking for ways to help 
these species recover. As part of the recovery effort, biological opinions have been executed under the 
federal Endangered Species Act which affect how water supply projects in the Delta are operated. 
Essentially, the opinions have increased the amount of water allocated to environmental uses in the Delta 
over SWRCB D-1485, and they determine when water projects in the Delta can pump or convey the 
supplies that eventually serve about two-thirds of California's population and much of its farmland. 
California's population will require even more water as it grows by nearly 60 percent by the year 2020, 
making it clear to resource managers that something must be done to address water supply reliability for 
urban, agricultural, and environmental needs in the Delta. 

In California, water use and supplies are controlled and managed by an intricate system of federal 
and State laws. Common law principles, constitutional provisions. State and federal statutes, court 
decisions, and contracts or agreements all govern how water will be allocated, developed, or used. All of 
these components, along with the responsible State, federal, and local agencies, comprise the institutional 
framework for allocation and management of water resources in California. 

This chapter presents an overview of California's institutional framework for managing water 
resources in California. It highlights some of the changes that have occurred over the last decade, as new 
statutes have been enacted and earlier laws, decisions, and agreements reinterpreted. Summarized here are 
major Constitutional requirements, statutes, court decisions, and agreements that form the groundwork 
for many water resource management and planning activities. (General references and citations to the 
laws and cases discussed are contained in Appendix A.) 



17 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Allocation and Management of California's Water Supplies 

The following subsections condense the basic water right laws and doctrines governing allocation 
and use of California's water supplies. The Federal Power Act is discussed because through recent court 
decisions, it has some far reaching effects on some State water rights. Area of origin statutes are 
discussed because they provide the basis for reserving water supplies for counties of origin. 

California Constitution Article X, Section 2 

The key.stone to California's water law and policy, this section of the California Constitution requires 
that all uses of the State's water be both reasonable and beneficial. It places a significant limitation on 
water rights by prohibiting the waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable 
method of diversion of water. 

Riparian and Appropriative Rights 

California operates under a dual system of water rights for surface water which recognizes both the 
doctrine of riparian rights and appropriative rights. Under the riparian doctrine, the owner of land has 
the right to divert a portion of the natural flow of water flowing by his land for reasonable and beneficial 
use upon his land adjacent to the stream and within its watershed, subject to certain limitations. 
Generally, all riparian water right holders must reduce their water u.se in times of water shortages. Under 
the appropriative doctrine, a person has a right to divert, store, and use water regardless of whether the 
land on which it is used is adjacent to a stream or within its watershed, provided that the water is used for 
reasonable and beneficial uses and is surplus to water from the same stream used by earlier appropriators. 
The rule of priority between appropriators is "first in time is first in right." 

Water Rights Permits and Licenses 

The Water Commission Act, which took effect in 1914 following a referendum, recognized that all 
water within the state is the property of the people of the state but rights to use the water may be acquired 
in the manner provided by law. The act established a system of state-issued permits and licenses to 
appropriate water. Amended over the years, it now appears in Division 2 (Commencing with Section 
1000) of the Water Code. These provisions place responsibility for administering appropriative water 
rights with the State Water Resources Control Board. The act also provides procedures for adjudication 
of water rights, including court references to the State Water Resources Control Board and statutory 
adjudications of all rights to a stream system. 

Ground Water Management 

Generally, ground water is available to any person who owns land overlying the ground water basin. 
Ground water management in California is accomplished either by a judicial adjudication of the 
respective rights of overlying users and exporters, or by local management of rights to extract and use 
ground water as authorized by statute or agreement. Most of the larger ground water basins in Southern 
California and the San Francisco Bay area are managed either pursuant to a court adjudication or by an 
agency with statutory powers; however, most basins in Northern California are not so managed. 
Statutory management may be either by powers granted to a public agency that also manages surface 
water, or by the creation of a ground water management agency created expressly for that purpose. 



18 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Institutional Framework 



In 1992, the Legislature repealed the water code sections that authorized management in specific 
critically overdrafted basins and adopted new sections to authorize any local agency which provides 
water service to adopt a ground water management plan if the ground water is not subject to management 
under other provisions of law or a court decree. Specific notice and hearing procedures must be 
followed. If protesting landowners represent more than 50 percent of the assessed valuation of land 
within the local agency, the ground water management plan may not be adopted. Elements of a plan may 
include control of saline water intrusion, identification and protection of well head and recharge areas, 
regulation of the migration of contaminated water, provisions for abandonment and destruction of wells, 
mitigation of overdraft, replenishment, monitoring, facilitating conjunctive use, identification of well 
construction policies, and construction of cleanup, recharge, recycling, and extraction projects by the 
local agency. 

Public Trust Doctrine 

In the 1980s, the Public Trust Doctrine was used by courts to limit traditional riparian and 
appropriative water rights. Under the Equal Footing Doctrine of the U.S. Constitution, each state has 
title to tidelands and the beds of navigable lakes and streams within its borders. The public trust 
doctrine — recognized in some form by most states — embodies the principle that the state holds title to 
such properties within the state in trust for the beneficial use of the public and that public rights of access 
to and use of tidelands and navigable waters are inalienable. Traditional public trust rights include 
navigation, commerce, and fishing. California law has expanded the traditional public trust uses to 
include protection of fish and wildlife, preserving trust lands in their natural condition for scientific study 
and scenic enjoyment, and related open-space uses. 



What is Navigable? 

The law has a number of different — and often confusing — definitions of "navigable" rivers and 
lakes (all tidal areas are considered navigable). For purposes of determining state title to the beds 
of rivers and lakes, they must have been capable of carrying commerce at the time the state en- 
tered the union. "Commerce"includes more than boats carrying persons and cargo. The courts 
have found streams to be "navigable" where they have carried saw logs or shingle bolts. For pur- 
poses of some federal regulatory programs, a waterway must have carried, or be capable of carry- 
ing, interstate commerce. Other federal regulatory programs (e.g. federal Power Act) include wa- 
tenways which could carry interstate commerce with reasonable modifications. Finally, the Clean 
Water Act defines "navigable" waters to include all waters of the United States which may affect or 
be affected by interstate commerce. This includes most water bodies in the nation. 



In 1983, the California Supreme Court extended the public trust doctrine to appropriative water 
rights. In National Audubon Society v. Superior Court of Alpine County, the court held that water right 



19 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



licenses held by the City of Los Angeles to divert water from streams tributary to Mono Lake remain 
subject to ongoing State supervision under the public trust doctrine. The court held that public trust uses 
must be considered and balanced when rights to divert water away from navigable water bodies are 
considered. The court also held that California's appropriative rights system and the public trust doctrine 
embody important precepts which "...make the law more responsive to the diverse needs and interests 
involved in planning and allocation of water resources." Consequently, in issuing or reconsidering any 
rights to appropriate and divert water, the State must balance public trust needs with the needs for other 
beneficial uses of water. 

Since the 1983 National Audubon decision, the public trust doctrine has been involved in several 
other cases. In U.S. v. State Water Resources Control Board (commonly referred to as the Racanelli 
Decision and discussed later in this chapter), the State Court of Appeal reiterated that the public trust 
doctrine is a significant limitation on water rights. The public trust doctrine was also a basis for the 
decision in Environmental Defense Fund v. East Bay Municipal Utility District, in which EDF claimed 
that EBMUD should not contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for water diverted from the 
American River upstream of where it flowed through the Sacramento urban area in a manner that would 
harm instream uses including recreational, scenic, and fish and wildlife preservation purposes. The 
Superior Court upheld the validity of EBMUD's contract with USBR but placed limitations on the timing 
and amounts of deliveries to EBMUD. 

The public trust decisions reflect changes in our attitudes about using water resources. The earliest 
cases involved rights of public access to tidelands around San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay. Later 
cases involved public trust rights to inland water bodies such as Clear Lake and Lake Tahoe. 
Modification of water rights is the most recent application of this doctrine. 

Federal Power Act 

The Federal Power Act has, at times, conflicted with the administration of State water rights 
involving hydroelectric projects. The Act creates a federal licensing system administered by the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission and requires that a license be obtained for hydroelectric projects 
proposing to use navigable waters or federal lands. The act contains a clause modelled after a clause in 
the Reclamation Act of 1902, which disclaims any intent to affect state water rights law. 

In a number of decisions dating back to the 1940s, the U.S. Supreme Court held that provisions of 
the Reclamation Act and the Federal Power Act preempted inconsistent provisions of state law. 
Decisions under both acts found that these clauses were merely "saving clauses" which required the 
United States to follow minimal state procedural laws or to pay just compensation where vested 
non-federal water rights are taken. However, in California v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court 
overturned a number of cariicr Supreme Court decisions which found that the Reclamation Act 
substantially preempts state water law. It held that the Reclamation Act clause requires the Bureau of 
Reclamation to comply with conditions in state water rights permits unless those conditions conflict with 
"clear Congressional directives." 



20 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



In California v. FERC (\990), commonly referred to as the Rock Creek Decision, the U.S. Supreme 
Court rejected California's argument that the Federal Power Act clause required deference to state water 
law, as the Reclamation Act's did. The court pointed out that the Federal Power Act had been construed 
in a number of cases to preempt inconsistent state law, beginning with First Iowa Hydroelectric 
Cooperative v. Federal Power Commission (1946). 

_First Iowa involved a state law which required that water be returned to a river at the first available 
point below the dam in order to receive a state permit. The project licensed by the FPC did not do this. 
The Supreme Court held the Federal Power Act's reference to state law was merely a "savings clause" 
intended only to require compensation if vested property rights are taken. In all other respects, the 
Federal Power Act could supersede inconsistent state laws. The Court noted that Iowa law sought to 
regulate "...the very requirements of the project which the Congress has placed in the discretion of the 
Federal Power Commission." 

Thus, in California v. FERC, the court declined to interpret the Federal Power Act in the same 
manner as the Reclamation Act. It distinguished the two acts, finding that the Federal Power Act 
envisioned a broader and more active federal oversight role than did the Reclamation law. 

The recent Federal District Court case of Sayles Hydro Association v. Maughan (February 1993), 
reinforced this view by holding that federal law has "occupied the field", preventing any state regulation 
of federally licensed power projects other than determining proprietary water rights. In Sayles, the 
SWRCB refused to issue a permit to the proponents of a hydro project until they had completed 
numerous environmental reports and studies. The proponents sought and received a declaratory 
judgment that no more environmental reports were necessary because the Board did not have the 
authority to impose environmental conditions in the permit beyond what was required in the already 
issued FERC license. 

Preemption of state law by terms and conditions in Federal Power Act licenses is likely to remain a 
significant problem for water management in the Western states. There have been instances where 
holders of Federal Power Act licenses have claimed preemption from state safety of dams requirements, 
minimum stream flow requirements, and state designation of wild and scenic streams. 

Area of Origin Statutes 

During the years when California's two largest water projects, the Central Valley Project and State 
Water Project, were being developed, area of origin legislation was enacted to protect local Northern 
California supplies from being depleted as a result of the projects. County of Origin Statutes provide for 
the reservation of water supplies for counties in which the water originates when, in the judgment of the 
State Water Resources Control Board, an application for the assignment or release from priority of State 
water right filings will deprive the county of water necessary for its present and future development. 
Watershed Protection Statutes are provisions which require that the construction and operation of 
elements of the Federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project not deprive the watershed, or 
area where water originates, or immediately adjacent areas which can be conveniently supplied with 



21 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

water, of the prior right to water reasonably required to supply the present or future beneficial needs of 
the watershed area or any of its inhabitants or property owners. 

The Delta Protection Act, enacted in 1959 (not to be confused with the Delta Protection Act of 1992, 
which relates to land use), declares that the maintenance of an adequate water supply in the Delta to 
maintain and expand agriculture, industry, urban, and recreational development in the Delta area, and to 
provide a common source of fresh water for export to areas of water deficiency is necessary to the peace, 
health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State, subject to the County of Origin and Watershed 
Protection laws. The act requires the State Water Project and the Federal CVP to provide an adequate 
water supply for water users in the Delta through salinity control or through substitute supplies in lieu of 
salinity control. 

In 1984, additional area of origin protections were enacted covering the Sacramento, Mokelumne, 
Calaveras, San Joaquin, and combined Truckee, Carson, and Walker rivers, and Mono Lake. The 
protections prohibit the export of ground water from the combined Sacramento River and 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta basins, unless the export is in compliance with local ground water plans. 
Also, Water Code Section 1245 holds municipalities liable for economic damages resulting from their 
diversion of water from a watershed. 

The Current Regulatory and Legislative Framework 

California's developed water supplies have become less reliable and more costly for urban and 
agricultural users as State and federal regulation to protect the public and its environment has increased. 
Environmental actions and regulations to protect both water quality and fish and wildlife have had far 
reaching effects on water use and management and involve several regulatory agencies. A few important 
examples are: 

O Fish and Wildlife 

□ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service enforce rules and 
regulations under the federal Endangered Species Act. 

□ California Department of Fish and Game enforces rules and regulations under the State 
Endangered Species Act. 

O Water Quality 

□ State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards enforce rules 
and regulations under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. 

Q Federal Environmental Protection Agency has delegated primary water quality control and 
enforcement authority under the Clean Water Act to the SWRCB and its regional boards. 

Regulatory actions, in combination with costs of compliance, have brought California's water 
development close to a standstill for nearly 15 years. During this time, water resource managers have 
implemented a number of strategies to help Califomians become more efficient in their water use. thus 
stretching existing supplies. But California's increased demand for water to meet the needs of a growing 
population and to protect the environment all point to the necessity of addressing the problems and 



22 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



moving forward with cost effective and environmentally sound water supply development combined with 
more efficient water management. 

Many of the current issues regarding the storage, allocation, distribution, and use of water in 
California involve environmental concerns. Environmental laws are inextricably intertwined in all of the 
State's major water supply programs, and environmental concerns play a major role in water policy and 
planning. Following is a summary of the major environmental laws influencing water supply facility 
planning, construction, and operation. 

Protection of Fish and Wildlife 

Endangered Species Act. Under the federal ESA, an endangered species is one that is in danger of 
extinction in all or a significant part of its range, and a threatened species is one that is likely to become 
endangered in the near future. The ESA is designed to preserve endangered and threatened species by 
protecting individuals of the species and their habitat and by implementing measures that promote their 
recovery. 

The ESA sets forth a procedure for listing species as threatened or endangered. Final listing 
decisions are made by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries 
Service. Presently over 650 species have been listed in the United States, of which 1 10 are native to 
California — the largest number in any state. 

Once a species is listed, Section 7 of the act requires that federal agencies, in consultation with the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service, ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the species or habitat critical for that species survival. The federal 
wildlife agencies are required to provide an opinion as to whether the federal action would jeopardize the 
species. The opinion must include reasonable and prudent alternatives to the action that would avoid 
jeopardizing the species existence. Federal actions subject to Section 7 include issuance of federal 
permits such as the dredge and fill permit required under Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, 
which requires that the project proponent demonstrate there is no feasible alternative consistent with the 
project goals that would not affect listed species. Mitigation of the proposed project is not considered 
until this hurdle is passed. 

State agencies and private parties are also subject to the ESA. Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the 
"take" of endangered species and threatened species for which protective regulations have been adopted. 
Take has been broadly defined to include actions that harm or harass listed species or that cause a 
significant loss of their habitat. State Agencies and private parties are generally required to obtain a 
permit from the USFWS or NMFS under Section 10(a) of the ESA before carrying out activities that may 
incidentally result in the take of listed species. The permit normally contains conditions to avoid take of 
listed species and to compensate for habitat adversely impacted by the activities. 

The ESA has been interpreted to apply not just to new projects, but also to on-going project 
operation and maintenance. For example, maintenance activities along the California Aqueduct 
right-of-way may impact the San Joaquin Kit fox, the blunt-nose leopard lizard, and the Tipton 
kangaroo rat, all species that have been listed as endangered. DWR initiated the Section l()(a) process to 



23 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



obtain a permit for the incidental take of species resulting from maintenance activities along the 
California Aqueduct despite measures DWR takes to reduce or eliminate take. Another example is 
federal. State, and local operations in the Delta and upstream Sacramento River that are affected by 
biological opinions to protect the winter-run salmon and the Delta smelt. 

California Endangered Species Act. The California Endangered Species Act is similar to the federal 
ESA and must be complied with in addition to the federal ESA. Listing decisions are made by the 
California Fish and Game Commission. 

All state lead agencies are required to consult with the Department of Fish and Game about projects 
that impact State listed species. DFG is required to render an opinion as to whether the proposed project 
jeopardizes a listed species and offer alternatives to avoid jeopardy. State agencies must adopt reasonable 
alternatives unless there are overriding social or economic conditions that make such alternatives 
infeasible. 

Many California species are both federally listed and State listed, CESA directs DFG to coordinate 
with the USFWS and NMFS in the con.sultation process so consistent and compatible opinions or 
findings can be adopted by both federal and State agencies. 

Natural Community Conservation Planning. Adopted in 1991, California's Natural Community 
Conservation Planning Act establishes a program to identify the habitat needs of species before they 
become listed as threatened or endangered, and to develop appropriate voluntary conservation methods 
compatible with development and growth. This program is designed to preserve habitat for the variety of 
species that are dependent upon each other. Participants in the program develop plans to protect certain 
habitat and will ultimately enter into agreements with DFG to ensure that the plans will be carried out. 
Plans must be created so they are consistent with endangered species laws. A pilot program has been 
established in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties for the Coastal Sage Scrub, which exists 
in a habitat that has been diminishing. A number of endangered species, including the gnatcatcher, 
depend on this habitat. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior has endorsed this process, 
which may evolve into the approach of the future. Participation in these plans is not mandatory. 

The Natural Conservation Planning Act is likely to play an important role in water development in 
the future. Water suppliers may participate in plans for habitat impacted directly by new water projects 
and indirectly in the areas that receive water supplies. 

Dredge and Fill Permits. Section 4()4 of the federal Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of 
dredged and fill materials into waters of the United States, including wetlands. No di.scharge may occur 
unless a permit is obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Generally, the project proponent 
must agree to mitigate or have plans to mitigate environmental impacts caused by the project before a 
permit is issued. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to veto permits issued by 
the Corps for projects that have unacceptable adverse effects on municipal water supplies, fisheries, 
wildlife, or recreational areas. 

Section 4()4 permits the issuance of a general permit on a State, regional or nationwide basis for 
certain categories of activities that will cause only minimal environmental effects. Such activities are 



24 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

permitted without the need of an individual permit application. Installation of a stream gauging station 
along a river levee is one example of an activity which falls within a nationwide permit. 

The Corps also administers a permitting program under Section 10 of the 1899 Rivers and Harbors 
Act. Section 10 generally requires a permit for obstructions to navigable water. The scope of the permit 
under Section 10 is narrower than under Section 404 since the term "navigable waters" is more limited 
than "waters of the United States". 

Section 404 and Section 10 are additional requirements to be complied with in constructing water 
projects. The term "discharge of dredged and fill material" has been defined broadly to include the 
building of any structure involving rock, sand, dirt, or other construction material. For example, 
proposed facilities such as Los Banos Grandes and the Coastal Branch, Phase II for the SWP and Los 
Vaqueros for Contra Costa Water District, as well as activities within Delta channels, are subject to 404 
jurisdiction and regulation. 

Public Interest Terms and Conditions. The Water Code authorizes the SWRCB to impose terms 
and conditions to conserve the public interest, specifically the consideration of instream beneficial uses, 
when it issues permits to appropriate water. It also considers environmental impacts of approving water 
transfers under its jurisdiction. Frequently, it reserves jurisdiction to consider new instream uses and to 
modify permits accordingly. D-1485 fish and wildlife conditions that regulate CVP and SWP Delta 
operations were imposed under a reservation of SWRCB's jurisdiction. 

Minimum Fish Flows. Fish and Game Code Section 5937 provides protection to fisheries by 
requiring that the owner of any dam allow sufficient water at all times to pass through the dam to keep in 
good condition any fisheries that may be planted or exist below the dam. In California Trout, Inc. v. the 
State Water Resources Control Board (1989), the court determined that Fish and Game Code sections 
5937 and 5946 require the SWRCB to modify the permits and licenses issued to the City of Los Angeles 
to appropriate water from the streams feeding Mono Lake to ensure sufficient water flows for fisheries 
purposes. In a subsequent case, the court of appeal ordered the Superior Court to set interim flow 
standards for the four streams feeding Mono Lake and from which the City diverts. The El Dorado 
County Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting Los Angeles from diverting water 
whenever the Mono Lake level falls below 6,377 feet. 

Streambed Alteration Agreements. Fish and Game Code Sections 1601 and 1603 require that any 
governmental entity or private party altering a river, stream, or lake bed, bottom, or channel enter into an 
agreement with the Department Fish and Game. Where the project may substantially adversely affect an 
existing fish or wildlife resource, DFG may require that the agreement include provisions designed to 
protect riparian habitat, fisheries, and wildlife. New water development projects and on-going 
maintenance activities are often subject to these sections. 

Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This Act implements various treaties for the protection of migratory 
birds and prohibits the "taking" (broadly defined) of birds protected by those treaties without a permit. 
The Secretary of the Interior is directed to determine conditions under which a taking may occur, and 
criminal penalties are provided for unlawful taking or transportation of birds. Liability imposed by this 



25 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Act was one of several factors leading to the decision to close the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge, (see 
discussion of the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program). 

Environmental Review and Mitigation 

Another set of environmental statutes compel governmental agencies and private individuals to 
document and consider environmental consequences of their actions. They define the procedures through 
which governmental agencies consider environmental factors in their decision-making process. 

National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA directs federal agencies to prepare an environmental 
impact statement (EIS) for all major federal actions which may have a significant effect on the human 
environment. It states that it is the goal of the federal government to use all practicable means, consistent 
with other considerations of national policy, to protect and enhance the quality of the environment. It is a 
procedural law requiring all federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of their proposed 
actions during the planning and decision-making processes. The content of an EIS is very similar to that 
required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)for a State environmental impact report. 

California Environmental Quality Act. CEQA, modeled after NEPA, requires California public 
agency decision makers to document and consider the environmental impacts of their actions. It requires 
an agency to identify ways to avoid or reduce environmental damage and to implement those measures 
where feasible. It also serves as a means to encourage public participation in the decision-making 
process. CEQA applies to all levels of California government, including the State, counties, cities, and 
local districts. 

CEQA requires that a public agency carrying out a project with significant environmental effects 
prepare an environmental impact report. An EIR contains a description of the project, a discussion of the 
project's environmental impacts, mitigation measures, alternatives, public comments, and the agency's 
responses to the comments. In other instances, a notice of exemption from the application of CEQA may 
also be appropriate. 

NEPA does not generally require federal agencies to adopt mitigation measures or alternatives 
provided in the EIS. CEQA, on the other hand, does impose sub.stantive duties on all California 
governmental agencies approving projects with significant environmental impacts to adopt feasible 
altematives or mitigation measures that substantially lessen the.se impacts, unless there are overriding 
reasons why they cannot. When a project is subject to both CEQA and NEPA, both laws encourage the 
agencies to cooperate in planning the project and prepare joint environmental documents. 

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and related acts 
express the will of Congress to protect the quality of the aquatic environment as it affects the 
conservation, improvement, and enjoyment of fish and wildlife resources. Under this act, any federal 
agency that propo.ses to control or modify any body of water, or to issue a permit allowing control or 
modification of a bcxiy of water, must first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National 
Marine Fisheries Service, and State Fish and Game officials. This requires coordination early in the 
project planning and environmental review processes. 



26 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Protection of Wild and Natural Areas 

Water use and management are also limited by several statutes designed to set aside resources or 
areas to preserve their natural conditions. This precludes certain activities, including most water 
development projects, within the areas set aside. 

Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In 1968, Congress passed the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act to preserve in their free-flowing condition rivers which possess "outstandingly remarkable 
scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, or other similar values." The act also 
states: " ... that the established national policy of dam and other construction at appropriate sections of 
rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected 
rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to 
fulfill other vital national conservation purposes." 

The act prohibits federal agencies from constructing, authorizing, or funding the construction of 
water resources projects having a direct and adverse effect on the values for which the river was 
designated. This restriction also applies to rivers designated for potential addition to the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System. California rivers included in the system include portions of the Middle Fork 
Feather, North Fork American, Tuolumne, Merced, Kings, North Fork Kern, South Fork Kern, Smith, 
Sisquoc, and Big Sur Rivers, and Sespe Creek. Also included in the system are most rivers protected 
under the State Wild And Scenic Rivers Act; these rivers were included in the national system upon 
California's petition on January 19, 1981 . The West Walker and East Fork Carson rivers are not included 
in the federal system. 

California Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In 1972, the California legislature passed the State Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act, declaring that specified rivers possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, 
or wildlife values that should be preserved in a free-flowing state for the benefit of people of California. 
It declared that such use of the rivers would be the highest and most beneficial use within the meaning of 
Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution. The act prohibits construction of any dam, reservoir, 
diversion, or other water impoundment on a designated river. Diversions needed to supply domestic 
water to residents of counties through which the river flows may be authorized, if the Secretary of the 
Resources Agency determines that the diversion will not adversely affect the river's free-flowing 
character. The State system includes portions of the Klamath, Scott, Salmon Trinity, Smith, Eel, Van 
Duzen, American, West Walker, and East Fork Carson rivers. While not technically a part of the system, 
similar protection also extends to portions of the McCloud River. 

The major difference between the national and State acts is that if a river is designated wild and 
scenic under the State act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can still issue a license to build a 
dam on that river, thus overriding the state system. (See Federal Power Act discussion above.) This 
difference explains why national wild and scenic designation often is sought. 



27 



Draft of The California Water Plan Ilndatp 



Tho lnc»U.>»:>^nol E-r 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Institutional Framework 



FIGURE 2-1. WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS IN CALIFORNIA 



LfGEND 
Federal Designation 
State Designation 




28 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Tlie Institutional Framework 



Wild Trout Streams. The California Fish and Game Code designates certain sections of streams and 
rivers as "wild." The Trout and Steelhead Conservation and Management Planning Act of 1979 directs 
the Department of Fish and Game to inventory all California trout streams and lakes and determine 
whether each should be managed as a wild trout fishery or involve the planting of trout. The objective of 
the legislation is to establish and maintain wild trout stocks in suitable waters of the State and establish 
angling regulations designed to maintain the wild trout fishery by natural reproduction. The legislature 
further directed that part of the wild trout program be devoted to developing catch and release fisheries. 
The Fish and Game Commission has designated 26 streams as "wild trout waters," and adopted a policy 
pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 703 that "[a]ll necessary actions, consistent with state law, shall 
be taken to prevent adverse impact by land or water development projects on designated wild trout 
waters." 

National Wilderness Act. The Wilderness Act sets up a system to protect federal land designated by 
Congress as a "wilderness area" and preserve it in its natural condition. Wilderness is defined as 
undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence without permanent improvements 
or human habitation. Commercial enterprise, permanent roads, motor vehicles, aircraft landings, 
motorized equipment, or construction of structures or installations are prohibited within designated 
wilderness areas. 

Water Quality Protection 

Another important consideration in water resource management is water quality. The State Water 
Resources Control Board plays a central role in both determining water rights and regulating water 
quality. Discussed below are key State and federal laws governing water quality. 

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act 

This act is California's comprehensive water quality control law and is a complete regulatory 
program designed to protect water quality and beneficial uses of the State's water. The Act requires the 
adoption of water quality control plans by the state's nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards for 
areas within their regions. These plans are subject to the approval of the State Water Resources Control 
Board, and ultimately the federal EPA. The plans are to be continually reviewed and updated. 

The primary method of implementing the plans is to require each discharger of waste that could 
impact the waters of the State to meet formal waste discharge requirements. Anyone discharging waste 
or proposing to discharge waste into the State's water must file a "report of waste discharge" with the 
Regional Water Quality Control Board within whose jurisdiction the discharge lies. Dischargers are 
subject to a wide variety of administrative, civil, and criminal actions for failing to file a report. After the 
report is filed, the regional board may issue waste discharge requirements that set conditions on the 
discharge. The waste discharge requirements must be consistent with the water quality control plan for 
the body of water and protect the beneficial uses of the receiving waters. The regional boards also 
implement Section 402 of the federal Clean Water Act, which allows the State to issue a single discharge 
permit for the purposes of both State and federal law. 



29 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 

Section 402 of the Clean Water Act established a permit system known as the National Pollutant 
Discharge Elimination System to regulate point sources of discharges in navigable waters of the United 
States. The EPA was given the authority to implement the NPDES, although the Act also authorizes 
states to implement the Act in lieu of the EPA, provided the state has sufficient authority. 

In 1972, the California Legislature passed a law amending the Porter-Cologne Act which gave 
California the authority and ability to operate the NPDES permits program. Before a permit may be 
issued. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that the Regional Water Quality Control Board 
certify that the discharge will comply with applicable water quality standards. After making the 
certification, the regional board may issue the permit satisfying both State and federal law. The State 
Water Resources Control Board is currently reviewing the activities subject to nationwide permits to 
determine if they qualify for water quality certification. 

In 1 987, Section 402 was amended to require the regulation of storm water runoff under the NPDES, 
despite the fact that it comes from a large variety of sources which the EPA in the past claimed were too 
diffuse to be controlled. The EPA and the State Board have adopted some regulations and general 
permits for certain categories of storm water discharges, but regulations covering all sources have not yet 
been approved. 



Point- Source Versus Nonpoint Source Pollution 

A permit system prohibiting point-source discharges of pollutants may not be effective as 
the sole method of implementing water quality control plans. The classic example of this occurs 
in the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta where a major water quality problem is the intrusion of salt 
water from the San Francisco Bay. When flows from rivers feeding into the Delta are reduced, 
whether naturally or by upstream diversions, salt water from the bay intrudes into the Delta. High 
salinities can cause problems for both agricultural and municipal and industrial diverters in the 
Delta, for fish, wildlife and their habitat; and for water quality at the CVP and SWP pumps in the 
southern Delta. 

The Porter- Cologne Water Quality Control Act requires the SWRCB to "establish such water 
quality objectives... as in its judgement will ensure the reasonable protection of beneficial uses....' 
Beneficial uses include domestic, municipal, agricultural and industrial supply, power generation, 
recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, navigation and preservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife 
and other aquatic resources or presen/es. Establishing water quality objectives for the Delta and 
determining how to implement them is a major ongoing water management issue in California. 



Federal Safe Drinking Water Act 

The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. enacted in 1974 and significantly amended in 1986, directed 
the Environmental Protection Agency to set national .standards for drinking water quality. It required the 



30 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



EPA to set maximum contaminant levels for a wide variety of contaminants by establishing maximum 
allowable concentrations in drinking water supplies. The local water suppliers were given the 
responsibility to monitor their public water supplies to assure that MCLs were not exceeded and report to 
the consumers if they were. 

The 1 986 amendments set a time table for the EPA to set standards for specific contaminants and 
increased the range of contaminants local water suppliers were required to monitor for to include 
contaminants that did not yet have a MCL established. They also strengthened enforcement authority, 
required filtration and disinfection of surface supplies not adequately protected, banned future use of lead 
pipe and lead solder, and required the EPA to evaluate monitoring methods for deep-well injection 
waste-disposal sites. They included a well-head protection program, a grant program for designating 
sole-source aquifers for special protection, and grant programs and technical and financial assistance to 
small systems and states. 

In 1976, California enacted its own Safe Drinking Water Act requiring the State Department of 
Health Services to administer laws relating to drinking water regulation, including: setting and enforcing 
both federal and State drinking water standards, administering water quality testing programs, and 
administering permits for public water system operations. The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act permits 
the State to enforce its own standards in lieu of the federal standards so long as they are at least as 
protective as the federal standards. Significant amendments to the State's act in 1989 incorporated the 
new federal safe drinking water act requirements into California law and gave DHS discretion to set more 
stringent MCLs and recommended public health levels for contaminants. DHS was authorized to take 
the technical and economic feasibility of reducing contaminants into account in setting MCL's. The 
standards established by DHS are found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22. 

California voters have also passed a series of bond laws to finance grants and low-interest loans to 
local water suppliers to bring domestic water systems up to drinking water standards. These grant and 
loan programs are jointly administered by DWR and DHS Office of Public Drinking Water. 

San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 

Any discussion of California water policy in the 1 990's must include a discussion of issues involved 
in the Delta because almost all developing areas of law, as well as the CVP and SWP operations, are 
inextricably intertwined in this complex set of issues. A discussion of Delta issues can provide an 
interesting example of how a great deal of the institutional framework already discussed in this chapter 
interrelates. Delta issues include water quality, threatened and endangered species such as winter-run 
salmon and Delta smelt, water rights, the public trust doctrine, and operation of California's two major 
water projects. 

State Water Project and Federal Central Valley Project 

The California Central Valley Project Act was approved by the voters in a referendum in 1933, which 
authorized construction of the Central Valley Project. The State was unable to construct the project at 
that time because of the Great Depression; portions of the CVP were subsequently authorized and 



31 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



constructed by the United States. Other portions of it were constructed by the State after the Depression 
as part of the State Water Project, as authorized in I960 under the Bums-Porter Act. Principal facilities 
of the State Water Project include Oroville Dam, Delta Facilities, the California Aqueduct, and North and 
South Bay Aqueducts. Principal facilities of the federal CVP include Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, Friant, 
Clair Engie, Whiskeytown, and New Melones dams. Delta facilities, and the Delta Mendota canal. Joint 
SWP/CVP facilities include San Luis Reservoir and Canal and various Delta facilities. Specific laws 
authorizing construction of elements of both the State and federal projects are listed in Appendix A. 

The SWRCB issued the first water rights permits to the USBR for operation of the CVP in 1958, and 
to the DWR for operation of the SWP in 1967. Key features of these water rights permits were the 
ability to divert water from the Delta and send it west to the San Francisco Bay area and south to San 
Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California urban areas. In these and all succeeding permits issued for 
the CVP and SWP, the SWRCB reserved jurisdiction to formulate or revise terms and conditions relative 
to salinity control, effect on vested rights, and fish and wildlife protection in the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta. The Board has a dual role of both issuing water rights permits and regulating water quality. 

Decision 1485 

On April 29, 1976, the Board initiated proceedings leading to the adoption of Water Right Decision 
1485 in 1978. Decision 1485 set forth conditions — including water quality standards, export limitations, 
and minimum fiow rates — for SWP and CVP operations in the Delta and superseded all previous water 
rights decisions for the SWP and CVP operations in the Delta. Among beneficial uses to be protected by 
the decision were ( 1 ) municipal and industrial water supply, (2) agriculture, and (3) fish and wildlife. 
Decision 1485 established fiow and water quality standards to protect these beneficial uses. 

In formulating Decision 1485, the SWRCB asserted that Delta water quality should be at least as 
good as it would have been if the SWP and CVP had not been constructed. In other words, both the 
SWP and the CVP were to be operated to meet "without project" conditions. Decision 1485 standards 
included different levels of protection to refiect variations in hydrologic conditions during different water 
year types. 

To help implement these water quality standards. Decision 1485 also mandated an extensive 
monitoring program. It also called for special studies to provide critical data about major concerns in the 
Delta and Suisun Marsh for which information was insufficient. Decision 1485 included water quality 
standards for Suisun Marsh as well as for the Delta, requiring DWR and the USBR to develop a plan for 
the marsh that would ensure meeting long-term standards for full protection by October 1984, later 
extended to October 1988. 

Recognizing that the complexities of project operations and water quality conditions would change 
over time, the SWRCB also specified that the Delta water right hearings would be reopened within ten 
years of the date of adoption of Decision 1485. depending upon changing conditions in the Bay-Delta 
region and the availability of new evidence on beneficial uses of water. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Racanelli Decision 

Lawsuits by various interests challenged Decision 1485, and the decision was overturned by the trial 
court in 1984. Unlike its predecessor, D-1379 whose standards had been judicially stayed, D-1485 
remained in effect. New SWRCB Bay-Delta proceedings that would take into account the results of the 
case. In 1986, the appellate court in the Racanelli Decision (named after Judge Racanelli who wrote the 
opinion) broadly interpreted the SWRCB's authority and obligation to establish water quality objectives 
and its authority to set water rights permit terms and conditions that provide reasonable protection of 
beneficial uses of Delta water and of San Francisco Bay. The Court stated that SWRCB needed to 
separate its water quality planning and water rights functions. SWRCB needs to maintain a "global 
perspective" both in identifying beneficial uses to be protected (not limited to water rights) and in 
allocating responsibility for implementing water quality objectives (not just to the SWP and CVP, nor 
only through the Board's own water rights processes). The Court recognized the SWRCB's authority to 
regulate all water rights permits and to implement water quality standards and advised the Board to 
consider the effects of all Delta and upstream water users in setting and implementing water quality 
standards in the Delta, as well as those of the SWP and the CVP. 

Coordinated Operation Agreement 

Later in 1986, DWR and the USER signed the landmark Coordinated Operation Agreement 
obligating the CVP and the SWP to coordinate their operations to meet Decision 1485 standards, in order 
to address overlapping concerns and interests in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The agreement 
authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to operate the CVP in conjunction with the SWP to meet State 
water quality standards for the San Francisco Bay and the Delta (unless the Secretary determines such 
operation to be inconsistent with Congressional directives), and provides a formula for sharing the 
obligation to provide water to meet water quality standards and other in-basin uses. It sets forth the basis 
upon which the CVP and the SWP will be operated to ensure that each project receives an equitable 
share of the Central Valley's available water and guarantees that the two systems will operate more 
efficiently during periods of drought than they would were they operated independently of one another. 
Under the COA, the USBR also agreed to meet future water quality standards established by the SWRCB 
unless the Secretary of the Interior determines that the standards are inconsistent with Congressional 
intent. 

SWRCB Bay/Delta Proceedings 

Hearings to adopt a water quality control plan and water rights decision for the Bay/Delta estuary 
began in July 1987. Their purpose was to develop a San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 
water quality control plan and to consider public interest issues related to Delta water rights, including 
implementation of water quality objectives. During the first phase of the proceedings. State and federal 
agencies, including DWR, public interest groups, and agricultural and urban water purveyors provided 
many expert witnesses to testify on a variety of issues pertaining to the reasonable and beneficial uses of 
the estuary's water. This phase took place over six months, and generated volumes of transcripts and 
exhibits. 



33 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

The SWRCB released a draft Water Quality Control Plan for Salinity and Pollutant Policy Document 
in November 1988. The Pollutant Policy Document was subsequently adopted in June 1990. However, 
the draft water quality control plan, a significant departure from the 1978 plan, generated considerable 
controversy throughout the State. 

In January 1989, the SWRCB decided to significantly amend the draft plan and redesign the hearing 
process. The water quality phase was to continue, an additional scoping phase would follow, and issues 
related to flow were to be addressed in the final water rights phase. Concurrently, DWR and other 
agencies offered to hold a series of workshops to address the technical concerns raised by the draft plan. 
These workshops were open to the public and benefited all parties involved by facilitating a thorough 
discussion of technical issues. After many workshops and revisions to the water quality control plan, the 
SWRCB adopted a final plan in May 1991 . The federal EPA rejected this plan in 1991 . 

With the adoption of the Water Quality Control Plan, the SWRCB began the EIR scoping phase and 
held several workshops during 1991 to receive testimony regarding planning activities, facilities 
development, negotiated settlements and flow objectives. The goal was to adopt an EIR and a water right 
decision by the end of 1992. 

In response to the Governor's April 1992 water policy statement, SWRCB decided to proceed with a 
process to establish interim Bay/Delta standards, spanning five years, to provide immediate protection for 
fish and wildlife. Water right hearings were conducted from July through August 1992, and draft interim 
standards (proposed Decision 1630) were released for public review in December 1992. Concurrently, 
under the broad authority of the Endangered Species Act, the federal regulatory process was proceeding 
toward development of Delta standards and upstream measures applicable to the CVP and SWP for the 
protection of the threatened winter-run chinook salmon. In February 1993, the National Marine 
Fisheries Service issued a biological opinion governing operations of the CVP and SWP with Delta 
environmental regulations that in certain months were more restrictive than SWRCB's proposed 
measures. On March 1, 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially listed the Delta smelt as a 
threatened species and shortly thereafter issued a biological opinion with conditions designed to protect 
the Delta smelt and its habitat for 1993-94. These conditions further restricted CVP and SWP 
operations. 

In April 1993, the Govemor asked the SWRCB to withdraw its proposed Decision 1630 and instead, 
to focus efforts on establishing permanent standards for protection of the Delta since recent federal 
actions had effectively pre-empted State interim standards and provided interim protection for the 
Bay/Delta environment. The SWRCB is proceeding with the EIR required for the long-term standards. 

Fish Protection Agreement 

To mitigate for fish losses at Delta export facilities, both the SWP and the CVP have entered into 
agreements with DFG. The SWP's Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant lies at the head of the 
California Aqueduct near the City of Tracy. When the plant was initially con.structed, seven of the eleven 
pumping units planned were installed. The remaining four units were only recently installed to provide 
more operational flexibility. 



34 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Tlie Institutional Framework 



During the environmental review process for installation of the remaining four pumps, DFG and 
DWR began negotiating an agreement for the preservation of fish potentially affected by the operation of 
the pumps. A unique aspect in the development of this agreement was the assistance provided by an 
advisory group made up of representatives from United Anglers, the Pacific Coast Federation of 
Fishermen's Associations, the Planning and Conservation League, and the State Water Contractors. 

The Fish Protection Agreement was signed by the directors of the two departments in December 
1986 and identifies the steps needed to offset adverse fishery impacts of the Banks Pumping Plant. It sets 
up a procedure to calculate direct fishery losses annually and requires DWR to pay for mitigation projects 
that would offset the losses. Losses of striped bass, chinook salmon, and steelhead are to be mitigated 
first. Mitigation of other species are to follow as impacts are identified and appropriate mitigation 
measures found. In recognition of the fact that direct losses today would probably be greater if fish 
populations had not been depleted by past operations, DWR also provided $15 million to initiate a 
program to increase the probability of quickly demonstrated results. 

Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement 

Decision 1485 ordered USER and DWR to develop a plan to protect the Suisun Marsh. The Suisun 
Marsh consists of a 55,000-acre managed wetland area in southern Solano County, just beyond the 
confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. One of the largest contiguous brackish water 
marshes in the United States, the Suisun Marsh is a unique and irreplaceable resource for migratory 
waterfowl. During the fall and winter, waterfowl traveling along the Pacific Flyway depend on the marsh 
as a feeding and resting area. An adequate supply of water is essential to maintain health of the marsh. 
Upstream water diversions have reduced the Delta outflows that maintain the water quality required by 
the marsh ecosystem. 

The Suisun Marsh Preservation and Restoration Act of 1979 authorized the Secretary of the Interior 
to enter into a Suisun Marsh cooperative agreement with the State of California to protect the marsh, and 
specified the federal share of costs for facilities. The plan was subsequently developed by DWR and 
other interested parties, and the initial facilities were completed in 1981 . A salinity control structure on 
Montezuma Slough, consisting of radial gates and a boat lock, was completed in 1989. Negotiations 
among the Suisun Resource Conservation District, DFG, DWR, and USBR resulted in an agreement that 
would moderate the adverse effects of the SWP, CVP and other upstream diversions on the water quality 
in the marsh. The agreement, along with a monitoring agreement and a mitigation agreement, approved 
in March 1987, describes proposed facilities to be constructed, a construction schedule, cost-sharing 
responsibilities of the State and federal governments, water quality standards, soil salinity, water quality 
monitoring, and purchase of land to mitigate the impacts of the Suisun Marsh facilities themselves. 

A significant feature of the agreement is the schedule and sequence of construction for the facilities 
of the Plan of Protection which provides for test periods during which the effectiveness of the constructed 
facilities are to be evaluated. Assessments will then be made to determine whether additional facilities 
will be needed to meet the water quality standards of the agreement. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

Surface Water Management 

The following sections are brief descriptions of major statutes affecting surface water management in 
California. 

Regional Water Projects 

The statutes authorizing the major regional water projects in California are listed in Appendix A and 
include: the Hetch Hetchy Project, which supplies Tuolumne River water to the City and County of San 
Francisco and other Bay Area cities; the Colorado River Aqueduct, which supplies water from the 
Colorado River to serve several major urban areas in Southern California; the Los Angeles Aqueduct 
which delivers water from the Owens Valley to the City of Los Angeles; and the Mokelumne River 
Aqueduct operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which transports Sierra Nevada water 
from Pardee Reservoir to eastern San Francisco Bay cities. These projects are more fully described in 
Chapter 3. 

Besides the major regional projects, there are over 40 different statutes under which local agencies 
may be organized, having among their powers the authority to distribute water. In addition, there are a 
number of special act districts, such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. DWR 
Bulletin No. 155-93, General Comparison of Water District Acts (1993), presents a comparison of 
various water district acts in California. 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 

On October 30, 1992, the President signed PL 102-575 into law, Title XXXIV of which was the 
Central Valley Project Improvement Act. The act is the first major piece of legislation to deal with the 
Central Valley Project since the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982, which made major reforms to acreage 
limitations and subsidies. The act makes significant changes to the management of this federal 
reclamation project, and creates a complex set of new programs and requirements applicable to the 
project. The USBR, in its role as operator of the CVP, is beginning to put into place the interim 
guidelines and procedures necessary to implement the Act's provisions; however, it will take a number of 
years to complete all of the specified actions called for in the legislation. 

The act covers five primary areas: limitations on new and renewed CVP contracts, water 
conservation and other water management actions, water transfers, fish and wildlife restoration actions, 
and establishment of an environmental restoration fund. With a few exceptions, new contracts for CVP 
water are prohibited until .several requirements have been met, including completion of a programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the fulfillment of the environmental restoration obligations 
created by the Act. Renewals of existing water service contracts are limited to a term of 25 years, and 
contracts can only be renewed on an interim basis until environmental dtx-umentation required by the Act 
is completed. Specified water conservation provisions are to be added to the renewed, amended, and new 
water service contracts. Project water can now be transferred outside of the CVP service area on a 
willing seller/willing buyer basis, subject to approval of the transfer by the Secretary of the Interior and a 
number of other limiting conditions, some of which are di.scussed below in the Water Transfers section. 



36 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Implementation of environmental restoration measures is a major goal of the Act, which specifically 
reauthorizes the CVP to establish fish and wildlife mitigation, protection, and restoration on par with 
domestic and irrigation uses of water, and additionally places fish and wildlife enhancement on par with 
hydropower generation. The Act requires the dedication of 800,000 AF annually of project yield for 
general fish and wildlife and habitat purposes, and establishes a goal of doubling the natural production 
of anadromous fish in Central Valley rivers and streams (except for part of the San Joaquin River, which 
is treated separately) by 2002. The act further requires dedication of additional water for Trinity River 
instream flows, and for wetlands habitat areas in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The Secretary 
of the Interior is directed to undertake a number of physical measures to restore the fishery and habitat, 
such as construction of a temperature control device at Shasta Dam, and establishment offish screening 
programs. The Act requires that the Secretary enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the State of 
California for some of these mandated restoration measures. Funding for the restoration measures also 
comes from increased payments by CVP water and power users, from the federal treasury, and from a fee 
of $25 per acre-foot levied on water transferred to non-CVP water users. 

Transfer of the CVP 

Transfer of the CVP to the State of California is one of the elements of the Governor Wilson's 
Long-Term Water Policy Framework for California. The policy recognizes that transfer of the CVP to 
California will optimize operational flexibility of the CVP and the SWP, and it could assure that 
California, rather than the federal government, has the authority for planning and allocation of the State's 
water resources. 

In March of 1992, both Governor Wilson and Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan designated 
representatives to negotiate the transfer of control of the CVP to the State. Secretary Lujan expressed 
strong support for transfer of the CVP following negotiations providing reasonable terms and conditions. 
After considering a number of options, State and Federal negotiators determined that transfer of title to 
the CVP would best meet the state and federal objectives in the negotiations. Any such transfer will 
require authorizing legislation from Congress, have to be analyzed under the requirements of NEPA, 
CEQA, and other applicable State and federal laws, and require negotiation of detailed terms and 
conditions for the transfer. On December 14, 1992, the Governor and the Secretary of the Interior signed 
a Memorandum of Agreement outlining the process necessary to comply with NEPA and CEQA, and for 
developing detailed terms and conditions. This process will take years to complete. 

Trends in Water Resource Management 

Factors having major influence on water management and policy over the past six years have been 
the 1987-1992 drought, expanding water needs due to growth and increasing recognition of the need for 
instream water uses, endangered species considerations, and the increasing difficulty of developing new 
water supplies due in large part to environmental restrictions. In response to these problems, water 
managers are paying added attention to using water transfers and emphasizing water conservation. 
More attention is also being given to solving water management problems on a regional basis. 



37 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Water Transfers 

Many water resource managers view water transfers, with appropriate safeguards against adverse 
environmental and third party impacts, as an important tool for solving some of California's water supply 
and allocation problems. In fact, water transfers have occurred in California since Gold Rush days. 
Currently, water transfers are the most promising way of closing the gap between water demands and 
dependable water supplies over the next ten years. There are fewer environmental impacts associated 
with transfers than with construction of conventional projects, and although difficult to implement, 
transfers can be implemented more quickly and usually at less cost than construction of additional 
facilities. 

Under existing law, holders of both pre-1914 and modem appropriative water rights can transfer 
water. Holders of pre-1914 appropriative rights may transfer water without seeking approval of SWRCB, 
provided no other legal user of water is injured. Holders of modem appropriative rights may transfer 
water, but SWRCB must approve any transfer requiring a change in terms and conditions of the water 
right permit, such as place of use, purpose of use, or point of diversion. Short-term (one year or less) 
temporary transfers of water are exempt from compliance with CEQA, provided SWRCB approval is 
obtained. SWRCB must find no injury to any other legal users of the water and no unreasonable effect 
on fish, wildlife, or other instream beneficial uses. CEQA compliance is required for long-term 
transfers. (See Table 2-1 for further details.) Because of complex environmental problems in the Delta, 
the Board has announced it will not approve long-term transfers that increase Delta pumping until 
completion of an environmental evaluation of the cumulative impacts. In addition, permits from fish 
and wildlife agencies may be required if a proposed transfer will affect threatened or endangered species. 

Water held pursuant to riparian rights is not transferable from place to place, although downstream 
appropriators may contract with riparians to leave water in a stream for potential downstream diversion. 
Transfers of ground water, and ground water substitution arrangements whereby ground water is pumped 
as a substitute for transferred surface water, may be, in some cases, subject to statutory restrictions 
designed to protect ground water basins against long-term overdraft and to preserve local control of 
ground water management. Under Water Code section 1707, SWRCB can authorize conversion of an 
existing appropriative right into an "instream appropriation" to benefit fish, wildlife, or other instream 
beneficial use. The potential of this new code section is just beginning to be explored. If the parties to a 
transfer intend to use facilities belonging to the SWP, CVP, or other entity for transporting the water, 
permission must be sought from the owner of the facility. 

Water obtained pursuant to a water supply contract is also potentially transferable. However, most 
water supply contracts require the consent of the entity delivering the water. Almost all types of water 
rights can also be transferred in California, but typical transfers are structured so that water is transferred, 
while the original holder retains the water right. Several .statutes provide that transfers of water do not 
impair or cause forfeiture of water rights. 



38 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Institutional Framework 



Table 2-1. California Water Code Requirements for Water Transfers 



Transfer Type 



Water 
Code Sec- 
tion 



Requirements 



Environ- 
mental 
Actions 



Comments 



Temporary Ur- 
gency Change 
(one year or 
less) 



1435 1. Urgent need 

2. No injury to vested rights 

3. No unreasonable impact on 
fish and wildlife 

4. Use in public interest 

5. Show diligence In seeking the 
permit 



Normal 

CEQA 

process 



1 . Petition must be filed with 
SWRCB 

2. Change good for 1 80 days 

3. Can be renewed 

4. Board notice and action 



Temporary 
Change for 
Transfer (one 
year or less 



1725-1732 1. If applicable, petitioner must 
have been diligent in petition- 
ing under the provisions 

2. Involves only water consump- 
tively used or stored 

3. No injury to vested rights 

4. No unreasonable impact on 
fish or wildlife 



Exempt 
from CEQA 



1 . Permittee notifies SWRCB of 
change 

2. SWRCB must make findings 

3. Hearing may be required 

4. Effective 5 days after SWRCB 
approval 

5. Good for 1 year or less 



Long-term 
Transfer 
(more than one 
year) 



1 735 1 . No injury to vested rights 

2. No unreasonable impact on 
fish or wildlife 



Normal 

CEQA 

process 



Petition must be filed with 
SWRCB 



2. SWRCB provides notice and 
opportunity for hearing 

3. Good for any period in excess 
of 1 year 



As a result of conditions in California during the 1 987-92 drought, transfers of water between 
suppliers or users who could temporarily reduce their usage to areas with water shortages have become 
more prevalent. Some of these transfers have been within the context of an Emergency State Drought 
Water Bank first created by Governor Wilson in 1991 and administered by DWR. The water bank was 
designed to move water from areas of greatest availability to areas of greatest need. There were three 
sources of water for the 1 99 1 State Drought Water Bank: temporary surplus in reservoirs, surface 
supplies freed up by the use of ground water, and surface supplies freed up by fallowing agricultural 
lands. The 1 992 State Drought Water Bank did not purchase surface supplies freed by fallowing of 
agricultural lands. Transfers of water outside the State-sponsored Water Bank have also become more 
prevalent, and many of these transfers involve DWR because they require conveyance of the transferred 
water through SWP facilities. 

In 1991, temporary changes to the law designed to facilitate the State Drought Water Bank were 
enacted. These changes were made permanent in 1992. The law now authorizes water suppliers (local 
public agencies and private water companies) to contract with water users to reduce or eliminate water 
use for a specified period of time, and to transfer the water to a State Drought Water Bank or other water 
suppliers and users. It also provides that water proposed for transfer need not be surplus to requirements 
within the supplier's service area and specifies that use for a transfer is a beneficial use. Substitution of 
ground water from an overdrafted ground water basin for transferred surface water is prohibited unless 



39 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



Water Transfer Criteria 



In his water policy statement of April 6, 1992, the Governor stated that the following five criteria 
must be met in developing a fair and effective water transfer policy. 

O Water transfers must be voluntary, and they must result in transfers that 
are real, not paper water Above all, water rights of sellers must not be 
impaired. 

O Water transfers must not harm fish and wildlife resources or their habi- 
tats. 

O There needs to be assurances that transfers will not cause overdraft or 
degradation of ground water basins. 

O Entities receiving transferred water should be required to show that 
they are making efficient use of existing water supplies, including carry- 
ing out urban Best Management Practices or agricultural Efficient Water 
Management Practices. 

O Water districts and agencies that hold water rights or contracts to trans- 
ferred water should have a strong role in deciding how transfers are 
carried out. Impacts on the fiscal integrity of the districts and on the 
economies of small agricultural communities must be considered. 



the water was previously recharged to the basin as part of a ground water banking program. The amount 
of water made available by land fallowing is limited to 20 percent of the amount applied or stored by the 
water supplier unless the supplier approves a larger amount at a hearing. 

Although these changes do much to facilitate water transfers by water suppliers, they do not address 
the issue of "user-initiated transfers" where the water user is not the holder of the water right, but has a 
contractual entitlement to water from the water supplier. There is much interest in developing legislation 
acceptable to suppliers, users, and potential buyers, whereby users can initiate transfers subject to 
reasonable terms and conditions imposed by suppliers to protect their legitimate interests and those of 
other water users. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 also contains provisions intended to increase 
the use of water transfers by providing that all individuals and districts receiving CVP water (including 
that under water right settlement and exchange contracts) may transfer it to any other entity for any 
project or purpose recognized as a beneficial use under State law. The Secretary of the Interior must 
approve all transfers. The affected district must approve any transfer involving over 20 percent of the 
CVP water subject to long-term contract with the district. Section 3405 (a) ( 1 ) also sets forth a number 
of conditions on the transfers, including conditions designed to protect the CVP's ability to deliver 
contractually obligated water or meet fish and wildlife obligations because of limitations in conveyance 
or pumping capacity. The conditions also require transfers to be consistent with State law, including 
CEQA. Transfers are deemed to be a beneficial use by the transferor, and are only permitted if they will 



40 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



have no significant long-term adverse impact on ground water conditions within the transferor district, 
and will have no unreasonable impact on the water supply, operations, or financial conditions of the 
district. 

Water Use Efficiency 

Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution prohibits the waste, unreasonable use, 
unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion of water. It also declares that the 
conservation and use of water "shall be exercised with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof 
in the public interest and for the public welfare." Although provisions and requirements of the 
Constitution are self executing, the Constitution states that the Legislature may enact statutes in 
furtherance of its policy. Water Code Section 275 directs the Department of Water Resources and the 
State Water Resources Control Board to "take all appropriate proceedings or actions before executive, 
legislative, or judicial agencies to prevent waste or unreasonable use of water." SWRCB's Water Right 
Decision 1600, directing the Imperial Irrigation District to adopt a water conservation plan, is an example 
of an action brought under Article X, Section 2. The board's authority to order preparation of such a plan 
was upheld in 1 990 by the courts in Imperial Irrigation District v. State Water Resources Control Board. 

Urban Water Management Planning Act. Since 1985, this act has required urban water suppliers 
serving more than 3,000 customers or more than 3,000 acre-feet per year to prepare and modify urban 
water conservation plans and authorizes the supplier to implement the water conservation program. The 
plans must contain a number of specified elements, including: estimates of water use; identification of 
existing conservation measures; identification of alternative conservation measures; a schedule of 
implementation of actions proposed by the plan; and, identification of the frequency and magnitude of 
water shortages. In 1991, the act was amended in response to the drought to require water suppliers to 
estimate water supplies available at the end of one, two, and three years, and to develop contingency 
plans for severe shortages. 

Water Conservation in Landscaping Act. The Water Conservation in Landscaping Act required 
DWR, with the assistance of an advisory task force, to adopt a model water efficient landscape ordinance. 
The model ordinance was adopted in August 1992, and has been codified in Title 23 of the California 
Code of Regulations. The model ordinance establishes methods of conserving water through water 
budgeting plans, plant use, efficient irrigation, auditing and other methods. 

Cities and counties were required to review the model ordinance and adopt a water efficient 
landscape ordinance by January I, 1993, if they had not done so already. Alternatively, cities and 
counties could make a finding that such an ordinance is unnecessary due to climatic, geological, or 
topographic conditions, or water availability. If a city or county failed to adopt a water efficient 
landscape ordinance or make findings by January 31, 1993, the model ordinance became effective in that 
jurisdiction. 

Agricultural Water Management Planning Act. Under this act, agricultural water suppliers 
supplying greater than 50,000 AF of water were required to submit a report to DWR indicating whether 
there exists a significant opportunity to conserve water or reduce the quantity of highly saline or toxic 



41 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



drainage water through improved irrigation water management. The Act provided that agricultural water 
suppliers, who indicated that they had an opportunity to conserve water or reduce the quantity of highly 
saline or toxic water, were to prepare a water management plan and submit it to DWR no later than 
December 31, 1 99 1 . The act provides that the contents of the water management plans include a 
discussion of the water conservation practices currently used and a determination of whether, through 
improved management practices, an opportunity exists for additional water conservation. DWR was 
required to review the plans and submit a report to the Legislature by January 1993. Currently, almost 60 
information reports and plans have been submitted to DWR. 

Agricultural Water Suppliers Efficient Management Practices Act. The Agricultural Water 
Supplier Efficient Management Practices Act, adopted in 1990, requires that DWR establish an advisory 
task force to review efficient agricultural water management practices. DWR is required under the Act to 
offer assistance to agricultural water suppliers seeking to improve the efficiency of water practices. 
Members of the Committee have been selected and are working on methods to promote efficient 
practices. At the request of the Governor, the committee is working on a Memorandum of Understanding 
to implement the practices. A subcommittee is meeting on a monthly basis to complete this task. The 
proposed EWMPs are listed in Chapter 7. 

Agricultural Water Conservation and Management Act of 1992. This act gives any public agency 
that supplies water for agricultural use, authority to institute water conservation or efficient management 
programs. The programs can include irrigation management services, providing information about crop 
water use, providing irrigation consulting services, improving the supplier's delivery system, providing 
technical and financial assistance to farmers, encouraging conservation through pricing of water, and 
monitoring. 

Urban Best Management Practices MOV. The Urban BMPs are being implemented under the 
auspices of the California Urban Water Conservation Council. This council consists of about 150 water 
agencies, environmental organizations, and other interested parties. The council is responsible for 
quantifying BMPs, reviewing exemptions requested by water agencies from certain BMPs, and 
evaluating potential BMPs. The BMPs and potential BMPs are discussed in Chapter 6, under Urban 
Water Conservation. 

Management Programs 

Management Programs are increasingly being used as an approach to solving complex sets of 
regional water management problems. Three management programs that have had some success in 
dealing with regional issues are discu.s.sed below. Both the Sacramento River Fishery and Riparian 
Habitat Restoration Plan and the Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related 
Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley (San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program) have been 
completed and arc currently being used in making decisions affecting those resources. As discussed 
below, the San Joaquin drainage program addresses significant agricultural drainage issues, and elements 
of the plan are being implemented under both the 1992 CVP reform legislation and state legislation, 
particularly in the areas of water marketing and transfers, land fallowing, and con.servation efforts. The 



42 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



San Joaquin River Management Program is still in the process of developing a management plan as of 
the writing of this Bulletin, and it appears a similar approach may be used by the Bay-Delta Oversight 
Council recently appointed by the Governor to "fix the Delta" in accordance with his April 1992 Water 
Policy. 

Sacramento River Fishery and Riparian Habitat Restoration. In 1986, State legislation was 
enacted calling for a management plan to protect, restore, and enhance the fish and riparian habitat and 
associated wildlife of the Upper Sacramento River. The plan was prepared by an advisory council 
working closely with an action team, both composed of people representing a wide range of federal. 
State, and local agencies and private interests concerned with promoting the renewed health of the upper 
Sacramento River system. It was prepared with a spirit of cooperation and consensus and was published 
in January 1989. In September 1989, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 62 declared that it is the policy 
of the State to implement the actions recommended in the Upper Sacramento River Fisheries and 
Riparian Habitat Management Plan. The plan recommends 20 fishery improvement items, several of 
which are contained in the CVP Improvement Act. Some items such as gravel restoration, and Mill and 
Clear Creeks' restoration are receiving attention from various agencies. 

San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program. The San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program was a federal 
and State interagency program established in August 1 984 by the Secretary of the Interior and the 
Governor of California to study agricultural drainage problems in the San Joaquin Valley. The study was, 
in large part, a response to drainage problems that came to a head with the discovery of deformities and 
deaths of aquatic birds at Kesterson National Wildlife refuge in 1983 that were determined to be caused 
by selenium poisoning. 

The San Joaquin Valley has had a long history of inadequate drainage and accumulation of salts on 
agricultural land. With importation of water for agricultural irrigation by the CVP and SWP, the 
problems were exacerbated. The original CVP and SWP plans called for the construction of the San Luis 
drain, with an outfall in the western Delta, as a joint federal and State facility. The State declined to 
participate, but the USER eventually built the initial portion of the drain, about 120 miles of collector 
drains, and the first phase of a reservoir (Kesterson) designed to temporarily retain drainage water. 

The drain never reached the proposed outlet into the Delta because in the mid-1970s questions about 
the potential effects of untreated agricultural drainage water on the quality of water in the Delta and San 
Francisco Bay were raised. Around that time it was decided that Kesterson should be used to store and 
evaporate drainage water until the outlet to the Delta could be built. Once the deformities and deaths of 
aquatic birds were discovered, however, use of Kesterson was halted and the reservoir was eventually 
closed in 1988. 

The San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program published its final report in September 1990, called A 
Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related problems on the Westside San 
Joaquin Valley. The recommended plan was regional and provided a framework designed to permit the 
present level of agricultural development in the San Joaquin Valley to continue while protecting fish and 



43 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 



wildlife and helping to restore their habitat to levels existing before direct impact by contaminated 
drainage water. 

The major components of the plan included: (1) control of the source of contaminated water by 
reducing application of irrigation water; (2) reuse of drainage water on progressively more salt tolerant 
plants; (3) use of an evaporation system with safeguards for wildlife; (4) retirement of land with shallow 
ground water, elevated selenium and soils that are difficult to drain; (5) management of ground water by 
pumping water suitable for irrigation or wildlife habitat from deep within the aquifer in order to lower 
surface water tables; (6) limited discharges to the San Joaquin River that meet water quality objectives; 
(7) protection, restoration, and provision of substitute water supplies for fish and wildlife habitat and 
fresh water supplies for wetlands habitat; and (8) institutional changes such as tiered pricing, water 
marketing and transfers, improved delivery scheduling and formation of regional drainage management 
organizations. 

In order to facilitate carrying out the plan component involving land retirement, the Legislature in 
1992 enacted the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Relief Act, which permits DWR to acquire land and 
manage it (or enter into agreements to have the land managed by DFG or nonprofit organizations) as 
upland habitat, wetlands, or riparian habitat. In order to make the program self-supporting, water 
conserved as a result of the retirement of land would be sold and the proceeds used to purchase and retire 
additional lands. 

The act requires DWR to maximize the water available for environmental needs and permits local 
agencies to use up to one-third of the water conserved and not sold for environmental purposes. The act 
recognizes that taking land out of production may impact local economies and directs DWR to consider 
these effects in purchasing land. It also directs DWR to coordinate with both the USBR, which provides 
much of the water to these areas, and local water agencies. Finally, the act expresses legislative intent 
that water distributed under the program be deemed contributions to a water resources mitigation bank, if 
such a bank is established. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act also contains provisions relating to the San Joaquin 
Valley Drainage Program's plan. Section 3405 (e) establishes an office charged with developing criteria 
for and evaluating the adequacy of CVP contractors' water conservation plans. The office is required to 
give recognition to the final report of the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program, among other things, in 
developing the criteria. Section 34()6(b)(3) requires the Secretary of the Interior to implement a program 
to develop supplemental environmental water in conformance with the plan to double anadromous 
fisheries and the waterfowl habitat measures. "(TJemporary and permanent land fallowing, including 
purchase, lease, and option of water, water rights and associated agricultural land" are specifically 
mentioned as methods of developing the additional environmental water. Section 34()8(h) specifically 
authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to purchase land to retire from irrigation if it would assi.st in water 
conservation or improve agricultural drainage or waste water problems. Once again the San Joaquin 
Valley Drainage Program report was specifically referred to. Finally, Section 34()8(j) requires the USBR 



44 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Tlie Institutional Framework 



to develop a plan to replace water supplies for those used for fish and wildlife purposes within 15 years 
through a variety of means, including the purchase and idling of agricultural land. 

San Joaquin River Management Program. In 1990, California legislation created a program "...to 
provide for the orderly development and management of water resources of the San Joaquin River system 
to accomplish compatible improvements of the system for flood protection, water supply, water quality, 
and recreation, and for the protection, restoration and enhancement of fish and wildlife." It created an 
Advisory Council and Action Team with members representing a wide range of State and local 
governmental, private, environmental and other interests, which meet on a regular basis. Their meetings 
formally began in November 1990 and are open to the public. Their objectives are to identify and 
describe issues and problems, establish a series of priority actions, identify proposed funding sources, 
and facilitate coordinated actions in the area. They are required to submit an annual report to the 
Legislature. 

Interstate Water Resource Management 
Colorado River 

In addition to California, the states of Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and 
Utah, and the Republic of Mexico, all use water from the Colorado River. In 1922, the seven states 
entered into an interstate compact which includes a provision for the equitable division and 
apportionment of the waters of the Colorado River system. The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 
provided, among other things, for the construction of works to protect and develop the Colorado River 
Basin by the USBR. 

In the California Limitation Act of 1929, the State Legislature limited California's use of Colorado 
River water in response to requirements of the Boulder Canyon Project Act. Priorities within California 
were listed in a Seven Party Agreement of 1931. The United States-Mexico water treaty, signed in 1944, 
obligates the U.S. to deliver 1 .5 MAF per year to Mexico (up to 1 .7 MAP in surplus years). The U.S. 
Supreme Court Decree in Arizona v. California, 1964, established several additional dimensions to the 
apportionment of Colorado River water, including apportionments to the lower basin states — Arizona, 
Nevada, and California. In 1968, the Colorado River Basin Project Act authorized the Central Arizona 
Project and it provided for allocations to the lower basin states in years of insufficient main stream water 
to satisfy the specified consumptive use of 7.5 MAF. 

The Colorado River Board of California now reports annually on availability of supply and annual 
use of California's share of Colorado River supplies. 

Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1991 

Throughout the 1 950s and 1 960s interstate disputes over the waters of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee, 
Carson, and Walker rivers led the states of California and Nevada to negotiate an interstate compact 
equitably apportioning these waters. The California-Nevada Interstate Compact was adopted by the two 
states in 1968 and ratified by their legislatures. Efforts of the two states to have the California-Nevada 
Interstate compact approved by Congress were unsuccessful. Although numerous consent bills were 



45 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Institutional Framework 

introduced in Congress from 1971 to 1986, consent was never forthcoming. After 1986, the two states 
gave up trying to obtain congressional consent to the Compact. 

The states did not give up other Congressional action. A new round of negotiations among the 
states, the federal government, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians, and other interested parties led 
to the federal Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act. Section 204 of this act 
specifies an apportionment of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee and Carson rivers between California and 
Nevada. It is the first Congressional apportionment since the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928. The 
act also addresses a number of other issues, including settlement of certain water supply disputes among 
the Pyramid Lake Tribe and other users of the Truckee and Carson rivers. The act also addresses a 
number of environmental issues, including recovery of Pyramid Lake fish species listed under the federal 
Endangered Species Act and protection and restoration of Lahontan Valley wetlands. Many of the act's 
provisions, including the interstate apportionment, will not become effective until a number of conditions 
are met, including dismissal of certain lawsuits and the negotiation of an operating agreement for the 
Truckee River between the United States, the two states, the Tribe, the Sierra-Pacific Power Company, 
and other parties. 

For further information on the history of the Truckee River water rights disputes, and how they are 
addressed by the Settlement Act, see DWR's June 1991 Truckee River Atlas, and the December 1991 
Carson River Atlas. 

Klamath Project 

Interstate aspects of the shared upper Klamath River and Lost River basins are addressed through the 
Klamath River Basin Compact. Negotiated by the states of Oregon and California, approved by their 
respective Legislatures, and consented to by the U.S. Congress in 1957, the compact is to ( 1 ) facilitate 
orderly development and use of water, and (2) further cooperation between the states in the equitable 
sharing of water resources. The compact is administered by the Klamath River Compact Commission, 
which is chaired by a federal representative appointed by the President. The commission provides a 
forum for communication between the various interests concerned with water resources in the upper 
Klamath River Basin. Its recent activities have focused on water delivery reductions caused by the 
drought and operating restrictions to protect two species of endangered sucker fish. Other pressing issues 
are water supplies for wildlife refuges and upper basin impacts on anadromous fisheries in the lower 
Klamath River. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Part II 



WATER SUPPLY 



3 Surface Water Supplies 

4 Ground Water Supplies 



5 Water Quality 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



3 SURFACE WATER SUPPLIES 




Aerial view of luikv Del Valle. State Water Project. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

3 SURFACE WATER SUPPLIES 

California has a wide range of climates. Mountain ranges influence the weather patterns and cause 
more precipitation to occur on the western sides of these ranges than on the eastern sides. Average 
statewide precipitation is about 23 inches and most of it, about 63 percent, is used by native vegetation, 
lost by evaporation, or percolates to underground aquifers. Estimated average annual runoff amounts to 
about 71 million acre-feet. Not all of this runoff can be developed for urban or agricultural use. Much 
of it maintains healthy ecosystems in California's rivers and estuarine systems. Available surface water 
supply totals 78 MAP when supplies from the Colorado and Klamath rivers are added. 

Uneven distribution of water resources is part of the State's geography. Roughly 75 percent of the 
natural runoff occurs north of Sacramento; about 80 percent of the net water demand is south of 
Sacramento. Almost 29 MAP, or 40 percent of California's surface water supply, originates in the North 
Coast Region. The largest urban water use is in the South Coast Region where roughly half of 
California's population resides, and the largest agricultural water use is in the San Joaquin River and 
Tulare Lake regions where fertile soils, a long, dry growing season, and water availability have combined 
to make this area one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. Por example, Presno 
County is the most productive county in the United States in terms agricultural output measured in 
dollars. The largest environmental use is in the North Coast Region where average annual dedicated 
natural flow in wild and scenic rivers amounts to 18 MAP. Pigure 3-1 shows the disposition of average 
annual water supplies, including ground water, for the 1960 and 1990 levels of development. 

Droughts in California 

Average runoff amounts are of some interest, but most of California's water development has been 
dictated by the extremes of droughts and floods. Por example, the average yearly statewide runoff of 7 1 
million acre-feet includes the all-time annual low of 15 MAP in 1977 and the all-time high, exceeding 
135 MAP, in 1983. (Pigure 3-2 shows the distribution of average annual precipitation and runoff.) To 
be sustained, agricultural and urban economies require stable and reliable supplies, whereas 
environmental water needs vary with the natural hydrologic cycle. 

The records of precipitation and runoff show that extremely dry periods frequently last several years. 
The seven-year drought of 1928-34 established the criteria commonly used to plan storage capacity or 
water yield of large Northern California reservoirs. Prom 1928 through 1937, the runoff was below 
average for ten straight years. Many reservoirs built since that time were sized to maintain a certain level 
of planned deliveries or reliability should there be a repeat of the 1928-34 dry period. The last 20 years 
have seen new record dry periods for one year (1977), two years (1976 through 1977), three years (1990 
through 1992), and six years (1987 through 1992) for the areas across the central part of the State. 



47 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-1. DISPOSITION OF AVERAGE ANNUAL WATER SUPPLY 

1960 and 1990 
85 Million Acre- Feet (Includes Ground Water) 




1960 



DELTA OUTFLOW 
D-1485 

5% 




OTHER USES 

1 MAF 

1% 



WILD & SCENIC 
RIVERS 

21% 



I I Outflow to Ocean 

X /\ Dedicated Natural Runoff 
Environmental Needs 



1990 



48 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-2. DISTRIBUTION OF AVERAGE ANNUAL 
PRECIPITATION AND RUNOFF 



REGION 


AVERAGE 

PRECIPITATION 

(Inches) 


AVERAGE 

RUNOFF 

(MAF) 


NC 


51.0 


28.6 


SF 


25.8 


1.6 


CC 


19.8 


2.5 


SC 


18.4 


1.2 


SR 


36.0 


22.4 


SJ 


27.3 


7.9 


TL 


15.4 


3.3 


NL 


22.1 


1.8 


SL 


7.9 


1.3 


CR 


5.5 


0.2 


Entire State 


22.9 


70.8 



AVERAGE ^^ AVERAGE 

PRECIPITATION __^^ RUNOFF 
MoNoX (Inches) I^HH (MAF) 




HYDROLOGIC REGIONS 

NC - North Coast 

SF - San Francisco Bay 

CC - Central Coast 

SC - South Coast 

SR - Sacramento River 

SJ - San Joaquin River 

TL - Tulare Lake 

NL - North Lahontan 

SL - South Lahontan 

CR - Colorado River 



49 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

The Sacramento River Index is used both as a yardstick of Northern California water supply and in 
determining Delta water quality and flow criteria to be met by the federal Central Valley Project and the 
State Water Project. It classifies the runoff during a water year into five categories, ranging from critical 
(the driest) up to wet. Figure 3-3 shows the record of runoff for the Index since 1906. The index is 
based on Water Right Decision 1485 and is the sum of unimpaired runoff in the Sacramento River near 
Red Bluff, Feather River at Oroville, Yuba River at Smartville, and American River at Folsom. 
(Unimpaired runoff \s the natural production of a stream unaltered by water diversions, storage, exports, 
or imports.) The 1929-34 dry period, the severe two-year drought of 1976-77, and the recent drought, 
in which five of the six years have been classified as critical. The average of 1 8.4 MAF shown on the 
chart is the currently used 5()-year average; the average runoff for the entire 1906-92 period is slightly 
lower, about 17.7 MAF. 

The recent six-year drought is comparable to the 1929-34 sequence of dry years. Statewide 
precipitation from 1987-1992 was about 75 percent of average and annual streamflow was only about 
half of average. This drought was not quite the worst on record for the Sacramento Basin. Runoff in 
1987-1992 was about 54 percent of average, about 1 percent more than the average during 1929-1934. 
Across the central part of the State, however, the recent drought was more severe than 1929-1934. The 
drought periods for Sacramento River Index runoff and for the San Joaquin River Index runoff (the sum 
of the unimpaired runoff in the San Joaquin River at Friant, and the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced 
Rivers) are shown in Figures 3-4 and 3-5. The extended 1929-34 drought was softened somewhat in the 
southern Sierra Nevada by an above average water year in 1932. The recent drought, although varying 
somewhat from year to year, was an unrelieved string of six critical years in the southern Sierra Nevada. 

In fall 1992, the storage in California's major reservoirs was somewhat under 12 MAF, compared to 
an average of 21 .4 MAF on November I . This was the lowest end-of-water-year storage level of the 
recent drought but was more than in 1977, when November I storage was only 7.6 MAF. 



50 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-3. SACRAMENTO RIVER INDEX SINCE 1906 




(HM 



(lB9t-eJ0B JO SUOIIIJUI) 



51 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



"J 



S 5n — 



FIGURE 3-4. COMPARISON OF DROUGHTS 
Sacramento River Index 




1941-90 1987-92 

Average Year 



1929-34 



1976-77 



1959-61 



52 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-5. COMPARISON OF DROUGHTS 
San Joaquin River Index 



20 



16 



12 




'5,9 








E^S)E 




YEAR 



YEAR 
5 



YEAR 
4 



YEAR 
3 



YEAR 
2 




^ YEAR 
2 



E»6DE 




YEAR 
3 



YEAR 
1 



1941-90 
Average Year 



1987-92 



1929-34 



1976-77 



1959-61 



53 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-6. COMPARISON OF MULTI-YEAR DROUGHTS 

Average Annual Runoff 



Sacramento Rivar Indax 



6.8 



60 YEAR 
AVERAGE 
1041-4O 



12.1 12.0 



50 YEAR 1912 

AVERAGE 1913 

1941-90 



1912 
1913 



9.8 



1918 
1920 



1929 
1934 



1947 
1950 



1959 
1961 



San Joaquin RIvar Indax 



1918 
1920 



1929 
1934 



1947 
1960 



1969 
1981 



1976 
1977 



1978 
1977 



1987 
1982 







4.3 
















3.1 






3.3 






















2.7 




2.7 








1.6 













1987 
1992 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



Length and Frequency of Droughts 

Each drought is different. In 1986, a tree ring study reconstructed 420 years of Sacramento River 
runoff. The study was conducted for DWR by the Tree Ring Laboratory of the University of Arizona. 
The reconstruction suggests that the 1928-34 drought was the worst since 1560. (Water year 1928 was 
near normal, but its dry spring led into a series of six dry or critical water years.) Below is a table 
excerpted from the reconstruction. It shows other dry periods with consecutive years of runoff less than 
15.7 MAP (the historical median) lasting at least three years, prior to 1900, for the reconstructed 
Sacramento River Index. Also shown are the measured droughts since 1900. 

Table 3-1. Pre-1900 Dry Periods* and Droughts since 1900 
Period 



Length 
(years) 


Estimated Average Runoff 
(MAF/year) 


4 


12.4 


3 


9.3 


3 


13.2 


5 


12.3 


6 


12.6 


3 


12.2 


6 


13.3 


3 


12.1 


3 


10.7 


3 


12.9 


4 


12.3 


3 


12.0 


6 


9.8 


4 


13.0 


2 


6.6 


6 


10.0 



1579-82^ 

1593-95 

1618-20 

1651-55 

1719-24 

1735-37 

1755-60 

1776-78 

1793-95 

1839-41 

1843-4S-' 

1918-20 

1929-34 

1959-62 

1976-77 

1987-92^ 



based on tree 
ring studies 



based on flow 
measurements 



•Years with runoff less than 15.7 million acre-feet per year. 

The record reconstructed from the tree ring study does not always match the record of measured 
runoff, so the weight to be given to the above information is unclear. However, the tree ring widths 
provide us one way of comparing runoff records with estimates from a much larger span of history. 

Water Supply Development 

The founding of the San Diego Mission in 1769 brought with it the start of water supply 
development in California. Water was diverted from the San Diego River to irrigate fields surrounding 
the mission. Similar developments accompanied other missions during ensuing years. After 1850, 
irrigation expanded significantly as the amount of irrigated agricultural land increased dramatically. This 
increase was abetted by the mining boom, which provided a nearby market for agricultural products. 
Since natural stream flows dropped during the summer, it was not long before small reservoirs were built 



55 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

to supplement low stream flows. A number of fairly large dams were built in Southern California by 
1900, including Bear Valley, Hemet, Sweetwater, and Cuyamaca. Dams in Northern California were 
smaller and usually at the outlets of natural lakes or meadows. Total storage capacity on the Yuba River, 
one of the basins with a large amount of early development, exceeded 30,000 acre-feet by 1 900. 

During the 1920s, larger reservoirs were built in Northern California; in many cases, they were 
partially funded by hydroelectric power companies. Beginning in 1 930, a number of critically dry years 
reduced snowmelt and streamflow and motivated another era of water storage development to provide 
more stable and reliable supplies. 



Possible Effects of Global Climate Change 

Much concern has been expressed about possible future climate change caused by 
burning fossil fuel or by other modern human activities that increase carbon dioxide and oth- 
er trace polyatomic gases in the atmosphere. World weather records indicate an overall 
warming trend during the last century, with a surge of warming prior to 1940 (which cannot 
be attributed to greenhouse gases) and a more recent rise during the 1980s. The extent to 
which this latest rise is real or an artifact of instrument location (heat island effect of growing 
cities) or a temporary anomaly is debated among climatologists. For now, most of the projec- 
tions of future climate change are derived from computer climate simulation studies. Not yet 
well -represented in the simulation models are cloud effects, which can have a large influ- 
ence on the study results. 

The studies generally indicate a global average temperature rise of about 2 to 5 degrees 
Celsius over the next century, or about 3°C as an average, for a doubled -CO2 atmosphere. 
Figures for regional changes are less dependable because of regional weather influences. 

Although studies assume a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide content, the same 
effect would be produced by some combination of increased CO2 and trace greenhouse 
gases, such as methane and chlorofluorocarbons, which produce the same effect as 
doubled CO2. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from an estimated 280 parts 
per million about 200 years ago to roughly 315 ppm in 1960 and about 355 ppm in 1993. 

Although the climate models also show precipitation, there is less confidence in those 
results. The most important hydrologic parameter affecting water resources is precipitation 
and model results are not considered reliable enough to use for any decisions. Some re- 
searchers have examined scenarios with ranges of precipitation, for example 10 percent drier 
or wetter, to obtain insights into how sensitive water systems are to these changes. 

Sea level rise is inferred largely from projected temperature increases and is less certain. 
Causes would be thermal expansion as the ocean warms and melting of permanent ice fields 
and glaciers. Average projections of sea level rise call for about 1 .5 feet in the next century, 
which would represent a strong increase over the roughly 0.5 -foot hse estimated for the 
past 1 00 years. 

Reduced Mountain Snowpacic and Sliift In Runoff Patterns 

For California, if global warming occurs, the most likely impact would be a shift in runoff 
patterns, with less and earlier runoff from snowmelt and more winter runoff from the higher 
mountain areas. This change in runoff directly relates to the temperature; the warmer tem- 
peratures would mean higher snow levels during winter storms, more cool season runoff and 
less carryover in to late spring and summer (assuming precipitation remains the same). 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 



If average temperatures warm by 3°C and this change applies to winter season storm sys- 
tems, it would lift average snowline levels by about 1 ,500 feet. Compared to today, the portion 
of California's winter precipitation stored in the mountain snowpack would decrease signifi- 
cantly. The impact in the Northern Sierra Nevada would be larger than in the higher elevation 
Southern Sierra Nevada. Preliminary estimates (assuming the same average precipitation 
amounts and patterns) indicate that this shift would reduce the average April to July snowmelt 
runoff by about one-third. A corresponding increase in runoff would be expected during the 
winter, when it often would have to be passed through major reservoirs as flood control re- 
leases. There would be some loss in water supply yield if the shift in snowmelt runoff occurs. 

Impact of Sea Level Rising 

If sea level rises, it could have a major impact on California water transfers through the 
Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta. There are two primary problems: (1) a slight increase in 
ocean salinity intrusion due to deeper channels and, partly because of less uncontrolled 
spring runoff, a longer season of relatively low Delta outflows, and (2) problems with levees 
protecting the low lying land. Both problems would degrade the quality and reliability of fresh 
water transfer supplies pumped at the southern edge of the Delta with existing facilities and 
operations. 
Potential Increase in Sizes of Large Floods 

There is a general relationship between rainfall intensity and the warmness of the climate. 
Other factors being equal, warm air holds more water vapor than cool air. Lifting of the air, 
either orographically by a mountain range, by convective activity (thunderstorms), or by a 
weather system front, then has the potential for greater precipitation intensity. Also, higher 
snow levels in the Sierra Nevada mean more direct rain runoff and less snow accumulation. 
Major floods on California's rivers are produced by slow- moving Pacific storm systems which 
sweep moist subtropical air from the southwest into California. When these moisture -laden 
air streams run into the mountains, copious amounts of rain and runoff result as the south- 
westerly winds are lifted to cross the Sierra Nevada and coastal mountain ranges (orographic 
effect). Whether the south westerly winter storm winds would be stronger or weaker if global 
warming occurs has not been determined. 

These three potential impacts and other possible changes will probably be slow to devel- 
op because climate change is expected to be gradual. The uncertainty about potential 
changes is high, and there should be time for confirmation of these changes and time to 
adapt. It is useful to monitor climate changes, however, and determine how they may affect 
current water supply systems. 



57 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-7. STORAGE IN 155 MAJOR IN-STATE RESERVOIRS 



October 1 



40-1 



30- 



< 20- 

Z 

o 
3 
i 10- 



AVERAQE 



1M7 



NOTE: Th« 1967 - 1992 itorag* amounta Include N«w Malonaa and Warm Springa Raaarvotra which began operation alter 1977. 
1968 - 1992 storage amounts alao include the new Spicar Meadows Raaarvoir on the StanWaua River. 



58 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-8. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF RESERVOIR CAPACITY 

(Reservoirs of 50,000 acre-feet or more) 



12-1 



= 6- 

E 



r^X^ State 

rTTTTTl Local 

V7^ Federal 

rri Number of 
' — ' Reservoirs 




PRE- 1940 1950 1960 
1940 -49 -59 -69 



1970 1980 
-79 -92 



59 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

There are now more than 1,200 nonfederal dams under State supervision (generally dams 25 feet or 
higher or those holding 50 AF or more). The reservoirs formed by these dams provide a gross reservoir 
capacity of roughly 20 MAF. There are also 181 federal reservoirs in California, with a combined 
capacity of nearly 22 MAF. Taken together these 1 ,400 or so reservoirs can hold about 42 MAF of water, 
which is a relatively small amount of storage in proportion to the 7 1 MAF of annual runoff. The 
Colorado River alone, with an average annual runoff of about 15 MAF, has about 65 MAF of storage. 
The table at the end of this chapter lists reservoirs storing 100,000 AF or more in chronological order of 
construction. 

This chapter identifies developed surface water supplies by source. (Ground water, another 
important source of supply, is covered in Chapter 4.) The major categories are: 

O local surface and local imported supplies 

Q Central Valley Project and other federally developed water 

O the Colorado River 

O State Water Project 

O water reclamation, including desalination 

Local and Imported Supplies 

Local water projects were constructed and are operated by a wide variety of water and irrigation 
districts, agencies, municipalities, companies, and even individuals. Initially, local projects consisted of 
direct stream diversions. When these proved inadequate during the dry season, storage dams were built. 
As nearby sources were fully developed, urban areas began to reach out to more distant sources. Local 
agencies are fmding it increasingly difficult to continue to undertake new water projects to meet their 
needs because potential sites for additional water projects are either environmentally sensitive, too costly 
to develop, or both. Rural areas, in particular, have limited means of repaying loans for water projects, 
Opportunities for local conjunctive use programs are limited because mountain and foothill ground water 
basins tend to be limited. On average, local surface water supply projects meet about one-third of 
California's water needs. 

The majority of local water supplies are in-area (within one region) diversion and storage systems. 
Most local surface projects are relatively small, but some are large-volume projects. Some examples of 
these projects are the Exchequer and Don Pedro (both old and new) dams on the Merced and Tuolumne 
rivers. Another example is Bullards Bar Dam on the Yuba River, built by Yuba County Water Agency. 
Some irrigation districts have taken advantage of upstream projects built primarily for hydroelectric 
power production. These facilities also incidentally regulate stream flows, create more usable water 
supplies during the dry summer months, and provide flood control and recreation benefits. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-9. REGIONAL WATER TRANSFERS 

at 1990 Level of Development 

(thousands of acre-feet per year) 



^^ 




a. South Bay Aquaduct 164 

b. Contra Cotta Canal 73 

c. Mokalumna Aquaduct 244 

d. Hatch Hatchy Aquaduct 269 
a. San Fallpa 90 



sc 



SL 



CR* 



■Total Callfomia Colorado River Utage 
waa 5.2 Million Acre-Feat 

** Exchange 



61 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

The first long-distance, inter-regional water transfer project in California was the Los Angeles 
Aqueduct, completed by the City of Los Angeles in 1913. The aqueduct stretches over 290 miles from 
the Owens Valley and had an original capacity of 330,000 AF per year. A second section was added in 
1970, which increased its potential annual deliveries to 480,000 AF per year. However, these projects 
were developed without minimum flows for fisheries in creeks tributary to Mono Lake and without 
consideration of lake levels. Environmental problems resulting from diversions have resulted in recent 
restrictions on the use of water tributary to Mono Lake and on ground water pumping in the Owens 
Valley (See Chapter 2). These restrictions have reduced the dependable supply of the Los Angeles 
Aqueduct to about 200,000 AF in drought years. 

In 1934, the City of San Francisco completed the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct system, which diverts 
water from the Tuolumne River to serve San Francisco, San Mateo, northern Santa Clara, and portions of 
southern Alameda Counties. (Hetch Hetchy Dam began operating in 1923.) The current conveyance 
capacity of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct is about 330,(XX) AF per year. The primary supply reservoirs are 
Hetch Hetchy and Lake Lloyd (Cherry Valley), with exchange water storage in Don Pedro reservoir to 
help meet the downstream water rights of Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts. 

In the 1920s, the East Bay cities of the San Francisco Bay Region turned to Sierra Nevada 
watersheds for additional water. The East Bay Municipal Utility District completed the Mokelumne 
Aqueduct from Pardee Reservoir in 1929. With the addition of a third barrel in 1965, this aqueduct's 
capacity was increased from 224,000 AF per year to 364,000 AF per year. Camanche Reservoir was 
added in 1963. Again, drought year supplies in the Pardee-Camanche Reservoir system are not always 
adequate to sustain full aqueduct capacity diversions. 

The All-American Canal System was authorized under the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 
December 21 , 1928. Construction began in 1934, following construction of Hoover Dam on the 
Colorado River. The first deliveries of irrigation water to Imperial Valley were in 1940. The Coachella 
Canal and distribution system was completed in 1954. The Imperial Irrigation District assumed 
responsibility for operation and maintenance of the All-American Canal in 1952. The Coachella Valley 
Water District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Coachella Canal portion of the 
system. The system has the capacity to divert over 3 MAF annually from the Colorado River for use in 
the Imperial and Coachella valleys. 

The fifth major inter-regional conveyance project in California built by a local agency is the 
Colorado River Aqueduct. Constructed in the 1930s by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern 
California, this aqueduct began operation in 1941 . The Colorado River Aqueduct was sized for about 
1 .2 MAF per year but has carried as much as 1 .3 MAF during some of the recent drought years. (See the 
Colorado River section in this chapter.) 

The preceding local import systems are not the only ones in California, but they account for over 95 
percent of the local project water transferred among hydrologic regions. 

State Water Project 

Planning for the multipurpose State Water Project began soon after World War II when it became 
evident that local and federal water development could not keep pace with the state's rapidly growing 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

population. Voters authorized construction of the project in 1960 by ratifying the Bums-Porter Act. At 
that time, the plans recognized that there would be a gradual increase in water demand and that some of 
the supply facilities could be deferred until later. The SWP's major components include the multipurpose 
Oroville Dam and Reservoir on the Feather River, the Edmund G. Brown California Aqueduct, South 
Bay Aqueduct, North Bay Aqueduct,and a portion of San Luis Reservoir. Delta water transfer facilities 
were part of the original plan, and additional Sacramento and North Coast basin supply reservoirs were 
envisioned. Contracts were signed for an eventual delivery of 4.23 MAF. Service areas of the present 29 
contracting agencies are shown in Figure 3-10. Figure 3-1 1 depicts a history of SWP water deliveries 
from 1962 to 1992. Generally, San Joaquin Valley use of SWP supply has been near full contract 
amounts since about 1 980 (except during very wet and deficient supply years), whereas Southern 
California use has only built up to about 60 percent of full entitlement. 

The initial features of the SWP begin with three small reservoirs in the upper Feather River basin in 
Plumas County: Lake Davis, and Frenchman and Antelope Lakes. Farther downstream in the foothills 
of the Sierra Nevada is the 3.5 MAF Lake Oroville, the second largest reservoir in California, where 
winter and spring flows of the Feather River are stored. (See Figure 3-12.) The 444-mile California 
Aqueduct is the state's largest and longest water conveyance system, beginning in the southwest Delta at 
Banks Pumping Plant and extending to Lake Perris south of Riverside, in Southern California. Delta 
water is pumped southward and westward, with amounts exceeding immediate needs temporarily stored 
in the 2.0 MAF San Luis Reservoir (which is shared with the CVP). Of the contracted amounts, about 
2.5 MAF of water is destined for south of the Tehachapis, nearly 1 .36 MAF to the San Joaquin Valley, 
and the remaining 0.37 MAF to the San Francisco Bay and Central Coast regions and the Feather River 
area. At the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, pumps at the Edmonston Pumping Plant lift water 
1,926 feet, sending flows through the Tehachapi Mountains by tunnels and into Southern California. 
Slightly over 1 .5 MAF was pumped at Edmonston Pumping Plant in 1990. 

The estimated 7 year average dry-period yield of the SWP with its current facilities operating 
according to Water Right Decision 1485 requirements is about 2.4 MAF per year. Entitlement demand of 
SWP contractors for the year 2010 is an estimated 4.1 MAF. To augment firm yield, additions to the 
SWP are proposed and include: Delta facilities, interim south Delta facilities; the Kern Water Bank; Los 
Banos Grandes; possible conjunctive use of surface storage and ground water in the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin valleys, and long-term water purchases. These projects and programs are discussed in Chapter 
12. 

In the short-term, SWP contractors relying on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies face 
great uncertainty in terms of water supply reliability due to the uncertain outcome of a number of actions 
currently being undertaken to protect aquatic species in the Delta. Until solutions to complex Delta 
problems are identified and put into place, many will experience more frequent and severe water supply 
shortages. 



63 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-10. STATE WATER PROJECT SERVICE AREAS 



, r - -^ - — - — - — °- -ii - 




64 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



3.0 



^■= 



FIGURE 3-11. STATE WATER PROJECT DELIVERIES 

1967-1992 



Surplus and 
Unscheduled 

Entitlement 
Water 




90 1992 



Years 



65 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 




Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

Central Valley Project 

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project is the largest water storage and delivery 
system in California, covering 35 of the State's 58 counties. The project's features include 18 federal 
reservoirs, plus 4 additional reservoirs jointly owned with the State Water Project (primarily the San Luis 
Reservoir) . The keystone is the 4.6 MAF Lake Shasta, the largest reservoir in California. The reservoirs 
in this system provide a total storage capacity of slightly over 12 MAF, nearly 30 percent of the total 
surface storage in California, and deliver about 7.3 MAF annually for agricultural, urban, and wildlife. 

Table 3-2. Major Central Valley Project Reservoirs 

Reservoir Name Capacity 

(thousands of acre-feet) 

Shasta 4,552 

Clair Engle 2,448 

Whiskeytown 241 

Folsom 974 

New Melones 2,420 

Millerton 520 

San Luis (federal share) 971 

The federal government began construction of the CVP in the 1930s, as authorized under the Rivers 
and Harbors Act of 1937. CVP purposes expanded to include river regulation, flood control, and 
navigation; later reauthorization included recreation and fish and wildlife purposes. Initial authorization 
covered facilities such as Shasta and Friant Dams, Tracy Pumping Plant, and the Contra Costa, 
Delta-Mendota and Friant-Kem Canals. Later authorizations continued to add additional facilities such 
as Folsom Dam (authorized in 1949), San Luis Unit (authorized in 1960), and New Melones Dam 
(authorized in 1962). Auburn Dam was authorized but not built. 

The CVP supplies water to over 250 long-term water contractors in the service areas shown in Figure 
3-13, whose contracts total 9.3 MAF including 1.4 MAF of Friant Division Class 2 supply available in 
wet years. Of the 9.3 MAF, 6.2 MAF is project water and 3.1 MAF is water right settlement water 
Average-year deliveries in the past decade have been around 7 MAF. Water right settlement water is 
water covered in agreements with water rights holders whose diversions were in existence before the 
project was constructed. Since construction of project reservoirs altered the rivers' natural flow upon 
which these diverters had relied, contracts were negotiated to serve the users stored water to supplement 
river flows available under their rights. CVP water right settlement contractors (called prior right 
holders) on the upper Sacramento River receive their supply from storage regulated at Shasta Dam; 
settlement contractors on the San Joaquin River (called exchange contractors) receive Delta water via 
the Delta-Mendota Canal as explained below. 

About 90 percent of the CVP water has gone to agricultural uses in the recent past; this includes 
water delivered to prior right holders. CVP water is used to irrigate some 19,000 farms covering 3 
million acres. Currently, increasing quantities of water are being served to municipal customers. Urban 
areas receiving CVP water supply include Redding, Sacramento, Folsom, Tracy, most of Santa Clara 



67 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

County, northeastern Contra Costa County, and Fresno. Recent firming up of environmental supplies 
under the provisions of the CVP Improvement Act of 1992 are described in Chapter 2. 

Water stored in CVP northern reservoirs is gradually released down the Sacramento River into the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where it helps meet demand along the river and quality and flow 
requirements in the Delta. The remainder is exported via the Contra Costa Canal and the Delta Mendota 
Canal. Excess water during the winter is conveyed to off-stream San Luis Reservoir on the west side of 
the valley for subsequent service to the San Luis and San Felipe units. A portion of the Delta Mendota 
exports are placed back into the San Joaquin River at Mendota Pool to serve, by exchange, water users 
who have long-standing historical rights to use of San Joaquin River flow. This exchange enabled the 
CVP to build Friant Dam, northeast of Fresno, and divert a major portion of the flow there farther south 
in the Friant-Kem Canal (and some water northward in the Madera Canal). The Coming and 
Tehama-Colusa Canals serve an area on the west side of the Sacramento Valley. Other water supplies are 
furnished to districts and water rights holders in the Sacramento Valley. American River water stored in 
Folsom Reservoir is used mainly for stream flow and Delta requirements, including CVP exports. More 
recently, the San Felipe Unit was added to serve coastal counties west of San Luis Reservoir New 
Melones Reservoir will be serving an area on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley as well as 
providing downstream water quality and fishery flows. Operations in the Delta are coordinated with the 
SWP to meet water quality and other standards set by the State Water Resources Control Board. 

Figure 3-14 shows historical CVP water deliveries since 1960. The drop in 1977 and 1990-1992 
deliveries was caused by shortages in supply during the critically dry years. CVP water deliveries to 
agricultural and urban users will be reduced by the passage of the CVP Improvement Act of 1992. CVP 
contractors will undergo more frequent and severe shortages. (A more comprehensive discussion about 
the CVP Improvement Act is in Chapter 2.) Figure 3-15 shows a history of CVP hydroelectric energy 
production since 1960. Note the substantial drop in hydroelectric production during the 1987-92 
drought. 

In the short-term, CVP contractors relying on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies face great 
uncertainty in terms of water supply reliability due to the uncertain outcome of a number of actions 
currently being undertaken to protect aquatic species in the Delta. Until solutions to complex Delta 
problems are identified and put into place, many will experience more frequent and severe water supply 
shortages. For example, in 1993, an above normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited CVP 
deliveries to Westlands Irrigation District to only 50 percent of contracted supply. Further, the CVPIA 
reallocates 800,000 AF of CVP supplies for fisheries in Central Valley streams; 200,000 AF for wildlife 
refuges in the Central Valley; and about 120,000 AF of increased flow for the Trinity River. 



68 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-13. CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT SERVICE AREAS 




SAN OJEBO 1 ,». — "^ "^ 



M £ 



/ » 



69 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-14. CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT DELIVERIES 

1960-1992 



7.0 



6.0 



I 5.0- 



4.0 - 



= 3.0 - 



1.0 



Years 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-15. CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT 
ANNUAL HYDROELECTRIC ENERGY PRODUCTION 

1960-1992 



1960 



I ' I I I 
65 



75 



Years 



NOTE: 



Total 1991 California electrical energy consumption 
was about 223 billion kilowatt hours. 



71 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

Other Federal Projects 

Other federal water projects include those constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the 
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Some of the larger projects in this category are the Klamath Project on the 
California-Oregon border, the Orland Project on Stony Creek (west side of the Sacramento Valley), Lake 
Berryessa in Napa County, Putah South Canal in Solano County, New Hogan Reservoir in Calaveras 
County, the major dams and reservoirs on the east side of the Tulare Lake Region — Pine Flat, Terminus, 
Success, and Isabella — and Cachuma and Casitas reservoirs in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. 
Altogether these projects deliver about 1 .2 MAF annually. 

Colorado River 

In a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decree, the three states in the Colorado River's lower basin together 
were apportioned 7.5 MAF per year Arizona could use its apportionment of 2.8 MAF now that the 
Central Arizona Project is operating, but current repayment issues associated with sales of water to 
agricultural users may delay the buildup in demand. Arizona's Colorado River water use in 1992 was 1 .9 
MAF. Nevada's water use is expected to reach its 0.3 MAF apportionment in a little over a decade. 
Nevada used 0. 1 8 MAF in 1992. 

California's basic apportionment of Colorado River supplies is 4.4 MAF per year, plus half of any 
excess or surplus water Because of wet winters in the early to mid-1980s, and because Arizona and 
Nevada were not yet using their full apportionment, California has been able to use from 4.5 to 5.2 MAF 
annually between 1986 and 1992. Since 1980, the highest and the lowest sequence of unregulated 
Colorado River runoff has occurred, with the peak year in 1984 and the driest in 1990. Between 1988 
and 1992, Colorado River runoff was far below average, and by 1991 storage on the main river system 
fell to less than average. Runoff in 1993 was above average and, by July I , storage in Lakes Mead and 
Powell had increased about 6 MAF over the previous year's storage. California's use of Colorado River 
water can be limited in the future to 4.4 MAF in any year by the Secretary of the Interior 



72 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



FIGURE 3-16. COLORADO RIVER SERVICE AREAS 




73 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

The main water diverters in the Colorado River Region are Palo Verde Irrigation District, Imperial 
Irrigation District, the Yuma Project, Coachella Valley Water District, and the Metropolitan Water District 
of Southern California. These water users have priority rights to the first 3.85 MAF of California's 
Colorado River supply. This allocation leaves 550,000 AF for MWD's Colorado River Aqueduct, 
instead of the ! .2 MAF that it has been using in recent years. Further reductions in Metropolitan's supply 
are expected: 55,000 AF may be used by Native American Tribes and others along the Colorado River. 
To partially offset these reductions, MWD has executed a number of agreements to increase its water 
supplies. In December 1988, Imperial Irrigation District and MWD reached an agreement that provides 
funding for conservation projects in the Imperial Valley after the State Water Resources Control Board 
issued order WR 88-20 requiring IID to conserve 100,000 AF per year within a certain period of time. 
These projects will .save about 106,000 AF of water annually. MWD is funding the construction, 
operation, and maintenance of the projects; the estimated total cost is $222 million (1988 dollars). In 
exchange, MWD will be able to divert additional water from the Colorado River through its Colorado 
River Aqueduct; the amount of additional Colorado River water MWD diverts is to be equivalent to the 
amount of water conserved through the MWD financed projects. Lining 49 miles of the Coachella Canal 
saved an estimated 120,000 AF. As a result of water conservation measures implemented by IID since 
1954, the amount of water entering the Salton Sea has been reduced. With less relatively fresh water 
entering the Salton Sea, its salinity concentrations have increased somewhat more rapidly than would 
have happened otherwise and have affected the artificial fishery planted by DFG. The State Water 
Resources Control Board considered this matter in issuing order WR 88-20. Implementation of the 
water conservation measures has also reduced the potential for flooding. 

Water Reclamation 

The State Water Conservation Coalition Reclamation/Reuse Task Force and Bay/Delta Reclamation 
Sub-work Group for the SWRCB Bay /Delta hearing on D-1485 conducted a study and reported its 
results in Water Recycling 2000. September 1991 . The study found that waste water recycling has been 
intentionally used as a source of nonpotable water in California for nearly a century. In recent years, 
more stringent treatment requirements for disposal of municipal and industrial waste water have reduced 
the incremental cost of obtaining the higher level of treatment required for use of reclaimed water. This 
higher level is needed so that reclaimed water can be safely used for a wider variety of applications. Part 
of the reclaimed water used will lessen demand for new fresh water supplies. 

Technology available today allows municipal waste water treatment systems in some regions to 
consistently produce safe water .supplies at competitive costs. The degree of treatment def)ends on the 
intended use, and public health protection is the paramount criterion forjudging the level of treatment 
needed. As a minimum, waste water is treated to a .secondary level to remove dissolved organic 
materials. Secondary effluent can be treated to a tertiary level by additional filtering and disinfecting, 
but the cost can be high in compari.son to other fresh water supply augmentation options. Sometimes 
reverse osmosis de.salinization may be required to reduce the salt content; in such ca.ses, it is possible for 
the recycled water to be of higher quality than the original source. However, the added costs of 
desalination can make water reclamation infeasible in many regions. 



74 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



According to the Water Recycling 2000 study, an estimated 325,000 acre-feet of municipal waste 
water was recycled in 1989, about one percent of the total net water use in California. Slightly over half 
of this water was used for agricultural irrigation. Total estimated use of reclaimed water in 1 990, based 
on actual 1989 use reported in the September 1991 report, is shown in Figure 3-17 and Table 3-3. 



FIGURE 3-17. CALIFORNIA USE OF RECLAIMED WATER 
1990 LEVEL 




Ground Water 
Recharge 

21% 



75 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

Table 3-3. Statewide Use of Reclaimed Water in 1990 

Amount 
lype of Use (thousands of acre-feet) Percent 

Agricultural Irrigation 173 53 

Ground Water Recharge 70 21 

Landscape Irrigation 54 16 

Wildlife Habitat 18 6 

Industrial, Recreational, and 10 4 

Other 

Total 325 100 

Adapted from Water Recycling 2000, September 1991, State Water Conservation Coalition Reclamation/Reuse Task Force and 
the Bay Delta Reclamation Sub-work Group. Estimated 1990 use of reclaimed water is based on actual 1989 use reported in 
Water Recycling 2000. 

Most of the 325,000 AF reclaimed was in the South Coast and Tulare Lake regions. Some uses of 
reclaimed water, such as environmental enhancement projects, are new uses (such as landscaping or 
environmental features)that would not have received fresh water in the absence of a reclaimed water 
project because imported fresh water was too costly or not available. The estimated fresh water 
replacement was about 220,000 AF. 

Some constraints to fully implementing all potential waste water reclamation options include: 

O Distances to potential applications, particularly as nearby agricultural land is 
displaced by urban development. 

O Relatively high mineral content of waste water, especially where the quality of 
water supply is poorer or sewage is contaminated by saline ground water. 

O Acceptance by the public and health authorities. 

O Regional economics, energy, and funding for new waste water reclamation 
plants. 

O Regulatory requirements, including Regional Water Quality Control Board, 
health agency, and other governmental approvals necessary to implement new 
projects. On the other hand, some regulations (for example. Chapter 553 of the 
California Code of Regulations) can encourage reuse by prohibiting use of fresh 
water for certain purposes, such as golf courses or parks, when suitable 
reclaimed water is available. 

O Salt dispo.sal problems. 
Table 3-4 specifies a number of possible nonpotable uses of reclaimed water and the degree of 
treatment necessary for the type of use, as assessed by the California Department of Health Services in 
1992. The "Disinfected Secondary-2.2" column indicates the higher standard of 2.2 coliform bacteria 
per 100 milliliters, and the "Disinfected Secondary-23" column indicates the less treated reclaimed water 
containing 23 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. 



76 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



Table 3-4. Suitable Uses of Reclaimed Water 



Use 



Conditions in Wiiicii Use Is Allowed (") 

Disinfected Disinfected Disinfected Undlslnfected 

Tertiary Secondary-2.2 Secondary-23 Secondary 



Irrigation of: 

parks, playgrounds, school yards, residential 
yards and golf courses associated with resi- 
dences 

restricted access golf courses, cemeteries, and 
freeway landscapes 

non-edible vegetation at other areas with lim- 
ited public exposure 

sod farms 



ornamental plants for commercial use 

all food crops 

food crops that are above ground and not con- 
tacted by reclaimed water 

pasture for milking animals and other animals 

fodder (e.g. alfalfa), fiber (e.g. cotton), and seed 
crops not eaten by humans 

orchards and vineyards bearing food crops 

orchards and vineyards not bearing food crops 
during irrigation 

Christmas trees and other trees not grown for 
food 

food crop which must undergo commercial 
pathogen-destroying processing before con- 
sumption (e.g., sugar beets) 

Other Uses: 

supply for a nonrestricted impoundment 

supply for a restricted recreational impoundment 

industrial cooling using cooling towers, forced 
air evaporation, spraying or other feature that 
creates aerosols or other mist 

industrial cooling not using cooling towers, 
forced air evaporation, spraying, nor other fea- 
ture that creates aerosols or other mist 

industrieil process with exposure of workers 

industrial process without exposure of workers 

industrial boiler feed 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face'^) 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Not allowed 
Drip or surface 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Drip or surface 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 



Not allowed 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face'^) 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Not allowed 
Not allowed 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Drip or surface 



Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 

Spray, drip, or sur- 
face 



Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Not allowed 

Drip or surface 

Drip or surface 

Drip or surface 

Drip or surface 

Drip or surface 



Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


or school yard. 









(a)Use is not allowed if part of a park, playground, 



77 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



Table 3-4 (continued) 



Um 



Conditions In Which Use Is Allowed 



Disinfected 
Tertiary 



Disinfected 
Secondary -2.2 



Disinfected 
Secondary -23 



Undlsinfected 
Secondary 



dampening soil for compaction at construction Allowed 
sites, landfills, and elsewtiere 

washing aggregate and making concrete Allowed 

dampening unpaved roads and other surteces Allowed 
lor dust control 

flushing sanitary sewers Allowed 

washing yards, lots, and sidewalks Allowed 

supply for landscape impoundment without dec- Allowed 
orative fountain 

supply for landscape Impoundment without dec- Allowed 
orative fountain 

supply for decorative fountain Allowed 



Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Alkiwed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not alkTwed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Notalkjwed 


Not allowed 



WUse is not allowed If part of a park, playground, or school yard. 

Source: California Department of Health Services, August 17, 1992. 

Copies of the full text of Draft Language for Amendments to Title 22 are available from DOHS or OWR. 



The potential for increased use of reclaimed water in the future depends on many factors and is 
discussed in Chapter 12. The primary source of raw supply would be the estimated 2 MAF of 
wastewater discharged annually into the ocean from California's coastal cities. Smaller amounts could 
come from reclaiming brackish ground water, including contaminated ground water or ground water with 
a high nitrate content and from desalination of ocean water. 

Other Water Supplies 

Several unconventional methods have been used to augment surface water supply in certain areas of 
California: use of gray water, long-range weather forecasting, vegetation management, and weather 
modification. 

Gray Water 

For the residential homeowner, some waste water can be directly reused as gray water, which is u.sed 
household water. Gray water can be used in subsurface systems to irrigate fruit trees, ornamental trees 
and shrubs, flowers, and other ornamental ground cover. Water from the bathroom sink, washing 
machine, bathtub, or shower is generally safe to use, whereas water from a toilet, kitchen sink, 
dishwasher, or water used in washing diapers should not be directly reu.sed. 

Care must be taken whenever gray water is used. A person may carry viruses, bacteria, or parasites, 
yet not show symptoms ofdisea.se. These organisms can be transferred to water in a bathtub, shower, or 
washing machine. Therefore, precautions must be taken so thai children or others do not come into 
contact with the water, nor should it touch any produce that is not cooked before it is consumed. 

Gray water has been u.sed by some homeowners in certain coastal urban areas during extreme 
drought to save their landscaping. In the past, health concerns and lack of information limited use of 



78 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

gray water. In 1992, recognizing that gray water could be used safely with proper precautions, the 
California Legislature amended the Water Code to allow gray water systems in residential buildings 
subject to appropriate standards and with the approval of local jurisdictions. 

Long-Range Weather Forecasting 

Accurate advance weather information — extending weeks, months, and even seasons ahead — would 
be invaluable in planning water operations in all types of years — wet, dry, and normal. Had it been 
known, for instance, that 1976 and 1977 were to be extremely dry years or that the drought would end in 
1977, water operations would have been planned somewhat differently and the impacts of the drought 
could have been lessened. The response to the 1987-92 drought might have been slightly improved by 
storing more water in the winter of 1986-87, pursuant to a forecast, and using more of the remaining 
reserves in 1992, the last year of the drought. 

The potential benefits of dependable long-range weather forecasts could probably be calculated in 
hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly even in billions, and the value would be national. For this and 
other reasons, research programs to investigate and develop such forecasting capability would most 
appropriately be conducted at the national level. The National Weather Service routinely issues 30- and 
90-day forecasts, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, and Creighton 
University in Omaha, Nebraska, are engaged in making experimental forecasts. However, their 
predictions are not sufficiently reliable for project operation. These may be improved by current research 
on global weather patterns including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation in the eastern Pacific Ocean. 

Weather Modification 

Weather modification, commonly known as cloud seeding, has been widely practiced in California 
for many years. Most projects have been along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and some of the 
coast ranges. The level of activity before the recent drought was about 10 to 12 weather modification 
projects with activity typically increasing during dry years. By spring 1991, the number of programs 
operating in California had increased to 20. New projects started during the drought include programs 
involving Lake Berryessa; San Gabriel Mountains; Calaveras, Tuolumne, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, 
San Diego, and Eastern Santa Clara counties; and the SWP experimental propane project in the upper 
Feather River basin. A couple of programs were dropped in the 1992-93 season, when 1 8 programs were 
ready to operate. (Many areas suspended operations later as the winter turned wet.) 

Operators engaged in cloud seeding have found it beneficial to seed rain bands along the coast and in 
orographic clouds over the mountains. The projects are operated to increase water supply or 
hydroelectric power. Although precise evaluations of the amount of water produced are difficult and 
expensive to determine, estimates range from a 2- to 15-percent increase in annual precipitation, 
depending on the number and type of storms seeded. 

The Department of Water Resources, on behalf of the SWP, began a five-year demonstration program 
of cloud-seeding in the upper middle fork Feather River basin during the 1991-92 season. The project is 
testing the use of pure gaseous propane injected into the clouds from generators on a mountain-top. The 
gaseous propane is essentially a chilling agent that helps produce ice crystal nuclei and enhance snowfall. 



79 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is beginning a feasibility study that could lay the ground work for a 
cloud .seeding program in the upper Sacramento Valley, including the watersheds above Shasta and 
Trinity Dams. The Bureau has done substantial cloud seeding research in the Colorado River Basin. 

Intere.st remains high on using cloud seeding to provide both short-term and long-term drought relief 
by enhancing water supplies. The technique is more successful in near normal years, when more 
moisture in the form of storm clouds is present to be treated. It is also more effective when combined 
with carryover storage to take full advantage of additional precipitation and runoff. 

Watershed Management 

Watershed management can increase stream flow by controlling the growth of vegetation, usually 
by reducing the density of brush and tree cover and increasing the portion in grasses, in other cases, 
vegetation management that encourages growth of certain species can protect watersheds by reducing soil 
erosion, thereby reducing sedimentation in reservoirs and canals. Water supply gained by such means, 
although a small fraction of total runoff, can cost less than supplies developed by more conventional 
means. However, extensive expanses of land must be managed to significantly increase statewide 
supplies. The primary purposes of vegetation management today are to improve range, reduce wildfires, 
and enhance wildlife habitat. 

National forest lands provide about half of the stream flow runoff in the state. National forest 
management plans show that if the present management plans had been in place prior to 1982, the 
average runoff from national forests would have been increased by about 290,000 acre-feet (an increase 
of nearly 1 percent). Much of this water flows uncontrolled to the sea, either because of location (for 
example, the North Coast Region) or becau.se there is no space available in reservoirs to hold the water. 
However, about 1()0,(XX) AF could either be stored in surface reservoirs or ponded and allowed to 
percolate into ground water aquifers. There may be a potential to boost these amounts of runoff and 
water yield by roughly another 25 percent by implementing recommended or selected forest management 
plans. 

Recommendations 

Bulletin 1, Water Resources in California, was published in 1951. DWR should initiate work to 
update, maintain, and computerize this resource document to incorporate more recent hydrologic data, 
including 40 more years of runoff data. 



80 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



Table 3-6. Major Surface Water Reservoirs in California* 



Reservoir 
(dam) 



Hydrologic 
Region 



Area 
(acres) 



Capacity 
(1,000AF) 



Owner 



Year 
Completed 



Clear Lake 


NC 


Tahoe 


NL 


Clear Lake 


SR 


Hetch Hetchy 
Shaver Lake 


SF 
SJ 


Almanor 


SR 


Bucks 


SR 


Pardee 


SJ 


Salt Springs 
El Capitan 


SJ 

sc 


Havasu 
(Parker) 
Matthews 


CD 
SC 


Crowley 
Prado 


SL 
SC 


Shasta 


SR 


Millerton 

(Friant) 

Isabella 


SJ 

TL 


Cachuma 


CC 


Edison 


SJ 


Pine Flat 


TL 


Folsom 


SR 


Lloyd (Cherry 

Valley) 

Nacimiento 


SJ 
CC 


Berryessa 

(Monticello) 

Twitchell 


SR 
CC 


Wishon 


TL 


Courtright 
Casitas 


TL 
SC 


Lake Mendo- 
cino (Coyote) 
Mammoth 
Pool 


NC 

SJ 



24,800 

122,000 

43,800 

1,970 

2,180 

28,260 

1,830 

2,130 

980 

1.560 

20,400 

2,750 

5,280 

6,700 

29,500 

4,900 

1 1 ,400 
3,090 
1,890 
5,970 

1 1 ,450 
1,540 

5,370 
20,700 

3,700 

970 
1,630 
2,720 
1,960 

1,100 



527 


USBR 


1910 


732 


USBR 


1913 


313 


YCFCWCD 


1914 


360 


SF 


1923 


135 


SCE 


1927 


1,308 


PG&E 


1927 


106 


PG&E 


1928 


210 


EBMUD 


1929 


139 


PG&E 


1931 


113 


SD 


1934 



619 

179 
183 

201 
4,552 

520 

568 
205 

125 
1,000 

974 
268 

340 
1,600 

240 

128 
123 
254 
122 

122 



USBR 

MWD 
LADWP 
USCE 
USBR 

USBR 

USCE 
USBR 
SCE 
USCE 

USBR 
SF 

MCWA 
USBR 

USBR 

PG&E 
PG&E 
USBR 
USCE 

SCE 



1938 

1938 
1941 
1941 
1945 

1947 

1953 
1953 
1954 
1954 

1956 
1956 

1957 
1957 

1958 

1958 
1958 
1959 
1959 

1960 



81 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



Table 3-6 (continued) 



Reservoir 
(dam) 


Hydrologic 
Region 


Area 
(acres) 


Capacity 
(I.OOGAF) 


Owner 


Year 
Compieted 


Claur Engle 
fTrinity) 


NC 


16,400 


2,448 


USBR 


1962 


Kaweah (Ter- 
minus) 


TL 


1.940 


143 


USCE 


1962 


Black Butte 


SR 


4,560 


144 


USCE 


1963 


Camp Far 
West 


SR 


2,680 


104 


SSWD 


1963 


Union Valley 


SR 


2,870 


271 


SMUD 


1963 


Camanche 


SJ 


7,470 


417 


EBMUD 


1963 


Whiskeytown 


SR 


3,200 


241 


USBR 


1963 


New Hogan 


SJ 


4.410 


317 


USCE 


1963 


San Antonio 


CC 


5,720 


330 


MCWA 


1965 


French 
Meadows 


SR 


1,420 


136 


PCWA 


1965 


Hell Hole 


SR 


1,250 


208 


PCWA 


1966 


New Exche- 
quer 


SJ 


7,150 


1,025 


MID 


1967 


San Luis 


SJ 


13.000 


2,039 


USBR 


1967 


Oroville 


SR 


15,800 


3,538 


DWR 


1968 


New Bullards 
Bar 


SR 


4,810 


966 


YCWA 


1970 


Stampede 


NL 


3.440 


226 


USBR 


1970 


New Don Pe- 
dro 


SJ 


12.960 


2,030 


TID-MID 


1971 


Castaic 


SC 


2,240 


324 


DWR 


1973 


Pyramid 


SC 


1,300 


171 


DWR 


1973 


Perris 


SC 


1,360 


131 


DWR 


1973 


Buchanan 


SJ 


1,780 


150 


USCE 


1975 


Indian Valley 


SR 


4,000 


300 


YCFCWCD 


1976 


New Melones 


SJ 


12,500 


2.420 


USBR 


1979 


Lake Sonoma 

(Warm 

Springs) 


NC 


3,600 


381 


USCE 


1982 


New Spicer 
Meadow 


SJ 


1,990 


190 


CCWD 


1989 



82 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Surface Water Supplies 



CCWD: 

DWR: 

EBMUD: 

LADWP: 

MCWA: 

MID: 

MWD: 



Reservoir Owners Listed 
Calaveras County Water District 
California Department of Water Resources 
East Bay Municipal Utility District 
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 
Monterey County Water Agency 
Merced Irrigation District 
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 



PCWA: Placer County Water Agency 

PG&E: Pacific Gas and Electric Company 

SCE Southern California Edison Company 

SD: City of San Diego 

SF: City and County of San Francisco 

SMUD: Sacramento Municipal Utility District 

SSWD South Sutter Water District 

TID-MID: Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District 

USCE: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

USSR: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 

YCFCWCD: Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 

YCWA: Yuba County Water Agency 



•Reservoirs with capacities exceeding 100,000 acre-feet; listed in chronological order of completion. 



83 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Surface Water Supplies 



84 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



4 GROUND WATER SUPPLIES 




ilroutui water pumpinfi in Yolo county. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

4 GROUND WATER SUPPLIES 

In an average year, about one-third of the urban and agricultural applied water supply in California 
is provided by ground water. In drought years, when surface supplies are reduced, ground water provides 
an even larger percentage of urban and agricultural applied water In some areas, ground water in springs 
or wells is the only reliable source of water. 

DWR's Bulletin 118, California's Ground Water, September 1975, identified 450 ground water 
basins in the state. The statewide total amount of ground water stored in these ground water basins is 
estimated to be about 850 million acre-feet, about 100 times the annual net ground water use in 
California. Probably less than half of this total is usable, however, because: 

O extraction would induce either sea water or saline ground water to intrude into 
the aquifer; 

O the ground water in the basin is naturally too saline or of poor quality for 
economical present-day use; 

O the depth to ground water makes the cost of extraction uneconomical for the 
potential use; or 

O extraction of ground water could cause unacceptable amounts of land surface 
subsidence. 

The large quantity of good quality ground water in storage makes it an extremely important 
component of California's total water resource that must be managed in conjunction with surface water 
supplies to ensure sustained availability. This chapter presents a definition of ground water and covers 
the history of ground water development in California, statewide ground water use, management of 
ground water, the effect of the 1987-92 drought on ground water, and conjunctive use. 

Ground Water Deflned 

Ground water is subsurface water occurring in a zone of saturation. In that zone, water fills the pore 
spaces or openings in rock and sediments. Large basins in southern California and the Central Valley 
contain thousands of vertical feet of sediments washed in over millions of years by runoff. The 
sediments are a randomly interfingered mixture of fine-grained material that can restrict movement of 
ground water and coarse-grained material that constitutes the aquifers within a zone of saturation. An 
aquifer is a geologic formation that stores, transmits, and yields significant quantities of water to wells 
and springs. Ground water also occurs in limited quantities in fractured hard rock and is an important 
source for domestic supplies in foothill and mountain communities. However, it is the ground water in 
the large basins that will be the focus of the following discussion. 

Ground water basins in California have been defined on the basis of geologic and hydrologic 
conditions in DWR Bulletin 118. In Bulletin 1 18-80, some basin boundaries were modified to reflect 
political or water district boundaries that constitute ground water management units. 



85 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

(iTound Water Development 

When Huropcans first arrived in California, essentially all of the ground water basins in the state were 
full of water. Marshes existed in many parts of California and numerous streams were supplied from 
overflowing ground water basins. As California settlers began to use water for crop irrigation and for 
industrial and domestic purposes, readily available and reliable ground water was used. 

As the amount of ground water extraction increased, many basins began to sustain significant drops 
in water levels as more of the aquifer in the basin was emptied each year. The empty portion of the 
aquifers provided available storage space for any water that was available for recharge. Some ground 
water recharge was provided by direct rainfall, but most natural recharge resulted from infiltration of 
surface water runoff directly into the sediments in the bottoms of stream channels, or by infiltration of a 
portion of the water applied to irrigate agricultural crops. 

The amount of water flowing in many streams gradually decreased as more water infiltrated into 
stream bottoms and recharged depleted aquifers. In many basins, the amount of ground water extracted 
greatly exceeded the amount of runoff available in the streambed to recharge the basins, resulting in no 
surface flows out of some basins. In other years when flood flows occurred, surface water would again 
flow down the river channels. This process continues today. 

Extensive ground water use during California's early development led to establishment of vigorous 
agricultural and urban economies. These sectors were later able to pay much of the costs of developing 
and importing surface water by building dams and conveyance systems to meet the growing demand for 
water; reduce ground water overdraft; and, in some instances, increase ground water storage. 

Statewide Ground Water Use 

In a year of average precipitation and runoff, an estimated 14 MAF of ground water is extracted and 
applied for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use. There is a significant amount of ground water 
recharge from surface water and ground water used to irrigate agricultural crops. Some of the irrigation 
water flowing in unlined ditches and some of the water that is applied to irrigate crops infiltrates into the 
soil, percolates through the root zone and recharges the ground water basins. The annual net use of 
ground water is ground water extraction minus deep percolated applied water. Average annual net ground 
water use amounts to about 8.5 MAF per year statewide. Table 4-1 shows net ground water use by 
hydrologic region. 

In an average year, the amount of deep percolation that recharges the aquifers is estimated to be 6.5 
MAF. In addition, around 6.5 MAF recharges naturally from rainfall and streambed seepage. Still more 
water is recharged deliberately through artificial means. Statewide, the average amount of ground water 
extracted exceeds the average recharge by about I MAF. This is a considerable reduction from former 
estimates of nearly 2 MAF and is largely the result of changes in water management. 



86 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



Estimating Perennial Yields of Ground Water Basins 

Perennial yield is determined by plotting the amount of ground water extracted in one year 
versus the average change in ground water level in the basin for that year. Data for at least 1 2 
years were plotted for each basin analyzed. A "best fit" curve was drawn and the intersection of 
the best fit curve with the line showing zero ground water level change indicated the current pe- 
rennial yield of ground water in that basin. The perennial yield is similar to long-term sustained 
yield, assuming there are no changes in hydrologic conditions or water management. The pro- 
cedure probably underestimates perennial yield, or may not work, in aquifers where extraction 
increases the ground water gradient and induces additional recharge. The perennial yield of 
these aquifers would increase as extraction increased so long as recharge was equal to, or 
greater than, the extraction. This procedure does not take into consideration either existing or 
potential problems with ground water quality. However, perennial yields must be adjusted to 
take into account water that is unusable because of poor quality. (Ground water quality in Chap- 
ter 5.) 



Table 4-1. Net Ground Water Use by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre -feet) 



Region 


1990 


2020 with Existing 
Facilities & Programs^ 


2020 with Additional 
Facilities & Programs^ 




Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


North Coast 


260 


280 


300 


320 


290 


310 


San Francisco Bay 


100 


130 


160 


170 


110 


140 


Central Coast 


940 


1,020 


1,000 


1,110 


910 


1,050 


South Coast 


1,110 


1,320 


1,610 


1,610 


1,540 


1,610 


Sacramento River 


2,510 


2,880 


2,530 


3,080 


2,510 


3,080 


San Joaquin 


1,280 


2,340 


1,070 


2,280 


1,050 


2,270 


Tulare Lake 


1,730 


4,550 


1,660 


4,410 


1,320 


4,230 


North Lahontan 


120 


150 


150 


170 


150 


170 


South Lahontan 


300 


330 


330 


340 


310 


340 


Colorado River 


160 


160 


150 


150 


100 


100 


Statewide 


8,510 


13,160 


8,960 


13,640 


8,290 


13,300 



^ Assumes SWRCB D-1485 operating criteria for surface water supplies from the Delta. Recent actions to protect aquatic 
species have made supplies from the Delta more uncertain; which will increase ground water overdraft in portions of the San 
Joaquin Valley. 

In wet years, when more surface water is available, less ground water is extracted, more recharge 
occurs, and ground water levels can recover. Conversely, in years of low runoff, such as the 1987-1992 
drought, much less surface water is available for recharge, and much more ground water is extracted. 
Ground water use also varies in different areas of the State; ground water may provide as little as 20 
percent or as much as 90 percent of the total applied water in an area during an average year. Table 4-2 
shows the 1990 level of development for ground water management by hydrologic region. The 
1990 level of development is a long-term average developed in accordance to the procedures for 
estimating perennial yields as stated in the above sidebar Such yields include the benefits of imported 
surface supplies that have occurred historically. In areas that rely on SWP or CVP imports from the 
Delta, future long-term perennial yields may be reduced as a result of the surface water import changes 
in hydrology. 



87 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



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95 



Draft of The California Water Plan I pdate Ground Water Supplies 

(il round Water Overdraft 

In areas where water demands exceed available surface water and sustainable ground water supplies, 
a portion of the difference between supply and demand is often made up by extracting ground water, 
thereby decreasmg the amount of ground water in storage in those basins. Where the ground water 
extraction is in excess of inflow to the ground water basin over a period of time, the difference provides 
an estimate of overdraft. Bulletm 1 1 8-80 defines "overdraft" as the condition of a ground water basin 
where the amount of water extracted exceeds the amount of ground water recharging the basin "over a 
period of time." It also defines "critical condition of overdraft" as water management practices that 
"would probably result in significant adverse overdraft-related environmental, social, or economic 
effects." Water quality degradation and land subsidence are given as examples of two such adverse 
effects. Table 4-3 shows 1980, 1990, and future ground water overdraft by hydrologic region. 

The overdraft amounts shown in Table 4-3 do not include an estimated 200,000 AF of overdraft 
resulting from possible degradation of ground water quality in the San Joaquin Valley ground water 
basins. There is a west-to-east water gradient in this valley from Merced County to Kern County. Poor 
quality ground water moves eastward along this gradient, displacing good quality ground water in the 
trough of the valley. The total dissolved solids in the west side of the valley generally ranges from 2,000 
to 7,000 milligrams per liter; the east side water from 300 to 700 milligrams per liter This displaced 
good quality water should be included in the overdraft estimates. However, the amount is difficult to 
ascertain and no water quality monitoring data are available to verify the estimates. 

In the short term, those areas of California that rely on the Delta exports for all or a portion of their 
supplies face great uncertainty in terms of water supply reliability due to the uncertain outcome of a 
number of actions undertaken to protect aquatic species in the Delta. For example, in 1993, an above 
normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited CVP deliveries to 50 percent of contracted supply 
for federal water .service contractors from Tracy to Kettleman City. Because ground water is used to 
replace much of the shortfall in surface water supplies, limitations on Delta exports will exacerbate 
ground water overdraft in the Central Coast, San Joaquin River, and Tulare Lake regions, and in other 
regions receiving a portion of their supplies from the Delta. 



9ft 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

Table 4-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



2020^ 



Region 



1980 


1990 


with Existing 
Facilities & 
Programs 


with Additional 
Facilities & 
Programs 


























230 


250 


250 


250 


110 


20 








120 


30 


30 


30 


420 


210 








990 


340 


280 


60 














100 


70 


70 


70 


60 


80 


70 


60 



North Coast 
San Francisco Bay 
Central Coast 
South Coast 
Sacramento River 
San Joaquin 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahontan 
South Lahontan 
Colorado River 



Statewide 2,030 1,000 700 470 

^ Assumes SWRCB D-1485 operating criteria for surface water supplies from the Delta. Recent actions to protect aquatic 
species have made supplies from the Delta more uncertain; which will increase ground water overdraft in portions of the San 
Joaquin Valley. 



Estimated overdraft amounts are based on "overdraft" being defined as the amount of ground water 
extracted for the 1990 level of development that is in excess of the current perennial yield. "Current 
perennial yield" is the amount of ground water that can be extracted without lowering ground water 
levels over the long-term. Perennial yield in basins where there is hydraulic continuity between surface 
and ground water depends in part on the amount of extraction that occurs. Perennial yield can increase as 
extraction increases, as long as the annual amount of recharge is equal to, or greater than, the amount of 
extraction. Extraction at a level that exceeds the perennial yield for a short period does not result in an 
overdraft condition. In basins with an adequate ground water supply, increased extraction may establish 
a new hydrologic equilibrium with a new perennial yield. The establishment of new and higher perennial 
yield requires that adequate recharge be induced. The methods used to estimate perennial yield and 
ground water overdraft assume that the amount of ground water extracted for the 1 990 level of 
development is the amount of extraction that has taken place or could take place without lowering ground 
water levels over a long period of time and must include evaluation of the existing water management 
program in the basin. 

Changes in surface water deliveries will undoubtedly change the perennial yield and overdraft 
conditions in the future. For example, delivery of surplus surface water supplies from the SWP and CVP 
will probably occur much less frequently in the future. Such decreases in delivery of surface water will 
probably decrease perennial yields in basins that receive SWP and CVP water. Estimated 1 990 and 
future ground water overdraft figures shown in Table 4-3 are based on Decision 1485 criteria for Delta 
supplies. 



97 



Draft of The California Water Plan I'pdate Ground Water Supplies 

Sea Water Intrusion 

Along the coast, declining ground water levels cause sea water to intrude into fresh water aquifers. 
Los Angeles County operates sea water intrusion barrier projects in West Basin and Dominguez Gap. 
Los Angeles and Orange counties jointly operate a sea water intrusion barrier in Los Alamitos Gap, 
which straddles the border between the two counties. In most of these barriers, water from waste water 
recycling facilities or from MWDSC import deliveries is injected and flows down gradient in both 
directions — toward the (Kean as well as inland where it mixes with ground water in the aquifer and can 
be extracted by irrigation and municipal wells. In some basins, a sea water intrusion barrier may be a 
cost-effective management tool that would allow greater use of the basin's ground water storage capacity. 

In the Salinas Valley, sea water intrusion was occurring before the drought began. During the 
drought, the rate of intrusion accelerated because of increased ground water extraction. Monterey County 
Water Resources Agency has formulated long-term plans to construct and operate facilities to substitute 
surface water for ground water to alleviate the sea water intrusion problem. The SWRCB is putting 
pres.sure on the Agency to start action immediately to .stop the intrusion, which is now almost 5 miles 
inland and threatens to contaminate municipal wells in Salinas. Sea water intrusion is also occurring in 
the area of Pajero river, and in the past has occurred in the Oxnard Plain. Local agencies are formulating 
programs to address those problems. 

Subsidence 

In some parts of California, ground water extraction has caused subsidence of the land surface. 
Accurate prediction of subsidence is generally not possible with our present level of knowledge or current 
data about the extent and properties of aquifer sediments in subsidence areas. In some areas subsidence 
occurs when ground water levels decline below a certain level. Data collected from six extensometers in 
Westlands Water District indicate that subsidence occurred in 1990, 1991, and 1992, with the highest 
amount of .subsidence occurring in 1991 . Land subsidence can change canal gradients, damage 
buildings, and require repair of other structures. In some instances, local water management agencies 
may determine that a certain amount of land subsidence is allowable as a part of their ground water 
management program. 

In areas where ground water extraction is proceeding or where such programs are planned, the 
potential for subsidence should be evaluated, and the evaluation should include exten.someter and land 
surface surveying if subsidence is a real potential. 

Ground Water Quality 

A change in ground water gradient may accelerate movement of point- or nonpoint-source 
contaminants toward water-producing wells. (See Chapter 5 for an explanation of contaminant 
movement and levels.) This accelerated movement of contaminants may be particularly true where 
ground water levels have been lowered significantly because of increased extraction during droughts. 

Management ofCiround Water Resources 

Ground water basin manageinent is defmed as: protection of natural recharge and use of mtentional 
recharge; planned variation in amount and hxalion of extraction over time; use of ground water storage 
conjunctively with surface water from IcKal and imported .sources; and. protection and planned 



9H 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

maintenance of ground water quality. Those ground water management actions reduce overdraft and 
provide sustainable water supplies. 

Initial use of ground water in California considered only one aspect — building a well and extracting 
ground water. It was only when ground water levels began to decline, or landowners could not extract 
enough water from their wells, that consideration was given to the second aspect of ground water use — 
recharge. In contrast, no one would think of building a dam for water supply purposes before first 
identifying and quantifying a source of water to fill the reservoir behind the dam. Water managers in 
many areas where ground water was depleted realized that action was required and requested legislation 
to provide authority to manage the ground water basins. 

The type of management structure and the extent of management of ground water basins in California 
varies considerably. In part, this variety arose because ground water was treated as a property right while 
surface water was treated under a complex system of riparian and appropriative rights. The result is that 
ground water is regulated both by statute and by case law from court decisions. 

Management of ground water in California has generally been considered a local responsibility. This 
view is strongly held by landowners and has been upheld by the Legislature enacting a number of statutes 
that have established local ground water agencies and by the courts in their decisions. State agencies 
have encouraged local agencies to develop effective ground water management programs to maximize 
their overall water supply and to avoid lengthy and expensive lawsuits resulting in adjudicated basins, 
even though the result in either case may be similar. However, effective management can be achieved 
through either method. 

The Water Code provides for management and distribution of surface water and in many instances 
some limited authority to deal with ground water through a number of types of local water agencies and 
districts, formed either by general or special legislation. Thirteen ground water basins have been 
adjudicated and are operated in accordance with court settlements, eight ground water management 
agencies have been authorized by the State Legislature, and three water districts have special authority 
from the Legislature to levy a pump tax. A fourteenth watershed has been adjudicated in federal court, 
but water users are not limited in their ground water extraction. 

In 1992, the Water Code was amended (Water Code Section 10750, et seq.) to provide authority and 
define procedures to allow certain local agencies to produce and implement a ground water management 
plan. To date, more than 30 local agencies have expressed interest in using that section of the Water 
Code provision to adopt a ground water management program. A number of those agencies have adopted 
resolutions of intent in accordance with Water Code Section 19750 to adopt a ground water management 
plan. Adoption of such a resolution allows the agency two years to adopt a plan. If no plan is adopted in 
that time frame, the agency must start the process over again. The Water Code encourages coordination 
between agencies in the same basin. Early indications are that some agencies that share a basin are 
interested in formulating their own plans, while some other agencies that share a basin intend to develop 
one coordinated cooperative plan for the entire basin. In addition, several mutual water companies have 
expressed interest in developing ground water management plans. However, such local entities are not 



99 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

included in the legal definition ot ■'local agency" and are. therefore, not granted the authority to develop a 
ground water inanagemeni plan under Section 10750. 



Procedure for Adopting a Ground Water Management Plan 
in accordance with Water Code Section 10750 

□ Hold noticed public hearing on Resolution of Intention to Draft a Ground Water 
Management Plan. 

a Write and publish a Resolution of Intention to Adopt a Ground Water Management 

Plan. 
Q Prepare a draft ground water management plan within two years or restart the 

process. 

Q After the draft plan is completed, hold a second noticed hearing. 

Q Landowners affected by the plan may file protests. 

Q If a majority protest occurs (representing more than 50 percent of the assessed 
valuation of the land), the ground water management plan shall not be adopted. 

G If a majority protest does not occur, the plan may be adopted. 

□ A local agency may fix and collect fees and assessments for ground water msin- 
agement costs associated with the implementation of the ground water manage- 
ment plan, if such authority is approved by a majority of votes cast in a popular 
election. 



Adjudicated Ba.sin.s 

In twelve adjudicated ground water basins, ground water extraction is regulated by a watermaster that 
has been appointed by the court. Eleven of these adjudicated basins are in Southern California and one is 
in Northem California. (See Figure 4-1 .) Ground water extraction in each of these basins was 
adjudicated with concern only for ground water quantity . Ground water quality was not a part of the 
original court decisions. The watermaster for Main San Gabriel Basin in Southern California has since 
returned to the court and obtained approval of regulations to control extraction for the purpose of 
protecting ground water quality. In the thirteenth adjudicated basin, in which ground water extraction is 
limited, the court has issued an interim decree appointing Mqjave Water Agency the watermaster for their 
portion of thai ground water basin. 

The amount of ground water that each well owner can extract is determined by the court decision and 
is based on the amount of ground water that is available each year, as determined by the watermaster. 
Adjudication of these ground water basins has often resulted in a reduction of the amount of ground 
water that is extracted or additional imports of surface water .supplies. 



I(X) 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



FIGURE 4-1. LOCATIONS OF ADJUDICATED GROUND WATER BASINS 



OREGON 




M ^ 






101 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

The thirteen adjudicated groutid water basins and watermasters in California are: 

Los Angeles County 

O Central Basin: DWR 

O West Coast Basin: DWR 

O Upper Los Angeles River Area: an individual specified in the court decision 

O Raymond Basin: Management Board appointed by the court, DWR 

O Main San Gabriel Basin: 9 Director Board, DWR 

Kern County 

O Cummings Basin: Tehachapi-Cummings Water District 

O Tehachapi Basin: Tehachapi-Cummings Water District 

San Bernardino County 

O Warren Valley: Hi-Desert County Water District 

O San Bernardino Basin Area: One representative each from Western Municipal 
Water District of Riverside County and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water 
District 

O Cucamonga Basin: Not yet appointed 

O Mojave River Basin: Mojave Water Agency 

Riverside and San Bernardino Counties 

O Chino Basin: Chino Basin Municipal Water District 

Siskiyou County 

O Scott River Stream System: 2 local irrigation districts 

Ground water and surface water in a 14th basin, Santa Margarita River Watershed in Riverside and 
San Diego Counties, has also been adjudicated by the federal court. Water users are required by the court 
decision to report the amount of surface water they pump from the river, canals, or ditches, and the 
amount of ground water they extract from the aquifer. However, the amount of water they are entitled to 
is not limited by the decision. 

Ground water underflow from Puente Basin, a part of Main San Gabriel Basin, was addressed in a 
court decision separate from the Main San Gabriel adjudication. The court named two individuals to act 
in the capacity of watermaster. 

(iround Water Management Agencies 

The Legislature has enacted several specific statutes establishing ground water management agencies 
that can enact ordinances to regulate the amount of ground water that is extracted and limit its place of 
use within the district's boundaries. Light ground water management agencies have been formed by such 
special legislation. (See Figure 4 2 for their locations.) 



102 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

While these agencies have the authority to pass ordinances, such ordinances limiting extraction are 
not popular with landowners within the agency's boundaries. In addition, the funding required to pay for 
the studies that are required to establish zones of benefit to ensure equitable assessments has not been 
readily available. Therefore, it is not yet clear whether these agencies will become viable and effective at 
managing ground water in a manner that conserves quantity and preserves good quality. 

[See next page.] 



103 



Draft of The California Water Plan Ipdate 



Ground Water Supplies 



FIGURE 4-2. LOCATIONS OF GROUND WATER MANAGEMENT 
DISTRICTS OR AGENCIES 



. i2._'I_i:_i_P__N 



•AN ritANoiaco 




KM 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

The eight ground water management agencies are: 

Lassen County 

O Honey Lake Valley Ground Water Management District: Board of Directors not 

yet appointed. 

Lassen and Sierra Counties 

O Long Valley Ground Water Management District: has adopted an ordinance that 
requires a permit to export ground water outside the basin. 

Sierra County 

O Sierra Valley Ground Water Management District: has called for voluntary 
landowner cooperation to reduce extraction and submit records on extraction. 

Mono County 

O Mono County Ground Water Management District: is establishing a network of 

monitoring wells. 

Mendocino County 

O Mendocino City Community Services District: requires well owners to record 
their extraction. 

Santa Cruz County 

O Pdjaro Valley Water Management Agency: is dealing with sea water intrusion 
and high nitrates in ground water; is in the process of adopting a basin 
management plan that will address ground water extraction and surface water 
imports. 

Ventura County 

O Fox Canyon Ground Water Management Agency: has adopted an ordinance 
prohibiting export of ground water outside the lateral boundaries of the aquifer. 

O Ojai Ground Water Management Agency: Board of Directors recently appointed. 
Unlike the other agencies, this agency was formed in an area with no specific 
ground water quantity or quality problems or threats of export or shortage. 

Water Districts with a Pump Tax 

Three water districts have obtained Legislative authority to levy a pump tax on wells that extract a 
certain amount of ground water. Two of these districts manage their surface water and ground water in a 
conjunctive operation. The third is moving in the same direction. These water districts are: 

Orange County 

O Orange County Water District 



105 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

Santa Clara County 

O Santa Clara Valley Water District 

Monterey County 

Q Monterey Peninsula Water Management District 

Other Districts 

Many other flood control and water conservation districts, water storage districts, water 
replenishment districts, irrigation districts, community services districts, water agencies, and others either 
manage surface water only or may be involved in some minor ground water management. Management 
of surface water can affect the timing and location of ground water extraction, use, and recharge. 

Effect of the Drought on Ground Water 

The large amount of ground water available in California's ground water basins provided a reliable 
source of water during the 1987-92 drought. During previous droughts ground water extraction has 
provided as much as 60 percent of urban and agricultural applied water. The following sections describe 
the effects of drought on ground water levels and storage and potential impacts from overdrafting basins. 

Ground Water Levels and Storage 

The depth of water in wells in California's ground water basins differs considerably among basins 
and even in different parts of the same basin. The water levels are affected by many factors, including 
the amount of recharge that has occurred in previous years, the ratio of surface water to ground water 
used, the total number and location of wells extracting ground water from the basin, the amount of 
ground water that flows out of the basin, and the total amount of ground water extracted from the basin. 

While smaller surface water reservoirs can refill in a single year if the precipitation and runoff are 
above normal, it can take several years of above normal precipitation before ground water levels in a 
basin recover to pre -drought levels. The increa.se in ground water .storage is a function of the amounts of 
pumping and natural recharge, as well as the contribution to recharge from applied irrigation water or 
direct recharge operations. 

The amount of ground water currently in storage in the San Joaquin Valley has decreased 
considerably since 1987 becau.se of the low amount of recharge from spring 1987 through spring 1992. 
combined with the large amount of ground water that was extracted during that time. 



KKi 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



As a result of the drought, it was expected that the extraction of ground water through spring 1992 
would be much higher than normal. In Kern County, more ground water was extracted between spring 
1991 and spring 1992 than during the previous four years. However, the amount of ground water 
extracted between spring 1991 and spring 1992 in Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings 
Counties was significantly less than the amount of ground water extracted during the previous few years. 
The reasons for the unexpected decreases in ground water extractions are still being investigated. 
Possible factors include rainfall variations, induced recharge, fallowed land, changes in crops, a high 
intensity-long duration rainfall in some parts of California in March 1991, and somewhat better runoff 
amounts in 1991 than in 1990 for the southern Sierra Nevada. The change in ground water in storage in 
the Tulare Lake and San Joaquin River regions is shown in Figures 4-3 and 4^. 



FIGURE 4-3. TULARE LAKE REGION 
CUMULATIVE CHANGE IN GROUND WATER STORAGE 



Million acre feet 



Unconfined aquifer 




1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 

YEAR 



107 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



FIGURE 4-4. SAN JOAQUIN RIVER REGION 
CUMULATIVE CHANGE IN GROUND WATER STORAGE 



4 


Million acre feet 


Unconfined aquifer 






2 



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— ^ — \ — ' — \ — ^ — 1 — ^ — 1 — ^ — h- 


.J — 1 — ^ — ^ — ^ — ^ — ^ — ^ — i — \ — ^ — 



1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 

YEAR 



Ground water levels in most basins will rise as a result of ground water recharge from the storms 
that passed over California in December 1992 and January through March 1993 which provided large 
amounts of precipitation and runoff. Additional ground water will be recharged during the spring 
snowmelt runoff. 

Recovery of ground water levels in many basins cKcurs during wet years, primarily as a result of two 
factors: 

O Surface water is available and is the primary source of irrigation water, thus 
reducing extraction of ground water. 

O About 20 percent of the water applied for irrigation moves past the root /one and 
results in recharge of the ground water basin. The amount of such deep 
percolation varies m different areas. 

The net amount of ground water removed from storage during summer 1992 will not be known until 
spring 199.3 water level measurements are evaluated. The spring measurements of any year reflect events 
that (Kcurred durmg the previous I 2 months, including the ground water extracted and recharged the 
previous spring and summer, and the ground water that was recharged prior to the spring measurement 



lOK 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



Thus, spring 1992 water level measurements reflected the recharge that occurred in winter 1991 and the 
extraction that took place in summer 1991 . 

In the Sacramento Valley, ground water levels and storage have not declined significantly in Glenn 
and Colusa Counties. In Butte and Tehama Counties, ground water levels have declined but some are 
still higher than they were after the 1976-1977 drought. The change in ground water storage in the 
Sacramento River Region is shown in Figure 4-5. 



FIGURE 4-5. SACRAMENTO RIVER REGION 
CUMULATIVE CHANGE IN GROUND WATER STORAGE 



Million acre feet 



Unconfined aquifer 




J — I — ^ — i — \ — i — ^ — i — I — \ — ^ — \ — ^ — \ — ^ — \ — ^ — I — ^ — I — L 



-8 
1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 

YEAR 



In coastal areas, where the total storage capacity of the ground water basins is small and basin 
supplies were seriously depleted, ground water levels rose rapidly as a result of the high rainfall in March 
1991 and the high rainfall in December 1992 and January through March 1993. 

Ground water levels in the adjudicated basins and managed basins in southern California vary. In the 
Main San Gabriel Basin and the coastal plain of Orange County, water levels are about at the middle of 
their court-approved operating range. Ground water levels in the San Fernando Valley range from high 
to low, depending on location. Levels in the Central and West Coast Basins are fairly high. 

Wells and Ground Water Use 

Reduction of surface supplies during drought increases ground water extraction while recharge 
remains significantly below normal. As ground water levels and storage generally decline, water levels 



109 



Draft or The California Water Flan Update 



Ground Water Supplies 



decline, and more energy is required to lift the water to the surface, adding to the cost of water for urban 
and agricultural use. Furthermore, existing wells often become unusable, requiring deepening or, in some 
cases, replacement of wells. (Figure 4-6 shows the number of well completion reports filed, by year, 
from 1974 through 1992.) Upon the return of normal or above normal precipitation, such as that 
occurring in late 1992 and 1993, ground water extraction decreases markedly as surface water becomes 
more available. The shift from using ground water to using surface water results in significant ground 
water recharge. 



30 



FIGURE 4-6. ANNUAL WELL COMPLETION REPORTS 
(thousands) 



Number of reports (thousands) 




74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 



The number of new wells reported as drilled during the 1987-92 drought peaked in 1990 after 
increasing during the earlier years of the drought. Slightly over one-third of the wells reported in 1990 
were monitoring wells and many others were either replacement or deepening of existing wells. 



no 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

Conjunctive Use 

Conjunctive use is the operation of a ground water basin in coordination with a surface water system 
to increase total supply availability, thus improving the overall reliability of supplies. The basin is 
recharged, both directly and indirectly, in years of above average precipitation so that ground water can 
be extracted in years of below average precipitation when surface water supplies are below normal. 
However, there are some instances where conjunctive use is employed for annual regulation of supplies. 
These programs involve recharge with surface water or reclaimed water supplies and same-year 
extraction for use. Following is a discussion of effective conjunctive use programs and the types of 
various programs in-place today. 

Conjunctive use programs are designed to increase the total useable water supply by jointly 
managing surface and ground water supplies as a single source. Such management can vary from 
recharging a limited amount of sporadically available surface water to a comprehensive management 
program that coordinates surface water use, delivery, recharge, and ground water extraction and use. All 
of this must be accomplished within the framework of existing water rights and requires extensive 
monitoring and careful operational control. 

In the future, conjunctive use will increase and become more comprehensive because of the need for 
more water and the generally higher cost of new surface water facilities. Conjunctive use programs 
generally promise to be less costly than new traditional surface water projects because they increase the 
efficiency of water supply systems and cause fewer negative environmental impacts than new surface 
water reservoirs. 

Various local agencies have implemented programs and coordinated with other agencies to recharge 
surface water, when it is available, so that ground water will be stored in the aquifer until it is needed. 
These agencies have effectively secured or implemented the following components of a conjunctive use 
program: 

O a source of surface water 

O identified usable storage capacity in the aquifer 

O identified possible re-regulation of surface water reservoirs 

O recharge facilities 

O extraction facilities 

O distribution facilities for surface water and ground water 

O monitoring wells for quantity and quality 

O a means of financing and sharing the costs among the beneficiaries 

Conjunctive use programs must also consider several potential undesirable results, including loss of 
native vegetation and wetland habitat, impacts on fish and wildlife, adverse effects on third parties, land 
subsidence, and degradation of water quality in the aquifer. Loss of native vegetation may occur when 
ground water levels are lowered and less water is available in root zones. Lowered ground water levels 



111 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

can also affect wetlands. Potential adverse effects on third parties include lowering of ground water 
levels below the bottom of wells, or raising ground water levels so that local flooding occurs. 
Subsidence caused by extraction of ground water can damage canals, wells, buildings, tanks, bridges, and 
other surface structures that could require costly repair. Ground water quality can be degraded if ground 
water gradients induce movement of lower quality water into the aquifer. 

Interest in conjunctive use as a means of augmenting supplies that may then be exported to areas 
outside the basin has led to questions about the feasibility and legal complexity of water transfers 
involving ground water. Both the State Water Code and the recently passed Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act of 1992 specify that any water transfers under their respective jurisdictions cause "no 
significant long-term adverse impact on ground water conditions in the transferor's service area." The 
CVPIA requirement will affect water districts that receive water from the CVP and seek to transfer either 
surface or ground water. 

Conjunctive Use Programs 

A broad range of conjunctive use activities have been undertaken in California, although many of 
them probably were not thought of as conjunctive use when developed. The range of conjunctive use 
activities in California are illustrated by the following examples of programs in place today. 

Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District : This district operates Clear Lake and 
Indian Valley reservoirs to provide a surface water supply for irrigated agriculture. The district does not 
have the capability of extracting ground water, but local farmers maintain the capability to largely offset 
dry year surface water shortages by pumping additional ground water. The district has undertaken a 
program to artificially recharge ground water in its service area. 

Westlands Water District : The early development of irrigated agriculture in Westlands was based on 
extraction of ground water from a deep, confined aquifer system. This development resulted in extensive 
land subsidence. To alleviate this problem, Westlands obtained an imported surface water supply from 
the CVP that allowed it to largely eliminate ground water pumping in most years. In years with deficient 
surface water supplies, water users revert to ground water pumping. 

South Sutter Water District : Irrigated agriculture in this area has relied on ground water for many 
years. As a result, a regional ground water depression developed as local pumping exceeded recharge. In 
response to the declining ground water levels, the district constructed Camp Far West reservoir on the 
Bear River to develop a partial surface water supply for the district. This has been successful in reducing 
demand on the ground water basin, which has since recovered. During extended dry periods, increased 
ground water use causes ground water levels to fall. The district is investigating ways to further develop 
the conjunctive use potential of the basin. 

Alameda County Water District : The district is located near the mouth of the Nilcs Cone area of 
Alameda County, adjacent to San Francisco Bay. Historically, extraction of ground water from the basin 
lowered ground water levels and allowed sea water from the Bay to intrude. In response, the district has 
developed an extensive program to recharge local supplies from Alameda Creek and imported supplies 
from other surface sources. 



112 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

United Water Conservation District : The district captures winter runoff in Lake Piru and releases the 
water each fall down the Santa Clara River to replenish the ground water basins along the river. These 
basins have limited storage capacity and are generally operated on an annual cycle that largely uses the 
entire capacity. United also operates two spreading areas to recharge the Oxnard Plain ground water 
basin in coastal Ventura County. 

Kern County : In Kern County, a mix of local, regional, and State conjunctive use projects are 
operating or are under development. The Kern County Ground Water Basin is in overdraft although 
changes in storage vary considerably depending on the surface water availability to local agencies. 
Several districts have responded by building and operating recharge projects that take advantage of 
imported and/or local surface when available. For example, the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage 
District purchases surface water from three sources and recharges ground water via Goose Lake Slough. 
Essentially all water use within the district is supplied by ground water. 

On an inter-regional scale, the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and the Metropolitan Water 
District of Southern California are developing a cooperative water baning project. In this complex 
program, Arvin-Edison will provide MWDSC water, which Arvin-Edison is entitled to, from the CVP in 
dry years and will replace this water by pumping previously recharged ground water made available by 
MWD from its SWP supply. (See Chapter 12 for more details.) 

The Department of Water Resources, in cooperation with local agencies in Kern County, is 
developing the Kern Water Bank project to augment the supplies available to SWP contractors in drought 
years. (See Chapter 12 for more details.) 

Santa Clara Valley Water District : The district provides and operates treatment and distribution 
facilities for surface water imported from the SWP and the CVP and recharge sites for local surface and 
imported water supplies. The basin is managed to keep land subsidence to a minimum and to provide 
carryover ground water storage as a buffer against interruptions of surface water supplies. 

Orange County Water District : This district has one of the most elaborate conjunctive use programs. 
It purchases imported surface water from MWDSC for ground water recharge, manages runoff and 
reclaimed water in the Santa Ana River, manages extraction from the basin, operates a sea water intrusion 
barrier, is contemplating additional barriers to allow use of even more ground water storage capacity, is 
improving ground water quality in areas where it has been degraded, and recharges a large quantity of 
recycled waste water. 

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California : In 1989, MWDSC implemented a seasonal 
ground water storage program utilizing both direct and in lieu recharge and storage in local ground water 
basins to increase emergency supply and provide carryover storage for droughts. 

Prospects for the Future 

In the future, conjunctive us is expected to, and indeed must, increase and become more 
comprehensive if California's water needs are to be met in a cost effective and efficient manner while 
resolving conflicts with other resources. Conjunctive use programs generally promise to be less costly 
than new traditional surface water projects as they increase the efficiency of existing systems and are 
expected to cause fewer negative environmental impacts. 



113 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Ground Water Supplies 

Recommendations 

The State should encourage efforts to develop ground water management programs at the local and 
regional levels. The programs should be focused on solutions to clearly identify problems, such as 
overdraft, so as to optimize the use of surface and ground water resources. 

Local agencies should adopt programs for ground water management with the following goals: 

a. Identify and protect major natural recharge areas. Develop managed 
recharge programs where feasible. 

b. Optimize use of ground water storage conjunctively with surface water from 
local, including recycled water and imported sources. 

c. Monitor ground water quality and make public information available on 
areas where constituents exceed allowable limits and on trends in the 
chemical contents of ground water. 

d. Develop ground water basin management plans that not only manage supply, 
but also address overdraft, increasing salinity, chemical contamination, and 
subsidence. 



114 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



5 WATER QUALITY 




Safe, clean ilrinkin^ waier for t<Hlu\ and tomorrow. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



5 WATER QUALITY 

Water has numerous uses, for which each has certain quality requirements that vary widely. The 
quality needed to wash cars, for example, is lower than that required to irrigate orchards or make 
computer chips. In some cases, different water uses have conflicting quality requirements; water 
temperature ideal for crop irrigation may be unsuitable for fish spawning, for instance. 

Quality considerations have a direct bearing on the quantity of water available for use. Water quality 
parameters, such as temperature, turbidity, oxygen, mineral, dissolved metal, and nutrient content, all 
affect the usability of water and, therefore, affect the total available quantity for specific uses. Although 
California has access to a virtually unlimited supply of ocean water, it is too salty for most uses without 
costly treatment. Water management must consider quality to determine the overall availability of water 
supplies in California. The pressures of a steadily growing population, additional requirements for water 
to meet environmental needs, and potentially more frequent water shortages pose serious water 
management and risk management problems for California. 

This chapter describes factors affecting water quality as they relate to California water management 
issues as well as the regulatory mechanisms designed to correct and prevent water quality problems 
affecting California's water supply and beneficial uses. Because the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 
its tributaries, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, are key to California's water supply picture, water 
quality issues affecting these water bodies are also discussed. The Colorado River and California's 
ground water supplies are of great importance too and are also discussed. 

California's burgeoning population and limited water supplies require maximum water use efficiency. 
Waste water recycling and reuse are important means of stretching our water supplies. Quality 
considerations pertaining to recycling and reuse are discussed. Finally, there is a presentation on the cost 
of poor water quality, where the importance of water quality is most obvious. 

Overview of Water Quality in California 

When water falls as snow or rain, it contains very low concentrations of inorganic minerals and 
organic compounds, a result of the natural purification processes of evaporation and precipitation. Once 
on the ground, much of the water evaporates or is used by vegetation, some percolates into the ground, 
and much of the remainder flows toward the Pacific Ocean. On its way, it is subject to many influences. 

Mineralization and Eutrophication 

As water passes over and through soils, it picks up soluble minerals (salts) present in the soils 
because of natural processes, such as geologic weathering. As the water passes through a watershed and 
is used for various purposes, concentrations of dissolved minerals and salts in the water increase, a 
process called mineralization. As Sierra Nevada streams flow into the valleys, they typically pick up 20 
to 50 milligrams per liter (parts per million) of dissolved minerals, which is equivalent to about 50 to 140 
pounds of salts per acre-foot. (An acre-foot of water with total dissolved solids of 736 mg/L contains 
one ton of salt, which is typical of Colorado River water.) 

115 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



The increased concentration of minerals also results from municipal water uses. Water passing 
through a typical municipal water supply system, including waste water treatment before discharge, 
typically increases in salt load by about 150 to 200 milligrams per liter. Industrial usage usually 
contributes to mineralization, which can be less than or far greater than that resulting from municipal use, 
depending on the industry. 

In California, a major source of mineralization is sea water intrusion into the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta, the export location for much of California's water .supply. Sea water intrusion in the Delta 
elevates the salinity (particularly the ions of concern, sodium, chloride and bromide) of fresh water, 
worsening the quality of Delta water. For example, during the period 1986 to 1992, the average 
concentration of dissolved solids (salt) in the lower Sacramento River was 108 mg/L (parts per million). 
In the lower San Joaquin River, the average was 519 mg/L, and at H.O. Banks Pumping Plant, the 
southern Delta export location of the State Water Project, the average was 310 mg/L. 

The San Joaquin River contributes about 16 percent, on average, of the fre.sh water inflow to the 
Delta, and the Sacramento River contributes about 80 percent. On average. Delta influences are 
responsible for elevating the salt concentration at Banks Pumping Plant about 150 mg/L above the salt 
concentrations present in the fresh water inflows to the Delta. Considerable improvement in mineral 
quality could, therefore, be achieved if the influence of the Delta (sea water intrusion, island drainage, 
municipal waste water) could be eliminated. 

The bromides contributed by sea water intrusion are of particular concern because they contribute to 
formation of harmful disinfection byproducts during drinking water treatment processes. Control of 
upstream flow by reservoirs greatly enhances the capability to repel sea water from the Delta. Without 
these facilities, the entire Delta would frequently contain salty water from San Francisco Bay and the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Eutrophication results from addition of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and many necessary 
micronutrients) to surface waters. In the presence of sunlight, algae and other microscopic organisms are 
able to use the available nutrients to increase their populations. 

Slightly or moderately eutrophic water, such as the water in Delta channels, can be healthful and 
support a complex web of plant and animal life. However, water containing large populations of 
microorganisms is undesirable for drinking water and other needs. Some types of microorganisms can 
produce compounds that, while not directly injurious to human health, may cause the water to smell and 
taste bad and can be costly and extremely difHcult to remove. 

Toxic Pollutants 

Elements such as nickel, silver, chromium, lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and 
selenium can be toxic or carcinogenic at certain concentrations. Many of these are present in California's 
water due to runoff from abandoned mining operations, such as the Iron Mountain Mine on the Spring 
Creek tributary of the upper Sacramento River. A large percentage of the heavy metals toxic to aquatic 
life in the Sacramento River is thought to be from abandoned mines in the upper watershed. 

116 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 

Pathogens 

Many people think water from the mountains is pure and preferable for drinking. They are often 
unaware that even in pristine waters, there may be disease-causing organisms. Protozoans are 
microscopic organisms; some types of protozoans live in the bodies of warm-blooded animals and can 
cause disease in humans who drink water shared with these animals. Giardia lamblia is common in 
mountain dwelling mammals. Giardiasis is a disease in humans which comes from this organism. 
Cryptosporidium is another pathogenic organism found in drinking water supplies as a result of 
contamination by mammals. 

In April 1993, between 200,000 to 400,000 persons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin became ill of 
cryptosporidiosis, the disease resulting from presence of Cryptosporidium in their water supply. This 
outbreak presents a striking example of the importance of maintaining the quality of source waters. Even 
well-operated water treatment facilities can be overwhelmed when the quality of the source water is 
erratic. 

Federal and State Surface Water Treatment Rules, effective in June 1993, require that all surface 
waters supplied for drinking receive filtration, high level disinfection, or both, to inactivate or remove 
viruses and protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. However, not all disease-causing 
viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts are destroyed in conventional drinking water treatment processes, 
and these may grow after discharge to waterways. Some urban water agencies routinely find Giardia and 
other protozoan cysts in water used to wash their treatment plant filters, even after rigorous disinfection 
that kills all other microorganisms. The cost of constructing new filtration facilities to meet the new 
regulation can be quite high. San Francisco, for example, has not previously filtered its water supplies, 
but may have to as a result of this regulation. 

Disinfection Byproducts 

In its journey to the sea, water dissolves organic compounds present in the soil as a result of plant 
decay. This organic material includes humic and fulvic acids, and other organic compounds. High levels 
of these compounds can be present in drainage from wooded or heavily vegetated areas and from soils 
high in organic content, such as the peat soils which are present in parts of the Delta and other places in 
California. 

Disinfectant chemicals are applied to drinking water to kill pathogenic organisms. Chemicals such as 
chlorine, which are capable of efficiently killing such organisms, are highly reactive and can cause 
unwanted chemical reactions to occur. Trihalomethanes are a class of synthetic organic chemicals 
produced in drinking water when chlorine, used as a disinfectant, comes into contact with naturally 
occurring organic material dissolved in the water. Where present, bromide (salt found in sea water) 
enters the reaction to produce bromine-containing trihalomethane compounds. 

Trihalomethanes are suspected of causing cancer in humans. Maximum Contaminant Levels of 
trihalomethanes in drinking water have been established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
and California Department of Health Services, in accordance with the federal and State Safe Drinking 
Water laws. The current MCL for THMs in drinking water is 0.10 mg/L. The regulations establishing the 

117 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



MCLs are being reviewed, and the stricter standard of 0.08 mg/L is expected to be promulgated. 
Revisions to the federal regulations are to be proposed in December 1993. 

There are less notorious disinfection byproducts, also produced in drinking water, that may cause 
adverse health effects. The U.S. EPA and the World Health Organization have identified disinfection 
byproducts of potentially more serious human health concern than trihalomethanes. One of these is 
bromate, formed during ozone disinfection of waters containing bromide. Drinking water regulations for 
disinfection byproducts such as bromate are expected to be included in the December 1993 proposed 
regulations. 

Ozone is a powerful oxidant widely used for drinking water disinfection. Its advantages are that it is 
a very strong oxidizer that efficiently kills pathogens, destroys tastes and odors, and minimizes 
production of trihalomethanes and unwanted byproducts. The problem of bromide in Delta 
water has serious implications for California and is discussed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delia 
Water Quality section of this chapter 

Agricultural Pollutants 

Agricultural pollutants are generally of the nonpoint variety, meaning their sources are usually 
diffuse, and are not readily subject to control. Agricultural drainage may contain chemical residues, toxic 
elements, salts, nutrients, and elevated concentrations of chemicals which produce disinfection 
byproducts in drinking water. In addition, protozoan cysts from dairies and ranches can enter waterways 
through agricultural drainage systems. Sediments resulting from land tillage can pollute waterways, 
obstructing water flow and affecting the survival and reproduction of fish and other aquatic organisms. 
(For a discussion of a specific agricultural drainage problem, see the section titled San Joaquin Valley 
Drainage Program in Chapter 2.) 

Urban Pollutants 

In urban areas, water quality is influenced by nonpoint sources of pollution such as recreational 
activities, drainage from industrial sites, runoff from streets and highways, discharges from other land 
surfaces, and aerial deposition. In California, storm water runoff, a major source of nonpoint pollution, is 
regulated by SWRCB on behalf of the U.S. EPA. (See Chapter 2, Water Quality Protection, for more 
information.) 

Industrial production and municipal activities produce a number of substances that end up in 
municipal and industrial waste water discharges (point sources of pollution). In California, discharge of 
untreated .sewage into the environment is not permitted. The National Pollution Discharge Elimination 
System regulates "point" discharges of waste water into the nation's waterways. Under this system, 
California treats waste water to render it free of certain disease-carrying organisms and reduce its 
environmental impact. 

Most of the industries in California discharge to a publicly-owned waste water treatment plant and 
only indirectly to the environment. These industries are required to provide pre-lreatmcnt of their 
industrial waste prior to its discharge to the municipal waste water treatment plant. Like municipal 

118 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



discharges, industrial discharges are subject to regulation through the NPDES. Industries discharging 
directly into the environment are required to have an NPDES permit. 

Waste water treatment facilities operated under the NPDES have, in general, been successful in 
maintaining the quality of California's water bodies; however, the discharge permits do not regulate all 
constituents that may cause adverse impacts. For example, the discharge of organic materials which 
contribute to trihalomethanes in drinking water is not regulated. Nor does the NPDES guarantee 
elimination of protozoan cysts, which are harder to inactivate (disinfect) than most other waterbome 
pathogens and are capable of causing disease. In addition, permitted discharges include nitrogen 
compounds that can be harmful to aquatic life, cause unwanted growths of algae in surface water bodies, 
and force downstream drinking water facilities to increase their use of chlorine. 

Synthetic chemicals (manufactured by humans) are very widespread. Unfortunately, normal waste 
water treatment plant processes may not completely remove all synthetic chemicals that can be present in 
the water. As a result, some synthetic organic chemicals, especially from agricultural and industrial 
waste water, are emitted into California's waterways through treatment plant discharges. 

Other Pollutants 

There are a number of other sources of water pollution. Mining activities (previously mentioned in 
connection with toxic pollutants) can be a major source of acids and toxic metals. In some rural areas of 
California, use of septic tanks has resulted in bacterial contamination and nutrient pollution of ground 
water resources. 

Not all sources of pollution are caused by humans. Soil erosion can result from such natural 
phenomena as earthquakes, landslides, and forest fires. During wet periods, eroded soils cause turbidity 
in the water which can seriously impact aquatic organisms and adversely affect drinking water treatment 
processes. 

Table 5-1 is adapted from the report Drinking Water into the 21st Century, published in January 1993 
by the Office of Drinking Water, Department of Health Services. This table summarizes threats to water 
quality within California. 



119 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



Table 5-1 . Threats to Water Quality 



Source of Contamination 



Contaminant 



Typical Sites 



Natural (occur statewide) 



Dissolved minerals 

Asbestos 
Hydrogen-sulfide 



Radon 



Mineral deposits, mineralized wa- 
ters, hot springs, sea water intrusion 

Mine tailings, serpentine formations 

Subsurface organic defH)sits. as Del- 
ta Islands and San Joaquin Valley 
trough 



Most geologic formations 



Commercial Businesses 



Gasoline 

Solvents 
Toxic metals 



Service stations' underground stor- 
age tanks 

Dry cleaners, machine shops 



Photo processors, laboratories, met- 
al plating works 



Municipal 



Microbial agents, nutrients, and 
miscellaneous liquid wastes 



Bacteria and virus contaminants 
from a variety of sources such as 
sewage discharges and storm water 
runoff; contributions from industrial 
dischargers, households, and septic 
tanks 



Industrial 



VOCs. industrial solvents, toxic 
metals, acids 

Pesticides and herbicides 
Wood preservatives 



Electronics manutacturing, inetal 
fabricating and plating. transp<irt- 
ers, storage facilities, hazardous 
waste disposal 

Chemical formulating plants 

Pressure treating power poles, wotxl 
pilings, railroad ties 



Solid waste disposal 



Solvents, pesticides, toxic metals, 
organics, petroleum wastes, and ini- 
crobial agents 



Disposal sites located statewide re- 
ceive waste from a \ariety of indus- 
tries, municipal solid wastes, 
wasted petroleum prixlucts. house- 
hold waste 



Agricultural 



Pesticides (herbicides, fumiganis, 
fungicides) fertilizers, concentrated 
mineral salts, microbial agents 



Irrigated farm runoff, ag chemical 
applications, fertilizer usage, chem- 
ical storage at farms and applica- 
tors' air strips, agricultural produce 
packing sheds anil priKessing 
plants, meat processing plants, dai- 
ries and feed lots 



Disasters 



Solvents, petroleum products, mi- 
crobial agents, other hazardous ma- 
terials 



r..irilH|u.ikc c.iusoii pipeline .uid 
storage Link tailures .uul ilainage to 
sewage treatment and containment 
facilities; major spills of hazardous 
materials, IIojkI water contamina- 
tion of storage reser\<iirs and 
ground u;ilcr sources 



Adapted from Drinking Water into the 21st Century — Safe Drinking Water Plan tor Calitomia, A Report to the Legislature. Calitomia 
Department of Health Services, Office of Drinking Water, January 1993, p. 38. 



120 



■mannonHrani 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



Table 5-2. Contaminants Regulated under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act 

August, 1993 



1 , 1 -Dichloroethylene 


cis- 1 ,2-DichioroethyIene 


Nickel 


1,1,1-Trichloroethane 


Copper 


Nitrate 


1 , 1 ,2-Trichlorethane 


Cyanide 


Oxamyl 


1 ,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane 
(DBCP) 


Daiapon 


Pentachlorophenol 


1 ,2-DichIorobenzene 


Dichloromethane 


Phthalates 


1,2-Dichloroethane 


Dinoseb 


Picloram 


1 ,2-Dichloroethylene 


Diquat 


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 


1 ,2-Dichloropropane 


Endothail 


Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons 
(PAHs) 


1 ,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 


Endrin 


Radium 228 


1 ,4-Dichlorobenzene 


Epichlorohydrin 


Radium 226 


2,3.7,8-TCDD (Dioxin) 


Ethylbenzene 


Selenium 


2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid 

(2,4-D) 


Ethylene dibromide (EDB) 


Silver 


2,4,5-TP (Silvex) 


Flouride 


Simazine 


Acrylamide 


Giardia lamblia 


Styrene 


Adipates 


Glyphosate 


Sulfate 


Alachlor 


Gross beta particles activities 


Tetrachloroethylene 


Antimony 


Gross alpha particles activities 


Thallium 


Arsenic 


Heptachlor epoxide 


Toluene 


Asbestos 


Heptachlor 


Total trihalomethane 


Atrazine 


Heterotrophic bacteria 


Total col i forms 


Barium 


Hexachlorobenzene 


Toxaphene 


Benzene 


Hexachlorocyclopentadiene 


trans- 1 ,2-Dichlorethylene 


Berylium 


Lead 


Trichloroethylene 


Cadmium 


Legionella 


Turbidity 


Carbofuran 


Lindane 


Vinyl chloride 


Carbon tetrachloride 


Mercury 


Viruses 


Chlordane 


Methoxychlor 


Xylenes (total) 


Chromium 


Monochlorobenzene 





Compiled and updated fronn Status of Contaminants Regulated Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, April 
1991. 



Drinking Water Regulations and Human Health - 

Currently, there are State and federal regulations for a variety of physical, chemical, and 
microbiologic constituents in drinking water, including pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, 
trihalomethanes, arsenic, selenium, radionuclides, nitrates, and toxic metals, as well as treatment and 
disinfection requirements for bacteria, viruses, Giardia, and other pathogens. Standards for a total of 83 



121 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



individual drinking water constituents will soon be in place under the mandates of the 1986 federal Safe 
Drinking Water Act amendments. (See Tables 5-2 and 5-3.) This far-reaching act will likely be amended 
again in 1994, No reduction in the number or scope of drinking water standards is expected; the trend 
has been towards regulation of increasing numbers of constituents and lowering acceptable 
concentrations. 



Table 5-3. Proposed Contaminants to be Regulated under the Federal Safe Drinking Water 

Act 

August 1993 



l.l-Dichloroethane 


Bromomethane 


Isophorone 


1,1.1 ,2-Tctrachloroethanc 


Chloral hydrate 


Lactofen/Acifluorfen 


1 . 1 .2,2-Tetrachioroethane 


Chloramine 


Manganese 


1 ,2,.1-Trichloropropane 


Chlorate 


Melhomyl 


2,4/2,6-Dinitrololuene 


Chlorine 


Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) 


4-Nitrophenol 


Chlorine dioxide 


Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) 


Acrylonitrile 


Chlorite 


Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) 


Aldehydes 


Chloroform 


Metolachlor 


Aldicarb sulfone 


Chloropicrin 


Metribuzin 


Aldicarb 


cis/trans-l,3-Dichloropropene (Telone) 


Molybdenum 


Aldicarb sulfoxide 


Cyanazine 


Naphthalene 


Aluminum 


Cyanogen chloride 


Pentachlorophenol 


Bentazon 


Dacthal (DCPA) 


Promclron 


Boron 


Dibromcx-'hloromethane 


Radon 


Bromacil 


Dicamba 


Tritluraiin 


Bromate 


Ethylene thiourea (ETU) 


Uranium 


Bromodichloromethanc 


Hexachlorobutadiene 


Vanadium 


Bromoform 


lodate 


Zinc 



Compiled and updated from Status of Contaminants Regulated Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. April 1991 . 

The trend toward ever more numerous and restrictive drinking water regulations is associated with 
rapidly escalating complexity and costs of all aspects of drinking water supply. Previously, treatment 
processes were deemed sufficiently robust to permit a large degree of variation in source water quality; 
(his is no longer the case. Under current regulations, it is necessary to operate a very finely tuned 
treatment sy.stem to provide adequate disinfection while minimizing unwanted chemical byproducts. 
Significant variations in source water quality can upset this fine balance, potentially resulting in health 
risks to the population. 

The need to modify and add processes to control new categories of chemicals and provide improved 
disinfection can result in greatly increa.sed capital and operational expenditures. Municipal water 
agencies in California are facing the prospect of significant rate increases to recoup these expenditures. 



122 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



Clearly, the trend toward ever more stringent drinking water regulations is a factor that will have 
large repercussions for the water industry in the State, as the cost of control measures is felt by the 
consumers. There is even some concern developing over whether the complex new regulations will 
actually improve protection of human health. 

Meeting Water Quality Standards 

SWRCB has promulgated the Inland Surface Waters Plan that establishes quality criteria for pollutant 
levels in California's fresh water The Coastal Bays and Estuaries Plan establishes quality criteria for 
protection of the estuarine waters of California. These criteria are embodied in water quality control 
plans for each of California's water basins, as required under provisions of the federal Clean Water Act. 
Water quality control plans, commonly known as Basin Plans, establish specific water quality objectives 
for individual bodies of water The Basin Plans are master planning documents intended to guide efforts 
to maintain and restore the quality of California's waters. 

SWRCB also established specific water quality objectives to protect the uses of water in the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Most of the Delta water quality objectives relate to salinity. The SWP 
and federal CVP are required to release sufficient fresh water to meet these Delta salinity standards. 
Chapter 1 1 contains a more detailed discussion of Delta water quality standards. 

Federal and State drinking water standards have been adopted to protect the health of consumers. 
The California Department of Health Services Office of Drinking Water promulgates and enforces State 
standards and enforces federal standards. Most drinking water quality standards are met by California's 
municipal drinking water utilities. 

Some drinking water regulatory activities may conflict. For example, concern over surviving 
pathogens spurred a rule requiring more rigorous disinfection. At the same time, there is considerable 
regulatory concern over trihalomethanes and other disinfection byproducts, resulting from disinfection of 
drinking water with chlorine. 

The problem is that if disinfection is made more rigorous, disinfection byproduct formation is 
increased. Additionally, poorer quality source waters with elevated concentrations of organic precursors 
and bromides further complicate the problem of reliably meeting standards for disinfection while 
meeting standards for disinfection byproducts. 

The regulatory community will have to carefully balance the benefits and risks associated with 
pursuing the goals of efficient disinfection and reduced disinfection byproducts. One essential corollary 
action will be to make any source water quality improvements that are feasible. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the annual cost of treating drinking water to 
meet existing and new standards will be $36 million a year in the early 1990s, $539 million annually by 
1994, and will rise to $830 million as a result of the need to make long-term capital investments, before 
stabilizing at $500 million a year by the year 2000. These estimates demonstrate that major cost impacts 
will result from meeting the new standards. 

123 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



According to data published in the previously referred to report. Drinking; Water into the 21st 
Century; the current annual cost per service connection for drinking water ranges from about S25() for 
large systems to about $312 for very small systems. The added cost to implement new drinking water 
regulations already promulgated will range from $16 for large systems to $205 for very small systems. 
Additional proposed regulations may increase these costs from $115 for large systems up to $450 for 
very small systems. These estimates demonstrate that small water systems will be disproportionately 
affected by the new regulations. Alternatives for mitigating this impact are being studied. 



Principles of Water Utility Management as Set Forth by 

the Source Water Quality Committee of the California -Nevada Section, 

American Water Works Association 

As a result of the April 1 993 outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee, President 
Foster Burba of the American Water Works Association called on its membership to 
test water supplies for the presence of Cryptsporidium, and said, "Not only are we 
issuing this national call to action on testing, we're strongly encouraging water utilities 
to develop stricter watershed management and treatment practices." 

The Source Water Quality Committee of the California- Nevada Section of the 
AWWA adopted the following statement on April 14, 1993: 

The Source Water Quality Committee of the California- Nevada Section of the 
American Water Works Association supports the fundamental objectives of providing 
drinking water from the best quality sources reasonably attainable, and of managing 
such sources to protect and enhance water quality. 

With increasingly stringent drinking water regulations, it is important that water 
utilities obtain and maintain supply sources of the best available quality. Water utility 
managers should implement the following principles: 

1 . Where alternative sources of supply are available, drinking water should be taken 
from the highest quality source resisonably attainable. 

2. Where there are competing uses for water sources, public drinking water should 
be the highest priority use. 

3. The quality of existing and potential sources of drinking water, including both 
ground water and surface water, should be actively and aggressively protected 
and enhanced. Source water quality protection programs should: 

^ Determine and monitor the existing quality, and future changes of 
quality, of all water sources. 

^ Determine factors influencing, and potentially affecting, source water 
quality; including both point and nonpoint contaminant sources, and 
continuous, seasonal, and ephemeral contamination. 

^ Implement an active program of monitoring and managing activities in 
source water bodies, aquifers, and watersheds to minimize contami- 
nation and drinking water degradation. 

4. Decisions regarding alternative resources uses and development should give full 
consideration to impacts on water quality - - including public health, economic, 
aesthetic, and environmental impacts. 

5. Encourage water reuse and use of lower quality water for appropriate purposes. 



124 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 

Careful watershed surveys, followed by long-term monitoring and management plans, are the best 
tools to define and cope with mineralization, eutrophication, toxic metals and other chemicals, pathogens, 
and disinfection byproduct precursors. In response to new drinking water regulations, California water 
utilities began a series of surveys in 1990 in preparation for development of watershed management 
plans. These plans will provide a better definition of other, especially diffuse, pollutant sources. 

The California Urban Water Agencies organization has undertaken an investigation of source water 
quality upstream of the Delta. Results of this study are expected in 1994. 

Source Protection 

Urban and agricultural pollutants, mineralization, eutrophication, toxic chemicals, precursors, and 
pathogens all affect water quality and present complex challenges for water managers. Compared to 
other parts of the country, California has some distinct advantages in dealing with water quality 
problems. California was settled only recently compared to other states, and most of our growth has 
occurred since World War II. Generally, we are not faced with the problem of antiquated sewer systems 
and other more difficult environmental problems experienced by states with facilities installed long 
before World War II. Fortunately, environmental awareness and regulatory control came about in 
California before its water resources were severely damaged. However, certain problems exist, such as 
siltation and toxic element residues in the tributaries of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (mostly from 
hydraulic mining operations of the late 1800s). 

The quality of surface waters in various parts of California is affected by localized conditions. The 
SWRCB and its Regional Water Quality Control Boards enforce the federal Clean Water Act in 
California on behalf of the U.S. EPA. These agencies document many water quality problems and are 
developing more restrictive water quality criteria and preparing regulatory actions to make further 
improvements. The control of disinfection byproduct precursor compounds in source waters is a problem 
that has not been resolved, but is one of the issues being considered by the Bay/Delta Oversight Council. 
(See Chapter 1 1 .) 

Important among California's current water quality concerns is the relatively recent discovery that 
certain widely used chemical agents, particularly chlorinated solvents, can infiltrate and pollute ground 
water. This revelation motivated a number of investigative and regulatory actions. Major urban centers 
in California have had to abandon wells or provide expensive treatment to remove chemicals from 
municipal ground water supplies. The consequence of this problem has reduced water supply and water 
management options for local water agencies. 

Regulatory actions, such as requiring leakage protection for underground tanks, eliminating unlined 
chemical pits, and regulating disposal practices, are making important contributions to prevention of 
further ground water degradation. 

A basic tenet of good sanitary engineering practice is to obtain the best quality drinking water source 
available and to protect and maintain its quality. By following this practice, not only are water supplies 
treatable to meet drinking water standards, but the variations in source water quality are also minimized 
to improve treatment reliability. 

125 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



Some municipal water supply agencies, with (he backing of the Department of Health Services, are 
able to control and protect the local watershed sources of their drinking water supplies. This control 
prevents activities that might reduce the reliability of their water treatment processes to produce safe 
drinking water. 

Similar protection for Delta and Colorado River water supplies is out of the question. Watersheds 
tributary to the Delta and Colorado River drain thousands of square miles of land surface, and it is 
impossible to prevent activities that affect the quality of the water. Inability to protect the watershed fully 
means that water treatment processes used may not reliably remove all chemical agents present in the 
water. 

In its 1993 report. Drinking Water into the 21st Century, the California Department of Health 
Services wrote, "Contamination of ground water has received the most attention due to news media 
coverage of toxic waste sites and spills. Yet, the exposure and risks from ground water contaminants are 
significantly lower than the exposure and risks from surface water." The report also contains the 
quotation, "The Delta, through which the State Water Project flows, provides the most significant threat 
to the quality of drinking water supplies." This report recommended. 

To the extent feasible, measures should be taken to prevent degradation of the domestic 
water transported through the Delta by minimizing the introduction of disinfection 
byproduct precursors from agricultural operations and by controlling seawater intrusion 
into the Delta. The domestic water supply should be further protected from agricultural 
drainage and other sources of potential degradation during transport through the State 
Water Project and other aqueducts." 

In 1 990, at the request of the Department of Health Services, the State Water Contractors completed a 
sanitary survey of the SWP. The survey identified potential sources of quality degradation in the 
watersheds tributary to the SWP, with particular emphasis on the Delta. The resulting report contained a 
number of recommendations for correcting identified problems. Since publication of the report, an action 
plan has been in the process of development, and is expected to be implemented in 1994. 

Critical Components of State Water Supply 

Water quality considerations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its tributary streams 
(principally the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers), the Colorado River, and in ground water will 
significantly influence management of these critically important source water supplies. The following 
.sections summarize water quality considerations in California's water supply. 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Quality 

Delta waters provide a rich habitat for fish and wildlife and are the major source of supply for uses 
throughout the State. 

Delta Ecosystem and Water Quality. The Delta provides habitat for many species of fish. 
Unfortunately, some arc in serious decline. Striped bass, winter-nin salmon, and Delta smelt are fish 
whose evident declines have generated much attention. Pollution has been suggested as a cause of some 

126 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



of the problems. Some studies indicate a link between the presence of certain chemicals from waste 
discharges and the reduced health offish. Although less well known, other fish species are also in 
decline in the Delta and are probably affected by some of the same factors as striped bass and salmon. 

The effects of lethal doses of poison on fish are relatively simple to evaluate. Much more difficult is 
the problem of assessing chronic low level effects of toxicants on the health and productivity of fishery 
resources. Because fish are residents of the water, they may be constantly exposed to low level toxicants. 
Scientists are learning that, in some cases, very low concentrations of some chemicals can have health 
effects on fish. New methods of analyzing chemicals at very low concentrations are being developed, 
along with new methods for testing the effects of low toxicant levels on fish. Unfortunately, inadequate 
evidence exists to aid basic fishery management decisions. 

Drinking Water Supply. Drinking water for about 20 million Califomians flows through the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The water is influenced by so many factors that it is not always clear 
which particular influences may be causing problems. However, some facts are known. It has been 
clearly established that sources of naturally occurring organic materials in the Delta double the capacity 
of Delta waters to form unwanted byproducts in drinking water. 

Drinking water produced by treating Delta waters usually meets all State and federal drinking water 
criteria. There have, however, been occasions when the existing trihalomethane regulations have not 
been met. In addition, the Surface Water Treatment Rule (scheduled to take effect in June 1993) has 
caused some major Delta water users to change their disinfection practices, which produce even higher 
levels of trihalomethanes in some cases. 

Measurements by the Department of Water Resources and municipal agencies that treat and serve 
Delta water to their customers have demonstrated that concentrations of pesticides, toxic elements, and 
other chemicals in Delta waters are quite low in relation to drinking water standards. However, pesticide 
degradation product studies in these waters are in early phases and the information is preliminary. 

Compared to other sources of drinking water, the Delta is at a disadvantage with respect to the 
presence of disinfection byproduct precursors and the ability of urban water suppliers to provide 
consistently acceptable drinking water. Bromide is present in the Delta, chiefly as a result of the 
intrusion of sea water mixing with the fresh water in the Delta. Also, the peat soils of the Delta are high 
in organic content and contribute dissolved organic matter to Delta waters. Together, bromide and 
naturally occurring organic compounds present in the Delta cause problems for treatment facilities and 
their ability to meet current drinking water standards for trihalomethanes. 

Figure 5-1 depicts the general pattern of naturally occurring organic compounds and bromide in the 
Delta which, together, are termed disinfection byproduct precursors. The size of each pie is proportional 
to the concentration of disinfection byproduct precursors at that location. The shaded portions of each 
pie depict the influence of bromide on the total. The Sacramento River is shown as having a 
considerably lower concentration of precursors, and bromides comprise only a small part of the total. 
Table 5-4 shows averages of selected constituents in the Delta and Colorado River. 

127 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



Figure 5-1. Disinfection Byproduct Precursors (DBP) 
in the Delta: July 1983 - June 1992 







Legend: 


N 




Oreanic DBP 




Precursors 


^ 


K^ 






? 


Bromide 


^ 


Influence 



Harvey 0. Banks 
Pumpini Plant 




Delta Mendota Canal 



N 



San Joaquin River 
near Vernalis 



128 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



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129 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



The western Delta has higher organic precursor concentrations, along with much greater bromide 
influence. The interior Delta locations depicted are intermediate in organic precursor concentrations and 
bromides. Studies indicate that the bromides present in Delta waters come mainly from sea water 
intrusion; the naturally occurring organic compounds in Delta waters come from numerous sources, 
including significant influence of Delta island drainage from soils rich in organic content. 

Municipal agencies supplying drinking water taken from the Delta are concerned that existing 
regulations for trihalomethanes, coupled with disinfection requirements of the new Surface Water 
Treatment Rule may make Delta water difficult and expensive to treat. The expected new, more 
stringent, drinking water regulations for trihalomethanes and other disinfection byproducts may 
particularly increase the difficulty and expense of treating Delta water. Even if drinking water from the 
Delta meets the criteria, the desirable level of a carcinogen in drinking water is zero (the maximum 
contaminant level goal as defined in the 1986 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act). At best, 
drinking water from the Delta is not likely to be as low in disinfection byproducts as water from other 
sources. 

Potentially, it would be possible to improve the quality of Delta drinking water by taking actions to 
reduce bromides and naturally occurring organic compounds in the water supply. Several possibilities are 
currently being examined through the Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program.a multi-agency 
scientific investigation into the factors contributing to disinfection byproduct formation in Delta waters. 
Possible means of improving this aspect of Delta water quality are also being studied. The results will be 
used in the Delta planning process. 

Salt gets into Delta water from its watersheds and its link with the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific 
Ocean. Tidal action from the Bay brings salts into the Delta during periods when fresh water outflows 
are low. With the exception of bromide, salts in drinking water are generally of lesser concern. 
However, elevated salt concentrations can make water unpalatable and the health of persons on low-salt 
diets can be adversely affected. During the 1976-77 drought in California, salt content in water from the 
Delta was such that physicians in Contra Costa County recommended bottled water for some patients. 
Similar levels occurred during the recent drought. 

Delta influences add about 150 mg/L (parts per million) of dissolved solids (salts) to waters exported 
in the SWP. Using generalized cost figures taken from the Costs of Poor Quality Water section of this 
chapter, the cost to consumers of this salt is on the order of $1 20 per acre foot, which is roughly the 
amount of water an average family u.ses in a year. These costs arise primarily from the need to use more 
soaps and detergents, and to more frequently replace plumbing fixtures and water using appliances. 
The.se costs could be avoided if the effects of ocean salinity intrusion and local Delta drainage could be 
eliminated. 

Some of the industries in the Delta area, such as paper production facilities, require water of limited 
salt content. Satisfying this requirement can present a formidable challenge in dry years due to sea water 
intrusion, in the past, this problem has been dealt with by relying on alternate water supplies and 
treatment. 

130 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



Delta Agriculture and Wetlands. While the quality of Delta water available to agriculture is 
generally satisfactory, certain conditions create problems with salt content. Sufficiently high 
concentrations of salt can stunt or kill plants. Also, more applied water is required for irrigation when 
salt content is high to flush the salts through the root zone. The San Joaquin River is a significant source 
of salt due to agricultural drainage flows into the river upstream of the Delta. Much of this salt load 
originated in the irrigation water exported from the Delta. At times, salts from this source adversely 
affect agriculture in the southern Delta. Recent mitigation measures, such as installing temporary rock 
barriers in certain Delta channels, improved the overall quality of water in the southern Delta. 

Some Deha lands are used as wetland habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. This type of land use 
is likely to expand in the Delta. The quality of water available to support wetland habitat is generally 
adequate. 

Water Quality Monitoring in the Delta. DWR and other agencies extensively monitor water quality 
in the Delta. The monitoring evaluates Delta waters as a source of drinking water for humans, as a 
source of agricultural and industrial water supply, and as habitat for fish and wildlife. Water quality 
parameters monitored include minerals, nutrients, pesticides, and other constituents such as organic 
carbon and trihalomethane forming capacity. Extensive biological monitoring is also performed. 

In a number of locations, such constituents as minerals and photosynthetic activity are monitored 
continuously by permanently installed instruments that provide information through remote sensing and 
data transmission. DWR is currently compiling an inventory of all known water quality monitoring 
activity in the Delta by public entities. The compilation indicates a great deal of interest in the quality of 
Delta waters. Millions of dollars each year are invested in the pursuit of assessing Delta water quality. 

Sacramento River Region. The Sacramento River, on average, provides about two-thirds of the 
water which flows into the Delta. A number of other watersheds are tributary to the Delta, but of these, 
only the San Joaquin River is significant in terms of quantity of flow. The quality of the water in the 
Sacramento River is generally good, and mineral concentrations are low. For the period 1 983 to June 
1992, DWR data indicate dissolved solids concentrations ranged from about 50 to 150 milligrams per 
liter in the Sacramento River at Greene's Landing, located eight miles south of the town of Hood. For 
comparison, the maximum contaminant level for dissolved solids in drinking water is 500 milligrams per 
liter. (This "Secondary MCL" was established to protect the aesthetic appeal of drinking water, as 
concentrations above the limit result in noticeably salty tasting water.) 

SWRCB has classified 80 miles of the Sacramento River from Shasta Dam to below the town of Red 
Bluff as impaired with respect to water quality. Twelve miles below the dam is the confluence of Spring 
Creek with the Sacramento River. At this point, significant concentrations of the toxic metals copper, 
zinc, and cadmium enter the river as a result of acid mine discharges from mines on Iron Mountain. 
Several fish kills have occurred in the river below the mouth of Spring Creek following heavy runoff 
from the Iron Mountain area. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has recently 
been conducting toxicity bioassay tests on minnows, zooplankton and algae using Sacramento River 
water collected in the reach from Keswick Dam to Hamilton City. The results of these tests should help 

131 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



determine the degree of water quality impairment of the river and should show what length of river is 
affected. Large releases of fresh water are made annually from Lake Shasta in efforts to dilute the 
pollution to non-toxic levels. South of Red Bluff, water quality improves and only periodic toxicity is 
observed. 

Colusa Basin Drain enters the Sacramento River at the town of Knight's Landing. Bioassay testing 
has indicated significant toxicity to aquatic life associated with agricultural discharge from this drain. 
(Bioassays are conducted by exposing test organisms, such as minnows, to varying concentrations of the 
water being tested, mixed with water containing no toxicants. The toxicity of the water can be judged by 
observing the effects on the test organisms.) 

In the early 1980s, agricultural pesticides used on Sacramento Valley rice fields were determined to 
be the cause of fish kills in some agricultural drains and of complaints from Sacramento residents about 
the taste of the water. A multi-agency team that included public agencies and agricultural and rice 
industry participants was established to confirm the cause of the problem and find a solution. The team 
resolved the problem by designing a monitoring and control program which has been very successful in 
reducing rice herbicide concentrations in the Sacramento River since 1986. Figure 5-4 depicts the 
dramatic reduction in discharges of the rice herbicide molinate from 1982 through 1992. 

Currently, studies are being conducted to determine whether longer impoundment of rice field 
drainage can enhance waterfowl habitat while reducing quantities of rice drainage discharged into the 
Sacramento River system. 

While reduction of agricultural drainage is generally desirable for protection of water quality, it is 
also true that long-term reductions in drainage can have the undesirable effect of causing salt buildup in 
agricultural soils. Numerous ancient civilizations declined as a result of soil infertility associated with 
salt buildup. Therefore, it is necessary to balance the need to protect water quality with the need to 
maintain the fertility of our agricultural lands. 

Monitoring the lower Sacramento River has shown that levels of pesticides, disinfection byproduct 
precursors, toxic metals, and other constituents of concern are generally not detectable or have been 
present only in small concentrations as the River flows into the Delta. The organic content of the 
Sacramento River is generally low, and bromide concentrations are quite low. During the fall when rice 
fields are drained into the Sacramento River upstream of Sacramento, the concentration of organic 
disinfection byproduct precursors in the river measurably increases. 

The Sacramento Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant di.scharges into the Sacramento River near 
the town of Freeport; as a consequence, the discharge from this large facility affects the quality of Delta 
waters. 

San Joaquin River Tributary. On average, about one-sixth of the total fresh water inflow to the 
Delta comes in from the San Joaquin River (Other east side streams such as the Cosumnes and 
Mokelumne contribute no more than a few percent of Delta infiow. and are of generally excellent 
quality). Unlike the Sacramento River, the mineral quality of the San Joaqum River is not very good 

132 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Quality 



Q 

Z 

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CL 



Figure 5-4. Mass Discharge of Rice Herbicide 
to the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta 



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YEAR 



during low flow periods. During high flow conditions, the mineral quality of the river can be quite good. 
The elevated salinity levels in the river are, in part, a result of significant amounts of valley agricultural 
drainage returning to the Delta through the San Joaquin River. At certain times, most of the river flow 
can be composed of agricultural drainage. 

Data from 1982 through May 1992 indicate levels of dissolved solids in the San Joaquin River near 
Vemalis have ranged from about 1 10 to 900 milligrams per liter; the numbers reflect high and low flow 
conditions, respectively. 

A popular perception is that the San Joaquin River is very heavily polluted by pesticides and other 
toxic agricultural chemicals. In fact, data have demonstrated that pesticide concentrations, when present, 
have been at low parts per billion concentrations, well within drinking water standards. However, 
sensitive aquatic species may be affected by very small concentrations of toxicants. Toxicity studies have 
shown San Joaquin River water is sometimes capable of killing test organisms. 

The San Joaquin River watershed has a special problem with selenium. In 1983, it was discovered 
that selenium in valley agricultural drainage was responsible for deformities and lack of reproductive 



133 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 

success in bird populations. Subsequent regulatory action resulted in the closure of drainage facilities 
that contributed to the problem and development of management strategies for controlling selenium. 
Selenium concentrations currently found in the San Joaquin River where it enters the Delta are typically 
not higher than 1 microgram per liter (part per billion). For comparison, California drinking water 
Maximum Contaminant Level for selenium is 10 micrograms per liter and the federal MCL is 50 
micrograms per liter. 

Selenium from the San Joaquin River watershed has an effect on the aquatic environment even 
though it is not considered a threat to drinking water quality. In small concentrations, selenium is an 
essential nutrient, but studies have indicated that concentrations as low as a few micrograms per liter may 
be harmful to sensitive species. Work is continuing to find the means to better manage and control 
selenium in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Colorado River Water Quality 

The Colorado River is a major source of water supply to Southern California. The river is subject to 
various water quality influences because its watershed covers thousands of square miles and runs through 
parts of several states. The watershed is mostly rural. Therefore, municipal and industrial discharges are 
not as significant a source of quality degradation as is the case for the waters of the Delta. Upstream of 
the point where The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California draws water from the river, the 
primary water use is agricultural. Salt and turbidity from natural sources and agricultural operations are 
the primary forms of water quality degradation. 

Mineral concentrations in Colorado River water are typically higher than those found in the water 
taken from the Delta through the SWR During the period 1986 to 1992, dissolved solids in the 
Colorado River Aqueduct averaged 580 mg/L (parts per million). During this period, dissolved solid 
concentrations in the California Aqueduct of the SWF averaged 310 mg/L. 

As practicable. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California blends Colorado River water 
with water from the SWF or other sources to reduce salt concentrations in the water delivered to 
consumers served by the district's system. This improvement resulted in MWDSC discontinuing use of 
the sodium-exchange softening process for Colorado River water. 

Unlike the watersheds of the Delta, the soils of the Colorado River watershed are primarily low in 
organic content. Consequently, disinfection byproduct precursor concentrations are lower. Colorado 
River water typically has 2.5 to 3.0 milligrams per liter of total organic carbon and 0.06 milligrams per 
liter of bromide. As a result, it normally has only about half the capacity to produce trihalomethanes as 
does water in the Delta. Disinfection of Colorado River water with ozone has not produced measurable 
levels of bromate. 

The higher mineral content of the Colorado River has, however, indirectly caused degradation of the 
quality of the Salton Sea and its sport fishery. Most of the water below Parker Dam is used for irrigation 
in the Imperial and Coachella valleys and in the northeastern sector of Baja California. The agricultural 
drainage from the two valleys in California as well as much of the drainage from the irrigated area in 
Baja California flows into Salton Sea. 

134 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



The agricultural drainage waters have high salinities which, when combined with evaporation from 
the Sea itself, lead to a continuing increase of the Salton Sea salinity. Also, inflows to the sea are being 
reduced because of increased water conservation. The current concentration of dissolved solids (salts) in 
the Sea is about 45,000 mg/L (parts per million), whereas the concentration of dissolved solids in ocean 
water is about 35,000 mg/L. Since the sport fish in the Sea were imported from the ocean, the high salt 
concentration in the Sea places considerable physical stress upon the fish. The future of this fishery is in 
jeopardy. 

In 1973, seven states within the Colorado River basin formed the Colorado River Basin Salinity 
Control Forum to develop water quality standards for salinity control in the river, and to develop plans to 
implement controls. This group was formed in order to comply with the 1972 Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act, requiring numerical water quality standards for salinity in the river. Salinity standards were 
established in 1975 and were subsequently approved by the U.S. EPA. A permanent work group has 
been established to perform studies, perform triennial reviews of progress, and make recommendations 
for continuing improvements in salinity control. 

The federal Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974 authorized construction of facilities 
to control salinity of the waters of the lower Colorado River which are used in the United States and 
Mexico. Currently, salinity control activities are removing 230,000 tons of salt per year from the river 
system. However, inadequate funding is causing problems in maintaining the implementation schedule. 
To maintain the salinity standards, it is calculated that, by the year 2010, about 1 ,500,000 tons of salt will 
have to be removed each year. 

Ground Water Quality 

Nearly 40 percent of California's annual water supply needs are met using ground water. 
Unfortunately, being out of sight has meant that California's ground water has often been out of mind. 
As a result, laws to protect and manage ground water have been slow in developing, as has the awareness 
of the potential for pollution of some of California's ground water basins. Degradation of these water 
resources is the most significant threat to our ability to integrate and manage our ground water resources 
with surface waters. 

In the mid-1970s, an investigation of ground water conditions in the vicinity of a Stockton area 
manufacturing plant resulted in the discovery of significant pesticide pollution. Prior to this 
investigation, general thought was that the natural process of water percolating through the soil removed 
pesticides within the first few inches or feet of soil. Statewide surveys were conducted leading to 
knowledge that polar, low molecular weight, volatile compounds such as solvents rapidly penetrate the 
soil and enter the ground water. Once there, they may remain for hundreds of years. Now, water 
managers know that cleaning up ground water pollution is quite difficult and costly. 

Ground water has often been polluted in agricultural areas where soils have been fumigated to 
eradicate soil organisms and in industrial areas where solvents have been improperly handled. In the case 
of industrial pollution, the use of solvents was accompanied by indiscriminate disposal practices, such as 
dumping waste material on the ground or in unlined ponds. 

135 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



In the San Gabriel Valley of the greater Los Angeles area, solvent pollution is so widespread in the 
ground water that it is generally not possible to identify individual sources and assign cleanup 
responsibility. In other areas of California, such as the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara County, cleanup 
responsibility has sometimes been assigned to specific industries. There, electronic industries which 
released solvents into the ground (often because of leaky underground storage tanks), are proceeding 
successfully with cleanup efforts which are costing millions of dollars. 

Leaking underground tanks have been found to be a particular problem. Gasoline storage tanks and 
most other types of underground chemical storage tanks were, until recent years, constructed in a way 
that caused the tanks to fail as they corroded. As a result, ground water contamination from these sources 
is widespread. SWRCB manages a program to control contamination from underground tanks. 

Ground water contamination by synthetic organic pollutants may be more serious than surface water 
pollution because of the difficulty and expense of cleanup. This type of pollution is widespread in 
California and presents a serious challenge. However, the water can be treated to remove solvents, and 
the water can then be used. 

An even more complex problem than presented by solvents is the problem of nitrates. Nitrates are 
nitrogen containing compounds required to support plant life. They may enter the soil as a result of 
fertilizer applications, animal waste, septic tanks, industrial disposal, waste water treatment plant sludge 
application, and other sources. Certain organisms even have the capacity to take nitrogen from the air 
and convert it into nitrates. In California, the most important source of nitrates in soils is from 
agricultural practices, primarily farming operations and animal husbandry. 

Nitrates have the capability to move through the soil into ground water and, once there, may 
seriously degrade its usability. There is a limit to the concentration of nitrates people can tolerate; 
infants, in particular, are susceptible to nitrate poisoning (methemoglobinemia). Nitrates can also limit 
the use of ground water for other purposes such as stock watering. In too high concentrations, nitrates 
become toxic to plants. The biggest problem with nitrates is that treatment to remove nitrates is so 
expensive as to be impractical in most situations. Communities having water supplies high in nitrates 
often turn to bottled water for cooking and drinking. 

Nitrates are widespread in California's ground water. For instance, the Petaluma area of Sonoma 
County was historically an important poultry production area. In those days, poultry waste was generally 
piled up and left to decompose on the site of the poultry operation. Poultry waste is a high source of urea 
and organic nitrogen, which can convert to nitrates and then migrate into the ground. Even after poultry 
operations were discontinued, plumes (feather-shaped bands) of nitrates remained in the ground. When 
it rains, water percolates down through the nitrate plume and dissolves some of it, carrying it into the 
water-bearing stratum below. A 1981 study demonstrated nitrates in the Petaluma area's ground water 
ranging to over 300 milligrams per liter, significantly exceeding the California's Maximum Contaminant 
Level of 45 mg/L for drinking water. 

Efforts must focus on better controlling nitrate pollution at the outset since nitrate removal from 
ground water is not usually economically feasible. Increasing awareness of this problem at the federal 

136 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 

and State levels has improved regulatory attention to nitrate pollution. In some parts of the country, 
nitrate laden water is pumped from underground and applied as fertilizer, thus reducing the need for 
added nitrogen fertilizer. 

Remediation and Protection of Ground Water Quality 

Protection and maintenance of California's ground water resources will require the participation of all 
Califomians. Significant ground water pollution has occurred as a result of individual actions, including 
those of homeowners who dispose of solvents by spreading them on their property. Individual citizens 
and industrial workers can help gready by disposing of toxic and hazardous materials in a safe, 
environmentally acceptable manner. 

Quality Considerations for Waste Water Reclamation and Reuse 

As discussed in Chapter 3, waste water reclamation (recycling) and reuse make more efficient use of 
existing supplies, but the extent of reuse depends on the quality of the source supply, local economic 
conditions, the amounts and types of reuse already instituted, and the intended applications of the 
recycled water. 

Fresh water can be saved for environmental enhancement or other uses to the extent reclaimed waste 
water can be used in its place. However, there are also concerns about the use of reclaimed water. In 
some cases, human health risks may be increased by pathogenic organisms or chemical residues which 
could be present in reclaimed water. 

The Office of Drinking Water within the California Department of Health Services is responsible for 
regulating use of reclaimed waste water. Regulations stipulate treatment levels for use of relaimed waste 
water for various purposes such as irrigation, recreation, and ground water recharge. The objective of 
these regulations is to allow the maximum use of reclaimed water while protecting public health. More 
specific regulations are expected concerning the use of reclaimed water for recharge of ground water 
supplies. 

The quality required of reclaimed water depends on its use. Possible uses include landscape 
irrigation, growing food for animals, industrial uses such as wash water, flushing toilets, and other uses 
which do not involve human consumption. The concentration of saUs in the waste water is a determining 
factor of its availability for most uses. Water increases in salt concentration as a result of being used. 
Also, some waste water pipelines have picked up salt from saline ground water, such as near San 
Francisco Bay. In cases where fresh water supplies already contain elevated salt concentrations, the 
waste water resulting from use of this water may be quite limited in its usefulness. 

Limited quantities of reclaimed water are being used in California to recharge ground water for 
subsequent municipal water supply, and other potential projects are being studied. Water quality 
requirements are quite stringent for projects involving human consumption of reclaimed water. The 
primary concerns are pathogenic organisms and harmful chemical residues. Treatment processes used for 
recharging potable water supplies must not only successfully remove harmful constituents, but also be 
highly reliable. 

137 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



The Department of Health Services evaluates all proposals for potable use of reclaimed waste water 
on a case-by-case basis. As treatment technology advances, it may become possible for waste water to 
be adequately and reliably treated for direct municipal reuse. Representatives of the Departments of 
Health Services and DWR currently co-chair a technical committee examining this issue. 

Costs of Poor Quality Water 

Water of reduced quality is generally associated with a cost to the user. The cost depends on the 
quality of the available water, its intended use, and the treatment processes required to meet standards 
specified for the intended use. Drinking water standards and those for municipal, industrial, and 
agricultural water use specify the quality requirements that must be attained before the water can be used 
beneficially. New standards, such as the one requiring drinking water filtration, and ones which have 
lowered the acceptable limit of lead and copper, often result in increased costs of treatment to meet the 
new standards. In some cases, the cost can be very high. The City and County of San Francisco, for 
example, may have to incur high costs if they are required to construct filtration facilities as a result of 
the Surface Water Treatment Rule. 

In general, the better the quality of the source for drinking water, the less treatment it requires and, 
consequently, the less it costs to produce. Many water quality parameters affect treatment costs, 
including microbiological quality, turbidity, color, alkalinity, hardness, bromide and organic carbon 
content. For example, MWD treats roughly 6,000 AF of water per day at five major treatment plants. 
Recently, the district made improvements, costing about $5 million, to its treatment processes. To meet 
the expected more stringent trihalomethane rule, MWD is studying the need for further improvements 
with a capital cost range of $300 million to $2 billion. 

The mineral quality of municipal supplies has a variety of impacts in addition to affecting drinking 
water quality. Hard water (high in calcium and magnesium salts) can cause corrosion, staining, and scale 
buildup and require excessive use of cleansers. Soft water may attack the metal in plumbing, increasing 
lead and copper concentrations at the tap. 

Many studies have cited the impacts of water quality on the value of water to urban consumers, and 
all have cited the difficulty of expressing quality impacts in a simple way. A 1989 review of consumer 
impacts of the mineral content of Delta water proposed a generalized cost of $0.68 per acre-foot per 
milligram per liter of incremental total dissolved solids. The current generalized value would be about 
$0.80 per acre-foot per milligram per liter (adjusted using the Consumer Price Index), or about 30 cents 
per pound of dissolved mineral matter in the water. The impact of this added cost can be quite 
significant. For example, after an earlier drought, Colorado River water increased in dissolved solids to 
about 800 milligrams per liter, and the Colorado River Aqueduct was transporting some 2.6 billion 
pounds per year of minerals; representing a generalized cost to consumers of some $800 million annually. 

Studies have also shown that lower water quality in urban supplies increases consumer use of bottled 
water and home treatment devices. Surveys of California communities indicate that about half of all 
California residences use some bottled or home-treated water. The collective cost of these choices by 

138 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 



California's residents is over a billion dollars annually. Some of these expenditures would, of course, be 
made regardless of local water quality. 

A less obvious impact of water mineralization is the limiting of water recycling opportunities, 
especially in areas where reclaimed water percolates back into ground water basins. With each reuse, the 
reclaimed water is more heavily mineralized and thus eventually becomes unusable. This phenomenon is 
more pronounced where common salt is added to regenerate water softeners, and the waste brine also 
enters ground water. Under these conditions, the mineral pickup per cycle of use can be increased several 
fold. Several areas of California have banned the use of water softeners because of these circumstances. 

There is great variation in the water quality requirements for industry. In many industries, tap water 
is not of adequate quality for certain processes and must receive additional treatment, such as softening. 
The costs of having unacceptable water quality for industry generally depend on the cost of the additional 
treatment that may be necessary. 

Salty irrigation water presents several costly problems for farmers. In many agricultural areas, it is 
common to recirculate irrigation water a number of times to increase irrigation efficiency. Salty water 
can be recycled fewer times than water that is initially low in salt. Also, more salty water must be used 
for irrigation than is required when using supplies low in salt. The requirement to use more water results 
in significant additional cost for pumping and handling the water and, perhaps, additional cost to 
purchase the water. 

Generally, the most salt tolerant crops are not the ones having highest value. Therefore, given a salty 
water supply, a farmer may be required to grow less valuable crops than is possible when low salt 
irrigation water is available. Finally, crop yields fall as salt in the irrigation water increases. 

Numerous aspects of water quality can affect fish and wildlife habitat and result in monetary or 
environmental costs. An example is selenium in agricultural drainage from the San Joaquin Valley which 
was used to supply wetland habitat in the valley. In this case, selenium caused severe reproductive 
damage to fish and wildlife species, particularly to birds using the wetlands. 

There are many water quality problems which can result in cost, either direct or environmental. In 
turn, these impacts reduce flexibility in water supply planning and water management. The real 
challenge is to avoid these costs by protecting water sources from quality degradation in the first place. 
California's record has been a good one, for an industrialized state. Most of our waters remain fit for fish 
and wildlife, and for multiple uses by people. However, the rapidly growing population, along with 
continued industrialization, will continue to greatly challenge our ability to maintain and improve water 
quality. If we are to meet this challenge successfully, it will require the best efforts of government, the 
water industry, and, most of all, concerned citizens. To fail to meet this challenge would be to lose the 
use of precious water resources that cannot be spared. 

139 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Quality 

Recommendations 

Increasingly stringent and costly drinking water quality standards for public health protection will 
affect the continued availability and cost of water supplies. More effort must be made by State and 
federal agencies to balance the cost with public health and other benefits of such standards. 

Research into relationships and effects of water quality degradation on fish and wildlife should 
continue. In particular, more information is needed on acute and chronic effects of low level toxicants on 
the health and reproductive capacity of aquatic organisms. (Research should be a cooperative effort by 
State and federal agencies.) 

Urban water supplies diverted from the South Delta face the threat of increasing water quality 
degradation from both salinity intrusion and organic substances originating in Delta island drainage. 
Factors responsible for quality degradation from Delta island drainage should be investigated by State 
agencies, and potential means of mitigating problems identified. 

Reuse of adequately treated waste water can, in some areas, provide alternative sources of supply as 
well as benefit fish and wildlife resources, particularly in arid portions of the State. Efforts by State 
agencies should be continued to define the conditions and degree of treatment needed to allow use of 
treated waste water for beneficial uses and discharge of effluents to water courses so that these benefits 
can be realized. 



140 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Part III 



WATER USE 



Introduction to Part III 

6 Urban Water Use 

7 Agricultural Water Use 

8 Environmental Water Use 

9 Water for Recreation 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Part III Water Use 



Introduction to Part III 



WATER USE 



This part of Bulletin 160-93 covers urban, agricultural, environmental, and recreational water use. 
Certain key terms, defined below, are important to understand before reading the following chapters be- 
cause they are employed in analyzing water use and presenting results of planning studies. 

Applied Water Demand: The amount of water from any source needed to meet the demand of the 
user. It is the quantity of water delivered to any of the following locations: 

Q the intake to a city water system or factory. 

□ the farm headgate. 

□ a marsh or wetland, either directly or by incidental drainage flows; this is water for wildlife areas. 

Q For existing instream use, applied water demand is the portion of the stream flow dedicated to: 
instream use or reserved under the federal or State Wild and Scenic Rivers acts; repel salinity; or 
maintain flows in the San Francisco Bay/Delta under State Water Resources Control Board's 
standards. 

Net Water Demand: The amount of water needed in a water service area to meet all requirements. It 
is the sum of evapotranspiration of applied water, ETAW, in an area, the irrecoverable losses from the 
distribution system, and agricultural return flow or treated municipal outflow leaving the area. 

Irrecoverable Losses: The water lost to a salt sink or lost by evaporation or evapotranspiration from 
a conveyance facility, drainage canal, or in fringe areas. 

Depletion: The water consumed within a service area or no longer available as a source of supply. 
For agriculture and wetlands, it is ETAW (and ET of flooded wetlands) plus irrecoverable losses. For 
urban water use, it is ETAW (water applied to landscaping or home gardens), sewage effluent that flows 
to a salt sink, and incidental evapotranspiration losses. For instream use, it is the amount of dedicated 
flow that proceeds to a salt sink. 

Figures A through C show examples of how applied water, net water use, and depletion amounts are 
derived in three different cases. Figure A shows how outflow in an inland area is reusable; Figure B 
shows how outflows to a salt sink are not reusable; and Figure C shows how outflow in an inland area is 
reusable when water use is highly efficient. 



141 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Part III Water Use 



FIGURE III -A. DERIVATION OF APPLIED WATER, NET WATER USE, AND 

DEPLETION 

EXAMPLE OF WATER USE IN INLAND AREAS 

(Outflow is Reusable) 





ETAW 
\ 3 Uni ts 



Irrecoverable 
Losses 

I Un I t 



Treated 
Outflow 

4 Uni ts 





FARM 'A' 


WILDUFE 
AREA 


CITY 


FARM "B- 


TOTAL 


APPUED 
WATER 


90 


21 


10 


30 


151 


Reuse Water 


31 


14 


6 





51 


NET 
WATER USE 


- 


- 


- 


- 


100 


ETAW 


55 


7 


3 


18 


83 


Irrecoverable 
Losses 


4 





1 





5 


DEPLETION 


59 


7 


4 


18 


88 



142 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Part III Water Use 



FIGURE lll-B. DERIVATION OF APPLIED WATER, NET WATER USE, AND 

DEPLETION 

EXAMPLE OF AREA WITH SALT SINK 

(Outflow not Reusable) 



Irrecoverable 
Losses 

I Uni I 






FARM "A" 


WILDUFE 
AREA 


CITY 


FARM -B- 


TOTAL 


APPUED 
WATER 


90 


21 


10 


26 


147 


Reuse Water 


31 


14 


2 





47 


NET 
WATER USE 


- 


- 


- 


- 


100 


ETAW 


56 


7 


3 


18 


83 


Irrecoverable 
Losses 


4 





5 


8 


17 


DEPLEnON 


56 


7 


7 


26 


100 



143 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Part III Water Use 



FIGURE lll-C. DERIVATION OF APPLIED WATER, NET WATER USE, AND 

DEPLETION 

EXAMPLE OF MOST INLAND AREAS WITH HIGH EFFICIENCY 

(Outflow is Reusable) 



Area 93 Uni t; 



ETAW W — «-^"-» ) 

55^"'':V/ FABM-A- / 

\ V Applied Water / 

\/ 83 Uni ts / 



h^ 



Deep Percolation 

iO Uni ts; ' 



ETAW 

7 Uni Is 1 



Irrecoverable 
Losses 

4 Uni ts 



Outflow 

14 Uni ts 




ETAW 
3 Uni ts Ground Water 

\ Pumpoge 



FARM "V 

Applied Water 

23 Uni t 





Treated 
Outflow 

4 Uni ts 



Return Flow 
From Service Area 

5 Uni ts 





FARM 'A' 


WILDUFE 
AREA 


cmr 


FARM •B' 


TOTAL 


APPUED 
WATER 


83 


14 


10 


23 


130 


Reuse Water 


24 


7 


6 





37 


NET 
WAira USE 


- 


- 


- 


- 


93 


ETAW 


55 


10 


3 


18 


83 


Irrecoverable 
Losses 


4 





1 





6 


DEPLETION 


59 


10 


4 


18 


88 



144 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



6 URBAN WATER USE 




Multi-unit high-rise housing in Richmond. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

6 URBAN WATER USE 

Urban water use is generally determined by population, its geographic location, and the percentage 
of water used in a community by residences, industry, government and commercial enterprises. It also 
includes water that cannot be accounted for because of distribution system losses, fire protection, or un- 
authorized uses. For the past two decades, urban per-capita water use has leveled off in most areas of the 
State. The implementation of local water conservation programs and current housing development 
trends, such as increased multiple-family dwellings and reduced lot sizes, have actually lowered per capi- 
ta water use in some areas of the State. However, gross urban water demands continue to grow because 
of significant population increases and the establishment of urban centers in the warmer interior areas of 
the State. Even with the implementation of aggressive water conservation programs, urban water demand 
in California is expected to grow in conjunction with increases in population. 

Estimates of urban water use in this update of the California Water Plan are based on population and 
per-capita water use values. Per-capita values, called unit use values, are estimated from water produc- 
tion and delivery records provided by urban water purveyors. The gross per-capita use was divided into 
residential, commercial, industrial, governmental, and unaccounted categories, and the percentage of total 
water use represented by each category was calculated. In most cases, the gross per-capita water use 
numbers presented need to be interpreted carefully because high water using industries and commercial 
enterprises can skew the figures. For example, a high water using paper pulp mill on the North Coast can 
double the gross per capita water use for that area. 

This chapter presents factors affecting urban water use, including population growth, urban land use, 
water conservation and pricing, as well as presenting urban water use forecasts to 2020. 

Population Growth 

Population growth now exceeds projections made in the 1980s and has continued into the 1990s de- 
spite the recent economic recession. Although several entities forecast population growth, state law re- 
quires that the Department of Water Resources use Department of Finance population projections for 
planning purposes. Projections of urban water use in this bulletin are based on Department of Finance's 
Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity for California and Its Counties, 1990-2040, Report 93 P-1 . 
Figure 6-1 compares population projections from prior water plan updates. DOF projections use a base- 
line cohort-component method to project population with assumptions as to future birth rates, death 
rates, and net migration. Trends based on population estimates back to 1960 were used to calculate the 
projections reported here. DOF projections at the county level were used as the control for all DWR 
projections. Only some northern California coastal counties, such as San Francisco and Marin, are pro- 
jected to have little or no growth out to 2020. The 1990 through 2020 population figures, by hydrologic 
region, are shown in Table 6-1 . 



145 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



Table 6-1. Urban Population by Hydrologic Region 

(millions) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 



2000 



2010 



2020 



North Coast 
San Francisco 
Central Coast 
South Coast 
Sacramento River 
San Joaquin River 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahontan 
South Lahontan 
Colorado River 



0.6 


0.7 


0.8 


0.9 


5.5 


6.2 


6.6 


6.9 


1.3 


L5 


1.8 


2.0 


16.2 


19.3 


22.1 


25.3 


2.2 


2.9 


3.5 


4.1 


1.4 


2.0 


2.6 


3.2 


1.6 


2.2 


2.8 


3.5 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.6 


1.0 


1.4 


1.9 


0.5 


0.6 


0.8 


1.0 



Total 



30.0 



36.5 



42.5 



48.9 



For a comparison of projections, Figure 6-2 compares DOF projections to those of the following: 

O Southern California — Southern California Association of Governments and San 
Diego Association of Governments 

O San Francisco Bay Area — Association of Bay Area Governments 



[Turn to next page.] 



146 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-1. COMPARISON OF CALIFORNIA POPULATION PROJECTIONS 

Bulletin 160 Series 



60-1 



50- 



40- 



^ 30- 



20- 



10- - 



0_L_U 



1960 




1970 



1980 



1990 ' 2000 
Years 



2010 



2020 



147 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-2. COMPARISON OF DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND COUNCIL 

OF GOVERNMENTS POPULATION PROJECTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA'S 

TWO LARGEST METROPOLITAN AREAS 



30 



25 



.2 20 



15 



Q. 10 
o 

Q. 



Department of Council of 
Finance r^^^^ Governments 


\ ~" 7^ 








\ . 




















Actual 












Actual 

























1980 



1990 2000 

Southern California 



2010 



9.0 
7.5 


Department of Council of 
Finance ^-^^^^^^ Governments 


Actual 




\ 


^ 








millions 
b 












Actual 








3 

g- 30 
















1.5 














1980 



1990 2000 

San Francisco Bay Area 



2010 



148 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

Urban Land Use 

Accompanying the growth in population has been a dramatic increase in urban land use (acreage). 
Trends in urban land use can cause significant changes in urban per-capita water use. For example, 
smaller lot sizes and increased multi-family housing generally lower per-capita water use. Also, in- 
creased plantings of low-water-using landscapes and more efficient watering tend to push per-capita wa- 
ter use down. However, water conservation efforts have only managed to slow increases in the applied 
urban water demand because of significant population increases and growth in the State's warmer interi- 
or. Based on DWR land use surveys conducted during the 1980s, there are now 3.75 million urban acres 
in California. Table 6-2 compares California's overall population density with New York, Texas, Flori- 
da, and for countries with similar levels of industrial development. 

With regard to the urbanization of agricultural lands, the Department of Conservation has esti- 
mated that nearly 310,000 acres were developed and urbanized between 1984 and 1990. Of this land, 
63,400 acres were formerly irrigated farmland, over one half of which was considered prime farmland, 
according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Land Inventory and Monitoring System as modified 
for California. 



Table 6-2. 1990 Population Densities of Selected States and Countries 



state/Country 


Population 


Area 
(square miles) 


Density 
(population/sq. mi.) 


California 


29,760,000 


155,973 


191 


Florida 


12,938,000 


53,997 


240 


New York 


17,990,000 


47,224 


381 


Texas 


16,987,000 


261,914 


65 


Germany 


79,113,000 


137,822 


574 


Netherlands 


14,944,000 


13,103 


1,141 


Japan 


123,612,000 


145,875 


847 


United Kingdom 


57,411,000 


93,643 


613 


France 


56,614,000 


210,026 


270 



Urban Water Conservation 

Urban water conservation efforts have been expanding since the 1970s. Unlike agriculture, organiza- 
tions such as the University of California Cooperative Extension and local Resource Conservation Dis- 
tricts did not exist to provide conservation expertise to urban water users. Urban water agencies have 
now filled that void and are dramatically increasing water conservation programs. DWR's Water Con- 
servation Office works cooperatively with local water agencies on many conservation efforts such as 
leak detection, plumbing code changes, con.servation planning, efficient landscape ordinances, and Best 
Management Practices. DWR's Water Education Office, with assistance from district offices, is working 
with local agencies to develop and implement water education programs. 

149 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

With the passage of the Urban Water Management Planning Act in 1983, the California Legislature 
acknowledged the importance of water conservation and demand management as essential components of 
water planning. The act requires the 300 medium-sized and large urban water agencies to prepare and 
adopt plans for the efficient use of their water supplies and update those plans every five years. The first 
plans were due in 1985. Over 95 percent of the agencies affected by the law submitted a plan. 

In 1988, during the Bay-Delta Proceedings, interested parties gave the State Water Resources Con- 
trol Board widely divergent opinions on appropriate levels for implementing urban conservation mea- 
sures. To resolve these differences, urban water agencies, environmental groups, and State agencies ac- 
tively participated in a three-year effort which resulted in identifying Best Management Practices. 
These are conservation measures that meet either of the following criteria: 

O An established and generally accepted practice among water suppliers that results in more efficient 
use or conservation of water. 

O A practice for which sufficient data are available from existing water conservation projects to indicate 
significant conservation or conservation related benefits can be achieved; the practice is technically 
and economically reasonable, environmentally and socially acceptable, and not otherwise unreason- 
able for most water suppliers to carry out. 

Sixteen initial BMPs that meet at least one of these criteria have been identified. Table 6-3 lists the 
practices and indicates those that have been quantified. Several additional practices that may meet the 
criteria are under study as Potential Best Management Practices. The Potential BMPs have not been used 
in estimating future urban water demand, but are discussed more fully in the last section of this chapter. 



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Urban Water Use 



Table 6-3. Best Management Practices for Urban Water Use 



Management Practice 



Estimates of Water Savings 
Quantified Not Quantified 



1 . Interior and Exterior Water Audits and Incentive Programs for Single 
Family Residential, Multi-Family Residential and Governmental/Insti- 
tutional Customers 

2. New and Retrofit Plumbing 

3. Distribution System Water Audits, Leak Detection and Repair 

4. Metering with Commodity Rates for All New Connections and Retrofit 
of Existing Connections 

5. Large Landscape Water Audits and Incentives 

6. Landscape Water Conservation Requirements for New and Existing 
Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Governmental, and Multi- Family 
Developments 

7. Public Information 

8. School Education 

9. Commercial and Industrial Water Conservation 

10. New Commercial and Industrial Water Use Review 

1 1 . Conservation Pricing 

12. i_andscape Water Conservation for New and Existing Single Family 
Homes 

13. Water Waste Prohibition 

14. Water Conservation Coordinator 

15. Financial Incentives 

16. Ultra- Low Flush Toilet Replacement Programs 



As of December 1992, over 100 water agencies, plus over 50 public advocacy groups and other inter- 
ested parties, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Urban Water Conservation in 
California. This MOU commits signatories to implement these BMPs at specified levels of effort over 
the period 1991 to 2001 . The water industry and others are working toward the implementation of BMPs 
through the California Urban Water Conservation Council, established under the MOU. Full descriptions 
of BMPs, including estimates of savings and implementation schedules, are contained in the MOU. 

The widespread acceptance of BMPs in California virtually assures that their implementation will 
become the industry standard for water conservation programs through 2001 and probably beyond. The 
BMP process offers great advantages for water agencies. There will be significant opportunities to com- 
bine programs on a regional basis to reduce implementation costs and increase effectiveness. In addition 
to the programs described above, many of the cooperative efforts to help local agencies with urban water 
conservation programs will focus on implementing BMPs. 

Water conservation will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in managing California's ur- 
ban water needs. Proven conservation measures will be implemented by more agencies, and new mea- 
sures will gain greater acceptance. More sophisticated economic analyses will shape the ways that water 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

needs are met or modified. However, as water use continues to become more efficient, agencies will lose 
flexibility in dealing with shortages. 

Urban Water Pricing 

Many water conservation specialists think conservation encouraged by water pricing is one of the 
most important BMPs for reducing urban water use. Many factors influence the water prices levied by 
urban water agencies. Some of the major ones include the source of the water, methods of transporting 
and treating it, the intended use, the pricing policies and size of water agencies, and climatic conditions. 

The costs of supplying water depend greatly on the source and use of the water. For example, the 
cost of diverting water from a river and using it on adjacent land can be less than $5 an acre-foot; in con- 
trast, the cost of sea water desalination can exceed $2,000 an acre-foot. Other significant factors in- 
fluencing the cost of water supplies is the distance the water must be transported from the source to its 
ultimate place of use and the level of water treatment required to make it useable. For example, the State 
Water Project delivers supplies both in Northern and Southern California and contracting water agencies 
must pay the full cost of supply and delivery to their area. Supplies delivered to Southern California 
must travel through hundreds of miles of aqueducts and be pumped over a mountain range before reach- 
ing their final destination. As a result, the costs of these supplies are greater than those delivered further 
north because of increased transportation costs. The pricing scheme is much like that of train tickets, for 
example, the further you travel the higher the price of the ticket. 

If an agency serves a relatively heavily populated area with a large number of connections per square 
mile, the average fixed costs and some variable energy costs of serving each customer will tend to be 
less. Conversely, if the agency serves a relatively sparsely populated area, the average fixed costs of 
serving each customer are normally higher. 

Generally, supplies used for urban purposes cost more than those used for agriculture because urban 
supply systems are more complex and often involve cosdy local facilities for system regulation, pressur- 
ization, treatment plants, distribution systems, water meters, and system operation (including meter read- 
ing and customer billing). In addition, some water rates include costs for waste water treatment. Further, 
future increased treatment costs could add another $1 ,000 per acre-foot to urban water costs. However, 
agricultural water costs are typically assessed at the farm head gate or edge of the property. The rates 
charged for water supplied to agricultural users do not include the costs incurred by a farmer for labor and 
equipment to distribute water supplies throughout a farm. These costs often incorporate land preparation, 
specialized machinery, and complex distribution through canals, pipes, or drip lines. 

The policies adopted by various water agencies also significantly affect the final prices consumers 
pay. For example, some agencies use water rates to fully recover the costs of acquiring and delivering 
supplies, whereas others use a combination of water rates and local property taxes. Policies concerning 
the use of water meters and rate structure are also important. Although most urban retail agencies in 
California use meters to monitor customer use and to levy charges, some (mainly in the Central Valley) 
do not. Typically, the costs to consumers of using unmetered supplies (with flat rate water charges) are 
less than if those same supplies were metered. However, in times of drought when water use is reduced, 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

water agencies that have flat rates (water charges independent of use) are not affected by reduced reve- 
nues to cover fixed costs. 

Where supplies are metered, rate structure becomes important. For example, most agencies have 
switched from declining block rates (where unit water costs decrease with increasing usage) to either 
constant or increasing block rates. These rates encourage water conservation. Figure 6-3 shows some of 
the common urban rate structures. 

[Turn to next page.] 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-3. COMMON URBAN WATER RATE STRUCTURES 



UNMEASURED USAGE 



COST($) 




QUANTITY USED (ccf) 



MEASURED USAGE 



Increasing Block 
with Service Charge 



Constant Block 
with Service Charge 



COST(^cf) 




COST(^cf) 




QUANTITY USED (ccf) 
PLUS MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE 



QUANTITY USED (ccf) 
PLUS MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE 



Decreasing Block 
with Service Charge 



Increasing Block 
with Minimum Allowance 



COST($fccf) 



COST($fccf) 




QUANTITY USED (ccf) 
PLUS MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE 




QUANTITY USED (ccf) 

PLUS MONTHLY MINIMUM CHARGE 

FOR MINIMUM AMOUNT 



(ccf) 



100 cubic feet ~ 750 gallons 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

During years of normal or above-normal precipitation, most agencies' supplies are adequate to meet 
current demands and rates remain stable. During droughts, the rates water agencies charge vary depend- 
ing on reliability and availability of supplies. For example, during the 1987-1992 drought, many water 
purveyors adopted higher rates to encourage water conservation. Several even implemented drought 
penalty rates designed to drastically reduce water use. These policies reduced water use; however, an 
unwanted consequence of reduced water use was reduced revenues to the agencies, which still had to pay 
their system's fixed costs plus the costs of expanded conservation programs. To remain solvent, many 
water agencies had to increase rates several times during the drought. 

The following two subsections discuss urban retail water prices and urban ground water prices. They 
are presented to illustrate the complexities of urban water pricing and vast differences in cost to various 
communities in California. 

Urban Retail Water Prices 

Urban retail water prices vary greatly because of the large number of agencies with different produc- 
tion costs and pricing policies throughout the State. Each agency is likely to have different pricing poli- 
cies for the different customer classes, such as residential, commercial, and industrial. Water rates and 
profit margins of investor owned utilities in California are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. 

Table 6-4 summarizes single family residential monthly use and water cost information for selected 
cities. Some of the higher water bills are found in cities along the coast (such as Corte Madera, Santa 
Barbara, Goleta and Oceanside). Some of the lower bills are found in the cities in the Central Valley 
(such as Sacramento and Fresno). 

[Turn to next page.] 



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Urban Water Use 



Table 6-4. 1991 Single Family Residential Monthly Water Uses 
and Costs for Selected Cities 



Region/City 


Average 

Summer 

Monthly 

Use (ccf)i 


Average 

Winter 

Monthly 

Use (ccf)i 


Typical 
Summer 
Monthly 

Bill ($) 


Typical 
Winter 
Monthly 
Bill ($) 


$ per Acre - 
foot 
Cost 


Effective 
Date of Rate 


North Coast 
Crescent City 


10 


9 


7 


7 


369 


Jan 1991 


San Francisco Bay 
San Francisco 
Corte Madera 
San Jose 


6 

9 

13 


6 

7 
11 


7 
34 
22 


7 
28 
19 


484 

1,688 

733 


July 1991 
May 1991 
July 1991 


Central Coast 
Santa Barbara 
Goleta 


7 
15 


6 
9 


14 
47 


12 
30 


838 
1,381 


May 1991 
June 1991 


South Coast 
Los Angeles 
Beverly Hills 
Oceanside 
Hemet 


18 
35 
14 
15 


15 
21 
11 
12 


19 
43 
28 
12 


16 
25 
22 

15 


455 
537 
875 
515 


Jan 1991 
Apr 1991 
July 1991 
June 1991 


Sacrannento River 
Sacramento 
Chico 
Grass Valley 


31 
17 
26 


20 

9 

13 


10 
15 
26 


10 
15 
17 


168 
518 
484 


July 1991 
June 1991 
Jan 1991 


San Joaquin River 
Stockton 


22 


13 


14 


11 


311 


May 1990 


Tulare Lake 
Fresno 


28 


12 


9 


9 


193 


July 1991 


North Lahontan 
Susanville 


29 


11 


27 


13 


434 


Oct 1991 


South Lahontan 
Barstow 


35 


25 


29 


23 


379 


Jan 1991 


Colorado River 
El Centre 


40 


30 


22 


17 


244 


Sep 1980 



^ Hundred cubic feet (750 gallons; 



Table 6-5 summarizes commercial and industrial water use and cost information for selected cities. 
Unlike Table 6-4, this one does not identify summer and winter uses and costs. Instead, it displays an 
average monthly use. Single family residential customers, as a group, tend to have similar unit water 
uses, which is not the case for commercial or industrial customers. It is difficult to define a typical com- 
mercial or industrial customer, particularly in the industrial sector, which can include bakeries as well as 
oil refineries. Commercial and industrial water costs were based upon a 2-inch meter size. The table 
shows that some of the higher commercial and industrial water costs are also found along the coast. 
Some of the lower costs are found in the Central Valley. 



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Urban Water Use 



Table 6-5. 1991 Commercial and Industrial Monthly Water Uses and Costs 

for Selected Cities 





Average 

Monthly 

Use 

(CCf)1 


Commercial 


$per 

Acre- 

foot 

Cost 


Average 
Monthly 
Use (ccf)i 


Industrial 




Reglon/Clty 


Number of 
Accounts 


lyplcal 
Monthly 
Bill ($)' 


Number of 
Accounts 


Typical 
Monthly 
Bill ($)* 


$per 

Acre-foot 

Cost 


North Coast 
Crescent City 


73 


441 


64 


379 


1,079 


8 


697 


282 


San Francisco Bay 
San Francisco 


49 


22,133 


53 


471 


253 


144 


208 


358 


Central Coast 
Santa Barbara 


28 


2,300 


138 


2,317 


272 


65 


1,737 


2,782 


South Coast 
Los Angeles 
Hemet 


81 
22 


50,449 
1,794 


85 
38 


457 
758 


120 
23 


6,318 
359 


119 
39 


433 
742 


Sacramento River 
Chico 


62 


2,684 


46 


324 


122 


41 


68 


244 


San Joaquin River 
Stockton 


48 


4,000 


35 


316 


1,479 


104 


673 


198 


Tulare Lake 
Fresno 


70 


75 


29 


183 


251 


7 


78 


136 


North Lahontan 
Susanville 


49 


503 


65 


576 


100 


12 


103 


447 


South Lahontan 
Barstow 


27 


8,273 


42 


672 


2,017 


6 


1,196 


258 



1 Hundred cubic feet (750 gallons) 



Definitive conclusions concerning water uses and costs among cities cannot be derived solely from 
these two tables because of the many complex factors influencing water prices, including proximity to 
supply and the level of treatment required. 

Urban Ground Water Prices 

Local water agencies provide supplies to most residential and commercial customers in California. 
Within the industrial sector, small manufacturing firms also obtain supplies mainly from water agencies. 
However, many large, water-intensive, manufacturing firms (such as refineries and chemical manufactur- 
ers) have developed their own ground water supplies. 

Ground water costs vary widely throughout the State. Many factors influence these costs, including 
depth to ground water, electricity rates, pump efficiencies, and treatment requirements. Typically, self- 
provided ground water costs are less than the costs of treated surface water. Table 6-6 presents ranges of 
urban ground water costs for the hydrologic regions. These costs include capital, operations (including 
pumping energy costs), maintenance, replacement, and treatment costs. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

Table 6-6. 1992 Urban Ground Water Costs by Hydrologic Region 

Hydrologic Region Ground Water Costs 

($/acre-foot)* 

North Coast 75 - 85 

San Francisco 85 - 330 

Central Coast 200 - 300 

South Coast 45-190 

Sacramento River 50- 80 

San Joaquin River 70 - 270 

Tulare Lake 80-175 

North Lahontan 1 20 - 1 90 

South Lahontan 85-90 

Colorado River 1 1 5 - 275 

*These costs are higher than pumping raw water for agricultural use because capital, operation, 
maintenance, replacement, and treatment costs are greater 



Per Capita Water Use 

From the beginning of this century to 1970, urban per capita water use increased steadily, as illus- 
trated by Figure 6-4, which charts increases in per capita water use in the San Francisco Bay area. Since 
1970, however, the per capita use began leveling off in most areas of the State, as shown in Figure 6-5, 
Trends in Urban Per Capita Water Use, 1940-1990. Large reductions in per capita water use are pro- 
nounced during drought years when aggressive short-term conservation and rationing programs are in 
effect. In the long-term, permanent water conservation programs and other factors have begun to cause 
overall per capita water use to stabilize. 



158 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-4. URBAN PER -CAPITA WATER USE 

San Francisco Bay Area 

1920-1990 



> 200 n 



? 



^ 150 

Q. 



100 - 



50 - 



a. 
a. 
< 




1920 



1930 



1940 



1950 



1960 



1970 



1980 



1990 



Years 



159 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-5. URBAN PER-CAPITA WATER USE 
1940-1990 



400 



V 300 



200 



J 100 









^*. -»•'*<•-* 



1940 



1950 

State Average 
North Coast 



1960 1970 

Years 

-^-^ South Coast 

■ — ■ — San Francisco Bay 



1980 1990 



Central Valley 

— — — Central Coast 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

Other factors tend to raise per-capita unit use rates, thus making it difficult to analyze trends. Clima- 
tic variations affect water use significantly from one year to the next. In the long term, fewer people per 
household, increases in household income, and population growth in warmer inland areas have tended to 
counteract the effects of multifamily housing and conservation, which drive per-capita water use down- 
ward. Figure 6-6 compares the gross average per capita water use in selected California communities 
from 1980 to 1990. Gross per-capita use rates are higher in many hydrologic regions because of large 
industrial or commercial enterprises combined with low resident populations. For example, there are 
high per capita water use rates in the Colorado River Region because of tourist populations and a pre- 
dominance of golf courses. 

Even with effective drought emergency measures, drier winters tend to cause an increase in winter 
water use for landscape irrigation to replace effective precipitation. The average per capita monthly water 
use statewide during the 1987-92 drought, in relation to the rest of the 1980s, illustrates this fact. 

[Turn to next page.] 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-6. COMPARISON OF PER CAPITA WATER USE^ 
BY SELECTED COMMUNITIES 



Eureka 



Redding 



East Bay Cities 



San Francisco 



Pacifica 



San Jose 



Sacramento 



Fresno 



Bakersfieid 



Paso Roblas 



Santa Barbara 



Beverly Hills 



Los Angeles 



San Diego 



Riverside 



1980 - 1987 (Pre-drought) 
1988 - 1990 (Drought) 




100 200 300 

Urban Applied Water Use - Gallons Per-Capita Daily 



^ gallons per capita dally of urban applied water use; does not Include self-supplied water. 



400 



162 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-7. AVERAGE MONTHLY URBAN PER-CAPITA WATER USE^ 

STATEWIDE 



300 n 



3 

'5. 



200 













195 



191 



Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average 

Annual 
GPCD 



H 1980-87 



1988-90 



(1) Does not include self-supplied water 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

Disaggregating Urban Water Use 

The gross per capita water use values previously cited can be separated into the four categories of 
use: residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental. Percentages of total urban water use have 
been estimated for these four sectors for 1990 and compared with 1980 in Figure 6-8. The biggest differ- 
ence is in industrial water use. The decline in industrial water use results from conservation and water 
reuse undertaken in that sector, as well as the closure of some high water using industries, such as lumber 
mills and canneries. Waste water discharge requirements have caused many industries to recycle their 
water to avoid costly treatment. 

Residential water use averages about 1 20 gallons per capita per day in California. Overall interior 
water use has remained near 80 gallons per capita per day on the average during the 1980s. However, 
these per capita figures can vary significantly due to household income and single family or multifamily 
households. Table 6-7 shows the breakdown of indoor water use into its various components. Exterior 
water use is extremely variable, ranging from 30 percent of residential use in coastal areas up to 60 per- 
cent in hot inland areas. 

Table 6-7. 1990 Distribution of Residential Interior Water Use 

Component Average Use, 

Percentage 

Toilet 36 

Bath/Shower 28 

Faucets 13 

Laundry 20 

Dishwashing 3 

Total 100 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



FIGURE 6-8. URBAN APPLIED WATER USE BY SECTOR^ 



Unaccounted 

10% 



Governmental (2) 



1980 




Unaccounted 

10% 



Governmental 

10% 



1990 




(1) Includes self supplied water. 

(2) Includes irrigation of golf courses, park sites, etc. 



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Urban Water Use 



Urban Water Use Forecasts 

The 1990 level, or normalized, per capita water use values were estimated based on an average of 
1980 to 1987 per capita use of more than 130 California communities. This "normalization" for the 1990 
level was achieved by using water use data not affected by the 1987-92 drought. Those drought years 
were affected by rationing and mandatory conservation programs. The averages also include estimates of 
self-supplied (not delivered by water purveyors) ground and surface water. These values were then 
weighted by population to yield the gallons per capita daily by region as displayed in Table 6-8. Incor- 
porated in these values are reductions in per capita use, caused by conservation, that have accumulated 
since 1980. It is estimated that urban applied water in the normalized 1990 base-year was being reduced 
annually by approximately 435,000 AF statewide due to ongoing conservation programs as compared to 
1980. This estimate did not include drought contingency programs. As mentioned earlier, these are 
gross per capita water use values that include the residential, commercial, industrial and governmental 
sectors; the percentage of current total use for each sector is shown in Table 6-9. 



Table 6-8. Present and Projected Urban Unit Applied Water by 

Hydrologic Region 

(gallons per capita daily) 







1990 


2000* 


2010* 


2020* 


Region 


All 
Uses 


Resi- 
dential 


All 
Uses 


Resi- 
dential 


All 
Uses 


Resi- 
dential 


All 
Uses 


Resi- 
dential 


North Coast 


263 


74 


242 


68 


230 


64 


224 


63 


San Francisco 


193 


104 


186 


101 


184 


99 


181 


97 


Central Coast 


189 


79 


185 


78 


185 


78 


185 


78 


South Coast 


211 


124 


209 


123 


209 


123 


209 


123 


Sacramento 
River 


301 


117 


283 


111 


277 


108 


270 


105 


San Joaquin 
River 


309 


127 


300 


123 


293 


120 


285 


117 


Tulare Lake 


301 


124 


295 


112 


287 


109 


284 


108 


North Lahontan 


421 


181 


397 


171 


387 


166 


380 


163 


South Lahon- 
tan 


278 


152 


260 


142 


255 


140 


255 


140 


Colorado River 


579 


336 


557 


323 


557 


323 


553 


321 



'Forecasted values including unit use reduction due to BMPs. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



Table 6-9. 1990 Percentage of Urban Water Use by Sector 



Region 


Residential 


Commercial 


Industrial 


Governmental 


Unaccounted 


North Coast 


28 


8 


44 


6 


14 


San Francisco 


54 


21 


10 


7 


8 


Central Coast 


42 


13 


31 


4 


10 


South Coast 


59 


19 


7 


6 


9 


Sacramento River 


39 


10 


31 


11 


9 


San Joaquin River 


41 


4 


41 


8 


6 


Tulare Lake 


38 


7 


43 


3 


9 


North Lahontan 


43 


19 


9 


14 


15 


South Lahontan 


55 


19 


5 


11 


10 


Colorado River 


58 


23 


2 


3 


14 


Statewide 


54 


17 


9 


10 


10 



Urban Water Use Forecast to 2020 

The forecasted per capita use by hydrologic regions for years 2000 through 2020 shown in Table 6-8 
includes estimates of the reductions in urban use caused by implementation of BMPs; these are rough 
estimates since the range of savings that can be expected from an individual BMP may be quite large. 
For this bulletin, the estimated reductions due to BMPs range from 7 to 10 percent of the forecasted per 
capita use, depending on the location of the area studied. The applied water reductions and the depletion 
reductions in 2020 due to BMPs are shown in Table 6-10. The reductions in depletions stem from re- 
duced landscape evapotranspiration or reduced outflow to the ocean because of reduced interior water 
use. 



Table 6-10. Applied Urban Water Reductions and 

Reductions in Depletions by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre -feet) 



Region 



Applied Water Reductions 



Depletion Reductions 



North Coast 
San Francisco 
Central Coast 
South Coast 
Sacramento River 
San Joaquin River 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahontan 
South Lahontan 
Colorado River 

Total 



65 

250 

30 

610 

110 

60 

65 

5 

50 

40 

1,285 



55 

250 

30 

490 

25 

20 

20 

-0- 

10 

35 

935 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

The reductions in depletion are greater for coastal cities where waste water is discharged to the ocean 
and serves no further beneficial use. Applied water reductions in the San Francisco Bay area are all con- 
sidered reductions in depletions because waste water is discharged to the ocean. In contrast, in the 
Sacramento River Region most excess applied water either recharges ground water basins or is returned 
to the river through waste water treatment facilities for later reuse downstream and thus is not a deple- 
tion. For example, the depletion resulting from net water demand in Sacramento versus that of Walnut 
Creek is 146 gallons per capita daily versus 184 gpcd, respectively. 

Of course, the total urban applied water, net water demand, and depletions will continue to increase 
to 2020 because of population growth. An even greater increase is expected in drought years because of 
less rainfall recharging soil moisture in urban landscapes. Table 6-1 1 presents the estimated increases in 
statewide urban water demand from 1990 to 2020. 

Recommendations 

Urban water agencies recognize the need for better demand forecasting methods to estimate water 
use. The reliance on trend analysis and the per-capita requirements approach was satisfactory while per 
capita use was increasing at a constant rate until 1970. Since then, it has been difficult to identify trends 
using such an approach, because drought, conservation, inland growth, changes in industry, and other 
factors are all affecting water use simultaneously. The University of California at Los Angeles is cur- 
rently evaluating forecasting methods and developing procedures to estimate conservation from BMPs 
for DWR. Preliminary findings indicate some water agencies are moving toward a more disaggregated 
approach, similar to that of energy utilities. In this approach, more data, much of which is currently un- 
available or goes unreported about the end uses of water must be analyzed individually and then aggre- 
gated together to forecast overall water use. At a minimum, water use information must be known about 
the following categories: single-family residential; multi-family residential, commercial/institutional; 
industrial; and public/unaccounted. Other information on income and pricing structure is necessary as 
well. The demand must also be analyzed for winter (baseline) use and summer (peak) use. The water 
demand without conservation is then calculated. An expected range of demand reductions due to con- 
servation are then estimated for each BMP. The median value of each range can be used to estimate a 
percentage reduction in the forecasted demand without conservation for each BMP. For many BMPs, 
particularly those affecting exterior water use, there are widely divergent appraisals of water savings that 
will need further study to improve the quality of such estimates. 



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Urban Water Use 



Table 6-11. California Urban Water Demand 

(millions of acre -feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



North Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.2 
0.2 

0.1 



0.2 
0.2 
0.1 



0.2 
0.2 
0.1 



0.2 
0.2 
0.1 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



San Francisco 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



1.2 
1.2 
1.1 



1.3 
1.3 
1.2 



1.4 
1.4 
1.3 



1.5 
1.5 
1.5 



0.2 
0.2 
0.2 



0.2 
0.2 
0.3 



Central Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.3 
0.2 
0.2 



0.3 
0.2 
0.2 



0.4 
0.3 
0.3 



0.4 
0.4 
0.3 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.2 
0.1 



South Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



3.9 
3.5 
3.3 



4.0 
3.6 
3.5 



6.0 
5.3 
4.8 



6.2 
5.5 
5.0 



2.1 
1.8 
1.5 



2.2 

1.9 
1.S 



Sacramento River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.7 
0.7 
0.2 



0.8 
0.8 
0.3 



1.2 
1.2 
0.4 



1.3 
1.3 
0.4 



0.5 
0.5 
0.2 



0.5 
0.5 
0.1 



San Joaquin River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.5 
0.4 
0.2 



0.5 
0.4 
02. 



1.0 
0.7 
0.4 



1.1 
0.8 
0.4 



0.5 
0.3 
0.2 



0.6 
0.4 
0.2 



Tulare Lal(e 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.5 
0.2 
0.2 



0.5 
0.2 
0.2 



1.1 
0.5 
0.4 



1.1 
0.5 
0.4 



0.6 
0.3 
0.2 



0.6 
0.3. 
0.2 



North Lahontan 

Applied Water (1) 
Net Water (1) 
Depletion (1) 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.0 



South Lahontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.2 
0.1 
0.1 



0.2 
0.1 
0.1 



0.6 
0.4 
0.4 



0.6 
0.4 
0.4 



0.4 
0.3 
0.3 



0.4 
0.3 
0.3 



169 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Urban Water Use 



Table 6-11. California Urban Water Demand (continued) 

(millions of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



Colorado River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.3 


0.3 


0.6 


0.6 


0.3 


0.3 


0.2 


0.2 


0.4 


0.4 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.4 


0.4 


0.2 


0.2 


7.8 


8.1 


12.6 


13.1 


4.8 


5.0 


6.7 


7.0 


10.5 


11,0 


3.8 


4.0 


5.7 


6.0 


8.5 


8.9 


2.9 


2.9 



Total 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



(1) North Lahontan 1990 urban applied and net water demand is 0.04 MAF and the depletion is 0.001 MAR 

When the potential BMPs summarized in Table 6-12 are approved by the California Urban Water 
Conservation Council, they will provide some additional urban water demand reduction. For this report, 
the reduction in demand due to potential BMPs was not quantified. However, these potential BMPs are 
not expected to provide as much demand reduction as those BMPs already adopted, primarily because the 
Potential BMPs identify few practices that affect exterior water use where the largest potential for future 
urban water savings exist. 

Table 6-12. Potential Best Management Practices 

1 . Rate structures and other economic incentives and disincentives to encourage water con- 
servation. 

2. Efficiency standards for water using appliances and irrigation devices. 

3. Replacement of existing water using appliances (except toilets and showerheads whose re- 
placements are incorporated as Best Management Practices) and irrigation devices. 

Retrofit of existing car washes. 

Graywater use. 

Distribution system pressure regulation. 



Water supplier billing records broken down by customer class (e.g., residential, commercial, 
industrial). 

8. Swimming pool and spa conservation including covers to reduce evaporation. 

9. Restrictions or prohibitions on devices that use evaporation to cool exterior spaces. 

10. Point-of-use water heaters, recirculating hot water systems and hot water pipe insulation. 

1 1 . Efficiency standards for new industrial and commercial processes. 

Urban water use forecasts require annual reporting of data to accurately estimate urban water use 
forresidential, industrial, commercial and governmental sectors. Water use data reported to the State 
Controller's Office and the Department of Health Services, Office of Drinking Water, are currently insuf- 
ficient to meet increasingly more complex forecasting needs. DWR should implement new reporting 
mechanisms for urban water use data. 



170 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 

Local land use planning and resulting General Plans should be coordinated with water resources plan- 
ning agencies to insure compatibility between land use plans and water supply plans to make optimum 
use of the State's water resources. 

DWR, in cooperation with the Urban Water Conservation Council, should determine water savings 
(reduced depletions) resulting from the various urban Best Management Practices and identify additional 
urban practices for use in statewide and regional planning. 



171 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Urban Water Use 



172 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



7 AGRICULTURAL WATER USE 




Soil moisture measurement in a cherry orchard. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

7 AGRICULTURAL WATER USE 

Agricultural water use is generally determined by the extent of irrigated acreage, the relative 
proportions of types of crops grown, climatic conditions, and irrigation efficiency. Up until the early 
1980s, irrigated crop lands in California were expanding. Today, however, economic uncertainties are 
more pronounced than in the past, and views differ widely over the magnitude and direction of major 
forces that will shape crop markets in the coming decades. Further, uncertain and often more costly 
water supplies are impacting the continuous economic viability of some irrigated lands, primarily on the 
west side of the San Joaquin Valley and in the South Coast Region. Figure 7-1 compares irrigated 
acreage projections from prior water plan updates. This chapter examines factors that affect agricultural 
water use, including; import and export markets; crop water use; irrigation management; drainage and 
salinity; water price and production costs; and agricultural water conservation. It then presents estimates 
of 1990 agricultural water use and forecasts to 2020. 

As recently as 1990, California enjoyed a sizable export capability by producing nearly 50 percent of 
the nation's fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Yet California's population is only 12 percent of the nation's 
total. California's 31 million acres of farmland, of which nearly one-third is irrigated, accounts for only 
3 percent of the country's farmland but produces about 11 percent of the total US agricultural value. 
California agriculture is considered one of the most diversified in the world with over 250 different crops 
and livestock commodities, with no one crop dominating the State's farm economy. This modem and 
highly technological $20 billion a year industry not only provides many of the State's jobs but also 
provides Califomians with relatively low cost food and fiber while serving as the backbone to 
California's rural economy. 

But times are changing. The 1987-92 drought, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, 
and recent actions to protect fisheries in the Delta have changed the outlook for irrigated agriculture. 
Agricultural water service reliability has changed dramatically. The frequency and severity of shortages 
will become increasingly difficult to manage. Further, over 300,000 acres of irrigated agricultural land 
will be urbanized by a population growing from 30 million in 1990 to 49 million by 2020. Even though 
California agriculture may continue to increase in terms of total value, become even more efficient, and 
produce higher yields per acre, California's output of some crops will likely lag substantially behind the 
nation's growing need for these crops. 

This water plan update projects a net irrigated acreage decline of nearly 400,000 acres and for the 
first time in history, international crop market competition and water supply availability and affordability 
will limit the growth of irrigated agricultural acreage. The affected crops will be primarily field and fiber 
crops; California's high-valued fruit, nut, and vegetable crops are expected to "hold their own", with 
higher costs passed on to consumers in some cases. This plan does not address public policy issues in 
agriculture such as international market competition and water availability at an affordable cost if current 
prices for some of the affected crops are to be maintained for the benefit of consumers. Further, if 
California's share of the production of the affected crops is to be maintained for the benefit of California 
producers and the many associated businesses then these issues must be addressed. 



173 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-1. COMPARISON OF IRRIGATED ACREAGE PROJECTIONS 

BULLETIN 160 SERIES 



12-1 



10- 



8--- 



6- - 



4- - 



2- 



0-" 



1960 




1970 



1980 



1990 ' 2000 ' 2010 
Years 



2020 



174 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

However, California agriculture will remain a major business in the State providing food for growing 
populations, both for California and the world. High yields are achieved in California largely because of 
efficient management practices, long growing season, and available irrigation water. These factors, plus 
soils with desirable characteristics for certain crops and suitable microclimates, also allow for efficient 
crop production of high value tree and vine crops. Although yield increases have slowed in the last 10 
years, the 71 percent simple average yield increase shown in Table 7-1 is impressive testimony to the 
productivity of California farmers. 

Table 7-1. Crop Yields In California 
(Average Yields in Tons per Acre) 



Crop 


1960-62 


1969-71 


1980-82 


1989-91 


Percent Increase 
1960/62-1989/91 


Cotton 


0.53 


0.41 


0.54 


0.61 


15.1 


Rice 


2.36 


2.70 


3.42 


3.88 


64.4 


Corn, Grain 


2.71 


2.65 


3.69 


4.48 


65.3 


Wheat 


0.80 


1.20 


2.44 


2.45 ^ 


206.0 


Alfalfa 


5.10 


5.60 


6.47 


6.65 2 


30.4 


Processed Toma- 


17.12 


2.90 


25.10 


30.90 


80.7 


toes 












Lettuce 


9.20 


11.00 


14.70 


17.00 


84.8 


Oranges 


7.10 


9.40 


11.60 


13.80 3 


94.4 


Avocados 


1.92 


2.83 


3.01 


. 5 


56.8 


Prunes (dried) 


1.73 


1.39 


2.16 


2.39 


38.2 


Almonds (shelled) 


0.37 


0.51 


0.55 


0.90 


76.4 


Wine Grapes 


5.46 ^ 


5.22 


7.09 


7.53 


37.9 


Simple Average 










70.9 



' Value is for 1991— widespread drought-inducted failure of dryland wheat pulled down the average for 1989 and 1990. with 
those years included, the average becomes 2.37. Irrigation of wheat also become more prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s. 

2 For 1 989 and 1 990 only— 1 991 data unavailable. 

3 Excluding the freeze-damaged year of 1 991 , where yields were only about a third of the previous years. 

* For 1 965-67— the eariiest data available. 

^ Changing avocado varieties, plus the recent freeze and drought, have caused the 1989-91 average yield to be even lower 
thein the 1960-62 average. Therefore, the percent change is for the 1960-62 to 1980-82 period. 

In recent years, 22 California crops, covering about 2,760,000 acres, influenced or dominated the 
U.S. market, and produced an average yearly gross revenue of about $6.74 billion. These are the crops 
for which most California growers enjoy a strong competitive advantage (for at least certain varieties of 
the crops) over competing growers in other states. Table 7-2 lists these 22 crops for which California 
farmers accounted for at least 36 percent of U.S. production of that crop during 1989 through 1991 .' 



Based on California Agriculture, Statistical Review reports for 1989, 1990, and 1991 , by the California Department of Food and 
Agriculture. 



175 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-2. Crops Where California Influences or Dominates the U.S. Market 

(California Share of U. S. Population in 1990 = 12.0 Percent 

All Figures are 1989-91 Averages) 



Crop 


CA Share of U.S. 
Production (Percent) 


Acres 
(1,000s) 


Gross Value 
($Mlllions) 


Asparagus 


43 


36 


72 


Broccoli 


90 


96 


235 


Carrots 


58 


57 


200 


Celery 


73 


23 


163 


Lettuce 


75 


161 


651 


Cantaloupes* 


49 


83 


156 


Proc. Tomatoes 


90 


299 


609 


Almonds 


100 


400 


542 


Avocados 


83 


75 


213 


Grapes 


91 


639 


1,575 


Lemons 


81 


48 


224 


Nectarines 


97 


25 


88 


Olives 


100 


30 


54 


Peaches 


66 


54 


187 


Pistachios 


100 


50 


95 


Plums 


85 


42 


109 


Prunes 


100 


78 


159 


Strawberries 


78 


20 


417 


Walnuts 


99 


180 


244 


Oranges* 


34 


176 


500 


Alfalfa Seed 


38 


69 


48 


Safflower* 


77 


118 


45 


Totals 




2,759 


6,738 



Average for 1989 and 1990 only-1991 data unavailable. Note: The criteria for selection to this list is having had, for at least one 
of the three years, at least 36 percent of U.S. production and at least 20,000 harvested acres in California. 



Table 7-3 shows how important exports are to the producers of a different list of 23 California 
agricultural commodities. More than half the California production of four of those crops are exported. 
In recent years an average of slightly more than 2 million acres were used to grow those 23 crops for 
export. 



176 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-3. 1990 California Agricultural Export Data 



Crop 


Value of CA Exports 
($Millions) 


Acres Needed to 

Produce CA Exports 

(1,000s) 


Exported Share of CA 
Production (Percent) 


Cotton Lint 


755 


858 


81 


Dry Beans 


27 


48 


29 


Hay (Alfalfa & 
Sudan) 


76 


103 


NA 


Rice 


49 


75 


24 


Safflower 


19 


64 


55 


Wheat 


53 


282 


34 


Almonds 


363 


292 


71 


Grapes (fresh, raisins 
& processed) 


278 


120 


NA 


Lemons 


73 


10 


31 


Oranges 


142 


32 


25 


Pistachios 


24 


17 


27 


Plums 


43 


13 


32 


Prunes 


67 


42 


51 


Walnuts 


99 


72 


40 


Broccoli 


35 


14 


14 


Cauliflower 


31 


11 


20 


Lettuce 


52 


13 


a 


Onions 


47 


15 


38 


Strawberries 


46 


2 


11 


Nursery Products 


124 


- 


NA 


Cattle & Calves 


53 


- 


3 


Dairy Products 


63 


- 


2 


Chicken & Eggs 


41 


- 


5 


Totals 


2,560 


2,083 


- 


* Notes: The value is equivalent farm gate value. The acres figures 


assume average yields. 





No statistics on consumption of imported agricultural products by Californians are available. 
However, the USDA does compile statistics {1991 Agricultural Statistics, USDA) on imports into the 
U.S. of certain crops and crop groups that compete with California crops. Tables 7-4 and 7-5 give the 
latest USDA statistics on values and quantities of certain agricultural imports. If California growers of 
many of these crops are not able to keep up with rising domestic demand, the domestic shortfall will 
normally be made up with increased foreign imports, as well as increased production from other states. 



177 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-4. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Quantity Index of Agricultural 

Imports 
(excludes fruits, nuts and vegetables) 



Index Values for: 



1980 



1985 



1990 



Percent 
Change 



Total Ag. Imports into U.S. 
Competitive Ag. Imports 



107 
100 



122 
118 



136 
123 



27.1 
23.0 



Table 7-5. Agricultural Imports by Country of Origin 
(in $ millions) 



Country of Origin 



1988 


1990 


Percent Change 


2,256 


2,927 


29.7 


1,540 


2,116 


37.4 


1,114 


1,161 


1.5 


925 


1,016 


9.8 


749 


786 


4.9 



Canada 

Mexico 

Australia 

Brazil 

New Zealand 



Factors Affecting Agricultural Water Use 

The primary factor in California's dominant agricultural production has been the abundance of 
natural resources. Production of irrigated crops depends on carbon dioxide (found naturally in the 
atmosphere), sunshine, water, and soil. These crops in turn produce food, fiber, and oxygen. The water 
used by the crop is termed consumptive use but the process is actually the conversion of resources to 
agricultural commodities that are ultimately consumed by the population in general. One estimate is that 
each Califomian requires one to two acre-feet of water per year in the food he eats^ in addition to their 
urban water use. 

Agricultural water use efficiency has normally been defined as irrigation efficiency calculated by 
dividing the ETAW plus the leaching requirement by the applied water. Another measure of agricultural 
water use efficiency is the agricultural production per unit of water. Harvested yields per acre of most 
California crops have more than doubled during this century while irrigation methods have become more 
efficient. For example, one of California's major crops, on an acreage basis, is cotton. Figure 7-2 shows 
the increase in yields per harvested acre for cotton since 1910. The historical increase in yields of alfalfa 
and rice also are displayed in Figures 7-2. In all cases, the production per acre foot of ETAW has 
increased substantially. In fact, the ET of many crops has been reduced due to new varieties with shorter 
stature, shorter growing seasons, more disease resistance, and better ripening characteristics. 

Dennition of Crop Consumptive Use 

The consumptive use of water by crops is synonymous with the term evapotranspiration. 
Consumptive use is expressed as a volume of water per unit area, usually acre-feet per acre. It is a 
measure of the water transpired by plants, retained in plant tissue and evaporated from adjacent soil 

2 Estimated from data in Water Inputs in California Food Production, Water Education Foundation, September 1991 . 



178 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-2. YIELD OF COTTON LINT, ALFALFA, AND RICE PER ACRE^ 

1910- 1990 



8t 



6- 



1 
o 4 



I- 3- 



ALFALFA- 

niCE- 

COTTONa 



1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

Years 



1 Official California Agricultural Statistic Service Data 




179 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

surfaces over a specific period of time. ET varies throughout the year depending on solar radiation, 
humidity, temperature, wind and stage of plant growth. For example, as a crop grows, ET increases until 
the crop reaches maturity. The evaporation component of ET is greatest when the plant is small and does 
not shade the soil surface. Further, the relationship between evaporation and transpiration is a dynamic 
one. When evaporation increases, transpiration decreases. Evapotranspiration, ET, is the largest element 
in California's hydrologic balance including the ET in forests, natural vegetation, agriculture and 
landscaping. 

The evapotranspiration of applied water is less than the total ET of a crop in most areas of the state 
because rainfall provides some of the crop requirements. This effective precipitation is subtracted from 
the total crop ET to determine the evapotranspiration of applied water (that portion of the crop ET provided 
by irrigation). Crop ETAW represents less than 15 percent of the total evapotranspiration and associated 
evaporation in the State. Table 7-6 indicates the ETAW range of the major crop groups in the hydrologic 
regions of California. 

Table 7-6. Ranges of Unit Evapotranspiration of Applied Water 
(acre -feet/acre per year) 



Crop 


NO 


SF 


CO 


SO 


SR 


SJ 


TL 


NL 


SL 


OR 


Grain 


0.3-1.5 


0.2-0.4 


0.2-0.4 


0.2-0.2 


0.2-1.6 


0.3-0.9 


0.6-1.2 


1.6-1.6 


0.2-0.2 


2.0-2.0 


Rice 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3.0-3.4 


3.3-3.6 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Cotton 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2.3-2.5 


2.5-2.5 


- 


- 


- 


Sugar Beets 


2.4-2.4 


1.5-2.3 


1.4-2.5 


2.2-2.2 


1.7-2.7 


2.1-2.7 


2.4-3.3 


2.8-2.8 


- 


3.8-3.8 


Corn 


1.0-1.8 


1.8-1.8 


0.6-1.8 


1.4-1.6 


1.4-2.3 


1.8-2.0 


1.9-2.0 


1.9-1.9 


2.4-2.4 


1.7-2.6 


Safflower 


0.6-0.6 


0.5-0.8 


- 


- 


0.4-0.6 


- 


- 


0.6-0.6 


- 


- 


Other Field 


0.9-1.8 


1.0-2.0 


0.6-1.3 


0.6-2.2 


1.2-2.0 


0.6-1.6 


1.2-2.1 


- 


2.2-2.2 


2.0-3.5 


Alfalfa 


1.5-2.8 


1.5-2.7 


1.9-3.0 


2.7-2.7 


1.8-3.2 


2.4-3.3 


2.9-3.3 


2.3-2.5 


4.3-4.3 


4.3-6.6 


Pasture 


1.4-2.6 


2.1-3.0 


2.0-3.0 


2.7-2.8 


2.1-3.3 


3.0-3.3 


3.0-3.5 


2.4-2.6 


4.3-4.3 


4.3-6.6 


Tomatoes 


- 


1.9-2.1 


1.0-2.0 


1.8-2.3 


1.6-2.1 


1.6-2.2 


2.0-2.3 


- 


- 


2.9-2.9 


Other Truck 


1.0-1.7 


0.9-2.0 


0.8-2.1 


1.4-1.5 


0.6-1.8 


0.6-1.7 


1.0-1.4 


1.7-1.7 


1.5-1.5 


1.3-5.4 


Almond/Pis- 


- 


- 


- 


_ 


1.6-2.7 


1.7-2.3 


2.0-2.5 


_ 


_ 


_ 


tachio 






















Other De- 


1.4-2.1 


1.4-2.2 


1.0-2.3 


2.3-2.3 


1.3-2.7 


1.3-2.8 


1.8-3.0 


_ 


2.3-2.3 


2.3-4.4 


ciduous 






















Subtropical 


- 


- 


1.0-2.0 


1.7-1.8 


1.3-2.0 


1.0-2.1 


1.7-2.2 


- 


2.6-2.6 


3.8-4.4 


Grapes 


0.5-0.8 


0.5-0.9 


0.8-1.3 


1.2-1.5 


0.9-2.0 


1.0-2.1 


1.9-2.2 


- 


2.4-2.4 


2.4-3.3 


NOTE: 






















1 . The North Coast Region encompasses numerous climate zones, reflected by a large range of ETAW values for certain crops. 

2. The Subtropical category includes olives, citrus, avocadoes, and dates, which have varying water requirements. Ranges 
of ETAW for this category reflect the relative acreages of each crop within a region. 

3. The cooler Delta climate reduces ETAW in some San Joaquin Region units for certain crops. 

4. Some variation in values is caused by similar crops (or the same crop) grown at different times of the year 



Historical Unit Water Use 

To estimate agricultural water use, unit applied water and unit ETAW values in acre-feet for each 
crop acre are evaluated. The ranges of unit applied water values used for various regions of California 
are shown below. Agriculture's annual applied water decreased over 4 MAF during the 1980s. This 



180 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

decrease was due to urbanization of irrigated land, changes in irrigation practices, and increased emphasis 

on water conservation since the 1976-77 drought and during the 1987-1 992 drought. 

Table 7-7. Ranges of Unit Applied Water for Agriculture by Hydrologic Region 

(acre feet/acre per year) 

Crop NC SF CC SC SR SJ TL NL SL CR 

Grain 0.3-2.3 0.3-0.4 0.5-1.0 0.5-1.0 0.6-2.5 0.6-1.3 1.0-1.8 2.1-2.4 1.0-1.0 1.0-3.6 

Rice 3.2-3.7 _ _ _ 4.0-7.9 6.7-7.9 _ _ _ _ 

Cotton _____ 3.1-3.3 3.0-3.3 - - 4.1-5.5 

Sugar 3.2-3.7 2.0-2.9 2.0-3.8 2.9-2.9 2.8-4.4 3.8-4.4 3.0-3.6 - - 4.2-4.2 
Beets 

Corn 1.4-2.8 2.3-2.3 1.5-2.9 1.9-2.3 2.4-3.5 2.6-2.9 2.4-3.6 2.7-2.7 4.0-4.0 2.1-4.0 

Other 1.3-3.0 2.0-2.5 0.9-2.5 0.8-3.1 1.8-2.9 1.8-2.9 2.1-3.2 - 3.7-3.7 2.9-5.2 
Field 

Alfalfa 2.0-3.5 2.6-3.3 2.6-4.0 4.2-4.5 2.6-4.9 3.8-4.9 1.7-4.8 3.2-3.4 5.5-5.5 6.8-9.4 

Pasture 1.9-4.0 3.4-4.4 2.6-4.0 4.5-5.4 3.9-6.1 3.8-6.2 1.7-4.8 2.9-2.9 5.5-5.5 7.9-9.4 

Tomatoes - 2.4-2.4 1.7-3.3 3.0-3.0 2.6-3.5 2.7-3.5 3.1-3.4 - - 4.3-6.4 

Other 1.3-2.7 1.7-2.5 0.9-2.7 1.9-2.5 0.7-2.7 1.7-2.9 1.8-2.3 2.4-2.6 2.5-2.5 2.9-7.7 
Truck 

Almond/ _ _ _ _ 2.6-3.6 - 2.7-3.3 _ _ _ 
Pistachio 

Other De- 2.8-3.0 2.0-3.2 1.0-3.4 2.9-2.9 2.6-4.2 3.1-4.2 2.6-3.9 - 3.8-3.8 5.9-6.3 
ciduous 

Sub- - - 1.0-2.5 2.1-2.3 2.4-2.9 2.4-2.5 1.7-2.2 - 3.5-3.5 4.2-5.9 
tropical 

Grapes 0.9-0.9 1.0-1.4 1.0-2.5 1.5-1.9 1.3-3.1 1.8-3.0 2.5-2.9 - 3.7-3.7 4.1-5.1 



Irrigation Management and Methods 

One business decision the farmer must make is which irrigation method to use. To make any 
decision regarding an irrigation practice, detailed information is needed about soil properties, the 
system's capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, new management skills, the availability of water, 
the effect on water and energy use, and the effect on yields and quality. Most irrigation system 
improvements will only be made if such a change will increase the net returns of the farming operation. 

In general, data indicate that on-farm irrigation efficiencies are higher than usually perceived. 
During the 1980s irrigation efficiencies rose about 10 percent, from an average of 60 percent to 70 
percent. An analysis of data from the cooperative Mobile Lab Program is presented in Figure 7-3 
indicating average irrigation efficiencies for various methods. Most data of this kind indicates that all 
methods of irrigation can be efficient, and there is no superior method that will save a large percentage of 
water No matter what method is used, the ET of the crop does not change substantially. Microirrigation 
does offer some reduction in evaporation when irrigating young trees and vines. Currently, there is a 
definite trend away from surface irrigation to pressurized systems for some crops. Drip and other forms 
of micro-irrigation are primarily being adopted for yield increases and other management benefits rather 
than solely to improve water application. The University of California, Davis, estimated the acreage 
irrigated by various methods recently. The results of the current survey are found in Table 7-8. A 



181 



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comparison with the earlier studies showed that surface irrigated acreage has decHned 13.3 percent since 
1972, sprinkler irrigated acreage has increased over five percent and drip irrigated acreage has increased 
from almost nothing to 8.7 percent at present. 

Table 7-8. Crop Acreage Irrigated by Various Methods 
(percentages) 



Crop 


Surface 


Sprinkler 


Drip 


Subsurface 


Grain 


88.8 


10.8 


0.0 


0.4 


Cotton 


93.3 


6.5 


0.2 


0.0 


Sugar Beets 


86.7 


13.3 


0.0 


0.0 


Corn 


99.1 


0.0 


0.0 


0.9 


Other Field 


89.5 


9.3 


0.7 


0.5 


Alfalfa 


86.0 


13.0 


0.0 


0.9 


Pasture 


81.8 


12.0 


0.0 


6.2 


Tomatoes 


92.7 


6.5 


0.9 


0.0 


Other Truck 


55.1 


29.5 


15.4 


0.0 


Deciduous Orchard 


39.2 


47.3 


13.2 


0.2 


Subtropical Orchard 


11.5 


80.6 


7.9 


0.0 


Grapes 


44.9 


12.7 


42.2 


0.3 


Total 


66.9 


23.8 


8.7 


0.6 



The manner of water delivery to the farm from water purveyors also affects water use and irrigation 
efficiency. To manage irrigation water most effectively, a farmer should be able to turn water on and off 
at will, like a commercial enterprise in a city does. This is impractical with most agricultural water 
delivery systems due to the large volumes of water that must be conveyed. However, a number of 
agricultural water agencies are improving the water delivery flexibility to the farm. The increased 
flexibility is accomplished by allowing a farmer to give shorter notice to the district before receiving 
water, and some allowance for adjusting flow rates and the duration of the irrigation. 

Drainage and Salinity 

A major consideration in water use is the salinity of the irrigation water, the salinity of the soil and 
the physical characteristics of the soil that affect its internal drainage. For example, heavy soils in 
Imperial Valley, made up of shrink-swelling clay minerals, need artificial drainage in order to leach salts 
from the soil or crop production would not be feasible. Leaching requirements may represent 10 to 15 
percent of the total applied water in this area. 

Another area with a similar problem is the western side of the San Joaquin Valley. Inadequate 
drainage and accumulation of salts have been long-standing problems. As irrigated acreage increased, 
the problem became more widespread in the region where the soils are derived from marine sediments 
already high in salts and frequently high in trace elements. Percolation from continued irrigation has 
dissolved these compounds in many areas and moved them into shallow groundwater aquifers where poor 
subsurface drainage allows them to concentrate. Other regions in California having soils with better 



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Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-3. ON-FARM AVERAGE SEASONAL APPLICATION EFFICIENCY OF 
VARIOUS IRRIGATION METHODS 



100% n 




Border Furrow Solid Set Hand Move Micro 

Sprinkler Sprinkler Sprinkler 

Irrigation Method 



Drip 



Source: DWR/Local Agency Cooperative Mobile Irrigation Laboratory Program. The efficiencies were calculated from 1 ,000 
field evaluations on less than 1 percent of California's farmland in San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, Kem, Kings, and Merced 
counties and cannot be considered a statewide average. Graded border and solid sprinkler efficiencies were high because of 
their use in mature orchards with shaded ground and protection from wind. 



183 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

drainage characteristics, and more rainfall to help leach the salts, normally do not have as severe drainage 
and salinity problems. 

Water Price and Production Costs 

Water price also affects agricultural water use, and at some point the retail cost can become too great 
for agricultural use. However, retail water prices are not as directly related to agricultural water use 
efficiency as is generally thought. Even though most farmers pay substantially less for water on a per 
acre-foot basis than their urban counterparts, their overall water costs for irrigation are a much higher 
percentage of a their budget than that of the average home owner. 

Cropping Patterns in California 

Over 250 different crops are grown in California due to the State's fertile soils, long growing season, and 
multitude of microclimates. Which crops are grown is the result of farmers' business decisions. Farmers 
must take into account the suitability of land and climate for various crops, market conditions, production 
costs, the available infrastructure, their own abilities, and what risks they are willing to take. 

Historic Agricultural Acreage 

Agricultural water use is estimated by determining what crops are grown and where. Figure 7-5 
shows the increase in irrigated agricultural acreage since the late 1 800s, although certain crops such as 
irrigated pasture have steadily decreased in recent years. 

Since 1950, DWR has surveyed agricultural land use. Since 1969, intensively cropped counties have 
been mapped approximately every seven years to assess the locations and amounts of irrigated crops. 
The acreages of crops grown each year are also estimated using the annual crop reports produced by 
county Agricultural Commissioners and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Livestock 
and Crop Reporting Service. Between 1980 and 1989, there was a five percent decrease in cropped 
acreage; however, this decade was also a period of fluctuating acreage when government programs, 
agricultural markets and climate significantly affected crop plantings. Irrigated agricultural acreage 
reached its peak in 1981, with 9.7 million acres, dropped 900,000 acres in 1983 due to the 
Payment-In-Kind Program, but then rose again by 800,000 acres in 1984. Therefore, between these 
acreage fluctuations and the drought, it is difficult to accurately assess the permanence of this 5 percent 
decrease. 

Water Supply and Water Price 

The historic increase in irrigated acreage, and the wide variety of crops grown, are the result of the 
water supply system developed by agriculture at the local level or with the support of the State and 
federal government. 

During normal years, a large amount of agricultural water comes from ground water supplies and is 
pumped mostly by individual farmers and ranchers. However, the majority of agricultural water supplies 
are obtained from water districts, which obtain most of their supplies from surface water, with a lesser 
portion from ground water sources. A small percentage of agricultural water is diverted directly from 
streams and rivers by the individual farmers and ranchers. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Water Price and Agricultural Production 

The effect of increases in the price of irrigation water on crop production is a complex issue. Some 
schools of thought predict the impending water price effects of the 1992 Central Valley Project Improve- 
ment Act and the Reclamation Reform Act will encourage farmers to take substantial amounts of 
acreage out of production. Others say that the water price increases will cause those irrigating pasture 
or growing field crops to shift to high-valued crops. This discussion should reveal why neither predic- 
tion may be the case. 

The decision by a farmer to bring a particular piece of land into production depends on a number of 
factors: the size of the capital investment needed (equipment, land, and land improvement costs); the 
farmer's skill, experience, and financial resources; the risk of crop or yield loss due to disease or 
drought; the expected income from crop sales; the likely variation in that income due to market price 
fluctuations; and the costs of production. The compliance requirements and income effects of govern- 
ment farm programs must also be considered. A primary factor, of course, is the availability of the re- 
sources needed to produce and process a particular crop: suitable soils and climate, labor, and water 
of sufficient quantity and quality. 

Water price affects these factors both directly and indirectly; it affects the cost of production directly 
and the investment cost indirectly. The indirect link exists because the water cost affects the expected 
future net return from crop production on the land in question: the higher the water cost, the lower this 
return is expected to be. The market value of the land for crop production (aside from any speculative 
value for nonagricultural uses) is, in turn, based on the present worth of this expected net income. 

Options may be available, however, to reduce the adverse impacts of a water price increase. Alter- 
native water sources or water management practices may be available at a justifiable cost. Also, be- 
cause of tradition, a present lack of appropriate skills and experience, or an unwillingness to accept risk 
or make a needed — but substantial — capital investment, a farmer may not be producing the crop that 
can provide the greatest net income. 

The option to shift to another crop must be considered with respect to the farmer's financial re- 
sources, the suitability of climate and soils, and crop marketing conditions. (For many high-valued 
crops, the necessary market conditions include obtaining a contract with a food processor.) Because of 
such constraints, land planted to lower-valued crops like pasture or alfalfa may not be a sign of oppor- 
tunity being ignored. 

Even with low cost water supply, it is still in the farmer's economic interest to plant the crop that pro- 
vides the greatest net income; a low-cost water supply just allows this crop to provide a greater net 
income than would otherwise be the case. However, in cases where alternative crops produce about 
the same gross income per acre but require much different quality and quantities of water, the different 
degree of impact on production cost can change the relative attractiveness of a crop in terms of net in- 
come. 

If the impact of a substantial water price increase cannot be sufficiently moderated by any options 
available to the farmer, that farmer may not have the financial resources or economic incentive to contin- 
ue farming the land affected by the water price increase. In this case, the land will be placed on the 
market, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and its price reduced, reflecting the water price increase. Un- 
der these conditions, the final effect is likely to be a change in the financial status of the person 
who owns the land and perhaps also the person who farms the land rather than the type of crop 
grown. 

The prices received for different crops, the viability of the irrigated acres, the availability of alterna- 
tive sources of of water, the net income resulting from a specific crop or mix of crops, and the options 
and financial resources available to the farmer all affect whether or not a certain crop is produced. It is 
extremely difficult to predict the specific effects of a water price increase on agricultural production. In 
general, however, an increase in the price of water will probably cause the value of the farm land to 
drop, and land only marginally productive, farmed by those with very limited financial resources, will be 
unable to continue production. The mix of crops on the land remaining in production will not likely be 
substantially affected. 

In addition, expanding markets for high-valued crops will probably make economically uncompeti- 
tive land viable for growing the high -valued crops. The prices paid for the high -valued crops will have 
a much greater effect on what is grown in California than the "pressure" of increased water prices. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-5. IRRIGATED LAND ACREAGE IN CALIFORNIA 

1870-1990 



1990 "NORMALIZED' 




1990 



NOTE: The decline in 1983 was caused primarily by widespread flooding and the 
Federal Agricultural Payment in Kind (PIK) Program. 



186 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Land Use Survey Program 

Since 1950, DWR has conducted detailed land use surveys as part of its Land Resource and Use 
Program. These surveys are used in determining urban and agricultural water needs. Every major 
water using county is resurveyed approximately every seven years. The base maps used for all DWR 
land use surveys are U.S. Geological Survey 7-1/2-minute-quadrangle maps, scale 1:24,000 acres. 
Land boundaries are delineated using low and high elevation aerial photography. These maps are 
taken to the field to make positive land use identification and to verify those interpreted from the 
photographs. In addition, crop acreage information from county agricultural commissioners and farm 
advisors is used to help determine the extent of double cropping. The acreage of each crop type (and 
other land uses) are determined and summarized by quad, county, irrigation district, and hydrologic 
area. The present method used to generate the maps and process the resulting data is computer digi- 
tization of land use boundaries as well as subsequent data analysis within a geographic information 
system. The figure below is an example of map output from this process. 



|s °M I 



r""M! 




Enlarged section of Brentwood quad from 1 991 Delta survey 



187 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

In 1991, at least 78 agencies each provided over 50,000 AF. As with urban agencies, a number of 
factors influence these agencies' water prices, including water sources, transportation, pricing policies, 
agency size, and weather. 

Agricultural Retail Water Prices 

About 70 to 80 percent of agricultural water districts' revenues typically come from water charges 
during a normal water year. The remainder of their water revenues are derived from property taxes. 
Most water districts (especially in the Sacramento Valley) charge on the basis of acres irrigated and at 
different per acre rates, depending upon the types of crops that are grown. All the prices for individual 
crops are calculated on a water duty (the amount of water required to irrigate a given area for cultivation 
of some crop). 

In late 1991 and early 1992, the Department of Water Resources mailed water cost surveys to 
selected water districts that serve farming communities in California. Almost all of the responses were 
from medium or large sized agricultural water purveyors. There were 28 responses from the Central 
Valley. 

Table 7-9 summarizes agricultural retail rates by hydrologic region. The most expensive agricultural 
water sold by districts is found in the South Lahontan, South Coast, and Tulare Lake regions. The 
agricultural water used in the South Coast is often surplus or interruptible, potable urban water. The least 
expensive irrigation water is found in the North Coast, northeast California (North Lahontan), Colorado 
Desert, and the Sacramento Valley. As with urban water prices, a major element is the transportation cost 
of moving water from the area of origin to the area of use. 



188 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-9. 1991 Agricultural Retail Water Costs by Hydrologic Region 

(weighted average) 



Hydrologic 
Region 


Number of Districts 

Responding to 

Survey 


District Water 
Sources 


Weighted Average 

Cost 

($/acre-foot) 


North Coast 


2 


Other* 


3 


San Francisco Bay 


N/A 






Central Coast 


1 


CVR Other 


14 


South Coast 


4 


SWR Colorado River, 
MWDSC, Other 


137 


Sacramento River 


14 


CVR SWR Other 


12 


San Joaquin 


9 


CVR Other 


19 


Tulare Lake 


10 


CVR SWR Other 


126 


North {.ahontan 


1 


Other 


9 


South Lahontan 


1 


SWR Other 


150 


Colorado River 


N/A 







Local surface or ground water supplies. 



Agricultural Ground Water Production Costs 

As with urban areas, agricultural ground water costs vary considerably throughout California. Many 
factors influence these costs, including depth to ground water, pump efficiencies, and electricity rates. 
Table 7-10 presents a range of averages for agricultural ground water costs for the hydrologic regions. 
The costs include capital, operations (including pumping energy costs), maintenance, and replacement 
costs. Costs were determined from a survey of well drillers in the hydrologic regions and from DWR 
district files. 



Table 7-10. 1992 Agricultural Ground Water Production Costs by 
Hydrologic Region 



Region 



Ground Water Costs 
($/acre-foot)^ 



North Coast 
San Francisco Bay 
Central Coast 
South Coast 
Sacramento River 
San Joaquin 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahontan 
South Lahontan 
Colorado River 



10-70 
60-130 

80 
80-120 
30-60 
30-40 
40-80 

60 

20 

90 



The range represents the average cost at specific locations within a region, and includes capital, 



operation, nnaintenance, and replacement costs. 



189 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

Agricultural Water Conservation 

Agricultural water conservation has taken a different path from that of the urban sector. Historically, 
irrigated agriculture has had the University of California, California State Universities, local Resource 
Conservation Districts and U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to provide technical management 
assistance over many decades. These efforts have often included improved and better crop varieties, high 
yielding food and fiber crops, disease resistant crops, frost resistant crops, and irrigation and farming 
methods that help preserve soil structure and fertility, as well as maintaining favorable soil salinity and 
long-term productivity. These collective efforts have resulted in constant improvement in use of 
resources for agricultural production and significant increases in yield per acre for almost all crops grown 
in California. Irrigation efficiencies have been increased and applied water requirements reduced over 
time as a result of these efforts. 

Even though irrigation management continued to improve in the 1970s and 1980s, using the existing 
technical assistance programs mentioned above, agricultural water agencies now fill an active role 
paralleling that of urban water agencies in conservation efforts. Two pieces of legislation that 
accelerated this effort are the California Agricultural Water Management Planning Act of 1 986 (AB 
1658) and the federal Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. 

AB 1658 required all agricultural water suppliers delivering over 50,000 acre-feet of water per year 
to prepare an "Information Report" and identify whether the district has a significant opportunity to 
conserve water or reduce the quantity of saline or toxic drainage water through improved irrigation water 
management. The legislation affected the 80 largest agricultural water purveyors in California. The 
districts that have a significant opportunity to conserve water or reduce drainage are required to prepare 
Water Management Plans. 

The Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 required federal water contractors to prepare "Water 
Conservation Plans." In California, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region developed a 
set of "Guidelines to Prepare Water Conservation Plans" and required all federal water contractors 
serving over 2,000 acres to submit water conservation plans. In 1990, USBR requested assistance from 
DWR to upgrade the guidelines on how to prepare water conservation plans. New guidelines for USBR's 
Mid-Pacific Region were prepared and DWR is providing assistance to USBR contractors to develop, 
update, and implement water conservation plans. The Central Valley Improvement Act of 1992 required 
the USBR's Mid-Pacific Region to revise its existing guidelines for reviewing conservation plans to 
include, but not be limited to, BMPs and Efficient Water Management Practices developed in California. 
The 1992 Strategic Plan for the USBR has identified water conservation as a key element for improving 
the use and management of the nation's water resources. Close cooperation with DWR avoids 
duplication of these activities. 

Enactment of AB 3616 in 1990 charged DWR to establish an Advisory Committee consisting of 
members of the agricultural community. University of California, California Department of Food and 
Agriculture, environmental and public interest groups, and other interested parties to develop a list of 
Efficient Water Management Practices for agricultural water supplies. Approximately 22 practices are 
under consideration. 



190 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

Table 7-11. Summary of Current Efficient Water l\/lanagement Practices 

Currently in Place '' 

Practice (percentage) 

Irrigation Management 

1. Improve water measurement and accounting ^° 

2. Conduct irrigation efficiency studies 43 

3. Provide farmers with "normal -year" and "real time" irrigation, scheduling and 52 

crop evapotranspiration ET information 

4. Monitor surface water qualities and quantities 52 & 1 00 respectively 

5. Monitor soil moisture 13 

6. Promote efficient pre-irrigation techniques 17 

7. Monitor soil salinity 26 

8. Provide on -farm irrigation system evaluations 35 

9. Monitor quantity and quality of drainage waters 39 & 52 respectively 

10. Monitor ground water elevations and qualities 83 & 43 respectively 

1 1 . Evaluate and improve water user pump efficiencies 39 

12. Designate a water conservation coordinator 48 

Physical Improvement 

1 3. Improve the condition and type of flow measuring devices ^' 

14. Automate canal structures ^ 

15. Line or pipe ditches and canals ^ 

16. Modify distribution facilities to increase the flexibility of water deliveries *^ 

17. Construct or line regulatory resen/oirs 26 

18. Construct District tailwater reuse systems ^ 

19. Develop recharge basins ^s 

20. Improve on-farm irrigation and drainage systems *^ 

21 . Evaluate efficiencies of District pumps ^7 

22. Provide educational seminars " 

Institutional Adjustments 

23. Improve communication and cooperative work among district, farmers, and other ^s 
agencies 

24. Change the water fee structure in order to provide incentives for more efficient *^ 
use of water and drainage reduction 

25. Increase flexibility in water ordering and delivery ss 

26. Conduct public information programs ** 

27. Facilitate financing capital improvements for District and on-farm irrigation sys- *3 
tems 

28. Increase conjunctive use of ground water and surface water 22 

29. Facilitate, where appropriate, alternative land uses * 

■" Based on a 1992 U.C. Davis survey of 23 agricultural water suppliers delivering over 50,000 AF of irrigation water. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

The AB 3616 Advisory Committee is working to develop a process for agricultural water 
management plans for implementation of EWMPs within the framework of rights and duties imposed by 
existing law. Water management plans will identify water conservation opportunities and set a schedule 
for implementation. It is difficult to assess the impact of EWMPs at the present time. Calculation of 
water savings resulting from EWMPs implementation will require a detailed planning process by each 
individual district, including analysis of technical feasibility, social and district economic criteria, and 
legal feasibility of each practice. The University of California at Davis surveyed 23 of the 79 
agricultural water agencies affected by AB 1658 to assess what practices similar to EWMPs are currently 
in place. The results of that survey are also displayed as percentages in Table 7-11. It is expected that 
the AB 3616 process will replace that contained in AB 1658. 

DWR continues to cooperate with many local agencies to implement measures that are potentially 
included on the list of EWMPs. These include providing real-time irrigation scheduling data through the 
California Irrigation Management Information System; providing on-farm irrigation system evaluations 
through the Mobile Irrigation Management Laboratory (Mobile Lab) program; offering advice on 
redesigning fee structures; and offering loans for installation of water measurement devices and 
construction of regulatory reservoirs. A cooperative effort, along with Pacific Gas and Electric and 
others, has helped develop the Irrigation Training and Research Center at California Polytechnic State 
University, in San Luis Obispo. 

As was mentioned in the urban water use section, the definition of water conservation recognizes that 
reducing applied water results in additional water supply only when the water would otherwise be lost to 
a saline water body such as the Pacific Ocean. In the agricultural sector, this definition only applies to a 
few specific areas; primarily the Colorado River Region which drains to the Salton Sea and the west side 
of the San Joaquin Valley. In the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River hydrologic basins, excess 
applied irrigation water is either reused or ultimately percolates to ground water or drains back into 
rivers that flow to the Delta. Any reduction in return flow from applied irrigation water must be made 
up by increased reservoir releases to maintain specified outflows through the Delta. 

Drainage Reduction 

A major effort has been the cooperative demonstration projects of new and emerging technologies for 
on-farm irrigation management to reduce applied water, hence drainage and deep percolation in drainage 
problem areas. The west side of the San Joaquin Valley contains hundreds of thousands of acres of land 
underlain by poorly drained soils and shallow ground water. Continued irrigation requires the removal 
of shallow ground water to prevent water logging and salinization of soils which damage crops and 
reduce yields. 

Since the 1950s, three major State and federal interagency studies have been conducted regarding 
agricultural drainage disposal. Before 1983, study recommendations revolved around the construction of 
a drainage canal (San Joaquin Valley Drain) to transport drainage water to the ocean through the 
Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta. The federal CVP constructed part of the San Luis Drain, the first phase 
of the San Joaquin Valley Drain, to serve the drainage needs of the CVP's San Luis Unit. The drain 
terminated in Kesterson Reservoir, an interim storage and evaporation reservoir in Merced County. In 
1 983, deformities and deaths of aquatic birds at Kesterson Reservoir were observed and attributed to 



192 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

selenium toxicity. The presence of selenium in drainage water significantly changed the strategy for 
resolving drainage problems in the San Joaquin Valley. 

San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program 

In 1984, the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program was established as a joint federal and State effort 
to investigate drainage and drainage-related problems in light of the new conditions. The SJVDP 
published its recommended plan in September 1990. The recommended plan should guide management 
of the agricultural drainage problem for several decades into the future. In December 1991, eight State 
and federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate activities implementing the 
plan. A strategy was also developed to serve the following purposes: (1) establish a continuing 
coordination structure; (2) define and prioritize implementation needs; (3) identify federal. State, local, 
and private roles in implementation; (4) recommend implementation actions; and (5) seek agreement of 
involved parties. 

The implementation strategy also includes developing a long-term monitoring program for tracking 
drainage conditions; determining the impacts of actions to manage drainage problems, and formulating a 
plan for long-term management of drainage data base programs. This Bulletin assumes the land 
retirement and source control (conservation) elements of the recommended plan will be implemented, 
and are discussed in the next section. 

Another consideration in projecting a slight reduction of agricultural acreage by 2020 was the 
retirement of lands with drainage and selenium concentrations as recommended by the San Joaquin 
Valley Drainage Program in the report, A Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and 
Related Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley. That report identified the need for 75,000 acres of 
land retirement by 2040 to maintain agricultural production. Assuming that land retirement will occur 
uniformly over time, about 45,000 acres of land retirement could occur by 2020. 

Irrigation Efficiency 

Another consideration of agricultural water use projections is irrigation efficiency, which as 
previously stated is the ETAW of farm fields divided by the applied water. Previously, DWR has 
assumed that irrigation efficiencies could improve to between 70 and 75 percent. Recently, an 
agricultural sub-work group on the Bay-Delta Proceedings formalized an average target on-farm 
efficiency for the San Joaquin Valley computed to take into account the need for leaching of salts. An 
efficiency of 73 percent was considered appropriate for the San Joaquin Valley using the following 
formula: 

SAE= ETAW + LR 
AW 

where SAE is seasonal application efficiency; LR is leaching requirements; and AW is applied water. 
The assumptions leading to the 73 percent target included a leaching requirement of 5 percent of ETAW 
and a distribution uniformity of 80 percent. (In contrast, the model landscape ordinance recently 
developed by DWR assumes a target efficiency of 62 percent). This target assumes that full production 



193 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

is achievable and yields will not be reduced. For this report it is assumed that 73 percent is a reasonable 
average target on-farm irrigation efficiency for agriculture in all regions of the State by 2020. Some 
areas of the State, such as Westlands Water District, Kern County Water Agency, and Imperial Irrigation 
District have on-farm irrigation efficiencies ranging from 75 percent to over 80 percent. 

When this target efficiency was used for an analysis of the water conservation potential in the San 
Joaquin Valley, only an additional 14,000 AF were determined to be conservable. A number of other 
studies have indicated up to 290,000 AF of conservable water in the Central Valley (Central Valley Water 
Use Committee, 1987). In both cases the analysis was criticized because of the lack of good on-farm 
applied water data in many areas. The CVWUC report was one of the few that provided a range of 
uncertainty of plus or minus 100,000 AF feet. Most experts agree that a precise number would be 
difficult to attain. In any case, the estimates of the remaining agricultural water conservation potential 
are extremely small compared to the total amount of water applied in agriculture for two reasons. The 
most important is that improvements in irrigation efficiency do not necessarily result in reductions in 
depletions in most hydrologic areas other than the two exceptions mentioned previously. Secondly, only 
nominal improvements in irrigation efficiency are still practicable. 

The source control (conservation) element of the preferred plan of San Joaquin Drainage program 
was considered to be implemented in this bulletin. As the SJVDP report mentioned, many practices 
were already occurring. Adopting the source control element results in 130,000 AF of applied water 
reduction. 

Agricultural Water Demand Forecast 
1990 Level of Development 

Bulletin 160 forecasts of agricultural acreage begin with a determination of a base year level of 
development. This base acreage normally differs from the actual acreage irrigated in the base year. This 
is particularly evident in this Bulletin because the base year of 1 990 was a drought year. 

Agricultural acreage data for the 1980s were developed from DWR land use surveys and crop 
statistics developed by the Department of Food and Agriculture. Actual acreage values for 1990 were 
adjusted, based on averages of the 1 980s, to reflect more normal year water supply and market 
conditions, the resulting base year values are termed "1990 normalized." The normalized acreage is 
shown in Figure 7-6 and Table 7-12 shows irrigated acreage by hydrologic region. 



194 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-6. VARIOUS ESTIMATES OF IRRIGATED 
CROP ACREAGE IN CALIFORNIA 



10 



8 - 



£ 6 
o 

< 



= 4 

ii 



2 - 



Dept Of 

Food & 

Aartculture 

Harvested 

Net 

Actual 




DWR 

Net 

Actual 



DWR 

Net 

Normalized 



dwr''* 

Net 
Projected 



1990'^' 



1990'^' 



1980-90 
Average 



1990 



2020 



Years 



■• Total acreage is drought impacted. 

2 DWR net actual acreage is the gross acreage from DWR land use surveys minus roads, farmsteads, etc. 

3 Net normalized is the DWR net actual acreage adjusted to reflect 1980-90 averages to establish the level of development for 
the 1990 base year 



195 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-12. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage by Hydrologic Region 

1990 

(normalized, in thousands of acres) 



Irrigated Crop 


NC 


SF 


CC 


SC 


SR 


SJ 


TL 


NL 


SL 


CR 


Total 


Grain 


82 


2 


28 


11 


303 


182 


297 


6 


1 


76 


988 


Rice 














494 


21 


1 


1 








517 


Cotton 

















178 


1,029 








37 


1,244 


Sugar Beets 


2 





5 





75 


64 


35 








35 


216 


Corn 


1 


1 


3 


5 


104 


181 


100 








8 


403 


Other Field 


3 


1 


16 


4 


155 


121 


135 





1 


55 


491 


Alfalfa 


53 





27 


10 


141 


226 


345 


43 


34 


255 


1,134 


Pasture 


121 


5 


20 


20 


357 


228 


44 


110 


19 


31 


955 


Tomatoes 








14 


9 


120 


89 


107 








13 


352 


Other Truck 


21 


10 


321 


87 


55 


133 


204 


1 


2 


190 


1,024 


Almonds/ 
Pistachios 














101 


245 


164 











510 


Other Decidu- 
ous 


7 


6 


20 


3 


205 


147 


177 





4 


1 


570 


Citrus/Olives 








18 


164 


18 


9 


181 








29 


419 


Grapes 


36 


36 


56 


6 


17 


184 


393 








20 


748 


Total Crop 
Area^ 


326 


61 


528 


319 


2,145 


2,008 


3,212 


161 


61 


750 


9,571 


Double Crop 








98 


30 


44 


53 


65 








102 


392 


Irrigated Land 
Area 


326 


61 


430 


289 


2,101 


1,955 


3,147 


161 


61 


648 


9,179 



' Total crop area is the land area plus the amount of land double cropped. 

Agricultural Acreage Forecast 

This California Water Plan Update relies on integrating three forecasting methods to estimate future 
agricultural acreage by crop type. The methods are: (1) expert opinion of land use trends and land 
capabilities, population projections, and local planning information by DWR Land and Water Use 
Analysts, (2) DWR's Crop Market Outlook, and (3) DWR's Central Valley Production Model. 

The CMC is based on the expert opinion of bankers, farm advisors, commodity marketing specialists 
and others. The CMO is based on three primary factors: (1) the current and future demand for food and 
fiber by the world's consumers; (2) the shares of the national and international markets for agricultural 
production that are met by California's farmers and livestock producers; and 3) technical factors, such as 
crop yields, pasture carrying capacities and livestock feed conversion ratios. 

The CMO assumes there is no direct relationship between food consumed by Californians and food 
grown in California. For instance, all corn silage and hay in California is used by livestock. Most cotton 
is exported. California provides more than 80 percent of the nation's processing tomatoes, tree nuts, 
lemons, olives, prunes, and grapes. 



196 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

Much of the food and fiber consumed in California is grown outside the State. For instance, 
California is the number seven cattle producing state, but feed grains fed to California livestock are 
supplemented by feed from out-of-state. In short, modern transportation systems and food storage 
technology combine with trade and a market economy to allow California to benefit greatly from 
specialization in agricultural production. 

The ability of California's farmers to help meet the world's future demands for food and fiber will be 
determined by various supply side and demand side factors. These factors include: 

O water quality regulation 

O urban encroachment 

O future crop yields 

O access to world markets 

O government farm programs 

O regulation of farm chemicals and the availability of alternatives 

O the availability of an affordable water supply 

O emergence of agricultural export capability in other countries 

O labor and labor overhead 

O endangered species protection 

The comparative advantages for farmers will increase or decrease as the costs per unit of output 
change for farmers in California and competing regions, and trade barriers and tariffs change. These will, 
in turn, affect our shares of domestic and international markets. Among other cost components that affect 
farm production costs and sales prices are energy, labor, labor overhead, and pest control. 

California produces more than half of our nation's fresh and processed vegetables. A significant 
amount of our vegetable crops are exported, but some growers of certain vegetables face increasing 
competition from imports. All vegetables are irrigated and many are double-cropped. California 
vegetable acres have increased substantially in the past 20 years due to increasing comparative 
advantages in production and rising per capita consumption. Some observers expect this trend to continue 
and at a faster rate than any other crop group. Figure 7-7 reflects this trend. 

High value tree fruit, nut, and vine acreage has expanded significantly in California over the last 20 
years. California now dominates the US market for most of the major crops in this category, often with 
over 80 percent of US production. Exports for many of these crops are also important. Most fruit, nut, 
and vine acres are irrigated. Most of these perennial crops are grown for both the fresh market and the 
processing market. 

The CVPM is a programming model of farm production activities in 40 areas covering California's 
Central Valley. It incorporates detailed information on production practices and costs as well as water 
availability and cost by source for each area. Information on the relationship between the production 



197 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Agricultural Water Use 

levels of individual crops and crop market prices is also an important part of the model. The purpose of 
the CVPM is to evaluate the influence of production costs, resource availability, and market demand on 
the future economic viability of different crops in various areas of the Central Valley. 

The CVPM and a review of crop acreage trends by DWR experts were used in conjunction with the 
CMO forecasts to determine overall crop acreage projections to 2020. All forecasting methods indicate a 
continuing decline in irrigated pasture as is illustrated in Figure 7-8. Agricultural acreage and applied 
water are expected to decrease over the next 30 years. Table 7-1 3 and Figure 7-9 indicates the projected 
acreage for crops in the major hydrologic regions of the State for the year 2020. 

Table 7-13. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage by Hydrologic Region 

2020 (Forecasted) 
(in thousands of acres) 



Irrigated Crop 


NC 


SF 


CC 


SC 


SR 


SJ 


TL 


NL 


SL 


CR 


Total 


Grain 


72 


2 


23 


1 


295 


179 


258 


9 





80 


920 


Rice 














482 


15 





1 








498 


Cotton 

















178 


949 








67 


1,194 


Sugar Beets 


10 





5 





72 


45 


25 








40 


197 


Corn 


1 





6 


2 


115 


183 


98 


1 





3 


409 


Other Field 


3 


1 


15 


1 


158 


122 


130 





1 


26 


456 


Alfalfa 


65 





24 


6 


152 


156 


240 


53 


26 


226 


947 


Pasture 


122 


4 


15 


6 


320 


171 


22 


106 


19 


30 


815 


Tomatoes 








15 


4 


132 


88 


85 








14 


339 


Other Truck 


28 


11 


347 


43 


65 


201 


350 


2 


1 


203 


1,250 


Almonds/ 
Pistachios 














125 


263 


173 











561 


Other Decidu- 
ous 


7 


6 


19 


3 


217 


151 


178 





2 


1 


584 


Citrus/Olives 








16 


116 


29 


11 


190 








30 


392 


Vineyard 


38 


40 


81 


3 


24 


189 


363 








15 


753 


Total Crop Area 


346 


64 


566 


185 


2,186 


1,952 


3,061 


171 


49 


735 


9,315 


Double Crop 








137 


12 


72 


68 


90 








123 


507 


Irrigated Land 
Area 


346 


64 


429 


173 


2,114 


1,884 


2,971 


171 


49 


612 


8,814 



This forecast is generally optimistic about the ability of California farmers to compete in a world 
with fewer trade restrictions, smaller federal crop programs, and increasing crop production capacity 
worldwide. The outlook is particularly optimistic for California's high-value crops. 

Urbanization of Agricultural Lands 

A primary consideration in projections of decreased agricultural acreage was the continued 
development of irrigated agricultural lands for urban use. Often prime agricultural lands are also prime 
lands for urban development as cities surrounded by agriculture continue to grow. Currently, agriculture 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-7. IRRIGATED VEGETABLE ACREAGE IN CALIFORNIA 

1920 - 1990 



1.800 

1,600 

1/400 

e 1,200 

u 

< 

° 1,000 - 
to 

•o 

c 

I- 

600 - 

400 - 

200 



1920 





Projected — --~-,„^^^ ^, * 

^ "* 










^ " 
















, , • M" 1 1 ' •'•"■ ••<«¥•' 





1940 



1960 



1980 



2000 



2020 



Years 



199 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-8. IRRIGATED PASTURE ACREAGE IN CALIFORNIA 

1950 - 2020 



1,600 -, 



1,200 



800 



400 




No 

Data 

Available 



1920 



1940 



I960 



1980 



2000 



2020 



Years 



200 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



moves onto less desirable lands as urban acreage expands. This trend could affect the trend of increased 
production per unit of water as illustrated earlier in this chapter. 

The California Department of Conservation has estimated the conversion of prime farmlands to urban 
uses since 1984. All prime farmlands are irrigated in California. Their most recent report identifies 
nearly 32,000 acres of prime land converted to urban use since 1984. In this Bulletin the primary 
agricultural areas impacted by such conversions are in the South Coast Region and in the Central Valley 
from Sutter County southward. 

2020 Agricultural Water Demands 

The applied water used by agriculture decreased by over 4 MAF between 1980 and 1990. This was 
due to a reduction in acreage, a change in cropping patterns and an average improvement in irrigation 
efficiency from 60 percent to 70 percent. The reductions in applied water of 2.3 MAF by 2020 are due to 
a smaller increase in irrigation efficiency to 73 percent by the adoption of EWMPs, but are dominated by 
reduced agricultural acreage and shifts in cropping patterns. 

The areas where reductions in applied water result in reductions in depletions are the drainage 
problem areas on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and in the Imperial Valley. Reductions in 
applied water may be beneficial in certain cases (e.g., pesticide movement) and detrimental in others 
(e.g., wildlife habitat). Such analyses and decisions need to be made at the local level through local 
water management plans. The positive or negative effects of site specific reduction in applied water have 
not been evaluated in this Bulletin. The projections of applied water reductions and water conservation 
due to the EWMPs by 2020 are found in Table 7-14. These projections are included in the agricultural 
water demands shown in Table 7-15. 

Table 7-14. Annual Agricultural Applied Water Reductions and Related Reduction 

Depletions by Hydrologic Region 

2020 (forecasted) 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Region 


Applied Water 

Changes 

1990-2020 


Depletion Changes 

Due to Acreage 

Reductions or Crop 

Shifts 


Depletion Changes 
from Irrigation Effi- 
ciency improvement 


North Coast 


70 


50 







San Francisco Bay 













Central Coast 


60 


40 







South Coast 


-350 


-280 




-10 


Sacramento River 


-290 


-40 







San Joaquin River 


-630 


-320 




-20 


Tulare Lake 


-780 


-500 




-90 


North Lahontan 


10 


20 







South Lahontan 


-60 


-50 




-10 


Colorado River 


-340 


-60 




-200 


Net Change 


-2,310 


-1,140 




-330 



201 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



FIGURE 7-9. IRRIGATED LAND ACREAGE IN CALIFORNIA 
1870- 2020 



10 



6 - 






>p 


/-Projected 
"'^' 


T 




rZ/ 




J 









1870 



NOTE: 



1900 



1930 



1960 



1990 



2020 



Years 



The decline in 1983 was caused primarily by widespread flooding and the 
Federal Agricultural Payment in Kind (PIK) Program. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-15. California Agricultural Water Demand 
(millions of acre -feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



North Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.8 
0.7 
0.6 



0.9 
0.8 
0.6 



0.9 
0.8 

0.6 



1.0 
0.8 
0.7 



0.1 
0.1 
0.0 



0.1 
0.0 
0.1 



San Francisco 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



Central Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



1.1 
0.9 
0.9 



1.2 
1.0 
1.0 



1.2 
0.9 
0.9 



1.2 
1.0 
1.0 



0.1 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



South Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.7 
0.6 
0.6 



0.8 
0.7 
0.7 



0.4 
0.4 
0.4 



0.4 
0.4 
0.4 



(0.3) 
(0.2) 
(0.2) 



(0.4) 
(0.3) 
(0.3) 



Sacramento River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



7.8 
6.8 
5.5 



8.6 
7.3 
6.1 



7.6 
6.5 
5.4 



8.3 
7.0 
6.1 



(0.2) 
(0.3) 
(0.1) 



(0.3) 

(0.3) 

0.0 



San Joaquin River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



6.3 
5.8 
4.7 



6.8 
6.2 
5.1 



5.7 
5.2 
4.4 



6.1 
5.6 
4.7 



(0.6) 
(0.6) 
(0.3) 



(0.7) 
(0.6) 
(0.4) 



Tulare Lake 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



9.6 
7.9 
7.9 



9.8 
8.1 
8.1 



8.8 
7.3 
7.3 



9.0 
7.5 
7.4 



(0.8) 
(0.6) 
(0.6) 



(0.8) 
(0.6) 
(0.7) 



North Lahontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.5 
0.5 
0.4 



0.6 
0.5 
0.4 



0.5 
0.5 
0.4 



0.6 
0.5 
0.4 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



South Lahontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.3 
0.3 
0.3 



0.3 
0.3 
0.3 



0.3 
0.2 
0.2 



0.3 
0.2 
0.2 



0.0 
(0.1) 
(0.1) 



0.0 
(0.1) 
(0.1) 



203 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Agricultural Water Use 



Table 7-15. California Agricultural Water Demand (continued) 
(millions of acre -feet) 



Hydrologic 


Regions 


1990 


2020 


1990-2020 Change 


Hydrologic 


Regions 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


Colorado River 
















Applied Water 




3.7 


3.7 


3.4 


3.4 


(0.3) 


(0.3) 


Net Water 




3.4 


3.4 


3.2 


3.2 


(0.2) 


(0.2) 


Depletion 




3.4 


3.4 


3.2 


3.2 


(0.2) 


(0.2) 


Total 
















Applied Water 




30.9 


32.B 


28.9 


30.4 


(2.0) 


(2.4) 


Net Water 




27.0 


28.4 


25.1 


26.3 


(1.9) 


(2.1) 


Depletion 




24.4 


25.8 


22.9 


24.2 


(1.5) 


(r-6> 



Recommendations 

Gathering high quality data to estimate the water applied in agriculture and irrigation efficiencies 
entails a lot of cost and labor. A source of high quality agricultural water use and conservation data could 
be made available from local agricultural water management plans developed in accordance with the 
USER water management reports and the planned EWMP program. Such a source currently exists from 
urban water agencies and is being strengthened through the BMP process. 

State agencies should encourage and provide technical assistance to agricultural water suppliers in 
preparation and implementation of water management plans. 

DWR needs to develop additional, more precise, on-farm applied-water data by crop to more 
accurately estimate agricultural applied water use efficiency. 

Studies need to be carried out by the State to determine the effect of increasing population on overall 
food production needs and its relationship to California's agricultural industry. 



f Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



8 ENVIRONMENTAL WATER USE 




Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

8 ENVIRONMENTAL WATER USE 

California has long led the nation in environmental awareness. Bulletin 3 (1957), California's first 
comprehensive water plan, noted what were then thought to be minimum fish flow requirements or 
operational requirements to maintain healthy fisheries on California's major stream systems impacted by 
water development. The recurrence of drought (both in 1976-77 and 1987-92) has shown that fish 
populations and wetland areas require a more dependable water supply. This will be the first water plan 
update to present specific environmental water needs. 

Many of the State's biological resources are at low levels due to natural and human factors. Three 
runs (or races) of chinook salmon in the Central Valley and Klamath/Trinity system have shown severe 
population declines in recent years. Two fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay/Delta Estuary 
are at such low abundance levels that they have been protected under the State and federal Endangered 
Species Acts. Environmental organizations have prepared petitions to list longfin smelt and Sacramento 
splittail under the federal Endangered Species Act. The State Water Resources Control Board is 
conducting on-going hearings to help determine if additional protection is needed for Bay/Delta Estuary 
fish and wildlife. 

Governor Wilson, in his 1992 water policy, made it clear that fish and wildlife protection must be an 
integral part of the State's water management. He emphasized the need to balance the available water 
supply among often competing beneficial uses. As part of this balance. The Resources Agency proposed 
using "biodiversity regions," or "bioregions," in developing natural resource management plans. 
Biodiversity is an approach for maintaining habitat areas critical for a wide variety of plants and animals. 
Water is a vital component of habitats such as wetlands and riparian area. Bioregions, including 
watersheds, transcend traditional jurisdictional lines and instead concentrate environmental planning and 
management on large, contiguous geographic areas with similar biological and physical components. 
Eleven bioregions were recently designated under a recent agreement signed by 1 State and federal 
agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a similar approach of multi-species, 
ecosystem planning. 

This chapter contains separate sections about the Bay/Delta Estuary, instream flows, and wetlands. 
Brief descriptions of the physical and biological systems are provided. Current water requirements for 
protection of these systems are presented. Where current requirements do not fully meet environmental 
water needs, proposals for new allocations are presented if these are known. In many cases, there can be 
considerable controversy regarding the amount of additional water needed to meet environmental needs 
and whether it is in the public interest to fully meet these needs. Because of this controversy, which is 
exemplified by concerns about the Sacramento-San Joaquin River System, a range of environmental 
water needs is presented. This chapter will not speculate on the outcome of proposed modifications to 
allocate additional water to the environment. Instead, a summary of existing and estimated 
environmental water requirements for major streams, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay/Delta Estuary, 
and wetlands are provided as well as proposals developed by DFG. The proposed additional 
requirements are included in a hypothetical range of 1 to 3 MAP appearing in the water supply/water 
demand balance (Chapter 1 2), from which individuals can compare existing and proposed environmental 



205 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

water use with existing supplies and urban and agricultural demands. Allocation of water to streams, the 
Bay/Delta Estuary, and wetlands is generally by judicial and administrative processes as well as 
negotiations among affected parties. 

This report only partially addresses the implementation of the federal CVP Improvement Act of 1992 
as it relates to environmental water supplies since it will take several years to complete implementation 
of the Act. However, the legislation does contain several elements which will immediately affect the way 
in which water is used in California. The law requires specific amounts of water for fish and wildlife as 
well as stating goals for doubling existing anadromous fish populations affected by CVP operations. It is 



Criteria for Summary of Present and Proposed Environmental Water Flows 

1 . 1990 level instream fishery flows are based on existing water right permits, court decisions, con- 

gressional directives, laws or agreements between government agencies and project opera- 
tors. 1990 level instream flows include Wild and Scenic River flows, and required Delta out- 
flow. 

2. Instream flows for major streams (i.e. rim stations for Central Valley streams) are presented in 

this report. Instream flows upstream of the major reservoirs are not listed. 

3. Instream flow proposals are based on information provided by the Department of Fish and 

Game as part of the Department of Water Resources' State plan coordination. DFG supports 
proposed instream flows with biological studies showing the need for modification of current 
flows to protect or restore fish and wildlife. 

4. Only flows specifically listed for instream fishery,wild and scenic rivers, or environmental bene- 

fits are considered in this chapter Flows specifically designated for other instream use such 
as power generation and recreation are not evaluated under instream flow needs. Existing and 
proposed fish flows also include temperature and flow fluctuation criteria and ramping rates 
which could require additional water. In the interest of simplicity, these flows were not included 
in the environmental water need table. 

5. Present instream flows combined with wetlands water demands are listed as environmental wa- 

ter needs and accounted for in the water balances. 

6. Proposed instream flows are evaluated and presented as a "range of instream needs". The im- 

pacts of proposed flows on water supplies and water balances are noted and discussed in 
Chapter 10. 

7. Instream needs are analyzed and listed in manners similar to those for urban and agricultural 

water demand by calculating applied water, net water, and depletion. 

8. ET and ETAW on riparian lands adjacent to rivers are shared equally among agriculture, urban 

and environmental users, and therefore are not accounted for under environmental water 
needs. This use and others such as ground water recharge are accounted for in the difference 
between the 200 MAF annual statewide precipitation and the 71 MAF annual statewide runoff. 

9. For Central Valley streams net water demands for each region are determined by examining 

downstream controls and working upstream. When computing depletion, D-1485 and endan- 
gered species actions control most of the time and are larger than upstream fish flows. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

also State policy to significantly improve salmon and steelhead populations by the year 2000, as reflected 
in Section 6902 of the Fish and Game Code. 

Bay/Delta Estuary 

It is impossible to consider California's environmental water needs without discussing the Bay/Delta 
Estuary. Lying near the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, this system comprises a 
Delta and a series of embayments leading to the Pacific Ocean at the Golden Gate (Figure 8-1). This 
estuarine system has long been an important resource to California. Among the many factors affecting 
the estuarine environment are the rate and timing of fresh water inflow to the estuary, as well as the 
quantities of fresh water reaching it seasonally, annually, and over a series of years, and diversions from 
the estuary for both local and export uses. This section provides a description of the Bay/Delta Estuary, a 
brief history of the area, a review of the current environmental water requirements, and a summary of 
some of the current activities which may affect future fresh water allocations to the estuary (other aspects 
of the Delta are discussed in Chapter 1 1 , The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta). 

Bay/Delta History 

Before the Spanish arrived, several Native American tribes lived in the Bay/Delta area. Early 
settlements in the area expanded rapidly with the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada and today the 
Bay/Delta Estuary and its surrounding shore lines are home to about one-third of California's population. 
Water from the Delta provides a part of the water supply for two-thirds of the State's population. 

During the mid-1 800s, the rapid influx of new settlers and their activities resulted in almost 
immediate changes to the Bay and Delta. Edges of the Bay were filled to provide more land for homes 
and industry. Formerly flooded marshlands in the Delta were converted to farmable islands by building 
levees. Central Valley streams were dammed for water supply, valley lands were drained for farming, 
and hydraulic mining for gold in the watershed washed huge amounts of sediment into stream channels. 
All of these activities caused changes in the quantity and quality of water reaching the estuary. Finally, 
untreated municipal and industrial waste was discharged directly into the estuary. 

The past 50 years have seen many new projects and activities affecting the Bay/Delta estuarine 
resources in various ways — some good, some bad, and some difficult to evaluate. Both San Francisco 
and East Bay Municipal Utility District built water export facilities upstream of the Delta to ensure high 
quality water supplies to much of the Bay area. The federal Central Valley Project built dams on the 
Trinity River near Lewiston, on the Sacramento River near Redding, on the American River near Folsom, 
and on the San Joaquin River at Friant. In the 1940s and 1950s, the CVP began exports from the Delta 
through the Contra Costa Canal and the Delta-Mendota Canal. The State Water Project constructed 
Oroville Dam on the Feather River and Delta diversion facilities for the California and North Bay 
aqueducts. These developments, along with numerous local water developments on Central Valley 
tributary streams, caused changes in the timing and amount of Delta inflows and outflows during most 
years. Also, salmon runs were blocked from some of their traditional spawning areas and began 
spawning in streams made habitable by the cold water releases below the newly constructed dams and 
into fish hatcheries constructed to mitigate such impacts. Other races of salmon that spawned in the 
foothill elevations in some cases did not spawn successfully below these dams. For example, spring run 



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208 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

salmon are no longer found in the San Joaquin drainage. In the case of the San Joaquin River below 
Friant Dam, no flows were allocated for salmon and so all spawning habitat was lost. In all, there was a 
new loss of spawning and rearing habitat. 

In addition, intensive efforts to reduce the effects of wastes discharged into the system accelerated 
after the federal Clean Water Act was signed in 1972. Better waste water treatment reduced the load of 
oxygen consuming materials and some toxic substances to the Bay/Delta Estuary and improved 
conditions for fish and wildlife. While dredged material disposal (see Chapter 5, Water Quality) from 
deepening ship channels enhanced access to inland ports it also presented potential adverse 
environmental impacts. 

The Bay/Delta ecosystem has been changed dramatically by the accidental and purposeful 
introductions of numerous fish and invertebrate species. The purposeful introductions have included 
such species as striped bass, American shad, catfish and largemouth bass. Accidental introductions 
arrived on shells of oysters and other bivalves or in ballast water of ships from foreign waters discharged 
to the estuary. 

All the activities described above, plus natural events such as floods and droughts, have changed the 
estuarine ecosystem. It is often difficult to determine which factor is responsible for an observed change 
in the estuarine system or if the change will be permanent. This is due to the fact that many factors occur 
simultaneously. 

For discussion, the Bay/Delta Estuary system can be divided into three aspects: the physical system, 
biological resources and processes, and water development. 

The Physical System 

The physical system consists of the rivers, the Delta, the downstream embayments, and the Pacific 
Ocean. They all play important roles in determining the abundance and distribution of plants and fish 
and wildlife in the estuary and must be considered as a whole. 

The rivers flowing into and through the Delta play a multiple role in the estuary. In a simple sense, 
these rivers provide conduits for migratory fish, such as salmon, to move to and from the ocean; for other 
fish species, they provide spawning and nursery habitat. River inflow contributes much of the dissolved 
nutrients needed to support estuarine food chains. Fresh water from the rivers mixes with salt water from 
the ocean to create areas in the estuary where animals with varying salt tolerances can exist. Finally high 
fresh water flow moves small life forms such as larval fish into the Suisun Bay. 

The Delta contains about 700 miles of channels that provide habitat for numerous species of small 
plants and animals. The organisms form the basis for food chains that support more than 40 species of 
native and introduced fish. Presently, water in the Delta channels is generally fresh during all months of 
the year. Before water development, it was often salty from summer through late fall and outflows were 
higher in winter months. Delta waters are high in suspended matter because of the organic nature of 
Delta islands and annual sediment inflow. Often, light can only penetrate two feet or less; this high 
turbidity affects overall Delta productivity. 

The first embayment below the Delta is Suisun Bay. This bay, which includes Grizzly and Honker 
bays, is the area where the effects of mixing seaward-flowing fresh water and landward-flowing 



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saltwater (driven by tides) are most pronounced. Since saltwater is slightly heavier than fresh water, it 
tends to move landward under the river water, but this effect is only slightly seen in the upper bay and 
Delta. The complex circulation patterns in this region causes a concentration of small plants, larval fish, 
and other animals. This area of concentration, a feature of all estuaries which receive significant amounts 
of fresh water, is called the entrapment zone, or zone of maximum turbidity. The entrapment zone in the 
Suisun Bay and adjacent extensive areas of productive shallow water is considered to be an important 
ecological feature of the Bay/Delta Estuary complex. This zone moves upstream and downstream in the 
estuary depending on the amount of fresh water outflows. 

Adjacent to Suisun Bay is the Suisun Marsh — about 80,000 acres of brackish water containing a 
significant percentage of the remaining contiguous wetlands in California. This managed marsh, and the 
other tidal wetlands around the Bay/Delta Estuary, provide valuable habitat for a variety of plants and 
animals, especially waterfowl. They also contribute significant amounts of nutrients to the estuarine 
system. (See wetlands section later in this chapter.) 

Below the Carquinez Strait are the San Pablo and central San Francisco bays. The Strait tends to 
isolate these bays from the Suisun Bay and the Delta and allows such oceanic conditions as tides to play 
a leading role in their salinity and circulation. During extremely high freshwater flows, such as happened 
during February 1986, these embay ments can become quite fresh, especially at the surface. In these high 
flows, the entrapment zone can be temporarily relocated in San Pablo Bay. These embayments are quite 
saline at low freshwater flows and high tides,. 

South San Francisco Bay is very different from the other parts of the system. This bay is out of the 
main path of Delta outflows and only receives significant flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
rivers during high outflow or floods. Because of low freshwater flows during most of the year and losses 
of water through evaporation, the South Bay is often saltier than the ocean outside the Golden Gate. The 
South Bay does receive steady flows of secondarily treated municipal effluent and some local streamflow 
at its south end. The effluent is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which can stimulate algal growth. 
Changes in sewage treatment practices and outfall locations over the past 40 years have resulted in 
marked improvement in South Bay water quality. In the 1940s and 1950s, South Bay waters often had 
dissolved oxygen concentrations too low to support fish. These problems now occur only infrequently. 

Tidal action moves water from the ocean into the Bay/Delta system through the narrow and deep 
Golden Gate. Although accurate estimates are difficult to obtain, one estimate is about one-fourth of the 
Bay water is replaced with new ocean water during each complete tidal cycle. Physical processes in the 
ocean, including tides, horizontal currents along the coast which cause upwelling of deep oceanic water, 
temporary and long-term rises in sea level, and changes in ocean temperature, all affect the Bay/Delta 
ecosystem. In addition, many species of fish and fish-food organisms found in the estuary originate in 
offshore areas. 

Water Development 

Water development has changed the estuarine system in a variety of ways. Factors having the 
greatest influence are: 

O Delta inflow 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

O Flows from the Sacramento River through the Delta Cross Channel 

O Reverse flows 

O Water project and local agricultural diversions 

O Delta outflow and salinity 

The effects of these changes can vary depending to the species, time of year, and type of water year. 
Following are brief descriptions of how these factors can affect the Bay/Delta ecosystem. 

The magnitude of flows coming down the rivers into the Bay/Delta estuary affects biological 
resources both in the rivers and in the estuary. For example, striped bass eggs and larvae are more likely 
to survive if flow rates in the Sacramento River are sufficient to transport the larvae downstream to 
Suisun Bay where food is more abundant. Juvenile salmon migrating out of the San Joaquin system are 
more likely to avoid the direct impacts of the pumps if they migrate down the San Joaquin River instead 
of Old River. Improved flows in the San Joaquin River would change the ratio of the flow split at the 
head of Old River and so would increase salmon survival. The instream flows in the tributaries to the 
Delta are discussed in greater detail in later sections. 

Some of the water flowing down the Sacramento River flows into the lower San Joaquin River 
through Georgiana Slough, Three Mile Slough, and the Delta Cross Channel. Juvenile salmon migrating 
downstream in the spring can either move down the Sacramento River or through the Delta Cross 
Channel or Georgiana Slough. The salmon that remain in the Sacramento River have a better chance at 
survival than those that move through the Delta Cross Channel or Georgiana Slough. 

The natural flow pattern in the estuary is for fresh water flowing to the ocean to cause the total flow 
during ebb tides to exceed the total flow during flood tides. The SWP/CVP pumps in the southwestern 
Delta can cause the total upstream flow during flood tide to exceed the total downstream flow during ebb 
tide. This is called reverse flow. The potential significance of reverse flow is that it tends to move fish 
and their food supply towards the SWP/CVP pumps rather than towards the ocean. The specific effects 
of reverse flow are confounded with other factors, particularly the magnitude of exports. 

The CVP exports up to 4,600 cfs through the Tracy Pumping Plant and 250 cfs through the Contra 
Costa Canal. The SWP exports water at up to 6,400 through the Banks Pumping Plant and 150 cfs 
through the North Bay Aqueduct. Intakes at the Banks and Tracy pumping plants have louver fish 
screens that are ineffective for larval fish but are on the order of 90 percent effective for fish a few inches 
long. In addition to fish lost through the screens, some fish are also lost to predation and stress 
associated with handling and trucking. Calculated prescreening losses are high at the Banks Pumping 
Plant because of Clifton Court Forebay operations. Losses at all facilities vary for different species and 
sizes of fish. In addition to losses at the SWP and CVP diversions, there are many unscreened 
agricultural diversions in the Delta and on the tributaries to the Delta that also cause fish losses. 

There are two basic problems with the SWP and CVP screening facilities at their present locations. 
One is that fish must be captured and transported to another location for release. The other is that water 
is being withdrawn directly from the Delta, which is a major nursery for some fish and a permanent 



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residence for others. The diversions diminish the capacity of the Delta to support fish populations 
through effects on the fish and their food supply. 

Delta outflow is the calculated amount of water flowing past Chipps Island, at the western edge of 
the Delta, into San Francisco Bay. The magnitude of Delta outflow controls the intrusion of salt water 
from the ocean into the estuary. Delta outflow and salinity intrusion are highly correlated. The 
magnitude of Delta outflow strongly influences the distribution of many estuarine fishes and 
invertebrates. 

Generally, the greater the outflow, the further downstream fish and invertebrates occur. The 
relationship between Delta outflow and abundance of fish and invertebrates is not nearly as general. 
However, several species such as longfin smelt and striped bass show strong correlations between 
abundance and Delta outflow. 

Biological Resources and Processes 

There is a complex interrelationship among several different food chains in the Bay/Delta ecosystem. 
Phytoplankton are plants that act as the grass of the estuary; their production depends on the availability 
of light and nutrients. Phytoplankton abundance in a particular location is determined by factors such as 
turbidity and the number of animals feeding on the algae. In the Delta, phytoplankton production is often 
limited by the amount of light penetrating the water. In Suisun Bay, the phytoplankton concentration is 
the highest when the entrapment zone is next to productive shallow areas. Since the mid-1970s, there 
has been a consistent and largely unexplained decline in most phytoplankton abundance in the Delta and 
Suisun Bay. This decline could affect the estuary's ability to support fish. 

Although phytoplankton play an important role in the estuary, their exact contribution has not been 
well documented. Rivers and marshes contribute organic particles (such as leaves and grasses) which 
may also be significant sources of energy for the next level of the food chain, zooplankton or the grazers. 
Zooplankton capture live or decomposed plant and animal material for their food. In recent years, many 
of the native zooplankton in the water column have declined in the Delta and Suisun Bay. These declines 
were often accompanied by increases in accidently introduced zooplankton and a species of clam 
(Potamocorbula) which has colonized Suisun Bay. Although the exact impacts of these introductions 
have not been defined, they have undoubtedly changed the food web. 

More than 1 00 species of fish use the Bay /Delta system. Some are year-round residents, such as 
Delta smelt and catfish, while others such as American shad; are in the estuary for only a few months. 
Some of the species can live only in relatively fresh water and others can only survive in the more saline 
parts of the Bay. There are also several fish with intermediate salinity tolerance; these are the true 
estuarine species. Finally, there is a mixture of native and introduced species. The most notable of the 
introduced species is the striped bass; the chinook salmon is one of the more well-known native fishes. 
Introductions, both planned and accidental, have changed the Delta fish fauna to the point that native 
species now make up only 40 percent of the fish species. 

An overview of the status and trends of several key fish populations is provided including striped 
bass, winter run chinook salmon, fall run chinook salmon. Delta smelt, longfin smelt, and the 



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Sacramento splittail. These species are discussed because they are the focus of many efforts to restore the 
Delta ecosystem. Other fish showing declines are the white catfish, sturgeon, and the starry flounder. 

Striped Bass. Stripers flourished after their introduction in the late 19th century. However, since the 
early 1960s, the adult population has declined from an estimated 3 million to less than I million (Figure 
8-2 illustrates the decline of one of the striped bass life stages: the stage when they are about 1-1/2 
inches long.) One of the principal environmental goals of the SWRCB's D-1485, enacted in 1978, was 
to halt the decline and restore the population to "without project" levels. This goal was not realized, in 
part because the Bay/Delta has continued to change. 

The reasons for the observed declines are difficult to determine. Water project exports, drought, 
unscreened agricultural diversions in the Delta, ocean fishing, illegal fishing, toxics, and exotic species 
(some of which affect the food chain) are all factors. 

Winter Chinook Salmon. One of four runs of chinook salmon inhabiting Central Valley streams is 
the winter chinook salmon. The other runs also are named after the time the adults migrate through the 
Bay/Delta on their way upstream to spawn: these are the spring, fall, and late fall runs. 

The winter run is unique among the other chinook salmon races around the Pacific Rim because it 
spawns during the late spring and summer. Historically, this race migrated to tributaries in the 
headwaters of the Sacramento, Pit, and McCloud rivers where cool mountain springs provided suitable 
temperatures for egg incubation and juvenile rearing during the summer months. The juveniles probably 
moved out to the ocean in late fall and winter, and returned as adults two to four years later. Run sizes 
earlier this century are not well documented, but information from just prior to construction of Shasta 
Reservoir indicate that the run was probably small at that time. However, much larger runs were reported 
in the late 1800s. Although Shasta Dam completion in 1944 blocked access to their historical spawning 
grounds, releases of cold water from the reservoir enabled the fish to reestablish themselves in the reach 
of the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam to as far downstream as Red Bluff. 

DFG first analyzed escapement estimate for adult winter run spawners in 1966, after the Red Bluff 
Diversion Dam. The dam forced upstream migrating adults to go past counting windows installed in fish 
ladders at both ends of the dam. Cold water released from the relatively stable Shasta Reservoir allowed 
winter run salmon to become reestablished during the decades when the proper temperature regime was 
consistently maintained. The population has exhibited a decline over the past 25 years, with the low 
point of 200 estimated spawners in 1991. (Table 8-1) There were 1,180 estimated spawners in 1992 and 
341 in 1993. In response to the declines, winter-run chinook salmon were listed by the National Marine 
Fisheries Service as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in November 1990 and by the 
Department of Fish and Game as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act in October 
1989. 

The USBR is taking steps to permanently improve Shasta Dam's cold water release capability under 
changing reservoir storage levels to increase winter and fall run survival. Installation and operation of a 
temperature control device at Shasta Dam is one of the fish and wildlife restoration activities required by 
the CVPIA and would decrease the amount of water that would need to be dedicated for protection of the 
winter run. 



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Figure 8-2. Striped Bass Abundance 
Sacramento -San Joaquin Estuary 




1995 



Trend in young striped bass abundance in the Sacramento - San 
Joaquin Estuary when mean length is 38 mm. Abundance index 
is based on catches of young bass during an annual tow net survey 
from 1959 - 1993. 



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Table 8-1. Estimated Winter Run Chinook Salmon at Red Bluff Diversion Dam 



Year 


Number of 


Year 


Number of 


Year 


Number of 




Fish 




Fish 




Fish 


1967 


57,300 


1976 


35,100 


1985 


4,000 


1968 


84,400 


1977 


17,200 


1986 


2,400 


1969 


117,800 


1978 


24,900 


1987 


2,000 


1970 


40,400 


1979 


2,400 


1988 


2,100 


1971 


53,100 


1980 


1,200 


1989 


500 


1972 


37,100 


1981 


20,000 


1900 


400 


1973 


24,100 


1982 


1,200 


1991 


200 


1974 


21 ,900 


1983 


1,800 


1992 


1,180 


1975 


23,400 


1984 


2,700 


1993 


341 



In 1991, the USER and DWR began consultation with NMFS and DFG to assess the impacts of the 
CVP and SWP on the winter run chinook salmon. On February 14, 1992, NMFS issued its Biological 
Opinion, which recommended a reasonable and prudent alternative, which, if implemented would avoid 
jeopardizing the continued existence of the winter-run chinook salmon. Reasonable and prudent 
measures to avoid and minimize the effects of the CVP and SWP incidental taking of winter run were 
also provided to the USER and DWR. 

The reasonable and prudent alternatives and the reasonable and prudent measures included modifying 
CVP operations to provide cold water in spawning and nursery grounds, controlling flows in the 
Sacramento River, closing the Delta Cross-Channel, and stopping operation of the Montezuma Slough 
Salinity Control Gates. Measures were also taken at the Tracy and Eanks pumping facilities to reduce 
losses of winter run juveniles due to diversion. In April 1992, in response to an increased take of winter 
run at the pumps over that which had anticipated in the Opinion, NMFS set specific limits on allowable 
take from April 9-30. To comply with the take limitations, pumping was curtailed by both projects. 

NMFS released its long-term biological opinion on February 12, 1993, which was subsequently 
adopted by DFG. Conditions were similar to those contained in the 1992 opinion. However, the 
opinion for long-term operations contained a numerical limit on take of juvenile winter run at the Banks 
and Tracy pumping plants as well as standards on flow in the lower San Joaquin River. To comply with 
the take limitations in the winter of 1993 and the flow standards in the lower San Joaquin River, the SWP 
curtailed pumping in February and March while there were high flows into the Delta. 

NMFS, USFWS, and DFG are implementing recovery efforts to protect and restore the winter-run 
chinook salmon. These include restricting in-river and ocean harvest, reducing losses to diversions along 
the Sacramento River (for example, intakes to Anderson-Cottonwood and Glenn-Colusa Irrigation 
districts), artificial propagation, and a captive breeding program. The goal of the artificial propagation 
and captive breeding program is to protect against loss of genetic diversity and possible extinction due to 
low population levels in the wild. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

In September 1992, NMFS convened a Recovery Team to develop a Federal Recovery Plan for the 
winter run chinook salmon. The team consists of academicians (population biologists and geneticists) 
and representatives of the State and federal fishery agencies. 

Fall Chinook Salmon. Both the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems support fall run chinook 
salmon, the run that provides the majority of the fish taken in the commercial and sport harvest and is the 
predominant run in California today. The adult salmon move upstream and spawn in the fall months, the 
eggs incubate during the winter months, and the juveniles migrate downstream in the late winter and 
spring months. Factors that can affect the number of fall run chinook salmon returning each year to 
spawn include habitat conditions in the tributaries, losses to diversions and pollution, losses in the Delta 
during outmigration, and sport and commercial harvest. 

Sport and commercial harvest of salmon are the basis of a multi-million dollar industry. Commercial 
salmon harvest is regulated by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and sport harvest is regulated 
by the Fish and Game Commission. Regulations are set each year to meet the salmon spawning stock 
escapement goals. Recently, the target escapement for the Sacramento system has been 1 20,000 to 
180,000 salmon. The number of salmon taken by sport and commercial harvest for the period 1967 
through 1991 is shown in Figure 8-3. Because the bulk of the harvest consists of three-year-old fish, the 
salmon harvest numbers reflect spawning conditions of three years earlier, as well as ocean conditions 
during the same period. The salmon harvest of 1988 was nearly 300 percent higher than in 1983-84, a 
period of low harvest. For comparison, just after the first 6-year drought of this century (1929-34), a 
biological report and investigation on the salmon fishery in the Sacramento River near the Shasta Dam 
site (prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries in 1940) indicated that salmon catches had "...already 
undergone a serious decline...." and that the salmon count past Redding in 1939 was estimated at 27,000. 
Sacramento Valley fall chinook have not met their escapement goals in the past three years, and the 
Pacific Fisheries Management Council has convened a work group to examine reasons for the low runs. 
(See Figure 8^ for runs on other rivers.) 

The causes of the declines in salmon populations are the subject of great debate, and all parties do not 
agree on the relative importance of the different factors including harvest, poaching, instream flows in the 
tributaries, gravel quality, predation by non-native species, losses at unscreened water diversions, 
mortality in the Delta, pollution, and other factors related to changes in land use management. It is likely 
that all these factors have played a role in the overall health of the salmon fishery. 

Hatcheries on the Sacramento, Feather, American, Mokelumne, and Merced rivers augment the 
natural salmon production in the Central Valley. Juvenile salmon produced in these hatcheries are 
regularly trucked downstream and released below the Delta while juvenile salmon produced by in-river 
spawning migrated downstream and are influenced by factors such as diversions and changes in Delta 
conditions. 

The Feather River is one of the brighter spots in the Central Valley salmon picture. Fall and spring 
chinook use the river for spawning and the Feather River Hatchery propagates both races. The size of 
the run on this river is generally larger than it was during the years prior to construction of Oroville Dam. 



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(See Table 8-2.) The Feather River fall run also has been estimated to contribute up to one-fourth of the 
commercial salmon catches originating from Central Valley salmon stock. 

Table 8-2. Estimated Fall Run Chinook Salmon in the Feather River 



Year 


Number of 
Fish 


Year 


Number of 
Fish 


Year 


Number of 
Fish 


1953 


28,000 


1965 


23,200 


1977 


57,300 


1954 


68,000 


1966 


21 ,000 


1978 


43,200 


1955 


86,000 


1967 


12,000 


1979 


36,400 


1956 


18,000 


1968 


18,000 


1980 


40,400 


1957 


10,000 


1969 


61 ,000 


1981 


59,100 


1958 


32,000 


1970 


62,000 


1982 


64,200 


1959 


76,000 


1971 


47,000 


1983 


37,200 


1960 


79,000 


1972 


47,000 


1984 


61 ,600 


1961 


43,500 


1973 


74,000 


1985 


63,900 


1962 


18,500 


1974 


66,000 


1986 


63,200 


1963 


34,000 


1975 


43,000 


1987 


79,000 


1964 


38,400 


1976 


62,000 


1988 


69,400 



There are other factors affecting the general abundance of chinook salmon in California's rivers and 
streams. Droughts reduce stream flow and thus habitat required to support salmon. At the same time, 
salmon harvests reduce the number of returning adult salmon to California's streams and rivers. Figure 
8-3 shows the chinook salmon landed by troll fishing in California between 1981 and 1990. 

Delta Smelt. In contrast to the chinook salmon, which undergo an extensive migration to and from 
spawning grounds and the Pacific Ocean, the Delta smelt generally spends its entire life cycle in the the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay. The Delta smelt is small (maximum length about 5 
inches), rarely lives more than one year, and is not taken in recreational or commercial fisheries. 

It is impractical to obtain accurate estimates of delta smelt abundance in the estuary at any given 
time. Instead, DFG determines annual indices of abundance as part of the striped bass sampling by 
towing the same kind of net at the same time and location each year. These indices show a delta smelt 
decline to low population levels in the early 1980s which have generally stayed low through 1991 . One 
index, the fall abundance, shows a consistent increase from 1988 through 1991 . In 1992, however, the 
fall delta smelt index again declined to lower levels. 

In 1990, the California Fish and Game Commission rejected a petition to list the delta smelt as 
endangered. That same year, the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society 
submitted a similar petition to the USFWS. USFWS announced its decision to list delta smelt as 
threatened on March 4, 1993, which became effective on April 5, 1993. A formal biological opinion on 
SWP and CVP operations was issued by USFWS on May 27, 1993. 

Longfin Smelt and Sacramento Splittail. The status of several other fish species may soon be 
affecting water project planning and operation. In November 1992, a coalition of environmental groups 



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Figure 8-3. Estimated Ocean Harvest of Chinoolc Salmon 

1967 - 1 991 



1967 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
1980 
1981 
1982 
1983 
1984 
1985 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1989 
1990 
1991 



Estimated totals include harvest from ocean 
commercial (troll) and sport (charterboat and 
skiff) fishing. 



200 400 600 800 1000 1200 

Annual Harvest of Chinook Salmon (thousands) 



1400 



1600 



1800 



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Environmental Water Use 



Figure 8-4. Fall Chinook Salmon Runs on Other Rivers 




160 ■ 

140 

o120 
o 

5 80 

LU 

^ 60 
O 

S3 40 

20 




70 



FEATHER RIVER 



75 



'80 '85 
YEAR 



'90 



70 f 

60 
o 

8 so 

Z 

LU 

^30 

LU 

10 





70 



70 



YUBA RIVER 



'75 



'80 '85 
YEAR 



75 



'80 '85 
YEAR 



'90 



40 ■ 


AMERICAri 


RIVER 


35 • 


1 


■ 


o30 ■ 

o 

o 

x25- 






. 


1- 

5 20 ■ 

LU 

^15- 

O 

^ 10 • 




1 




I 


5 • 



1 


hll 




li 



'90 



From Pacific Fisheries Management Council — PFMC — 1992. 



219 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

submitted a petition to USFWS to list the longfin smelt and the Sacramento splittail. The longfin smelt 
spends its life cycle in the estuary and moves from San Palo Bay through Suisun Bay to spawn in the 
Delta and Suisun Bay. The splittail generally spends most of its life cycle in the Delta; there is also a 
population in the Delta-Mendota Canal. In both instances, increased abundance is positively correlated 
to high storm flows during the late winter/spring period. 

In 1989, DFG released a report describing the status of 45 fish species of special concern in 
California. Two Central Valley salmonids, the spring run on the Sacramento River and its tributaries, and 
the fall run on the San Joaquin, are in particular trouble. It is clear that the water needs of threatened and 
endangered fish and other aquatic species along with factors affecting aquatic species must be taken into 
consideration as California plans for future water supplies. 

Bay/Delta Environinental Water Needs 

The SWRCB, through its water rights process, has been the principal forum for establishing the 
Bay/Delta's environmental water requirements. (Requirements as used here means actions taken by 
regulatory agencies to allocate water for various beneficial uses, whereas water needs are the demands for 
water.) The SWRCB has reserved jurisdiction in water rights permits and periodically holds water rights 
hearings in which interested agencies and parties provide evidence supporting their respective views 
regarding the water rights, public interest, or public trust impacts of the permitted use. The SWRCB then 
sets standards and operating criteria to provide balanced protection to all recognized beneficial uses. The 
State and federal projects are currently operating under FESA requirements in addition to SWRCB 
Decision 1485, issued in 1978. 

The exact amount of water which may be ultimately required to meet Bay/Delta environmental needs 
will not be known until many of the processes currently under way are completed. The difficulty in 
predicting the amount of water that may be dedicated to environmental protection is complicated by the 
variety of ways that may evolve to correct problems associated with the Delta ecosystem and the 
conveyance of water through the Delta for export. (See Chapter 10 for an explanation.) Federal and 
State fisheries agencies, the federal EPA, and environmental organizations have made recommendations 
which could substantially increase the amount of water allocated to protect the Bay/Delta's environmental 
resources. In light of the many factors influencing water availability in the Delta, a range of 
environmental water needs was estimated at 1 and 3 MAF annually. The potential environmental water 
needs are included in the California water balance shown in Chapter 12. 

Other Activities That May Affect Bay/Delta Water Allocation 

There are several other forums and activities that can potentially influence the amount of water 
reaching the estuary. The San Francisco Estuary Project is a multiagency effort to develop a management 
plan for the Bay/Delta Estuary. The project is authorized under Section 320 of the federal Clean Water 
Act and SFEP has been underway for almost five years. The CCMP was submitted to the governor and 
the EPA's regional administrator for approval in June 1993. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering promulgating Bay/Delta standards based 
on its rejection of water quality standards developed by the SWRCB. One significant proposed standard 
would be for flows needed to position a specified bottom salinity, 2 parts per thousand, at various 



220 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

locations along the Suisun Bay to the western Delta, depending on the amount of natural runoff. Another 
would be to specify conditions leading to increased survival of juvenile chinook salmon through the 
estuary. If implemented, these standards would reduce or reallocate project yield substantially while 
increasing protection for aquatic species. 

Governor Wilson created the Bay/Delta Oversight Council as part of his 1992 water policy. The 
council, consisting of representatives from urban, agricultural, and environmental water user groups, is to 
investigate facilities, operations, and other measures that can provide a stable water supply and protect 
the Bay/Delta environmental resources. 

Future facilities may also play a key role in determining environmental water needs for the 
Bay /Delta. These facilities include those in the Delta itself that are designed to eliminate some of the 
problems now caused by Delta diversions. Facilities south of the Delta can be used to store water during 
peak availability times when environmental impacts may be minimal. Chapter 1 1, "The Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta," discusses options for fixing the Delta and accompanying water supply benefits. Facilities 
upstream of the Delta, such as the Shasta Dam temperature control device, can also change environmental 
water needs. 

Environmental Instream Flows 

Environmental instream flow is the water maintained in a stream or river for instream beneficial uses 
such as fisheries, wildlife, aesthetics, recreation, and navigation. It is one of the major factors 
influencing the productivity and diversity of California's rivers and streams. For wildlife, instream flow 
sustains the stream bank and flood plain riparian zones and provides aquatic food resources (e.g., fish, 
invertebrates, and plants). It has a direct effect on fisheries by creating riffles, pools, and glides as habitat 
for game and nongame species. Instream flow is also important because it provides a corridor for 
migratory aquatic species to reach upstream spawning and rearing habitat. Many organisms, especially 
invertebrates, depend on streamflow to deliver their food. Instream flow also has a vital role in 
maintaining water quality for aquatic species. It helps sustain proper water temperatures and oxygen 
levels and serves to remove natural sediment and agricultural, municipal, or industrial wastes that could 
otherwise accumulate in the system. 

Identifying instream flow needs for fisheries is one of the greatest challenges for resource managers. 
Rivers are complex systems that contain diverse and interrelated physical, chemical, and biological 
characteristics. Identifying flow needs for even a single type of fish is often difficult becau.se its habitat 
needs may vary seasonally for different life stages. Prior to 1 970, the professional judgment of resource 
managers was the primary means for recommending minimum instream flows. Because more 
standardized, quantitative methods of analysis were desired in order to better define and balance 
increasingly competitive demands for water, scientists developed the Instream Flow Incremental 
Methodology, which is now one of the most frequently applied systems to analyze fishery and recreation 
flow needs. 

IFIM is not a single method, but rather a conceptual framework that includes a number of different 
techniques. The basic assumption of most IFIM studies is that the amount of habitat existing at different 
flow levels can be estimated and used to help make flow recommendations. In this context, habitat is 



221 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-3. Summary of Present and Proposed Fishery Flows 
for Major California River Systems 



River 
Location 


Status 


Minimum Streamflow (cfs) 


Water Year 
Type 


OCT 

1-14 


OCT 

15-31 


NOV 


DEC 

1-15 


DEC 
16-31 


JAN 


FEB 


Klamath 
Iron Gate Dam 


Present 


All 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1300 


Trinity 
Lewiston Dam 


Present' 


All 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


Sacramento 
Keswick Dam / 
Red Bluff/Keswick 


Present^ 
Proposed^ 


Dry - Wet 
Critical 
Dry - Wet 
Critical 


3250 
2800 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2800 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2800 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2000 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2000 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2000 
4500 
3500 


3250 
2000 
4S00 
3500 


Yuba 
Smartvllle 
Daguerre 
Marysville 


Present 
Present 
Proposed* 


All 
All 
All 


700 
400 
700 


700 
400 
700 


700 
400 
700 


700 
400 

700 


700 
400 
700 


700 
245 
700 


700 
245 
700 


Feather 

Below Thermalito 
Afterbay 


Present* 
Proposed^ 


Runoff > 55% 
Runoff < 55% 
All 


1700 
1200 
1000 


1700 
1200 
1700 


1700 
1200 
1700 


1700 
1200 
1700 


1700 
1200 
1700 


1700 
1200 
2000 


1700 
1000 
2000 


American 
Lower American 


Present' 
Proposed^ 


All 
All 


500 
1750 


500 
2000 


500 
2000 


500 
2000 


500 
2000 


250 
2000 


250 
2000 


Sacramento 
Rio Vista 


Present^ 


Critical 
Wet 


1500 
5000 


1500 
5000 


1500 
5000 


1500 
5000 


1500 
5000 


1500 
2500 


1000 
3000 


Mokelumne Camanche 
Woodbridge 


Present^ 
Proposed'" 


All 
Wet 
Normal 
Dry 



300 
250 
20 



350 
300 
20 


50 
350 
300 
200 


66 
350 
300 
200 


66 
350 
300 
200 


40 
350 
300 
200 


30 
350 
300 
200 


Stanislaus 
Goodwin Dam 


Present" 
Proposed 


Normal 

Dry 

Critical - Wet 


200 

150 

200-300 


200 

150 

250- 

400 


200 

150 

250-400 


200 

150 
250-400 


200 

150 
250-400 


125 

100 

200-400 


125 

100 

200-400 


Tuolumne 
New Don Pedro Dam 


Present'2.'3 
Proposed''' 


Dry - Wet 
Critical 
Critical - Wet 


150-200 

50 

80-300 


200-300 

200 

80-300 


200-300 

200 

80-300 


150-250 

200 

80-300 


150-250 

135 

80-300 


150-250 

135 

80-300 


250 

135 

80-300 


Merced 
Shaffer Bridge 


Present's 
Proposed'^ 


Normal 

Dry 

Critical - Wet 


25 

15 

200-300 


75 

60 

250- 

350 


180-220 
180-220 
250-350 


180-220 
180-220 
250-350 


180-220 
180-220 
250-350 


180-220 
180-220 
200-350 


180-220 
180-220 
200-350 


San Joaquin River 

Friant'S 

Vernalis 


Present'' 

Present 

Proposed" 


All 
All 






































I, and temperature maintenance. Streamflow reduction criteria also exist, as well as the temperature 



1 Ttie USBR and USFWS agreement requires 340,000 acre-feet per year of flow from 1991 . 

2. Addtlonal peaking Inflows required Dec. 1 - May 1 for fish spawning, egg incubation, outmigratlo 
requirements sat In SWRCB Order 90-5. 

3 Preliminary flows tiased on Department of FIsfi and Game staff recommendations. New recommendations may follow Implementation of Instream flow study. 

4 Streamflow reduction criteria recommended at 800 - 1 500 cfs from Oct. 15 - Feb. 1 and all flows In May and June. Additional streamflow may be required to maintain temperature standards. 

5 Streamflow reduction standards exist in all monttis. 

6. Preliminary flows based on Department of Fish and Game staff recommendations. New recommendations may follow completion of instream flow study. 

7. SWRCB Decision 893. In better hydrologlc conditions, USBR tries to operate on modified Decision 1400, resulting in considerably higher flows. 

8 Based on EBMUD Court Decision. Recommendation may be altered following completion of instream flow study. Tfiere are numerous other potential Instream flow scenarios for the Lower American River. 

9 Standards from SWRCB D- 1485. 



222 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-3. Summary of Present and Proposed Fishery Flows 
for Major California River Systems 



Minimum Streamflow (cfs) 




MAR 
1 -15 


MAR 
16-31 


APR 
1-15 


APR 

16-30 


MAY 

1-15 


MAY 
16-21 


JUNE 


JULY 


AUG 


SEP 
1-14 


SEP 
15-30 


Source 
























DWR1982 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1300 


1000 


1000 


710 


710 


1000 


1300 


1300 




300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


USDOI1991 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


3250 


3250 


SWRCB1990 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2300 


2800 


2800 


1960 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


DFG 1992 


3500 


3500 


3500 


3500 


4000 


4000 


4000 


4000 


4000 


4000 


4000 




700 


700 


1000 


1000 


2000 


2000 


1500 


450 


450 


450 


450 


FERC 1993 


245 


245 


245 


245 


245 


245 


245 


70 


70 


70 


70 


DFG 1965 


700 


700 


1000 


1000 


2000 


2000 


1500 


450 


450 


450 


450 


DFG 1991 


1700 


1700 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


DWR/DFG 1983 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


DFG 1983 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


3000 


4000 


4000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


DFG 1992 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


500 


500 


SWRCB1958 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


1750 


1750 


1750 


1750 


Judge Hodge 


1000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


1000 


1000 


1500 


1500 


SWRCB1978 


3000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


3000 


1000 


5000 


5000 




30 


30 





























DFG 1961 


400 


400 


450 


450 


450 


450 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


DFG 1991 


350 


350 


400 


400 


450 


450 


400 


150 


100 


100 


100 




200 


200 


200 


250 


300 


300 


20 


20 


20 


20 


20 




125 


125 


125 


125 


125 


125 


150 


150 


150 


150 


150 


DWR 1982 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


50 


50 


50 


50 


50 


DFG Btal 1987 


200-350 


200-350 


300-500 


300-500 


300-500 


300-500 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


DFG 1992 


300-350 


300-350 


250-650 


250-550 


100-200 


100-200 


3 


3 


3 


3 


3 


FERC 1986 


200 


200 


85 


85 


3 


3 


3 


3 


3 


3 


3 


FERC 1964 


80-300 


80-300 


80-550 


80-3000 


80-3000 


80-3000 


50-200 


50-200 


50-200 


50-200 


50-200 


DFG 1992 


180-220 


180-220 


75 


75 


75 


75 


25 


25 


25 


25 


25 


DWR/MID 1968 


180-220 


180-220 


60 


60 


60 


60 


15 


15 


15 


15 


15 




200-350 


200-350 


300-500 


300-500 


300-500 


300-500 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


200-350 


DFG 1991 



































SWRCB1978 











2K-10K 



2K-10K 






























SWRCB1959 
DFG 1992 



10 Spawning attraction, outmigration, and streamflow reduction crtteria recommended for Oct. 1 - Nov. 15, April 1 - June 30, and Oct. 1 - Feb. 29, respectively. Short term reduction criteria also recommended. 

1 1 Instream flow Is also Influericed by water quality starxlards In the San Joaquin River. Streamflow is re-negotiated annually for a 7-year fisheries study and Includes a minimum 96,000 AF fisheries allocation from 
Public Law 87-874. 

1 2. Preseason flushing flow standards also exist. 

13 Addttlorul flow is required for flsherles studies. 

14 These ranges summarize ten possible flow schedules for a 10-year fisheries study. The exact schedule is determined tjy the projected inflow. Flows will be altered following completion of fisheries study. 

1 5. Criteria also exist to minimize streamflow fluctuation. 

16. Rows developed for planning purposes for Montgomery/New Exchequer Reservoir operation. Addltior^al recommendations to follow completion of Instream flow study. 

1 7. Addftlonal flow required to meet water quality standards In SWRCB Decision 1422. 

18. Decision 935 
Note:K= 1,000 



223 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

defined as all areas in the river with the necessary physical and chemical conditions to support a species. 
Suitable habitat occurs when there is the proper combination of water velocity, depth, substrate, cover, 
and water quality. 

An important advantage of IFIM is that it allows an incremental analysis of the amount of suitable 
habitat for fish (or other organisms) at different flows. This creates an important tool for water resource 
negotiations, where quantified and well-documented information on the possible effects of flow changes 
on fisheries is needed. The IFIM is not universally accepted. IFIM focuses on fish habitat, not fish 
production and if the amount of habitat is the limiting factor then the fish population should increase if 
the available habitat increases. However, if the amount of habitat is adequate and another factor, such as 
increased fishing, is limiting the population, a fish population will not necessarily increase with 
increased habitat. Nonetheless, the IFIM is the most widely accepted tool to help determine instream 
flow requirements and is frequently used for decision-making and negotiation. 

Recognizing the necessity for adequate instream flow for maintaining California's fisheries, riparian 
areas, and recreation, federal and State resource agencies are in the process of trying to determine needed 
stream flows for much of California. Table 8-3 summarizes existing instream fishery flow regulatory 
requirements and proposed recommendations by resource agencies for the Klamath, Sacramento, and San 
Joaquin river systems. The existing regulatory requirements are listed for each river, followed by a 
summary of proposed additional environmental water needs, where recommendations are available. In 
many cases, the existing requirements and recommendations also include flows specifically designated 
for riparian and appropriative water users rather than instream environmental uses. Nonetheless, these 
flows often benefit fish and wildlife as well. 

The following sections present a more detailed discussion of selected rivers to illu.strate the diversity 
of instream flow issues and progress made in resolving them. 

Sacramento River Region 

The Sacramento River and its tributaries discharge into the estuary and provide habitat for fish and 
wildlife. The following discussion focuses on instream flow in the mainstem and one of its tributaries, 
the Feather River (and a tributary to the Feather, the Yuba River). The discussion also focuses on the 
Chinook salmon. 

Sacramento River. The Sacramento River below Keswick Dam provides habitat for a number of 
migratory game species including spring, fall, late-fall, and winter run chinook salmon; steelhead trout; 
and American shad. Fall run salmon constitute the largest fishery resource in the region, but winter run 
salmon are particularly important because they are listed as endangered species under the State ESA and 
threatened under the federal ESA. 

Flows are set by a DFG/USBR agreement for Keswick and Shasta dams' management and a more 
recent agreement to stabilize flows from September to December. The criteria include average daily 
flows for fish spawning and rearing, and limits on flow fluctuations to avoid the dewatering of redds 
(salmon nests). Flows are also regulated by SWRCB Decision 90-5 which set temperature requirements 
to protect winter run salmon spawning. 



224 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Several environmental problems have been recognized in the system; however, most of the recent 
focus has been on winter run chinook salmon. In 1988, USBR, USFWS, NMFS, and DWR developed a 
10-point cooperative program to improve the status of the winter run in the basin. The two components 
related to instream flow were raising the Red bluff Diversion Dam gates to allow fish passage during 
critical times of the year and improving temperatures by managing Shasta Dam releases. The \ program 
also includes correction of pollution problems from Spring Creek, spawning habitat restoration, a 
reduction in entrainment at water diversions, in-river harvest restrictions, and hatchery studies. 

Changes in river management may also happen as a result of instream flow studies by DWR and 
DFG. These extensive studies address some major instream flow issues, but they only define habitat 
available for specific life stages of certain fish species and were designed before the winter run chinook 
became one of the primary concerns. Much more work is needed to define the flows and reservoir 
operations that best meet the needs of numerous life stages and species present in the river at any given 
time. 

Lower Yuba River. The Yuba River system drains approximately 1 ,300 square miles of the western 
slope of the Sierra Nevada. This area encompasses parts of Sierra, Placer, Yuba, and Nevada counties. 
Flows in the lower Yuba River are regulated by Englebright Dam and Daguerre Point Dam. There are 
several diversions by local irrigation districts, mostly in the Daguerre Point Dam area. 

Instream flows in the Yuba system are stipulated in a 1965 agreement between Yuba County Water 
Agency and DFG. Major provisions of the agreement include minimum fish flows below Englebright 
and Daguerre point dams and streamflow reduction and fluctuation criteria. These standards have been 
consistently met and actual flows in the river generally have been higher than the minimum requirements. 

The status of existing flow requirements in the lower Yuba River is under review by the SWRCB as 
part of the Yuba County Water Agency Water Right hearings. These hearings are at the request of DFG 
and a coalition of angler groups, who filed a complaint in 1988, alleging that the existing instream flow 
requirements and screening facilities do not adequately protect fishery resources. Several water right 
issues are also being examined. 

A major discussion topic at the hearings is DFG's Lower Yuba River Fisheries Management Plan, 
which reviews the environmental water needs of the system. The plan proposes a revised flow schedule 
(summarized in Table 8-3) to optimize habitat for chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and American shad. 
The plan also includes maximum temperature limits as well as limitations in the amount of daily and 
long-term fluctuation in flow and water quality. In some months, flows under the proposed new fishery 
requirements would be at least seven times higher than in the old agreement. Yuba County Water Agency 
estimates that the flow and temperature revisions would result in water supply deficiencies for urban and 
agricultural uses of up to 200,000 AF, causing cutbacks in water deliveries at least 75 percent of the time. 
DFG also made recommendations for habitat protection and improvement, new fish screens at existing 
water diversions, public access for recreation, and additional studies. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in its February 1993 order issuing the new license for 
PG&E's Narrows Project, changed the flow requirements to help meet the DFG recommended flows. 



225 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Lower Feather River. The Feather River is the largest tributary of the Sacramento River. The three 
main forks of the Feather River drain into Lake Oroville, where releases into the lower river are 
controlled by Oroville Dam. Flows below Oroville are also regulated by Thermalito Diversion Dam, 
located 5 miles downstream of Oroville Dam. 

The reach of the river from Oroville to the Sacramento River has one of the largest runs of fall run 
Chinook salmon in the State, as well as a population of spring run chinook salmon. The river also has 
sizable populations of American shad, steelhead, and striped bass during spawning season. In addition, 
the banks of the lower Feather River support large stands of riparian forest and some of the largest 
colonies of bank swallows in the State. 

Flow levels are presently set by a 1983 agreement between DWR and DFG. The major provisions 
include minimum flow standards for salmon spawning and rearing between October and March and 
streamflow reduction limits to prevent salmon redds from drying out. The Department of Fish and 
Game made recommendations on Feather River flow needs at SWRCB hearings on D-1630. (See Table 
8-3). Cooperative DWR/DFG studies are underway to reevaluate the instream flow requirements of the 
river. The SWRCB required these studies in 1989 to determine whether environmental impacts happen 
as a result of potential long-term water transfers from Yuba County Water Agency to DWR. The goals 
are to develop instream flow and water temperature models for the river; to examine the relationship of 
instream flow to riparian resources, wildlife habitat, and endangered species; and to review the status of 
recreation and water diversions. 

American River. The American River is the first major tributary to the Sacramento system above 
the Delta. Flows in the lower river are regulated by Folsom Dam, operated by the USER. The current 
flow requirements were set in Decision 893 by the SWRCB in 1958. In 1972, the SWRCB issued 
Decision 1400 which set higher minimum flows for the lower American River, based on the assumption 
that Auburn Dam would be built. Because Auburn Dam has not been built, these higher flow 
requirements have never been enforced. 

In 1972, the Environmental Defense Fund filed suit against the East Bay Municipal Utility District. 
EBMUD was proposing to divert its CVP water supply from the American River through the Folsom 
South Canal, which begins a short distance downstream of Folsom Dam. EDF claimed that diverting the 
water in the Folsom South Canal violated Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution, which says 
that all water should be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent possible. If the water were diverted 
lower in the system, it could be used for both domestic use and instream use. In 1990, after protracted 
litigation, Alameda County Superior Court devised a Physical Solution for the lower American River. 
The Physical Solution allows EBMUD to divert water from Folsom South Canal, but only when flows in 
the American River are sufficient to protect the fish and wildlife in the river. 

The flow requirements in the Physical Solution are not binding on any other diverter from the 
American River, including the USBR. The parties to the litigation are conducting additional studies on 
the flow requirements and expect that the SWRCB will reconsider the issue of minimum flow 
requirements in the American River after these studies are completed in the next few years. 



226 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

San Joaquin River Region 

The San Joaquin River provides the natural drainage system for the southern half of the Central 
Valley. Friant Dam, constructed in the 1940s by the USER, essentially stopped flow in the San Joaquin 
below the dam, except in extremely wet years. Dams on the tributaries below Friant have also limited 
flow from the Merced, Tuolumne, Mokelumne, and Stanislaus rivers during most years. The result of 
water development on the San Joaquin system is that flow in the mainstem below Mendota Pool, near 
Mendota, consists mainly of agricultural return water and municipal effluent. In recent years, water 
quality and fisheries releases from New Melones have benefitted the Stanislaus River and the mainstem 
San Joaquin River 

There are several efforts underway to improve conditions for fish and wildlife in the San Joaquin 
system. The San Joaquin River Management Program, authorized by State legislation (see Chapter 2, 
Institutional Framework), is a cooperative undertaking by State, federal, and local agencies to develop 
actions to provide better flood protection, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation. Its 
fisheries subcommittee has an emergency plan to help the fall run chinook salmon, which has been at 
near record low numbers for the past few years. The plan, which has not been adopted, includes flow 
pulses from the tributaries during outmigration in April, a barrier at the head of Old River during 
outmigration to prevent outmigrating smolts from getting diverted into the south Delta, and decreased 
pumping during April. 

Other efforts are underway for improved San Joaquin River management. The USER has a San 
Joaquin River management effort which includes fisheries improvements. The DWR Delta pumps 
mitigation agreement provides funding for projects on the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers. 
Finally, DFG and USFWS are conducting instream flow studies on some of the tributaries to help 
evaluate flow needs. 

Tuolumne River. Recently, work was conducted to change the flows in the lower Tuolumne River 
in the reach below New Don Pedro Reservoir to the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers. 
While flows into the lower river are controlled by La Grange Dam, Hetch Hetchy Dam, and New Don 
Pedro Dam, other upstream water projects also have a strong influence on operations. 

One of the main environmental issues related to instream flow is the severe decline of chinook 
salmon in the San Joaquin River in general and the Tuolumne River in particular. Present estimates 
indicate less than 100 fall run salmon returned to the river during 1991 and less than 2000 in 1992, 
compared to a historical maximum of 130,000 in 1944. Although lower populations of returning salmon 
can be expected in drought years, especially toward the end of a prolonged drought (i.e. 1987-92), 
increases in populations normally appear as increased natural flow returns which increases habitat and 
thus future returning salmon populations. Evidence suggests that the overall decline is related to reduced 
instream flow and Delta diversions. DFG biologists believe that the young salmon survival has been 
severely reduced by low flows during April and May, which cause unhealthy high temperatures in the 
Tuolumne River and poor survival during outmigration to the San Joaquin River and the Delta. 

As a result of the Phase I Bay/Delta Hearings in 1987, the SWRCB asked that local. State, and 
federal agencies collaborate on mutually acceptable programs to meet the environmental water needs of 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

California. Probably the most successful product of this request is the 1992 agreement among Turlock 
Irrigation District, Modesto Irrigation District, and DFG to cooperate on long-term instream flow 
studies. The agreement significantly augments existing instream flow allocations and expands an 
existing study program designed to fulfill FERC licensing requirements for La Grange Dam. The 
proposal to modify flows for fisheries studies is still awaiting approval by FERC. 

The new agreement for the Tuolumne River has a complex flow schedule based on 10 different water 
year types (from Critically Dry to Maximum Wet) and provides flows for spawning, egg incubation, and 
rearing young in spring and summer. An innovative feature of the plan is the provision for "controlled 
freshets" (pulse flows) in spring to enhance the migration of young salmon to the Delta. Other parts of 
the plan include limitations in the hourly fluctuation of flow, restoration of spawning gravel, and juvenile 
salmon studies. 

Mokelumne River. This stream descends from the western slope of the Sierra Nevada into the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where it splits into the north and south forks. Water releases into the 
lower Mokelumne River are regulated by Camanche Dam; however the Mokelumne Aqueduct diversion 
upstream at Pardee Reservoir has an important effect on water availability for instream flow. Flow 
conditions below the town of Thornton are strongly affected by tidal actions in the Delta. 

Flows in the lower Mokelumne River are presently set by a series of temporary agreements between 
DFG and EBMUD. The system is operated primarily from downstream demands rather than fisheries 
needs. However, the only long-term agreement provides a water allocation for the Mokelumne River 
fish hatchery, part of which is returned to the river as instream flow. 

An ongoing water quality concern is the leaching of heavy metals from abandoned mines into the 
river. Historically, high seasonal flows in the system diluted much of the toxic runoff and minimized the 
impacts; but reduced flows because of Pardee Dam operation cause the heavy metals to accumulate 
downstream in the sediments of Camanche Reservoir. As a result, there are reports of fish kills from 
heavy metal pollution in the lower river 

These and other issues in the basin were reviewed by the SWRCB at water right hearings in 1992 and 
early 1993. The Mokelumne River Fisheries Management Plan was the basis for DFG's 
recommendations on higher flow levels, fish attraction, and outmigration flows. The flow 
recommendations focused on the needs of fall run chinook salmon and steelhead, but these flows may 
also benefit up to 25 other species which use the river. A decision by the SWRCB is expected by 1994. 
In addition, FERC is considering revisions to EBMUD's license. A draft EIS was issued and a decision 
is expected by 1994. 

Merced River. The Merced River is currently the southern limit of the chinook salmon's range along 
the west coast. Flows in the Merced River are controlled by Merced Irrigation District, which operates 
the New Exchequer Dam as well as McSwain Dam and Crocker-Huffman Diversion Dam. The current 
flow requirements are set in part by MID's 1964 FERC license; flow requirements on the license are 
superseded for the months November 1 through April 1 by the later Davis-Grunsky Agreement between 
MID and DWR. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

The Merced River salmon run has decreased dramatically during the drought in spite of the presence 
of the Merced River Fish Facility. From a recent high of over 18,000 spawning salmon in 1983, the run 
has dwindled to fewer than 100 fish during the drought. 

A DFG evaluation of flow requirements on the Merced is expected to be complete in about three 
years. In the interim, DFG, USFWS, and MID are working together to augment flows during critical 
times for adult salmon upstream migration and downstream migration of juveniles. FERC has required 
that MID construct delivery facilities and deliver water to the USFWS's Merced Refuge. Until these 
facilities are constructed, MID has been transferring water for use at other wildlife areas on a schedule to 
benefit the Merced River chinook salmon run. 

Stanislaus River. The flows in the Stanislaus River are essentially controlled by the USER at New 
Melones Dam, which began operation in 1981. Flows for the Stanislaus River were set by the SWRCB 
in D-1422. In addition, a ten-year study of the flow needs of the salmon runs in the Stanislaus River 
was initiated when New Melones began operations. 

This study plan was revised in 1987 and for the interim the minimum water supply for instream use 
was revised to 98,000 AF per year and the maximum was set at 302,100 AF per year. Since the revision 
of the study agreement, additional fisheries studies to determine the instream flow and other habitat needs 
of Chinook salmon have been conducted on the river. Using the study results to date, DFG has developed 
a set of recommended flows for the Stanislaus River as part of the Stanislaus River Basin and Calaveras 
River Water Use Program draft EIR/EIS. 

The Chinook salmon runs in the Stanislaus River have declined during the drought to 150 fish in 
1992, down from 12,000 fish in 1984. 

San Joaquin River. The mainstem San Joaquin River historically supported a large run of spring 
Chinook salmon. When Friant Dam was constructed in 1942, there were no provisions for instream flow 
releases to sustain the salmon fishery or maintain a flowing river from Friant to the confluence with the 
Merced River. This eliminated the salmon run in the upper San Joaquin River. Presently, there is a 
flowing river immediately downstream of Friant due to releases to satisfy prior water rights holders but 
no flows are dedicated to fisheries and the river dries up further downstream. 

The USER is preparing an EIS to document the environmental effects of renewing the contracts with 
customers served by the Friant Unit of the CVP. The CVP Improvement Act also calls for developing a 
reasonable plan to address fish and wildlife concerns on the San Joaquin River, including reestablishing 
streamflows below Friant Dam. The plan must be submitted to Congress before it is implemented and 
the Secretary of the Interior cannot release water for restoration of instream flows from below Gravelly 
Ford on the San Joaquin River until Congress has authorized the plan. 

Eastern Sierra 

Three systems, the Owens River, Mono Basin, and the Truckee River, were selected to typify 
environmental water use in the eastern Sierra Nevada. In these systems, water diversions that normally 
flowed to terminus lakes caused adverse impacts to fish and other biological communities. In the first 
two cases, measures were taken to reduce these diversions to help restore the affected organisms. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Owens River. The Owens River originates in the mountains south of the Mono Basin and 
historically terminated in Owens Lake. Local irrigators began diverting water from the Owens River 
before the turn of the century. Most of these local diverters were bought out by LADWP to firm up its 
water rights to divert the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. This diversion gradually dried up 
Owens Lake. LADWP began the diversions from the Mono Basin into the Owens River in 1941 . It also 
constructed a series of hydroelectric facilities which dried up a section of the Owens River where it 
flowed through the Owens River Gorge. 

The SWRCB has released a draft EIR for the Mono Basin and downstream areas. The EIR includes 
studies of the Owens River above Crowley Lake and downstream from Pleasant Valley Reservoir to 
Tinnemaha, where the aqueduct diverts the Owens River. These studies will allow the SWRCB to 
evaluate how changes in the Mono Basin diversions could impact the Owens River. 

In 1990, the SWRCB amended LADWP's water rights for operation of the hydroelectric projects in 
the Owens Gorge to require water releases to restore its fishery LADWP is negotiating with the Mono 
County District Attorney over the details of the restoration effort. Expectations are that the Owens River 
Gorge section will soon be restored. 

There has been on-going litigation between Inyo County and LADWP over LADWP's ground water 
pumping in the Owens Valley. As part of a settlement agreement, an EIR was prepared to discuss 
environmental impacts of LADWP's water gathering activities in the Owens Valley. As part of this 
process, there have been discussions about releasing water into the Owens River below the intake for the 
aqueduct to mitigate for impacts discussed in the EIR. However, this issue is still unresolved. 

Overall, the Owens River has been the subject of some of the most contentious "water wars" in 
California. Current proceedings may result in some significant changes in the operations of the Owens 
River, resulting in restoration of flowing water in some sections that have been dry for over 40 years. 

Mono Basin. Mono Lake lies at the center of the Mono Basin, just east of Yosemite National Park at 
the base of the Sierra Nevada. The lake is one of the oldest in North America and the second largest in 
California; it is recognized as a valuable scenic, recreational, wildlife, and scientific resource. The area is 
famous for its distinctive natural features such as tufa towers and spires, structures formed by years of 
mineral deposition in the lake's saline waters and now visible due to lower lake levels. The lake is a 
haven for migrating waterfowl. There are two volcanic islands and associated islets in the lake that 
provide a protected breeding area for large colonies of California gulls and a haven for migrating 
waterfowl. No fish live in the lake because its water is 2-1/2 times saltier than sea water. It supports 
brine shrimp and brine flies that are major food supplies for California gulls. 

The lake receives most of its water from precipitation on its surface and contributions from seven 
freshwater creeks. However, the lake has no outlet and its salinity has increased over time because of 
evaporation and stream diversions. All but flood flows from four of the creeks, Lee Vining, Walker, 
Parker, and Rush had been diverted to Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. 
LADWP constructed a fish hatchery to mitigate for the lost fishery. A system of hydroelectric power 
plants, canals, tunnels, and reservoirs was constructed to generate electricity and carry the water to the 
Owens Valley where, together with the Owens River diversions, it is transported to Los Angeles via the 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Los Angeles Aqueduct. Fish populations in the four streams declined as the percentage of water diverted 
increased. 

Diversions from the tributaries accelerated an already declining lake level, resulting in a drop of 45 
feet between 1941 and 1982, when the historic low was reached. Studies by the National Academy of 
Sciences and the University of California have shown that there was a dramatic increase in lake salinity, 
which may reduce algal blooms, the food supply for the lake's abundant brine shrimp and brine flies. 
Such a change poses a threat to bird populations in the basin because, as noted, the shrimp and flies are 
major food resources. The drop in water levels has created a land bridge to one of the lake's two islands, 
allowing coyotes and other predators to reach important gull rookeries. Large areas of the lake bed have 
become exposed, causing local air quality problems from dust formed by dried alkali silt. 

Disagreements over environmental and water rights issues and their impacts on Mono Lake have 
resulted in litigation involving these allocations, including a lawsuit filed in 1979 by the National 
Audubon Society, the Mono Lake Committee, and others. The California Supreme Court in 1983 ruled 
that, under the public trust doctrine, water rights are subject to review and reallocation by the courts or 
the SWRCB (a summary of the ruling can be found in Chapter 2). As part of the final settlement in the 
Audubon and other cases, the courts ordered the SWRCB to determine what instream flows and lake 
levels are required to protect public trust values. The SWRCB has released an Environmental Impact 
Report describing the impacts of alternative operational scenarios. 

Until the SWRCB reaches a decision, Los Angeles is prohibited by court injunction from diverting 
streamflow from the tributaries until the lake level stabilizes at 6,377 feet above sea level. Releases of 
natural flows into four of the lake's tributaries below the diversion dams have been ordered by another 
court ruling to help reestablish the fishery that existed in the streams prior to diversions. 

In September 1989, the Environmental Water Act of 1989 was signed into law. It authorizes DWR to 
spend up to a total of $60 million from the Environmental Water Fund for water projects or programs that 
will benefit the environment. Until June 30, 1994, 60 percent of these funds are reserved exclusively for 
projects that would enhance the Mono Lake environment as well as provide replacement water and power 
to Los Angeles. 

Truckee River. Water rights disputes have continued in the interstate Truckee River watershed for 
more than a century, creating a complex set of issues that influence instream flows in the basin. The river 
begins at Lake Tahoe and descends the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada before emptying into Pyramid 
Lake. Reservoirs that regulate its tributaries include Stampede Reservoir, Martis Creek Reservoir, Boca 
Reservoir, and Prosser Creek Reservoir. Privately owned, partially controlled, lakes or tributaries include 
Independence Lake and Donner Lake. 

Flows in the Truckee River are largely governed by water right decrees and settlements among 
downstream water users in Nevada. Instream fiows in California are largely constrained by these decreed 
flows. The major water uses are in Nevada, and range from agricultural needs in the Carson Basin and 
Truckee Meadows to the municipal needs of the rapidly growing Reno/Sparks area, and water required to 
sustain threatened and endangered fish in Pyramid Lake. Fisheries flows are designated on the tributaries 
to prevent habitat dewatering; however, new instream flow requirements are being negotiated by 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

California and Nevada as part of the Truckee River Operating Agreement, called for in the 
Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act (see Chapter 2). DWR, USFWS, USBR, 
and several other entities are preparing a joint draft EIR/EIS to address the major issues. Some of the 
environmental concerns are described below. 

Instream flows play a critical role in maintaining threatened, endangered, and game fisheries. 
Pyramid Lake, Nevada is home to a reintroduced species of Lahontan cutthroat trout, a threatened 
species, whose native strain was once one of the most prized game fish in the region. Excessive water 
diversions from the Truckee River and spawning tributaries, and commercial over-harvesting eliminated 
the species in Pyramid by 1 94 1 . Irrigation diversions of most of the Truckee River flows to Pyramid 
Lake created barriers which blocked spawning areas for the Lahontan cutthroat trout and a native sucker 
species, the cui-ui. The cui-ui decline, a fish of major cultural importance to the Pyramid Lake Paiute 
Tribe, led to its listing as an endangered species and legal action to protect the remaining population. 
Several lawsuits were filed on the operations of Truckee River reservoirs in an attempt to change or 
maintain project purposes. A lawsuit filed by the Carson-Truckee Water Conservancy District and Sierra 
Pacific Power Company to overturn the Secretary of Interior's decision to operate Stampede for 
endangered species did not succeed and the court ruled that the Secretary had a duty to provide water for 
the cui-ui until such time as they were not a listed species. Other litigation is on hold pending 
negotiation of the Truckee River Operating Agreement, to be signed by both states, the federal 
government, the Tribe, the Sierra Pacific Power Company, and others. The Operating Agreement, if 
implemented, will provide additional water and storage for endangered species and municipal and 
industrial uses, and new instream flow requirements. Existing litigation would then be dismissed or 
otherwise finally resolved. 

Although Lahontan cutthroat trout no longer exists in the upper Truckee River system except for a 
small population in Independence Lake and its tributary Independence Creek, rainbow and brown trout 
provide important sport fisheries in the mainstem Truckee River and future instream flow agreements 
will likely take their habitat needs into consideration. DFG and U.S. Forest Service biologists have been 
conducting fisheries studies since 1986 to help resolve present and possible future conflicts. 

Coastal Streams 

This section discusses a few of the north and central coast streams which feed into the Pacific Ocean 
and typify environmental water use for coastal streams. There is also a discussion about the Trinity 
River, which is a tributary to the Klamath River. A number of other coastal streams have important 
environmental and regulatory issues. However, their flow levels tend to be relatively small in 
comparison to other supply and use values presented in the water plan. Flow requirements for many of 
these locations are discussed in DWR Bulletin 216 (1982). 

The North Coast region has supported one of the best salmon (chinook and coho) and steelhead 
fisheries on the West Coast, as well as native resident trout streams. The coho fishery has decreased in 
the past decade; coincident with observed declines in most coho stocks along the West Coast. Fish 
habitat improvement has been underway since 1980 to increase spawning and rearing areas for salmon 



232 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

and steelhead. Biological resources include over 300 species of wildlife and such threatened or 
endangered species as bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and northern spotted owls. 

Klamath River. The Klamath basin (excluding the Trinity River portion) contains over 8 million 
acres in California and Oregon. Much of the river and its tributaries are included in the State and federal 
Wild and Scenic Rivers Systems, including the mainstem Klamath below Iron Gate Dam, the mainstem 
Salmon River, and North Fork Salmon River in California. 

Although much of the Klamath River system is classified as wild and scenic, it is far from 
undisturbed. Stream habitat in the basin has been heavily altered by water diversions, logging, 
agricultural activities, and mining. For at least 80 years, steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, 
cutthroat trout, green sturgeon, and other anadromous fish have been blocked from reaching spawning 
habitat in the river's headwaters above Copco Dam. Habitat degradation has also occurred because 
flushing flows and fresh spawning gravel are trapped in the reservoirs, causing spawning areas to become 
armored (paved) with large cobble. These impacts have been partially mitigated by a salmon and 
steelhead hatchery constructed at Iron Gate, but natural production has diminished greatly in recent years. 

Between 1926 and 1960, Copco Dam regulated flow in the Klamath River. The dam operated to 
meet only power demands, and no minimum flow was required. Extreme, unnatural short-term flow 
fluctuations resulted in the loss of millions of salmon and steelhead each year. Beginning in 1961, Iron 
Gate Dam operation improved flows dramatically; however, the instream flow schedule was developed 
primarily to maintain stocks of fall run chinook salmon and may not necessarily be suitable for other runs 
or species. An instream flow study has been started to reevaluate flows below Iron Gate Dam. 

Instream flow issues are not limited to the lower Klamath basin. Flow from upper Klamath basin 
tributaries supports two endangered fish species, the Lost River sucker and the shortnose sucker; these 
flows also support an important sport fishery for trophy-sized native rainbow trout. The suckers were 
once a major food source for the Klamath Indian tribe but deteriorating water quality in Upper Klamath 
Lake and blockage of upstream spawning areas by diversion dams contributed to their severe decline. 
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Forest Service are studying instream flow needs of the 
tributaries to determine what improvements can be made for environmental water needs. 

Trinity River. The Trinity River basin encompasses a watershed of almost 3,000 square miles in 
Trinity and Humboldt counties. It has been altered substantially by dams, road construction, water 
export, logging, mining, and other land-use practices. The Trinity River Division of the CVP was 
completed in 1963, leading to reduced streamflows, sedimentation, and vegetation encroachment in the 
Trinity River which has adversely impacted the fisheries. 

Originally, releases from the Trinity and Lewiston dams to the Trinity River were approximately 
120,0(X) AF per year. In the late 1970s, the USBR increased the releases to vary between 270,000 and 
340,000 AF per year. In 1 991 , the Secretary of the Interior responded to a request for increased flows 
from the Hoopa Valley and Yurok tribes, who rely on the harvest of salmonids for subsistence, 
ceremonial, and commercial needs and increased the minimum flows to 340,000 AF per year. 

A major USFWS study is underway to establish the optimum flow schedule for fisheries on the 
Trinity River. Initial study results indicate that 340,000 AF per year may provide enough water to 



233 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

maintain 80 percent of the existing habitat for salmon populations. Tentative recommendations include 
providing 2,000 cfs in spring for rearing and short-term "flushing" flows to aid young salmon 
outmigration. The CVP Improvement Act of 1992 requires a permanent annual allocation of 340,000 AF 
from Lewiston Reservoir for fishery needs. 

The CVP diverts Trinity River flows into the Sacramento River system for use in the Central Valley. 
Increased instream flows in the Trinity River will reduce the amount of water available in the Central 
Valley. 

Smith River. The Smith River is the only major watershed in California that is undammed and 
relatively undeveloped, making it a unique and pristine resource. The basin, which includes the South 
Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork, Siskiyou Fork and mainstem of the Smith River, has the highest runoff 
per square mile in the State. 

The Smith River was included in the California Wild and Scenic River system in 1972, and was later 
included in the federal Wild and Scenic River system in 1981. To provide more protection, 305,000 
acres of the basin were declared a National Recreation Area in 1990 and is part of the Six Rivers National 
Forest. A USPS Management Plan was prepared to direct recreation, fisheries, forestry, fire control, 
habitat restoration, and other actives for the region. 

Lagunitas Creek. Lagunitas Creek is a good illustration of the difficulty in satisfying competing 
water demands in a small, coastal watershed. The system is one of the major watercourses in Marin 
County, draining from the northern slopes of Mount Tamalpais to Tomales Bay. 

Marin Municipal Water District is the largest user of Lagunitas Creek water and operates Lagunitas, 
Bon Tempe, Kent, and Alpine reservoirs on the main stream and Nicasio Reservoir on a tributary. The 
system provides basic water supplies to approximately 170,000 people in Marin County. Lagunitas 
Creek is also used by North Marin Water District, which serves approximately 1 ,000 to 1 ,500 residents in 
the Point Reyes Station area. Municipal demand is expected to increase as a result of continuing 
population growth. There are also two substantial agricultural users, one of whom operates Giacomini 
Dam at the mouth of the Creek. 

Lagunitas Creek once supported large numbers of coho salmon and steelhead trout, but populations 
have been significantly reduced by inadequate instream flows, prolonged drought, and habitat loss. The 
coho decline may also be related to other factors in that this species has declined in most streams along 
the West Coast of the United States. Another notable resource is the endangered California freshwater 
shrimp. Fresh water outflow from the Creek also plays a significant role in the maintenance of the 
Tomales Bay Estuary. 

The environmental needs of the system were recognized by the SWRCB in 1982, when a minimum 
flow of 1 cfs was established at the Giacomini Dam fish ladder. However, recent drought conditions and 
rapid population growth have made it clear that there is significant potential for demand to habitually 
exceed the available supply. In 1990, MMWD, DFG, and several other concerned parties requested new 
SWRCB hearings to resolve these conflicts. Hearings were held in spring 1992; the SWRCB heard 
testimony on the instream flow and water quality needs for fisheries, freshwater requirements of Tomales 
Bay, and the present and anticipated future status of agricultural and municipal water needs. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Carmel River. Historically, the Carmel River and its tributaries were a major spawning ground and 
nursery stream for steelhead rainbow trout, with approximately 2,000 to 3,000 spawners per year. 
Construction of San Clemente and Los Padres dams, surface diversions, and ground water pumping along 
the river substantially changed flow patterns of the Carmel River which led to fish passage problems, 
delayed migration, reduced rearing habitat, and mortality during emigration. Although the last count in 
1984 indicated a total run of 860 adults, the current drought combined with diversions has limited or 
prevented migration since 1987. 

Flow releases from San Clemente Dam are negotiated annually, but generally remain at 5 cfs. There 
is also an agreement between dam operators and DFG to provide at least 5 cfs below Los Padres Dam. In 
spite of the presence of releases from the two dams, the lower Carmel River is dry in summer and fall 
during normal rainfall years and sometimes year-round in drought years. In contrast, studies indicate 
that at least 40-75 cfs are needed from January through March to allow spawners to pass through critical 
riffles. Additional flow is necessary during other months in upstream areas for incubation, migration, 
and rearing. 

A number of projects have been proposed by Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to 
increase the water supply in the basin and to enhance instream flow. A Draft Environmental Impact 
Report/Statement has been prepared which identifies enlargement of Los Padres Dam (to 16,000 AF or 
24,000 AF) and development of a desalination plant as the preferred alternative. Some spawning and 
rearing habitat would be lost with the enlargement, however instream flows and water temperatures 
would improve, particularly in the lower Carmel River. 

San Luis Obispo Creek. San Luis Obispo Creek extends from San Luis Obispo Bay, across the San 
Luis Obispo basin and up into the Santa Lucia Range. There are no water projects on the creek, but the 
flow is reduced by small-scale stream diversions and ground water pumping. Natural runoff sustains 
year-round flow in the upper watershed of the stream; however, in the dry months of the year the 
streamflow below San Luis Obispo is often exclusively from wastewater discharge. 

At present, the major issue for this system is a proposal to reclaim wastewater for irrigation and 
industrial users, thereby reducing instream flow in the lower reach of the stream. Treated wastewater 
currently supports an important riparian corridor, providing habitat for game and nongame species. 
Species of special concern include the southwestern pond turtle and red-legged frog. Although fisheries 
resources in the lower reach of the creek appear to be limited because of poor water quality, the stream is 
a migration corridor for one of the most southerly races of steelhead trout. Migration of steelhead occurs 
during the wettest months of the year, when instream flow is enhanced throughout the system. 
Resident-strain, nonmigratory rainbow trout also occur in the stream. An instream flow study has been 
completed for the reach below the wastewater treatment plant and an Environmental Impact Report is 
being prepared for the reclamation project. 

Santa Ynez River. The Santa Ynez River system historically supported the largest run of steelhead 
trout in Southern California. However, much of the main channel is now of poor quality or unsuitable for 
spawning and rearing due to low or nonexistent flows, high temperatures, passage barriers, and habitat 
degradation. A self-sustaining population of trout remains in one of the tributaries, Salsipuedes Creek, 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

but numbers are low. Rearing habitat is especially limited in the creek and it appears that run size 
depends on the magnitude of winter storms. 

The river is regulated in its upper reaches by Juncal Dam and Gibralter Dam and downstream by 
Bradbury Dam and Lake Cachuma. There is presently no instream flow requirement for the river; Lake 
Cachuma is operated to fill the lower ground water basin and to protect downstream water users. Some 
information is available about the possible effect of different levels of instream flow from .studies 
associated with the proposed enlargement of Lake Cachuma. Analyses show that if water quality is 
satisfactory and flows are constant, releases of 50 to 120 cfs are needed to provide optimal habitat 
between Bradbury Dam and Buellton. Maintaining flows in the reach between the ocean and the 
confluence with Salsipuedes Creek appears to be particularly important to allow steelhead to reach the 
highest quality spawning habitat. Lower flows of from 6 to 50 cfs may also be beneficial if combined 
with habitat improvement. 

Existing Environmental Instream Flow Requirements 

Environmental instream flow requirements were compiled by reviewing existing fishery agreements, 
water rights, court decisions and congressional directives. These flows are included in Table 8^. The 
instream applied water for a major river is based on the largest fish flow specified in an entire reach of 
that river or, for wild and scenic rivers, the flow is based on unimpaired natural flow. Instream applied 
water for fisheries within hydrologic region is determined by adding all the fishery flow needs of the 
major rivers within that region. Instream net water needs for any river is the portion of the applied water 
which flows throughout the river or is the flow leaving the region. Total instream net water needs of a 
region are computed by adding instream net water needs of all the major streams within the region. 
Depletion of instream water needs is the portion of environmental instream flows that flow to a salt sink 
or the ocean. Figure 8-5 shows examples of applied water, net water, and depletion for instream fishery 
flow needs. 

The North Coast wild and scenic river flows were determined by estimating average and drought year 
natural runoff of the portion of the streams designated as wild and scenic. These streams include the 
Smith, Klamath, Trinity and Eel rivers. For Central Valley and other wild and scenic rivers instream 
flows are extensively used downstream of the reaches designated, and these flows are not specifically 
dedicated to instream uses. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Figure 8-5. Examples of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and Depletion for 

Instream Fishery Flows 
Example of Central Valley Streams — Average Year 



Whi skeytown 
Eeservoi r 



Keswick 
Reser voir 



SACRAMENTO RIVER REGION 

(Thouundt of Acre-Foat) 


STREAM 


APPUED 
WATER 


NET 
WATER 


DEPLETION 


Sacramento River 
at Red Biuff 
Feather River 
at Thermalito 
Yuba River 
at Marysville 
American River 
at Nimbus 
Others* 


1,903 

977 

280 

234 
49 


1,903 

977 

174 

234 
35 












Total 


3,443 


3,323 






Others indudas Clear Creek, Bear River, Putah Creek and Cache Creek 



eser voi r 



v" s?i» ■•■- r— ■- ^ -Jinp Far Wei. 
NSi ^A ^i_k&,.m.m^^ lieservoi r 



SAN FRANaSCO BAY REGION 

(Thouaanda of Acre-Feet) 



STREAM 


APPLIED 
WATER 


NET 
WATER 


DEPLETION 


D1485 
Outflow 


4615 


4615 


4615 




Camanche 
Reservoir 



New Mel ones 
Reservoir 



New Don Pedro 
Reservoir 



Lake 
McClure 



SAN 


JOAQUIN 

(Thousands 


RIVER REGION 

of Acre-Feet) 


STREAM 


APPLIED 
WATER 


NET 
WATER 


DEPLETION 


Merced 
Tuolumne 
Stanislaus 
Moicelumne 


84 
122 
110 

14 


84 
122 
110 

14 








TottI 


330 


330 






Shaffer Bridge 



237 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Existing environmental instream flow requirements will increase from the 1990 level by about 
600,000 AF by 2020. Future environmental instream needs reflect recent increases in Trinity River flows 
(required by the CVPIA), an increase in the Yuba River fishery flow (required by a recent FERC action), 
and increased Delta carriage water requirements due to increased future exports under SWRCB D-1485). 
Further, the CVPIA reallocates 800,000 AF for Central Valley fishery needs along with 200,000 AF for 
wildlife refuge water needs. The long-term disposition of these supplies is the subject of a program EIS 
now being developed by the USER. A proactive approach to identifying fishery needs — such as a better 
temperature control for spawning conditions, better screening of diversions to reduce incidental take, and 
better timing of reservoir releases to improve fishery habitat , among others — must be taken so that 
solutions to the Delta problems mesh with actions taken for improving fishery conditions, to that end, 
many of the actions identified in the CVPIA for cost sharing with the State will improve conditions for 
aquatic species. 

Table 8-4. California Instream Environmental Water Needs 

(millions of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 

North Coast 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
San Francisco 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
Central Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 
South Coast 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
Sacramento River 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
San Joaquin River 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



18.9 
18.9 
18.9 

4.6 
4.6 
4.6 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

3.4 
3.3 
0.0 

0.3 
0.3 
0.0 



8.7 
8.7 
8.7 

3.1 
3.1 
3.1 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

3.0 
2.9 
0.0 

0.2 
0.2 
0.0 



19.0 
19.0 
19.0 

4.6 
4.6 
4.6 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

3.8 
3.7 

0.0 

0.3 
0.3 
0.0 



8.8 
8.8 
8.8 

3.1 
3.1 
3.1 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

3.4 
3.4 
0.0 

0.2 
0.2 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.4 
0.4 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 

0.4 
0.5 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



238 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-4. California Instream Environmental Water Needs (continued) 

(millions of acre -feet) 



Hydrologlc Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



Tulare Lake 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 

0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



North l^hontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 

0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 

0.0 
0.0 



South L^hontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



Colorado River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



Total Instream 
Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



27.3 
27.2 
23.6 



15.1 
15.0 
11.9 



27.8 
27.7 
23.7 



15.6 
15.6 
12.0 



0.5 
0.5 
0.1 



0.5 
0.8 
0.1 



In the short-term, environmental water needs are uncertain, but improved, as a number of actions by 
regulatory agencies are underway to protect aquatic species. The outcome of some of those actions 
depends on solutions to the complex problems in the Delta. 

Wetlands 

During the past 1 5 years, actions taken by State and federal governments demonstrate an increased 
awareness of both the broad public benefits of wetlands and the need to protect and enhance wetland 
habitats. One such recent action was the "no net loss of wetlands" policy adopted by both the federal and 
State governments; California's wetland policy states "no net loss in the short-term and an increase in 
wetlands in the long-term." Protecting and restoring wetlands will cause additional demands on 
California's water supplies since a critical need for many of the existing, and potential, public and private 
wetlands is a reliable and affordable supply of good quality water. 

Wetlands are transitional lands between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is 
usually at or near the surface or the land is often covered by shallow water during some parts of the year. 
Wetlands can be categorized according to specific habitat and type of vegetation. In general, wetlands are 
divided into: 



239 



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Environmental Water Use 



Figure 8-6. Publicly Managed Freshwater Wetlands 



1. Shasta Valley W.A. 

2. Butte Valley W.A. 

3. Lower Klamath N.W.R. 

4. Tule Lake N.W.R. 

5. Clear Lake N.W.R. 

6. Modoc N.W.R. 

7. Ash Creek W.A. 

8. Willow Creek W.A. 

9. Honey Lake W.A. 

10. Upper Butte Basin W.A. 

11. Sacramento N.W.R. 

12. Delevan N.W.R. 

13. Gray Lodge W.A. 

14. Butte Sink N.W.R. 

15. Colusa N.W.R. 

16. Sutter N.W.R. 



17. Yolo Bypass W.A. 

18. Stone Lakes N.W.R. 

19. Suisun Marsh W.A. 

20. North Grassland W.A. 

21. Kesterson N.W.R. 

22. Arena Plains N.W.R. 

23. San Luis N.W.R. 

24. Merced N.W.R. 

25. Volta W.A. 

26. Los Banos N.W.R. 

27. Mendota W.A. 

28. Pixley N.W.R. 

29. Kern N.W.R. 

30. San Jacinto W.A. 

31. Imperial W.A. 

32. Salton Sea N.W.R. 



N.W.R = National Wildlife Refuge 
W.A. = Wildlife Area 




20 40 MILES 



240 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

O Saltwater and brackish water marshes, which are usually located in coastal areas. 

O Freshwater wetlands, which are primarily in the inland areas of California. 

O Freshwater forested and scrub wetlands, which are commonly referred to as riparian habitat. 

Historically, wetland habitat was often seen as only a breeding ground for disease carrying 
mosquitos. Federal, State, and local policies to drain, fill, or somehow convert wetlands to more 
"productive" uses was the norm. For example, the federal Swamp Land Acts of the 1 800s gave 65 
million acres of wetlands to 15 states, including California, for reclamation. As recent as the 1960s and 
1970s, the federal Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) promoted drainage of 
wetlands through cost-sharing programs with farmers. 

As a result of these and other activities, many of California's wetlands were converted to agricultural 
and urban uses, and water that had naturally flooded the wetlands was diverted for other needs. 
Estimates of wetlands that historically existed in California range from 3 to 5 million acres. The current 
estimate of wetland acreage in California is approximately 450,000 acres; this represents an 85 to 90 
percent reduction — the greatest percentage loss in the nation. 

Wetlands are now seen as very important ecosystems with the following multiple values and 
functions: 

O Biological Diversity. Wetlands provide important habitat for diverse community of plants 

and animals, including over 50 percent of the federally listed threatened or endangered 

species. 

O Waterfowl Habitat. Wetlands provide the principal habitat for migratory waterfowl. 

California provides critical wintering habitat for millions of waterfowl migrating along the 
Pacific Flyway, which extends from Canada to Mexico. 

O Fisheries. Wetlands provide direct spawning and rearing habitats and food supply that 
supports both freshwater and marine fisheries. 

O Flood Control. Wetlands detain flood flows, reducing the size and destructiveness of floods. 

O Water Quality. Wetlands absorb and filter pollutants that could otherwise degrade ground 
water or the water quality of rivers, lakes, and estuaries. 

O Ground Water Recharge. Some wetlands recharge aquifers that provide urban and 

agricultural water supplies. 
O Recreation. Wetlands support a multi-million dollar fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation 

industry nationwide. 

Five areas of California contain the largest remaining wetlands acreage in the State. These areas are 
in the Humboldt Bay, San Francisco Bay, Suisun Marsh, Klamath Basin, and Central Valley. Humboldt 
and San Francisco bays both contain tidal and nontidal salt and brackish marshes as well as large areas of 



241 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

reclaimed farmland and other diked historic tideland that offers important bird habitat in the winter. The 
brackish wetlands in Suisun Marsh are the largest contiguous estuarine marsh in the lower 48 states. This 
area consists of approximately 52,000 acres, or 1 2 percent of the State's total wetland acreage. Along 
the coast, river mouths and estuaries contain predominantly smaller wetlands with the exception of a few 
major remaining coastal wetlands such as Elkhorn Slough in Monterey County, and Tijuana Estuary and 
San Diego Bay in San Diego County. Most wetlands in the Klamath Basin and the Central Valley are 
artificially managed because the natural hydrologic pattern no longer exists. These artificially managed 
wetlands are under either public or private ownership and are maintained by intentional flooding and 
water level manipulation. 

Wetlands receive water from several sources including ground water, local surface water, imported 
surface water from the CVP, the SWP, and local projects, as well as agricultural return flows. Until 
recently, most of California's managed wetlands did not have dependable water supplies; this will change 
for 15 refuges in the Central Valley with the passage of the CVP Improvement Act of 1992 (see Chapter 
2 for a summary of this Act). The wetland provisions of this Act are discussed in more detail below. In 
most cases, both public and private wetlands receive water through informal arrangements. The 
availability of water for wetlands was reduced in the 1980s for several reasons. The biggest reasons were 
the 1987-1992 drought and water quality problems, such as selenium-contaminated agricultural return 
flows. Agricultural conservation practices have reduced the amount of good quality agricultural return 
flows available downstream for wetlands. 

Several laws and programs were recently adopted by federal. State, regional, and private agencies 
and organizations to protect and restore wetlands in California. These laws and programs are intended to 
protect existing wetlands, improve wetland management practices, and increase wetland habitat. In many 
cases these laws and programs could result in increased water demands for wetlands. Several of the major 
wetland laws and programs are discussed below. 

Federal Wetland Policies and Programs 

A number of actions by federal agencies and federal legislation will have an important effect on 
wetlands and wetland management in California. 

National Wetlands Policy Forum. This forum was convened in 1987, at the request of the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, by the Conservation Foundation. Its purpose was to address major 
policy concerns about how the nation should protect and manage its wetlands resources. In November 
1988, the Forum released its final report, "Protecting America's Wetlands: An Action Agenda." 

The first element of the Forum's recommended program was to establish a national wetlands goal 
which would reduce the lack of consistency and focus currently exhibited in the nation's wetland policies 
and programs. The Forum recommended "an interim goal to achieve no overall net loss of the nation's 
remaining wetlands base and a long-term goal to increase the quantity and quality of the nation's 
wetlands resource base." 

USBR Refuge Water Supply Report. The USBR is the lead agency in a multi-agency study 
evaluating the water supplies for refuges in the Central Valley. In 1989, the USBR completed the first 
phase of the study and prepared the "Report on Refuge Water Supply Investigations." This report 



242 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

evaluates the water and power needs, surface water delivery systems, ground water availability, recreation 
and wildlife resources, and habitat management objectives for 15 refuges in the Central Valley. The 15 
refuges include 10 National Wildlife Refuges, four State Wildlife Areas, and the Grasslands Resource 
Conservation District, covering a privately owned wetland area. 

For each of the 1 5 areas, the report quantifies the water needs into four levels: 

Level 1 — Existing firm water supply (95,163 AF per year) 

Level 2 — Current average annual water deliveries (381,550 AF per year) 

Level 3 — Supply for full use of existing development (493,050 AF per year) 

Level 4 — Supply for optimum habitat management (526,200 AF per year) 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 (PL 102-575). This Act was signed by the 
president in October 1992. Title 34, Section 3406 (d) requires the Secretary of the Interior to provide 
firm water supplies to various wildlife refuges and habitat areas in the Central Valley, either directly or 
through contractual agreements with other parties. Specifically, water is to go to 15 existing wildlife 
refuges identified in the USER Refuge Water Supply Report and to the five habitat areas identified in the 
USBR/CDFG San Joaquin Basin Action Plan/Kesterson Mitigation Plan. 

The Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to immediately provide firm water supplies at "Level 2" 
for the 15 Central Valley refuges, or 381,550 AF per year. By 2002, the Secretary is required to increase 
the water deliveries for the 15 refuges to "Level 4," or 526,200 AF per year. This is an increase of 
144,650 AF per year over the Level 2 water supply. 

For the five habitat areas listed in the San Joaquin Basin Action Plan/Kesterson Mitigation Plan, the 
Act requires the Secretary to immediately provide two-thirds of the water supply needed for full habitat 
development. The total amount needed for full habitat development must be provided by the year 2002. 
The SJBAP calculates that approximately 63,2(X) AF per year will be needed for full habitat development 
of the five areas. This amount, however, does not include transportation losses which the USBR 
estimates at approximately 21 percent, or 13,600 AF. Total water supply would amount to about 76,800 
AF per year if transportation losses were included. 

California Wetland Policies and Programs 

Recent policies and laws adopted by the governor and the legislature underscore the importance of 
protecting and restoring California's wetlands. The following discussion briefly outlines several of the 
most significant State wetland policies. 

California Wetlands Conservation Policy. In August 1993, the governor announced the "California 
Wetlands Conservation Policy." The goals of the policy are to establish a framework and strategy that 
will: 

O Ensure no overall net loss and achieve a long-term net gain in the quantity, 
quality, and permanence of wetlands acreage and values in California in a 
manner that fosters creativity, stewardship, and respect for private property. 

O Reduce procedural complexity in the administration of State and federal 
wetlands conservation programs. 



243 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

O Encourage partnerships to make landowner incentive programs and cooperative 
planning efforts the primary focus of wetlands conservation and restoration. 
The governor also signed Executive Order W-59-93, which incorporates the goals and objectives 
contained in the new policy and directs the Resources Agency to establish an Interagency Task Force to 
direct and coordinate administration and implementation of the policy. 

The State's wetland acreage is expected to increase as a result of the governor's new policy. The 
policy recommends the completion of a statewide inventory of existing wetlands that will then lead to the 
establishment of a formal wetland acreage goal. The Resources Agency expects the wetland acreage and 
quality to increase by as much as 30 to 50 percent by the year 2010. Based on the current estimate that 
there are 450,000 acres of existing wetlands in the State, the increase could be as much as 225,000 acres. 

Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture and North American Waterfowl Management Plan. In 

1 986, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan was signed by the United States and Canada. 
The NAWMP provides a broad framework for waterfowl management in North America through the year 
2000; it also includes recommendations for wetland and upland habitat protection, restoration, and 
enhancement. 

Implementing the NAWMP is the responsibility of designated joint ventures, in which agencies and 
private organizations collectively pool their resources to solve waterfowl habitat problems. The plan 
focuses on seven habitat areas; the Central Valley of California is one of those areas. 

The Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture was established in 1988 to "protect, maintain, and restore 
habitat to increase waterfowl populations to desired levels in the Central Valley of California consistent 
with other objectives of the NAWMP." 

To achieve this goal, the CVHJV adopted six objectives for the Central Valley, (1) protect 80,000 
acres of existing wetlands through fee acquisition or conservation easement; (2) restore 120,000 acres of 
former wetlands; (3) enhance 291,555 acres of existing wetlands; (4) enhance water habitat on 443,000 
acres of private agricultural land; and (5) secure 402,450 AF of water for 15 existing refuges in the 
Central Valley. The CVHJV derived their estimates of water needs for existing refuges from the USBR's 
1989 refuge water supply study. In August 1993, DWR became an ex-officio member of the CVHJV 
Management Board. 

Suisun Marsh Plan of Protection. The Suisun Marsh, in southern Solano County, is the largest 
wetland in the State. In 1974, the California Legislature recognized the threat of urbanization and 
enacted the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act (SB 1981), requiring that a protection plan be developed for 
the Marsh. 

In 1978, the SWRCB issued D-1485, setting water salinity standards for Suisun Marsh from October 
through May to preserve the area as a brackish water tidal marsh and to provide optimum waterfowl food 
plant production. D-1485 placed operational conditions on the water right permits of the federal CVP 
and the SWP. Order 7 of the decision requires the permittees to develop and fully implement a plan, in 
cooperation with other agencies, to ensure that the channel salinity standards are met. 

In 1984, DWR published the Plan of Protection for the Suisun Marsh including Environmental 
Impact Report. DWR, DFG, the Suisun Resource Conservation District and the USBR prepared this 



244 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

report in response to D-1485. The USFWS also provided significant input. The Plan of Protection 
proposes staged implementation of several activities such as monitoring, a wetlands management 
program for marsh landowners, physical facilities, and supplemental releases of water from CVP and 
SWP reservoirs. The Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement entered into among the four agencies has 
also been authorized by an Act of Congress in PL 99-546. To date, $ 66 million has been spent on 
studies and facility construction. 

Inland Wetlands Conservation Program. In 1990, the Legislature passed legislation authorizing 
the Inland Wetlands Conservation Program within the Wildlife Conservation Board. This program 
carries out some the Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture objectives by administering a $2 million per 
year program to acquire, improve, buy, sell, or lease wetland habitat. 

Wetland Water Supply and Demands 

State and federal officials estimate that there are approximately 450,000 acres of wetlands (excluding 
flooded agricultural lands) in California. This is only a rough estimate because a comprehensive 
inventory of California's wetlands has not been made. The Resources Agency is planning to conduct an 
inventory of the states' wetlands and to track changes in acreage and habitat types. This information 
about acreages and habitat types is needed to accurately quantify the water needs for wetlands. 

Currently, the best available data about wetland habitat and acreage in California are for managed 
wetlands. Consequently, the scope of this report is an assessment of the managed wetland water needs. 
Managed wetlands consist of either freshwater and nontidal brackish water wetlands or agricultural lands 
flooded to create wildlife habitat. These lands are maintained by the intentional flooding and 
manipulation of water levels. Although agricultural lands flooded for wildlife habitat are not considered 
to be wetlands, the term "wetlands" used in the following section refers to both natural wetlands and 
flooded agricultural lands. All agricultural lands flooded for wildlife are considered managed wetlands 
and the majority of California's natural wetlands are managed wetlands. Of the estimated 450,000 acres 
of natural wetlands in the State, approximately 75 percent (335,000 acres) are managed. 

Managed wetlands are owned and operated as State and federal refuges, private wetland preserves 
owned by non-profit organizations, or private duck clubs. Agricultural lands flooded to create waterfowl 
habitat are mostly rice fields in the Sacramento Valley and com or other small grain crops in the Delta. 
The flooded agricultural lands in California provide very important winter feeding habitat for many 
migratory waterfowl. 

A brief description of the wetland habitat and water needs for each hydrologic basin is provided in 
this section. Table 8-5 summarizes the 1990 and projected wetland water needs statewide for each 
hydrologic region. Eight of the 10 hydrologic basins have managed wetland habitat with freshwater 
needs. No managed wetlands with freshwater needs were identified in the Central Coast or South 
Lahontan regions. 



245 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-5. Wetland Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 
(millions of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



North Coast 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
San Francisco 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
Central Coast 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
South Coast 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
Sacramento River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 
San Joaquin River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 
Tulare l^ke 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
North Lahontan 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 
South Lahontan 

Applied Water 

Net Water 

Depletion 



0.3 


0.3 


0.4 


0.4 


0.1 


0.1 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.5 


0.5 


0.6 


0.6 


0.1 


0.1 


0.4 


0.4 


0.5 


0.5 


0.1 


0.1 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.3 


0.3 


0.4 


0.4 


0.1 


0.1 


0.2 


0.2 


0.3 


0.3 


0.1 


0.1 


0.2 


0.2 


0.3 


0.3 


0.1 


0.1 


0.0 


0.0 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.0 


0.0 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.0 


0.0 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.1 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 



246 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

Table 8-5. Wetland Water Needs by Hydrologic Region (continued) 

(millions of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic 


Regions 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


Colorado River 
















Applied Water 




0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Net Water 




0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Depletion 




0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 



Total Wetlands 
Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



1.3 


1.3 


1.7 


1.7 


0.4 


0.4 


1.0 


1.0 


1.3 


1.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.8 


0.8 


1.0 


1.0 


0.2 


0.2 



North Coast Region. In the North Coast region the managed wetlands include federal and state 
wildlife refuges, most of which are in the Klamath Basin area. No privately managed wetlands were 
identified in this region. The total flooded acreage is approximately 54,000 acres, about 60 per cent 
(33,000 acres) of which are seasonal wetlands. The water source for these wetlands is surface water, 
including agricultural drainage water. 

San Francisco Region. The Suisun Marsh is the only identified managed wetland in the San 
Francisco Region. The marsh consists of approximately 55,000 acres of managed wetlands. The State 
owns about 10,000 acres and 44,000 acres are under private ownership and managed as duck clubs. The 
water source for these wetlands is surface water The freshwater needs for the Suisun Marsh were based 
on the D-1485 salinity standards adopted by the SWRCB. The SWP and the CVP are required to release 
up to 145,000 AF annually in critical years to maintain the standards. No supplemental freshwater is 
provided during average years. 

Sacramento River Region. This region contains the largest wetland acreage in the State, 
approximately 175,000 acres of wetlands. The majority of these wetlands are under private ownership, 
mostly as duck clubs in the Butte, Colusa and American basins and the Delta. The Central Valley Habitat 
Joint Venture Implementation Plan estimates the current area of privately owned wetlands at 
approximately 90,000 acres. Water for these wetlands is from several sources including CVP supplies, 
agricultural return flows, and ground water. 

San Joaquin Region. Approximately 1 10,000 acres of managed wetlands are in the San Joaquin 
region. Almost 82 percent of these wetlands (90,000 acres) are under private ownership in the 
Grasslands area. Water supplies for these wetlands were historically less dependable than in other 
regions, especially for the private wetlands. In past years, a major source of water for most of the 
wetlands was agricultural drainage water. However, with the discovery of selenium contamination, this 
water source was significantly reduced. The water supplies for this region will significantly increase and 
be more reliable due to the provisions of the CVP Improvement Act of 1992. By 2002, there will be 
approximately 150,000 AF of additional water supplied to the public refuges and the Grasslands 
Resource Conservation District. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Environmental Water Use 

North Lahontan Region. Only two public wetlands were identified in this region: Honey Lake 
Wildlife Area and Willow Creek Wildlife Area. Together, the total acreage is approximately 10,600 
acres, of which half or about 5,500 acres are flooded wetlands. The Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake 
Settlement Act includes authority for purchases of water to restore and maintain wetlands in the Lahontan 
Valley in Nevada. 

Tulare Lake Region. The Tulare Lake Basin is the driest basin in the Central Valley. Historically, it 
contained the largest single block of wetland habitat in California, approximately 500,000 acres. Water 
from the Sierra Nevada drained into a series of shallow lake basins which in most years formed a sink. 
Currently there are only about 6,400 acres of flooded wetland habitat in the basin. The acreage should 
increase within ten years as water supplies increase as required by the CVP Improvement Act of 1992. 
By 2020, there will be approximately 20,000 AF of additional water supplied to the two public refuges in 
this basin, Kern NWR and Pixley NWR. 

Colorado River Region. Managed wetlands in the Colorado region are primarily around the Salton 
Sea. These wetlands receive freshwater from the Imperial Irrigation District, not salt water from the 
Salton Sea. There are approximately 3,500 acres of flooded wetland habitat in this region. 

Future Water Needs for Wetlands 

This report includes the estimated future water needs for existing wetlands, wetlands that have been 
recently acquired, and the water supply increases required by the CVP Improvement Act of 1992. A 
corresponding rise in wetland water use is likely to follow implementation of State and federal policies to 
increase wetland acreage. Most newly acquired wetlands will include the water rights associated with the 
property; in these situations there consequently would be a transfer of water from one use, most likely 
agricultural, to wetlands. Increases in wetland acreage are based on available acquisition and restoration 
funding as well as private incentive programs. 

One goal established for the Central Valley by the CVHJV is to restore 120,000 acres of former 
wetlands. Another goal stated by the Resources Agency is an increase of 30 to 50 percent by 2010. This 
could be an increase of approximately 225,000 acres statewide. Enhancing existing wedands could also 
result in an increase in water needs for wetlands. The CVHJV goal for the Central Valley is to enhance 
291,555 acres of existing wetlands. 

Although the exact acreage that will be either acquired or enhanced is unknown, water needs for 
wetlands will increase as California begins to restore and protect the State's historic wetlands. 

Summary of California's Environmental Water Needs 

Analysis of environmental water needs are based on (1) instream fishery flow needs; (2) Wild and 
Scenic river flows; (3) water needs of fresh water wetlands (and Suisun Marsh); and (4) Bay-Delta 
requirements, including operations, water quality objectives, and outflow. Environmental water needs 
are computed using similar procedures for calculating applied water, net water and depletion as those for 
agricultural and urban water demand. Table 8-7 summarizes the environmental water needs for each 
hydrologic region, as computed in the previous sections for the Bay/Delta, environmental instream 
flows, and water needs for wetlands. 



248 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-6. California Environmental Water Needs 

(millions of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Regions 



1990 
average drought 



2020 
average drought 



1990-2020 Change 
average drought 



North Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



19.2 
19.1 
19.1 



9.0 
8.9 
8.9 



19.4 
19.2 
19.2 



9.2 
9.0 
9.0 



0.2 
0.1 
0.1 



0.2 
0.1 
0.1 



San Francisco 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



4.8 
4.8 
4.8 



3.3 
3.3 
3.3 



4.8 
4.8 
4.8 



3.3 
3.3 
3.3 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



Central Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



South Coast 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



Sacramento River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



3.9 
3.7 
0.2 



3.5 
3.3 
0.2 



4.4 
4.2 
0.2 



4.0 
3.9 
0.2 



0.5 
0.5 
0.0 



0.5 
0.6 
0.0 



San Joaquin River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.6 
0.5 
0.2 



0.5 
0.4 
0.2 



0.7 
0.6 
0.3 



0.6 
0.5 
0.3 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



Tulare L^ke 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



North Lahontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



South Lahontan 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.1 
0.1 
0.1 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



249 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Environmental Water Use 



Table 8-6. California Environmental Water Needs (continued) 

(millions of acre-feet) 
Hydrologic Regions 

Colorado River 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 
Total 

Applied Water 
Net Water 
Depletion 





1990 






2020 




1990 


-2020 Change 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


0.0 




0.0 


0.0 




0.0 




0.0 


0.0 


0.0 




0.0 


0.0 




0.0 




0.0 


0.0 


0.0 




0.0 


0.0 




0.0 




0.0 


0.0 


28.6 




16.4 


29.5 




17.3 




0.9 


0.9 


28.2 




16.1 


29.0 




16.9 




0.8 


0.9 


24.4 




12.7 


24.7 




13.0 




0.3 


0.3 



Recommendations 

Current methodologies for identifying cause and effect relationships for habitat and fishery 
populations need to be improved and new techniques developed and implemented by the State to better 
define goals and assess environmental water use. 

DWR Bulletin 216, Inventory of Instream Flow Requirements related to stream diversions was last 
updated in 1982. An up-to-date computerized inventory of flow requirements should be completed and 
maintained. 

Water resources management for protection of fish and wildlife species should be planned and 
performed under a multi-species approach. 



250 



, Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 

I 

I 



9 WATER BASED RECREATION 




Sailboarding on a State Water Project reservoir. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

9 WATER BASED RECREATION 

Lakes and rivers have always been a primary focus for outdoor recreation activities. A few decades 
ago, recreation occurred incidentally at natural water bodies, streams, and rivers. The abundance of 
potential recreation sites limited the need for careful planning of recreation facility development. The 
situation began to change after World War II, when a rapidly growing population, that was increasingly 
affluent sought the great outdoors to escape the congestion of growing urban areas. 

Water based recreation has become an integral part of meeting society's recreational needs. 
Recreation at reservoirs, natural lakes, and streams must be managed to prevent overuse and degradation. 
Public water supply projects, such as the State Water Project, have helped to provide additional 
recreational opportunities for Califomians. In some cases, reservoir releases can contribute to 
downstream recreation benefits, by improving fisheries or by creating white-water rafting opportunities 
that would not be possible in the absence of reservoir regulation. Often, however, there are conflicting 
values and needs for the same river system. 

This chapter describes water based recreation and State recreation facilities constructed specifically to 
enhance such recreation and water use for recreation. It also discusses some of the inherent conflicts 
between the natural setting and the built environment relating to water based recreation. 

Recreation and Water Management 

Reservoir Recreation 

Although California is not usually associated with the phrase "land of 10,000 lakes," there are 
thousands of lakes and reservoirs within the State's borders. Many of these lakes occur naturally, but 
over 1,400 are created by artificial impoundments. While reservoirs are often synonymous with 
recreational opportunity, diverse recreational opportunities are usually incidental to, and compete with, a 
reservoir's primary purposes. Nevertheless, recreation planning and development is usually an element 
of public water development design. At State Water Project reservoirs, recreation is always considered 
along with other project purposes, as required by the Davis-Dolwig Act. 

Swimming, fishing, and boating are popular activities at California's reservoirs. Recreation facilities 
such as beaches, boat ramps, docks, trails, restrooms, and access roads add to the quality and safety of the 
recreation experience. Often, picnic and camping facilities are also developed to meet public demand. 
The way reservoir water levels are managed and operated directly affects the quality and economic value 
of recreational and other contingent activities. 

Reservoir operations for water supply are usually adequate to support established recreation activities 
particularly when surface runoff from precipitation is near normal. Changes in operations, because of 
drought or demand exceeding supply, have reduced both available recreational opportunities and per 
capita benefits and will continue to do so. In general, reservoir recreation benefits decrease as receding 
water levels reduce water surface areas, make boat ramps less accessible, and leave recreation facilities 
farther from shorelines. On the other hand, decreased recreation benefits at drawn-down reservoirs may 
be offset to some extent by increases in stream recreation benefits. 



251 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

The California Fish and Game Code requires maintenance of stream habitat below dams, and in some 
cases, even artificially created instream resources, but recently the requirements for sensitive species 
preservation have become more critical. For example, increased releases from Shasta Reservoir to 
control temperature will benefit salmon habitat on the Sacramento River, but also will reduce recreational 
opportunities within the Shasta Lake area. On the other hand, minimum storage recommendations at 
Shasta, invoked for sensitive species protection, also could ultimately benefit recreation in the river 
downstream of Shasta Dam. A table summarizing minimum instream flow requirements at selected sites 
is presented in Chapter 8, Environmental Water Use (Table 8-3). 

Hydroelectric generating facilities can have varying impacts on both reservoir and river recreation 
depending on whether the operation is direct release or pumped storage and whether releases are constant 
or subject to peaking. As with water supply releases, increased stream flows from power generation 
provide recreation benefits that to some degree offset the efi^ects of diminished reservoir storage. 

A pumped storage operation can create additional recreation opportunities at forebay and afterbay 
reservoirs if water levels do not fluctuate too greatly on a daily basis. As the recent drought reduced the 
attractiveness of large reservoirs like Lake Oroville and San Luis Reservoir, Thermalito Afterbay and 
O'Neill Forebay, respectively, supported increased recreation use. This raised the need to augment 
temporary facilities previously adequate at these sites. 

Shifts in use, as those described above, can create potential water quality problems. Water quality 
and human health and safety can be jeopardized if recreation becomes too intense at any one site. Algal 
blooms and high coliform counts are not uncommon when swimming areas become overcrowded. 
Pollution by petroleum products and other chemicals is inevitable when motorized equipment, such as 
boats and jet skis, operate on the water. The risk of worsening water quality underscores the importance 
of proper recreation planning as outdoor recreation continues to grow in popularity and competition for 
existing water supplies intensifies. 

River Recreation 

Riverine environments can offer types of recreation not available from the large water surface 
impoundments, although in many cases similar recreation facilities are developed to meet public demand. 
In addition to fishing and swimming, some of the recreation opportunities associated with rivers and 
streams are white-water sports such as rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. Also, the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta provides exceptional recreational opportunities for houseboating as well as striped bass, 
catfish, and sturgeon fishing, among others. Water needs for these activities are incidental to 
environmental water use and are included in Chapter 8. 

Many streams are unimpaired by water development facilities, such as many of those listed under the 
federal or State Wild and Scenic Rivers Acts. These streams offer seasonal recreational opportunities in 
natural settings. (For a summary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Acts, see Chapter 2.) Most of the wild 
and scenic rivers are in northern California and include all or parts of the Smith, Trinity, Klamath, Van 
Duzen, Eel, Feather, American, and Tuolumne rivers. Maps showing regional wild and scenic rivers are 
in Volume II. 



252 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water for Recreation 



Other streams, such as those controlled by reservoir releases, offer realized and unrealized 
opportunities to enhance downstream flows that can benefit recreation values. Streams which naturally 
would run only intermittently, for example, can have year-round flows following reservoir construction. 
This kind of conversion can develop new fisheries, add to recreational area attractiveness, and enhance 
wildlife habitat. Regulation of larger streams and rivers can support white-water sports for a longer 
season or increase the diversity of available activities. 

In some cases a hydropower development can completely change river recreation benefits. For 
example, peak releases from the North Fork Stanislaus River project greatly increased white water rafting 
but reduced opportunities for swimming in the summer. Local agencies are continuing to study the 
impacts and benefits of this conversion. 

The use and economic benefits provided by river recreation can be substantial, although difficult to 
estimate because such use occurs over diffuse areas and is often not under the jurisdiction of one area or 
operator. Table 9-1 lists minimum flow levels for rafting at 12 major California rivers popular with 
rafters and kayakers. Rafting and boating conditions forecast for these and other popular California 
rivers are published each spring in the DWR pamphlet Water Supply Outlook for Boaters, although little 
data are available on recreation use over long reaches of these waters. Estimated rafting use on these 
rivers was compiled in a 1983 report by The Planning and Conservation League. It must be emphasized 
that optimum flows ordinarily occur only for a short period during a year, and popular areas with 
prolonged periods suitable for rafting often result from coordination with release schedules for 
hydroelectric generation from major dams and reservoirs. 

Table 9-1. Recreation Use and Minimum Rafting Flows on 
Some Popular California Rivers 



stream 


Minimum Rafting 
Flow (cfs) 


Annual Rafting 

Use 
(visitor days) 


Comments 


So. Fork American River 


1,200 


100,000 


Depends on Chili Bar Dam re- 
leases 


Lower American River 


1,500 


460,000 


Below Nimbus Dam 


East Fork Carson River 


400 


7,000 


Often low in summer 


Kern River 


450 


20,000 


Below Lake Isabella 


Kings River 


800 


18,000 


Below Pine Flat Reservoir 


Klamath River 


1,300 + 


15,000 


Below Iron Gate Dam 


Merced River 


500 


14,000 


Often low in summer 


Russian River 


350-650 


100,000 


Often low in summer 


Sacramento River 


5,000 


125,000 


Flow usually higher 


Smith River 


600 


7,000 


Limited in summer 


Trinity River 


550 + 


33,000 


Lewiston Reservoir releases 


Truckee River 


250 


106,000 


Too low without Tahoe outflow 


Tuolumne River 


800 


6,000 


Above New Don Pedro 



253 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Wildland Recreation 

Many designated wildlife refuges in California owe their existence to imported water which supports 
large populations of migratory waterfowl. Seasonal wetland habitat at such refuges is integral to 
maintenance of waterfowl populations along the Pacific Flyway. Further discussion of water at wildlife 
refuges can be found in Chapter 8, Environmental Water Use. Historically, recreation values associated 
with such wildlife have focused primarily on hunting. More recently, DFG has cited birding (bird 
watching) as the fastest-growing recreation activity in the nation. 

In 1988, the California Wildlands Program became law. Broadly supported and lauded by many, the 
program directed DFG to provide and charge for non-consumptive refuge-based recreation. Although 
the program has not met projected targets for pass sales, visitation at refuges is significant. Prior to the 
program's inception, DFG records for its larger wildlife areas indicated that non-consumptive use by 
individuals and groups averaged more than 260,000 visitor days annually, 15 percent higher than use 
attributed to hunters and anglers. In 1993 DFG, in cooperation with USBR, monitored visitation and 
recreation at several of its management areas in order to collect more accurate and recent visitor data. 

Water Based Recreation Policy and Planning Responsibility 

Recreation planning is a relatively new component of water project development. In the past, 
recreation facilities were often added as afterthoughts to existing projects as the public demand increased. 
Many water planning and development agencies were among the first to recommend that recreation be 
treated as a water project purpose along with flood control, urban water supply, irrigation, hydroelectric 
generation, and other traditional purposes in the planning and financing of new projects. Today's water 
supply management and development must balance conflicting needs and values for environmental, 
recreational, and other water supply benefits. 

Conflicts which arise between maintaining optimum recreational opportunities through minimally 
fluctuating reservoirs versus stream flows for healthy fisheries or in some cases, even greater flows for 
rafting, must be evaluated. Both the State and federal legislative bodies enacted laws requiring that 
recreation be a part of their respective water projects, and today, recreation planning is an important part 
of any Environmental Impact Report or Statement. 

The Davis-Dolwig Act 

The Davis-Dolwig Act was passed by the State Legislature in 1961 . It is the primary statement of 
State policy concerning recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement at State-constructed water 
facilities. The act sets fundamental policies and establishes the responsibilities of the State departments 
that participate in the program. 

The Davis-Dolwig Act declares that recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement are among the 
purposes of State water projects. It specifies that costs incurred for these purposes shall not be included 
in the prices, rates, and charges for water and power to urban and agricultural users. It also provides for 
DWR to allocate to recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement a portion of the costs of any facility of 
the SWP. Under Davis-Dolwig, acquiring real property for recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement 
must be planned and initiated concurrently with and as part of the land acquisition program for other 



254 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

project purposes. Reimbursement for land acquisition has in the past been from State oil and gas 
revenues, while facilities have been constructed with general fund and bond financing. 

Three State departments are assigned specific responsibilities under the act. DWR is responsible for 
planning recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement and preservation measures in connection with 
State constructed water projects. DWR is also responsible for acquiring any needed lands. The 
Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for design, construction, operation, and maintenance 
of the actual recreation features at these sites. DPR must consider arrangements in which federal or local 
agencies could become participants, if appropriate. The Department of Fish and Game is responsible for 
managing the fish and wildlife resources at State water projects. A later amendment to the act authorized 
the Wildlife Conservation Board to design and construct fishing access sites along SWP aqueducts. 

Federal Water Project Recreation Act 

The Federal Water Project Recreation Act, comparable to the Davis-Dolwig Act, was enacted in 
1965 and affects federal water development projects. It requires those federal agencies approving water 
projects to include recreation development, including provisions for cost and benefit allocation, as a 
condition of issuing permits. Consideration of recreational development must be made in conjunction 
with any navigation, flood control, reclamation, hydroelectric, or multi-purpose water resource project. 
For example, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to operate a hydroelectric facility usually 
includes an obligation to construct specific recreation facilities to provide for anticipated demand. 

Periodic relicensing and FERC review can result in revised project operation and impacts on fishing, 
white water boating, and other established activities and facilities. The issues of relicensing typically 
focus on water quality and environmental water needs; however, it is important to recognize the 
secondary effects of revised operation on recreation. 

It should be noted that terms of Federal Power Act licenses supersede state regulation of projects in 
most cases. There have been instances where holders of FPA licenses have claimed exemption from state 
safety of dams requirements, minimum streamflow requirements, state Wild and Scenic River 
designation, and condemnation of easements and lands for projects in state parks, see Chapter 2. 

Trends in Recreation Area Use 

DPR statistics show a steady increase in visits to State Park and Recreation Areas. Visitation has 
grown at a rate even faster than that of California's population. Increased leisure time, economical 
transportation, and changing demographics contribute to the demand for recreational facilities. The best 
estimates are that over 60 million visits are made to State Park System units each year, indicating growth 
of roughly 15 percent per year throughout most of the 1980s; however, this growth rate has slowed 
somewhat in the last few years. 

Although increased recreation area fees may be partly to blame, and the latest recession may have 
curbed discretionary income expenditures for recreation, the recent six-year drought is commonly cited 
as the primary reason that the trend of increased recreational use has diminished at many reservoirs. San 
Luis Reservoir was subject to severe drawdown during the drought, although O'Neill Forebay was 
maintained relatively full, and the level of Los Banos Reservoir only dropped a few feet. 



255 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Perhaps another index of drought impacts to water based recreation is evidenced by declining 
California sport fishing license sales. Sales were down over a quarter million (13 percent) during the 
recent drought. Although a preexisting trend of decline may be attributable to changing demographics, 
and large price increases for licenses, there can be little argument that drought impacted outdoor 
recreation. 

Water Use for Recreation 

Recreational activity and resources generally do not consume significant amounts of water, no more 
than 3 percent of the statewide total. Although some water developments were designed and constructed 
primarily to provide recreation, most recreational facility developments are on streams, lakes, or 
reservoirs operated for other purposes. In some cases, minimum reservoir releases may be imposed on 
the latter to maintain recreation activities below a dam, or the drawdown of a reservoir may be limited 
during the recreational season. Consumptive use occurs when water allocated specifically for recreation 
with no other benefit is not recaptured downstream or is evaporated from a larger than normal water 
surface area. The amount of water consumed through reservoir operations is usually very small 
compared to other consumptive uses; reservoir operations also benefit fish, wildlife, and other 
environmental values. 

Water for drinking and sanitation is also a factor at every recreation site. Landscaping adds 
appreciably to overall water use at these sites; however, consumption associated with recreational 
development is still exceedingly small when compared to urban, agricultural, and other uses. 

A planning standard for intensely used recreational areas is 50 gallons of water per person per day. 
Many dispersed day-use activities consume less than 10 gallons of water per visitor day. DPR reports 
that per capita daily visitor use averages 10 to 14 gallons throughout the diverse State Park System. 
Recreation facilities provided by federal, State, and local governments combined support about 1 billion 
recreation days in California per year. Therefore, using the DPR average and the average recreation day 
use, annual recreational-related water consumption at public facilities is probably less than 50,000 
acre-feet. In 1978, the California State Park System (over 2(K) park units) used approximately 750 
million gallons (550 million for domestic uses, and 200 million gallons for irrigation purposes). 
Distributed statewide, this small amount of water can be considered part of water developed for other 
uses (urban recreation, fish and wildlife enhancement, etc.). The water used by private recreation 
developments is typically included in urban water needs. 

The recent drought events have encouraged accelerated installation of low-flow shower heads, 
low-flow toilets, and other water-saving devices throughout the State park system and at many other 
recreation areas. Since 1978 DPR has endeavored to implement water-saving measures throughout the 
State park system. These measures include: (1) restricted hours of shower use; (2) flow restrictors for 
showers; (3) spring-loaded or self-closing faucets; (4) low volume flush toilets; (5) inserts in toilet tanks 
to reduce use of water; (6) replacing water-using rest rooms with chemical toilets; (7) increased 
efficiency of all water systems by correcting leaks, improving intake structures and storage facilities; (8) 
providing information to park visitors on water shortages; (9) stressing water conservation in interpretive 



256 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

programs; and (10) reduced watering for landscaped areas. Combined, all of these measures have 
resulted in about a 30 percent reduction in water use per State park visitor since 1978. 

Water Project Operations and Recreation Benefits 

The recreational opportunities provided by reservoirs generate enormous benefits to California's 
economy. In 1985, an estimated $500 million was spent on water-related activities in the Delta and at 
major reservoirs. The estimated 7 million visitors to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta generated an 
estimated $125 million; the 6.6 million visitors to the 12 SWP reservoirs and the California Aqueduct 
brought in an estimated $1 70 million; and benefits of the 1 1 .6 million visitors to 10 of the 22 CVP 
reservoirs totaled $208 million. In addition to the half-billion dollars detailed above, a similar amount 
was probably spent at the many local and regional reservoirs and streams, statewide. 

The kinds of recreational facilities and activities found at any developed water recreation site are 
usually similar, regardless of whether the site was developed by a local, federal, or State agency. Given 
this similarity, this report focuses on the water recreation at SWP facilities to give the reader an in-depth 
look at water based recreation connected with water supply development. 

State Water Project Recreation 

One of the Project purposes of the SWP is recreation, which takes several forms at various facilities. 
Recreation at SWP facilities includes camping, boating, fishing, swimming, bicycling, and other 
activities. Recreation facilities were incorporated into SWP facilities from the upper Feather River 
reservoirs in Plumas County to lake Perris in Riverside County. More than 6 million recreation days of 
use were generated by SWP facilities during 1990. 

As designed, the SWT* includes the physical and operational capacity to deliver up to 45,500 
acre-feet of water annually for recreation uses. About half of this amount was developed specifically for 
recreation-related uses. SWP water allocation exclusively for recreational use will be done on a 
case-by-case basis for future projects and for operational revisions. 

State Water Project Reservoirs. SWP recreation facilities, from north to south, are at Antelope Lake, 
Lake Davis, Frenchman Lake, Lake Oroville, Lake Del Valle, Bethany Reservoir, San Luis Reservoir, 
O'Neill Forebay, Los Banos Reservoir, Pyramid Lake, Castaic Lake, Silverwood Lake, and Lake Perris. 
A brief description of each area follows. Estimated current annual and cumulative attendance at each 
facility, from facility construction through 1990, is presented in Table 9-2. 



257 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Table 9-2. Estimated Current Annual and Cumulative Attendance 
(through 1990) at State Water Project Reservoirs 

Facility Cumulative Current 

Total Visitation Annual Use 

Antelope Lake 3,617,000 300,000 

Lake Davis 6,836,000 300,000 

Frenchman Reservoir 7,051 ,000 300,000 

Lake Oroville* 14,377,000 750,000 

Lake Del Valle 6,793,000 475,000 

Bethany Reservoir 586,000 85,000 

San Luis/O'Neill Complex 1 1 ,785,000 700,000 

Los Banos Reservoir 1,11 9,000 1 00,000 

Pyramid Lake 4,950,000 350,000 

Castaic Lake 1 8,821 ,000 1 ,000,000 

Silverwood Lake 10,150,000 750,000 

Lake Perris 23,354,000 1 ,500,000 

* including wildlife area 

Antelope Lake and Dam are in Plumas National Forest on Upper Indian Creek, tributary to the North 
Fork Feather River. The reservoir is approximately 43 miles from Quincy and was created in 1964 to 
help meet the increasing demand for water-oriented recreation, improve fishing in Indian Creek, and 
assure a constant, year-round flow of water below the dam. Antelope Lake Recreation Area is operated 
by the U.S. Forest Service. Recreational opportunities include: camping, fishing, picnicking, 
water-skiing, swimming, boating, hunting, hiking, and winter sports such as snowmobiling. Total visitor 
use between 1965 and 1990 was 3,617,000. 

Lake Davis and Grizzly Valley Dam are in the Plumas National Forest on Big Grizzly Creek. The 
lake is 8 miles north of Portola, on a tributary of the Middle Fork Feather River. Lake Davis was created 
in 1967 to provide recreation, to improve fish habitat in Big Grizzly Creek, and to contribute to domestic 
water supply. Lake Davis recreation facilities are operated by the U.S. Forest Service and offer camping, 
fishing, picnicking, boating, hunting, hiking, and winter sports such as cross-country skiing and 
snowmobiling. Total visitor use between 1968 and 1990 was 6,836,000. 

Frenchman Lake and Dam also are within the Plumas National Forest on Little Last Chance Creek, a 
tributary of the Middle Fork Feather River. The lake is about 30 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada and 
15 miles northeast of Portola. Frenchman Lake was created in 1961 to provide recreation and develop 
irrigation water for Sierra Valley. Frenchman Lake Recreation Area is operated by the U.S. Forest 
Service and offers camping, fishing, picnicking, water-skiing, swimming, boating, hunting, hiking, and 
winter sports such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Total visitor use between 1962 and 1990 
was 7,051,000. 

Lake Oroville and Oroville Dam are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada above the Central Valley. 
The dam is 1 mile downstream of the confluence of the Feather River's three major tributaries. Lake 
Oroville is 5 miles east of Oroville and about 75 miles north of Sacramento. Completed in 1967, Lake 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Oroville is part of a multipurpose project that includes water conservation, power generation, flood 
control, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is operated 
by DPR and offers camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water skiing, 
fishing, swimming, and boat-in camping. Limited waterfowl hunting is permitted only on Thermalito 
Afterbay. Total visitor use between 1968 and 1990 was 14,377,000. This figure includes visitation at 
Oroville Wildlife Area beginning in 1980. 

Lake Del Valle and Del Valle Dam are located in Arroyo Del Valle, just south of Livermore Valley, 
about 1 1 miles from Livermore. Lake Del Valle was created in 1968 to provide recreation and fish and 
wildlife enhancement, flood control for Alameda Creek, and regulatory storage for the South Bay 
Aqueduct. Lake Del Valle facilities are operated by East Bay Regional Park District and offer camping, 
picnicking, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, windsurfing, boating and fishing. Total visitor use 
between 1970 and 1990 was 6,793,000. 

Bethany Reservoir is located 1-1/2 miles down the California Aqueduct from Harvey O. Banks Delta 
Pumping Plant, about 10 miles northwest of Tracy, in Alameda County. Bethany Reservoir was 
completed in 1967, and serves as a forebay for South Bay Pumping Plant and a conveyance facility in 
this reach of the California Aqueduct. Bethany Reservoir facilities are operated by DPR and offer 
picnicking, fishing, boating, wind-surfing, hiking, and bicycling. Total visitor use between 1978 and 
1990 was 586,000. 

San Luis Reservoir and Dam are located on San Luis Creek in the foothills on the west side of the 
San Joaquin Valley in Merced County, 12 miles west of the city of Los Banos. San Luis Reservoir is part 
of the San Luis Joint-Use Facilities, which serves SWP and the federal CVP. It was completed in 1967, 
and provides storage for surplus water diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for later delivery 
to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area is operated 
by DPR. There are extensive recreational developments and three wildlife areas around the reservoir and 
at O'Neill Forebay which offer camping, picnicking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, wind surfing, 
fishing, swimming, hiking, bicycling, and waterfowl hunting. Total visitor use of San Luis Reservoir and 
O'Neill Forebay from 1967 through 1990 was 11,785,000. 

Los Banos Reservoir and Detention Dam are on Los Banos Creek, about 7 miles southwest of the 
City of Los Banos. The dam provides flood protection for San Luis Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, City 
of Los Banos, and other downstream developments. Los Banos Reservoir offers camping, picnicking, 
fishing, swimming, and hiking. Total visitor use of Los Banos Reservoir from 1973 to 1990 was 
1,119,000. 

Pyramid Lake and Dam are within the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests, on Piru Creek about 
14 miles north of the town of Castaic. Pyramid was completed in 1973 and is a multipurpose facility that 
provides regulatory storage for Castaic Power Plant, normal regulatory storage for water deliveries from 
the SWP's West Branch, emergency storage in the event of a shut-down of the SWP to the north, 
recreational opportunities, and incidental flood protection. Pyramid Lake facilities are operated by the 
U.S. Forest Service and offer camping, picnicking, boating, water-skiing, fishing, and swimming. Total 
visitor use from 1974 to 1990 was 4,950,000. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Castaic Lake and Dam are at the confluence of Castaic Creek and Elizabeth Lake Canyon Creek, 45 
highway miles northwest of Los Angeles and about 2 miles north of the community of Castaic. Castaic 
was completed in 1972 to act as a regulatory storage facility for deliveries during normal operation, to 
provide emergency storage, and to furnish recreational development and fish and wildlife enhancement. 
Castaic Lagoon, downstream of the dam, provides a recreation pool with a constant water surface 
elevation of 1,134 feet and also functions as a recharge basin for the downstream ground water basin. 
The lagoon provides an additional 3 miles of shoreline and 197 surface acres. Castaic Lake State 
Recreation Area is operated by Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and offers 
fishing, boating, water-skiing, sailing, picnicking, and swimming. Total visitor use from 1972 to 1990 
was 18,821,000. 

Silverwood Lake and Cedar Springs Dam are within San Bernardino National Forest, on the West 
Fork Mojave River, about 30 highway miles north of the city of San Bernardino. It is a multipurpose 
project that was completed in 1971, and is a major water source for agencies serving the surrounding 
mountain and desert areas. There are 2,400 acres of recreation land surrounding Silverwood Lake. The 
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is operated by DPR and offers camping, picnicking, boating, 
water-skiing, fishing, swimming, bicycling, and hiking. Total visitor use from 1972 to 1990 was 
10,150,000. 

Lake Perris and Perris Dam, the terminal storage facility of the SWP, are in northwestern Riverside 
County, about 1 3 miles southeast of the city of Riverside and 5 miles northeast of the town of Perris. 
The reservoir was completed in 1974 and is a multiple purpose facility providing water supply, 
recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. Lake Perris State Recreation Area is operated by DPR and 
offers camping, picnicking, horseback riding, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming, 
hiking, bicycling, hunting, and rock climbing. A marina and water slide are operated by a 
concessionaire. Total visitor use from 1974 to 1990 was 23,354,000. 

Future SWP recreational facilities are tied closely to future projects. The Los Banos Grandes 
Facilities could provide an estimated 465,000 recreation days at the Los Banos Grandes Reservoir, if 
constructed. Other future recreational facilities include those which are aligned with the Coastal Branch 
of the California Aqueduct. 

California Aqueduct Recreation. DWR's focus in developing recreation along the California 
Aqueduct includes bicycling, fishing, and aqueduct safety. The California Aqueduct Bikeway is on the 
paved service roads along the canal facilities of the SWP. Two sections of bikeway have been developed, 
one in the San Joaquin Valley and the other in Southern California. 

The San Joaquin Valley section extends 67 miles down the west side of the valley, from Bethany 
Reservoir (west of Tracy) to the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (west of Los Banos). This 
section of the bikeway has been designated a National Recreation Trail by the Secretary of the Interior. 

The Southern California section extends 107 miles through the Antelope Valley, from Quail Lake to a 
point 2 miles north of Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Southern California 
section is closed at this time because of aqueduct enlargement construction. Several reaches will be 
reopened after all work on the enlargement is completed and some safety improvements have been made. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

Fishing is permitted in canal reaches along nearly 400 miles of the California Aqueduct, beginning at 
Bethany Reservoir (west of Tracy) and extending to just north of Silverwood Lake. In addition, 17 
fishing access sites have parking and toilet facilities. Fish from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have 
spread throughout the aqueduct system. Many types of fish can be caught, depending on the area. 
Striped bass and catfish are caught throughout the system, and starry flounder have been caught in the 
reach between Bethany Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay. Visits at the fishing access sites between 1971 
and 1990 totaled 469,000, and total walk-in fishing between 1973 and 1990 was 893,000. 

DWR has an active aqueduct safety program. Water contact is not allowed under any circumstances 
because without help it is almost impossible to climb out, except by using the emergency safety ladders. 
Brochures such as Safety Along the State Water Project and California Aqueduct Fishing Safety are 
published in several languages. DWR personnel also visit local communities near the aqueduct and 
conduct safety seminars for schools and community groups. 

Drought Impacts on Recreation 

Direct Effects on Facility Availability 

Droughts have obvious impacts on water-oriented recreation, particularly if they are extended, like 
the 1987-92 drought in California. During this drought, the runoff of major California rivers averaged 
about 50 percent of normal and the carryover (September 30) storage in 155 major California reservoirs 
averaged about two-thirds of normal. So, major reservoirs were much less full than usual, and many 
reservoirs did not fill each spring as they normally do. This was also true of large natural lakes in 
California, such as Lake Tahoe, which was below its natural outlet for more than two years. Goose Lake, 
which almost dried up, as well as lower levels in Eagle Lake and Clear Lake. 

Reservoir Recreation Impacts 

The lower lake levels have had a variety of impacts on recreation. These impacts at lakes and 
reservoirs included the water surface receding far from developed recreation facilities such as 
campgrounds, picnic areas and swimming beaches; boat ramps and swimming areas becoming unusable 
because they were no longer covered by water; boating and water skiing being reduced by declining 
surface area; and aesthetic values being generally reduced. Recreation attendance drops substantially 
when water levels drop well below major recreation facilities and boat ramps. During the 1976-77 
drought, total attendance at State £ind federal reservoirs in California was reduced about 30 percent, with 
some reservoirs experiencing declines as much as 80 percent, while attendance at a few stable reservoirs 
actually increased. A similar pattern developed during the 1987-92 drought although there were even 
fewer stable reservoirs. 

Several years of low lake levels have sharpened the desire of many recreation area operators, and 
water agencies, to store as much water as possible. The extremes in annual precipitation within the last 
decade have accentuated the consequences of insufficient flood control capacity, as well as the impacts on 
recreation facilities when spring runoff does not materialize. The floods of 1983 and 1986 are still 
relatively recent, but the importance of flood control can be too easily dismissed following these several 
years of drought. It is important to emphasize that a prudent capacity reserve for flood control 
throughout the winter and spring months is vital. Property damage and liability resulting from flood 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water for Recreation 

mismanagement would have the potential to exceed the economic impact of less storage and reduced 
water deliveries. As with other project purposes, flood control releases must be accepted as a necessary 
trade-off against maximizing storage for recreation benefits. 

River Recreation Impacts 

White water boating, river floating, and rafting are popular recreation activities in California. Low 
river levels reduce the length of the boating season and change the types of craft that can be used. 
Commercial outfitters experience considerable financial loss in years with greatly reduced flow levels. 
On the other hand, many popular boating runs are on streams sustained by water releases from reservoirs. 

Even during normal water years, the cold water fraction of reservoir storage is especially valuable for 
the maintenance of downstream fisheries. If the cold water is depleted, subsequent warm water releases 
can be lethal to sensitive species. Storage of sufficient cold water to meet downstream environmental 
needs throughout the summer and fall may limit flows available earlier in the year for rafting, etc. 
Consideration of the importance of cold water storage is an important part of water allocation even 
though there may be a substantial volume of warm water available. 

Winter Recreation Impacts 

Drought has an enormous impact on the winter sports industry. During recent years some Northern 
California ski resorts never opened and many others opened only for a short periods of time. During the 
1976-77 drought, reduced attendance at ski resorts approached 50 percent from the pre-drought seasons. 
The impact of reduced attendance also extends to business that manufacture, sell, or rent winter sports 
equipment. The economic loss to the industry was estimated at $50 million over the two years of 
drought during 1976-77. No accurate figures are available to describe the impact of the 1987-92 drought 
on winter sports. However, a similar pattern of shortened seasons and reduced attendance, even though 
many areas installed artificial snow making equipment, continued over a longer period of time and the 
total economic impact was very large, probably several hundred million dollars. 

Most major California ski resorts employ artificial snow making equipment to augment the local 
snowpack during the early part of the season, and during the drought. Snow making machinery can 
consume copious volumes of water considering that resorts typically operate several units at a time and 
for many hours a day (assuming sufficiently low temperature). For example, at Mt. Reba an average 
sized resort, about a million gallons of water (3 acre-feet) will be consumed during a 14 hour overnight 
period. Extrapolated over a season, it can be assumed that a typical resort will consume several hundred 
acre-feet per year for snow making during drought periods. In most cases it is worthwhile to point out 
that much of this water is not technically "consumed", since it normally creates runoff, storage, and is 
available for future consumption in the spring. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Part IV 



MEETING CALIFORNIA'S WATER 

NEEDS 



10 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 

11 Options for Balancing Water Supply 
and Demand 



12 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93. November 1993 



10 THE SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN 

DELTA 




Delta aerial looking west towards Sherman Island from Rindge Tract. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



10 THE SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been for decades the focal point for a wide variety of 
water-related issues, generating more investigations than any other waterway system in California. It is 
the hub from which two-thirds of the State's population and millions of acres of agricultural land receive 
part or all of their supplies. The Delta provides habitat for many species of fish, birds, mammals, and 
plants while also supporting extensive farming and recreational activities. Many different interests have a 
vital stake in the Delta: farmers, fish and wildlife groups, environmentalists, boaters, people involved 
with shipping and navigation, and the people and industries that receive water from the Delta and the 
State's two largest export systems, the SWP and CVP. 

At the middle of the last century, the Delta, an area of nearly 750,000 acres, was mostly a tidal 
marsh, part of an interconnected estuary system that included the Suisun Marsh and San Francisco Bay. 
Until reclaimed by levees, the Delta was a great inland lake during the flood season; when the flood 
waters receded, the network of sloughs and channels reappeared throughout the marsh. The Delta 
receives runoff from over 40 percent of the State's land area, including flows from the Sacramento, San 
Joaquin, Mokelumne, Cosumnes, and Calaveras rivers and their tributaries. 

The Delta channels were first surveyed in 1841 and again in 1849 by Lt. Commander Cadwalader 
Ringgold of the U.S. Navy. These surveys helped open up the Delta and upstream communities to 
increased trade with the San Francisco Bay area. Already experiencing a population boom because of the 
Gold Rush, Delta and northern California communities expanded even more as travel to the area became 
easier and less expensive. 

The development of today's Delta began in late 1850 when the Swamp Land Act conveyed 
ownership of all swamp and overflow land, including Delta marshes, from the federal government to the 
State. Proceeds from the State's sale of swamplands were to go toward reclaiming them. In 1861, the 
State legislature created the Board of Swamp and Overflowed Land Commissioners to manage 
reclamation projects. In 1866, the board's authority was transferred to county boards of supervisors. 

Developers first thought levees about 4 feet high and 12 feet wide at the bottom would protect Delta 
lands from tides and river overflow. In the 1870s, small-scale reclamation projects were started on 
Rough and Ready Island and Roberts Island, but the peat soils showed their weakness as levee material. 
The peat soils would sink, blow away when dry, and develop deep cracks and fissures throughout the 
levee system. In the late 1870s, developers realized that hand- and horse-powered labor could not 
maintain the reclaimed Delta islands. Steam-powered dredges were brought in to move the large volume 
of alluvial soils from the river channels to construct the large levees we see today. These dredges were 
capable of moving material at about half the cost of hand labor. After World War I, the number of 
operating dredges decreased greatly, as nearly all Delta marshland had been reclaimed. 

Today the Delta is comprised of about 500,000 acres of rich farmland, much of which is now below 
sea level (Figure 10-1), is interlaced with hundreds of miles of waterways, and relies on more than 1,000 
miles of levees for protection against flooding. The interiors of some of the islands are as much as 25 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-1. The Sacramento -San Joaquin River Delta 




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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



feet below sea level because of continuing loss of peat soil. Soil loss comes primarily from oxidation, 
compaction, and wind erosion (Figure 10-2). 

Water exports from the Delta began in 1940 after the Contra Costa Canal, a unit of the CVP, was 
completed. In 1951, water was exported at the CVP's Tracy Pumping Plant, supplying the 
Delta-Mendota Canal. The SWP began delivery of water through the South Bay Aqueduct in 1962 
through an interim connection to the CVP's Delta Mendota Canal, by pumping from the South Delta in 
1967 (supplying the California Aqueduct), and from the North Delta in late 1987 (supplying the North 
Bay Aqueduct). Export water is either uncontrolled winter runoff or is released from CVP and SWP 
reservoirs into the Sacramento River system north of the Delta. 

To facilitate movement of Sacramento River water to pumping facilities in the South Delta, the U.S. 
Bureau of Reclamation completed the Delta Cross Channel in 195 1 . This channel connects the 
Sacramento River to Snodgrass Slough and the Mokelumne River system. The flow from the 
Sacramento River is controlled by two 60-foot gates at the Sacramento River near Walnut Grove. 
Downstream from the Delta Cross Channel, Georgiana Slough also connects the Sacramento River to the 
Mokelumne River system, moving Sacramento River water into the Central Delta. 

This chapter briefly describes Delta flows, outlines key Delta issues, profiles the Delta water 
resources management and planning process, and presents the options presently being discussed. Some 
specific issues are discussed more thoroughly in context with other statewide water supply concerns in 
other chapters of this report (for example, water quality concerns are discussed in Chapter 5, "Water 
Quality"). Readers are encouraged to refer to the other chapters cited throughout this discussion. 

Delta Flows 

Most Delta issues are centered around the way water moves into, through, and out of the Delta. 
Fresh water flows in the Delta are typically much less than those caused by tides. Twice a day Pacific 
Ocean tides move into and out of the Delta (Figure 10-3). The average incoming and outgoing Delta 
tidal flow is about 170,000 cubic feet per second. This is in contrast to the current permitted combined 
SWP and CVP export capability of about 1 1 ,000 cfs. 

The average calculated Delta outflow, water that flows through the Delta past Chipps Island to San 
Francisco Bay, is about 30,000 cfs or about 21 MAF per year. The magnitude of this flow depends on 
Delta inflow, export, and depletions of channel water within the Delta. During the summer months of 
critically dry years. Delta outflow can be as low as 3,0(K) cfs. Fresh water moves into the Delta from 
three major sources: the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and eastside streams. The Sacramento 
River (including the Yolo Bypass) contributes about 77 percent of the fresh water flows, the San Joaquin 
River contributes approximately 15 percent, and streams on the eastside, including the Mokelumne River, 
provide the remainder. Salty water moves into the Delta with the tides, from Suisun and Honker bays in 
the west. Direct Delta exports are made by the CVP, the SWP, and the City of Vallejo. Channel 
depletions occur due to crop irrigation, evaporation, and channel seepage in the Delta (Figure 10^). 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-2. Land Surface Below Sea Level 
Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta 




Land Surface Below Sea Level 



266 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-3. Tidal Flows in the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta 




Delta Tidal Flows 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-4. Delta Flows Components and Comparisons 



Average annual 
inflows to the Delta: 
27.8 MAF 




Average annual 
outflows & diversions: 
27.8 MAF 



East Side 
Streams 
1.4 



Delta Precipitation 
0.8 MAF 

San Joaquin River 
4.3 MAF 




Contra Costa RR 
0.1 MAF 

Tracy RR 
2.5 MAF 



Banks RR 
2.5 MAF 



Consumptive Use & 
Channel Depletion 
1.7 MAF 



The major components of the Delta water supply are illustrated above, along with the components 
which use this supply. These figures contain average annual values for the recent period of 1 980-92. 
The average annual inflow to the Delta is 27.8 MAF, with the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers con- 
tributing over 90 percent. Average annual Delta water use, outflow, and exports total 27.8 MAF 



Today, minimum fresh water Delta outflow is maintained by releases from upstream storage 
reservoirs of the SWP and CVP. This outflow establishes a hydraulic barrier to prevent ocean water from 
intruding deep into the Delta and affecting municipal and agricultural water supplies. The hydraulic 
barrier, where fresh water gradually mixes with ocean water, is generally maintained near Chipps Island. 
During flood flows, the hydraulic barrier moves out into the Bay. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-5. Flow Distribution, With and Without Reverse Flows 



OUTFLOW REQUIRED 
TO MEET D-1486 
STANDARDS ■ 




GOOD WATER 
QUALITY 



STOCKTON 



FLOW DISTRIBUTION 
Wrm REVERSE FLOW 



Reverse Flow and Carriage Water 

The expression "reverse flow" characterizes a Delta flow problem that stems from the lack of 
capacity in certain channels leading to the export pumps (Figure 10-5). CVP and SWP water supply 
exports are obtained from uncontrolled Delta inflows (when available) and from upstream reservoir 
releases when Delta inflow is low. Most of these uncontrolled flows and releases enter the Delta via the 
Sacramento River and then flow by various routes to the export pumps in the southern Delta. Some of 
these flows are drawn to the SWP and CVP pumps through interior Delta channels, facilitated by the 
CVP's Delta Cross Channel and a natural connection through Georgiana Slough. In some situations, 
these interior channels do not have enough capacity to meet Delta demands for agriculture and the 
demands of the pumps in the southern Delta. 

The remaining water from the Sacramento River needed to meet pumping demand flows down the 
Sacramento River to Three-mile Slough and the western end of Sherman Island and up the San Joaquin 
River towards the pumps. When fresh water outflow is relatively low, water in the western Delta is 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



brackish because fresh water from the Sacramento River mixes with saltier ocean water entering as tidal 
inflow. This water can be drawn upstream (reverse flow) into the San Joaquin River and other channels 
by pumping plant operations when San Joaquin River flow is low and pumping is high. The massive 
amount of water driven in and out of the Delta by tidal action dwarfs the actual fresh water outflow and 
considerably complicates the reverse flow issue. Prolonged reverse flow can deteriorate water quality in 
the interior Delta and at the export pumps and harm fisheries. 

Currently, during operational periods of reverse flow, more water than is needed for export must be 
released from project reservoirs to help repel intruding sea water, maintain required water quality in the 
Delta, and meet export quality standards. This incremental release of water from the reservoirs is termed 
"carriage water." Carriage water is a function of Delta export. South Delta inflow, tidal cycle, and 
opertion of the Delta Cross Channel gates. If the Delta Cross Channel gates are closed when pumping 
rates are high and the Delta is under controlled conditions, more water must be released to repel salinity 
intrusion. 

Key Delta Issues 

Fish and Wildlife Issues 

The following paragraphs summarize Bay/Delta fish and wildlife issues that are discussed in more 
detail in Chapter 8, "Environmental Water Use." Chapter 10, "Water Supply and Demand Balances," 
presents a range of hypothetical environmental water requirements that could provide additional Delta 
outflow, with the intent of improving reliability of supply for environmental protection of aquatic species 
in the Delta. The Delta water diversions and their relationship to fish in the Delta are discussed here. 

Delta fish are affected by a number of physical and biological problems including: inflow that is 
reduced by upstream uses, upstream diversions that bypass the Delta, direct diversions from the Delta 
itself, changes to the food chain from the introduction of nonnative aquatic species, toxics, and legal and 
illegal harvest. Direct diversions include those by power plants and industries in the western Delta; 
1,800 local agricultural diversions; the North Bay Aqueduct, serving the North Bay area; the Contra 
Costa Canal, serving the eastern San Francisco Bay Region; and the southern Delta diversions by the 
CVP and the SWP, which serve the southern Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. 

Fish screens and protection facilities have been constructed for the North Bay Aqueduct, the CVP's 
Tracy Pumping Plant, and the SWP's H.O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant. Water rights Decision 1485 
mandates that the CVP and SWP exports be curtailed during certain months to protect fish and that flows 
be maintained for protecting the Delta environment. Other protections include screens and special 
mitigation measures for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's power plant diversions in the western 
Delta. Even with these measures, the need for a better understanding of the aquatic environment and 
more protection is evident, because some Delta fish are continuing to decline. 

The general decline of several fish, and the Delta smelt and winter run salmon in particular, has 
generated much concern and has ultimately resulted in both cited species being listed under the federal 
Endangered Species Act. Two other species, the longfin smelt and the splittail, have also been petitioned 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



for listing. The listing of species has considerably curtailed SWP and CVP diversions from the Delta, 
making those supplies less reliable and more uncertain for urban and agricultural users. 

Local Issues 

Local Delta water use is protected by a number of measures, such as the Delta Protection Act, the 
Watershed Protection Law, and water rights. DWR negotiated additional agreements to provide 
protection in connection with specific local problems. 

The most pressing problem in the north Delta area is repeated and extensive flooding of the leveed 
tracts and islands. Levee failures have become common and there have been 14 levee breaks in the North 
Delta since 1980. Flooding problems are not limited to the north Delta. There have been 17 levee breaks 
since 1980 throughout the Delta. Both the limited channel capacities and the inadequate, deteriorating 
nonproject, or local, levees contribute to this critical problem. 

Factors that affect South Delta water levels and water availability at some local diversion points are 
natural tidal fluctuations, San Joaquin River inflow, local agricultural diversions and returns, inadequate 
channel capacities, and SWP and CVP operations. Poor San Joaquin River water quality combined with 
local agricultural drainage returns, aggravated by poor water circulation, has affected channel water 
quality, particularly in shallow, stagnant, or dead-end channels. Channels that are too shallow and 
narrow also restrict flow and the volume of water available for export pumping. Recently, DWR entered 
into an agreement with the South Delta Water Agency and the USER to develop long-term solutions for 
the SDWA's water problems. 

DWR negotiated several long-term agreements with various local entities to protect their use of 
water from adverse project impaicts. To protect agricultural uses, contracts were executed with the North 
Delta Water Agency and the East Contra Costa Irrigation District. To protect municipal uses, contracts 
were negotiated with the Contra Costa Water District and the City of Antioch. Industries near Antioch 
and Pittsburg use offshore water for processing. DWR signed two contracts (in 1987 and 1991) with 
Gaylord Container Corporation. DWR occasionally pays for providing substitute water through the 
Contra Costa Canal when offshore water quality falls below the industries' requirements. 

A Delta Protection Commission was established by the Delta Protection Act of 1992 for management 
of land resources within the Delta. The commission is to develop a long-term resource management plan 
for the Delta "Primary Zone." As stated in the Act, the goals of this regional plan are to "protect, 
maintain, and where possible, enhance and restore the overall quality of the Delta environment, 
including, but not limited to, agriculture, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities." The Act 
acknowledges that agricultural land within the Delta is of significant value as open space and habitat for 
waterfowl using the Pacific Flyway. The regional plan is to protect agricultural land within the Primary 
Zone from the intrusion of nonagricultural uses. 

Delta Water Quality Standards 

Water quality control in California is regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board. From 
California's water supply perspective, perhaps the most important of the State's 16 water quality basin 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



plans funded under California's Clean Water Bond Act of 1970 is the one for the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta. The 1975 Basin Plan provided for protection of the Delta's varied beneficial water uses 
through a set of water quality objectives. These water quality objectives were similar to requirements in 
Decision 1379 by the SWRCB, a decision pertaining to water rights for the SWP and CVP. 

In August 1978, the SWRCB adopted the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta and the Suisun Marsh (the Delta Plan) and the corresponding water right Decision 1485, 
subsequent to D-1379 (1971). Both documents amended water quality standards relating to salinity 
control and fish and wildlife protection in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary in the 1975 Basin Plan. 
D-1485 standards are generally based on the degree of protection that municipal, industrial, agricultural, 
and fish and wildlife uses would otherwise have experienced, had the SWP and CVP not been built. 
D-1485 standards required that the SWP and CVP make operational decisions to maintain Delta water 
quality and to meet Delta fresh-water outflow within specified limits. About 5 MAF of Delta outflow is 
required in an average year to meet D-1485 salinity standards. 

To help implement these water quality standards, D-1485 mandated an extensive monitoring 
program. It also called for special studies to provide critical data about major concerns in the Delta and 
Suisun Marsh for which information was insufficient. D-1485 included water quality standards for 
Suisun Marsh as well as for the Delta, requiring DWR and the USER to develop a plan for the marsh that 
would ensure meeting long-term standards for full protection by October 1984 (later extended to October 
1988). 

Recognizing that the complexities of project operations and water quality conditions would change 
over time, the SWRCB also specified that the Delta water right permit hearings would be reopened, 
depending upon changing conditions in the Bay/Delta region and the availability of new evidence on 
beneficial uses of water. 

The following brief discussions of the Racanelli Decision and the SWRCB Bay/Delta Proceedings 
are repeated from Chapter 2, "Institutional Framework." These issues are vitally important to the Delta 
and also have institutional implications. 

Racanelli Decision 

Lawsuits by various interests challenged D-1485, and the decision was overturned by the trial court 
in 1984. In 1986, however, the Court of Appeal in the Racanelli Decision ruled that D-1485 standards 
should remain in effect pending completion of new SWRCB Bay/Delta proceedings. The Racanelli 
Decision broadly interpreted the SWRCB 's authority and obligation to establish water quality objectives 
and its authority to set water rights permit terms and conditions that provide reasonable protection of 
beneficial uses of Delta water and of San Francisco Bay. The court recognized the SWRCB's authority to 
regulate all water rights permits and to implement water quality standards. It advised the SWRCB to 
consider the effects of all Delta and upstream water users in setting and implementing water quality 
standards for the Delta, not just those of the SWP and the CVP. 



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SWRCB Bay/Delta Proceedings 

Hearings to adopt a new Water Quality Control Plan and water rights decision for the Bay/Delta 
estuary began in July 1987. State and federal agencies, including DWR, public interest groups, and 
agricultural and urban water purveyors, provided evidence on a variety of issues pertaining to the 
reasonable and beneficial uses of the estuary's water. This first phase took place over six months, and 
generated many volumes of transcripts and exhibits. 

The SWRCB released two reports in November 1988: a draft Water Quality Control Plan for Salinity 
and a Pollutant Policy Document. The Pollutant Policy Document was subsequently adopted in June 
1990. The draft water quality control plan, however, was a significant departure from the 1978 plan and 
generated considerable controversy throughout the State. 

In January 1989, the SWRCB decided to significantly amend the draft plan and redesign the hearing 
process. The water quality phase was to continue, an additional scoping phase would follow, and issues 
related to flow were to be addressed in the final water rights phase. Concurrently, DWR and other 
agencies offered to hold a series of workshops to address the technical concerns raised by the draft plan. 
These workshops were open to the public and benefited all parties involved by facilitating a thorough 
discussion of technical issues. After many workshops and revisions to the water quality control plan, the 
SWRCB adopted a final plan in May 1991, which was subsequently rejected by the federal EPA. 

With the adoption of the Water Quality Control Plan, the SWRCB began the EIR scoping phase and 
held several workshops during 1991 to receive testimony regarding planning activities, facilities 
development, negotiated settlements, and flow objectives. The goal was to adopt an EIR and a water 
right decision by the end of 1992. 

In response to the governor's April 1 992 water policy statement, the SWRCB decided to proceed to 
establish interim Bay/Delta standards. These interim standards would span 5 years and provide 
immediate protection for fish and wildlife. Water right hearings were conducted from July through 
August 1992, and draft interim standards (proposed Decision 1630) were released for public review in 
December 1992. Concurrently, under the broad authority of the Endangered Species Act, the federal 
regulatory process was proceeding toward development of Delta standards and upstream measures 
applicable to the CVP and SWP to protect the threatened winter run chinook salmon. In February 1993, 
the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a biological opinion governing operations of the CVP and 
SWP with Delta environmental regulations that in certain months were more restrictive than SWRCB's 
proposed measures. On April 5, 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially listed the Delta smelt 
as a threatened species and on May 24 issued a biological opinion on CVP and SWP operations with 
conditions designed to protect the Delta smelt and its habitat for 1993-94. These conditions again were 
generally more restrictive than SWRCB's proposed measures for CVP and SWP operations. 

In April 1993, the governor asked the SWRCB to withdraw its proposed Decision 1630 and, instead, 
to focus efforts on establishing permanent standards for Delta protection since recent federal actions had 
effectively pre-empted State interim standards and provided interim protection for the Bay/Delta 
environment. The SWRCB is now proceeding with the EIR required for long-term standards. 



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Meeting Water Quality Standards 

Water quality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is generally satisfactory for agriculture. 
However, the quality of the Delta water could potentially pose problems to the municipal water purveyors 
charged with treating the water to meet anticipated federal standards for trihalomethanes and new 
standards for other disinfection byproducts. More stringent standards could force many water purveyors 
to spend billions of dollars for additional treatment. 

Precursors of THM formation include naturally occurring dissolved organic matter and bromides. 
Dissolved organic matter is present in Delta drainage water primarily as a result of the decomposition of 
plants, such as the decayed Delta marsh lands. Bromide is present in sea water and is introduced into the 
Delta when fresh water is mixed with ocean water by tidal action. The degree to which saline water 
penetrates into the Delta is a function of the interaction of the high and low tides, fresh water outflow, 
Delta export, diversions from the Delta channels, and atmospheric conditions. 

Because of THM's cancer-causing potential, the EPA in 1979 set the standard for trihalomethanes in 
treated drinking water at 0.10 milligram per liter or 100 parts per billion (ppb). One ppb would be the 
equivalent to two drops in a large backyard swimming pool (25,000 gallons). 

It will be difficult or perhaps impossible with existing facilities for water utilities to achieve 
compliance with stricter standards for THMs. Urban purveyors of Delta water, who serve two-thirds of 
the State's population, will be forced to redesign their existing water treatment facilities or limit Delta 
exports when water quality is not suitable unless a solution is found to improve the quality of export 
water for urban purveyors. Water quality considerations are presented in more detail in Chapter 5. 

Flooding in the Delta 

The reliability of Delta water supplies, in terms of water quality, could be affected by levee failures 
caused by poor levee maintenance, levee instability, high water, or earthquakes. Protection of certain 
islands in the western Delta is particularly important because water quality can be degraded by intrusion 
of brackish water. Large volumes of brackish water could rush into the Delta and deteriorate Delta water 
quality if a levee were to fail. Permanent flooding of western Delta islands could increase the upstream 
movement of ocean salts, requiring projects upstream of the Delta to provide more outflow to repel the 
salt and maintain water quality in the Delta and at the pumps. 

Stability of Delta Levees 

The levees act as the only barriers between low-lying land and water in the Delta. Behind these 
earthen walls lie about half a million acres of agricultural land and wildlife habitat; many small 
communities; and numerous roads, railroad lines, and utilities. Delta islands, which commonly lie 10 to 
15 feet below sea level and are composed in part of highly organic (peat) soils, are constantly in danger 
of further land subsidence and seepage. The original levees were constructed to heights of 4 feet and 
founded on the soft, organic Delta soils. Due to continued subsidence of the levees and island interiors, it 
is necessary to continually add material to maintain freeboard and structural stability. Over the last 
century, many of the levees have significantly increased in size and now average between 1 5 to 25 feet 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



high. The increasing levee height has meant an increased threat of failure which requires increasing 
maintenance and repair costs just to prevent further deterioration of levee conditions. The Delta Flood 
Protection Act enacted in 1988 (see below) has provided the impetus toward levee improvement rather 
than just maintaining the status quo. 

Delta levees are classified as either project or nonproject levees. Project levees are part of the federal 
flood control project. Mostly found along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, they are generally 
maintained to Army Corps of Engineers standards and provide dependable protection. Nonproject, or 
local, levees (three-fourths of the Delta levees) are those constructed and maintained to varying degrees 
by island landowners or local reclamation districts. Most of these levees have not been brought up to 
federal standards and are less stable, thereby increasing the chances of flooding. 

The Delta Levee Subventions Program, originally known as the "Way Bill" program, began in 1973. 
The bill authorized funding for levee maintenance and rehabilitation costs, with up to 50 percent 
reimbursement to local agencies. The funding for these reclamation projects has grown from $200,000 
annually in the 1970s to $2 million annually in the 1980s, with a 50-percent reimbursement rate to local 
districts. 

Seventeen islands have been partially or completely flooded since 1980, costing roughly $100 
million for property recovery and repairs. As a result of floods in 1986, the Delta Flood Protection Act 
(Senate Bill 34) was enacted in 1988. Through the Act, funding for the Delta Subventions Program 
increased up to $6 million a year and allowed up to 75-percent reimbursement to the local agencies for 
their levee work. Another $6 million is directed toward implementing special flood control projects. 
Recent activities include planning and designing major levee rehabilitation projects for Twitchell Island 
and New Hope Tract; repair of threatened levee sites on Sherman Island, Twitchell Island, Bethel Island, 
and Webb Tract; and other special projects and studies to determine the causes of Delta land subsidence. 

The levees are also potentially threatened by earthquake activity. Several active faults — the Antioch, 
Greenville, and Coast Range Sierra Nevada Boundary Zone faults — are west of the Delta and are capable 
of delivering moderate to large shaking. There has been continuous concern about the potential for 
liquefaction of the levees and of the foundation materials on some islands. There is no record of a levee 
failure resulting from earthquake shaking; however, many experts believe that the levee system has not 
really been tested by substantial earthquake shaking. Several studies indicate there will probably be levee 
damage or failure induced by earthquake shaking within the next 30 years. Further investigations will 
better define the expected performance of the levees during earthquakes. 

Delta Water Resource Management and Planning 

Because of its importance to the statewide water supply, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the 
most studied body of water in the State. No one in California disputes the need to improve water transfer 
efficiency, minimize land subsidence and flooding, and improve conditions for fish and wildlife. The 
issue is not whether the Delta should be fixed, but rather how the Delta problems should be resolved. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Planning for Delta improvements to address sea water intrusion into the Delta has been under way 
since the late 1800s. Ocean salinity intrusion into the Delta was first noted in 1841, long before any 
upstream water development was in place. Planning began with an 1874 report by the U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers suggesting use of Sacramento Valley water to irrigate both the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys. That report was followed by a comprehensive State plan for water development issued in 1919 
by Col. Robert B. Marshall, a topographer with the U.S. Geological Survey. Our present State water 
system includes many of Marshall's ideas. Reviewing the plan in 1926, the California Water Resources 
Association commented: ". . . whatever plan the Department of Public Works may recommend, [it] must 
. . . make some feasible and satisfactory recommendation covering the extremely grave problem of salt 
water encroachment in the Delta .... This is one of the most vital considerations before the people of 
California today . . . ." Since then, there have been numerous studies for controlling salinity intrusion 
and improving the water resources management of the Delta for the benefit of all Califomians. 

Past Delta Water Management Programs 

Four broad concepts have been studied for the Delta. These are: 

O physical barriers 

O hydraulic barriers 

O through-Delta facilities 

O isolated facilities 

During the last 50 years a variety of proposals modifying or combining all these concepts have been 
suggested to improve Delta conditions and to allow for beneficial use of Delta water supplies. 

Physical barriers to separate salt and fresh water were predominant in early studies. During the 
1940s and 1950s salt water barriers at numerous sites on the Bay and Delta system were again studied in 
detail. However, it was recognized that barriers in the San Francisco Bay system would not be 
functionally feasible and that further barrier consideration should be limited to, or upstream from, the 
Chipps Island site at the outlet of the Delta. Installation of barriers in major channels such as the one 
adjacent to Chipps Island would change the flow regime, change the location and area of the tidal mixing 
zone, affect the food chain in the Delta, and be an obstacle for shipping and migratory fish passing through 
the Delta. 

Hydraulic barriers were also studied in early planning stages to repel salinity intrusion in the Delta. 
The thrust of hydraulic barrier studies was that water transfer through existing Delta channels for local 
use and export could be accompanied by water releases from upstream reservoirs to control salinity by 
outflow from the Delta. This was the basis of the proposals adopted for current SWF and CVP operations. 

Through-Delta facilities were first studied in the late 1950s and were proposed by DWR in 1960 as 
the single-purpose Delta Water Project (later referred to as the Waterway Control Plan). This alternative 
proposed such actions as enlarging Delta channels, closing channels, and constructing siphons, as well as 
moderate releases of water from upstream storage reservoirs for salinity control to improve movement of 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Sacramento River water to pumps in the South Delta. A similar concept was formulated in a plan 
proposed by DWR in 1983 under "Alternatives for Delta Water Transfer." The most recent through-Delta 
facility proposal is the North Delta Program, which addresses North Delta flooding issues in addition to 
improving conveyance capacity of North Delta channels to reduce reverse flow and salinity intrusion. 

Isolated facilities would convey water around the Delta for local supply and export through a 
hydraulically isolated channel. Delta salinity control would be accomplished by a hydraulic barrier 
maintained by releases from upstream storage reservoirs. This concept was formulated in a plan 
proposed by the Interagency Delta Committee in 1965 as the Peripheral Canal. A statute that would have 
authorized this and many other additions to the SWP was rejected by the voters in 1982. 

Current Delta Regulatory Decision-Making Process 

Competing needs and various governmental agencies with different jurisdictional claims on the Delta 
have made today's Delta planning process more complex than ever. The Delta lies within five counties and 
is subject to various State and federal regulations. Consequently, Delta planning programs usually provide 
forums for many diverse interests and often generate much controversy. The challenge of Delta planning is 
to create a planning strategy that can balance the diverse and often conflicting interests. 

Today, the decision-making process is slow and complicated by an intricate web of institutional 
constraints and the number of parties involved. This has made resolution of Delta problems a divided and 
sometimes disjointed process. Thus far, no consensus has been reached. Local, regional. State, and federal 
agencies, as well as environmental and economic concerns, all play a role in the Delta planning and 
decision -making process. Delta management decisions are made at every level of government. DWR is 
just one component in this complex puzzle. The trend, in recent years, has been toward more involvement 
of federal regulatory agencies in Delta water management planning. 

Among the agencies regulating water use from the Sacramento -San Joaquin river system are: 

O State Water Resources Control Board O U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service 

O California Department of Fish and Game O U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

O U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service O U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

These agencies exercise regulatory control through their own jurisdiction and enforce statutes that 
include the State and federal endangered species acts, the federal Clean Water Act, and water rights. 
These laws are discussed in Chapter 2, "The Institutional Framework for Water Management in 
California." How these laws affect Delta planning and the agencies involved are discussed here. 

Virtually anything that can be done to resolve Delta problems will require permits from a number of 
agencies. Potential permits required for Delta program implementation are shown in Table 10-1 . The 
environmental documentation process, regulatory permits, and compliance with requirements of the 
endangered species acts are the most important components of the decision-making process. The 
following sections discuss the environmental review process, regulatory permits, and the endangered 
species acts as they relate to Delta planning. Figure 10-6 is a flow chart showing the interrelationships 
of these three components in the Delta decision-making process. 



277 



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The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-6. Delta Decision-Making Process 



DELTA DECISION MAKING PROCESS 



Action Plan For DeHi 



Endangarad Spociaa 
Acts (ESA ft CESAI 



Section 10 
Proceas 



Biological Asaaaanwnt 



ilabltat 

Consaivation 

Plan 



Biological Opinion 



Jaopardy 
Opinion 




Draft EIR / EIS 



Final EIR / EIS 



CEOA / NEPA 

ProcMS 



Mitigation ft Monltorin)i|_ 
Plan 



Hnal Daddon 
-I Document |- 



ChaHanga 



Non-Jeopardy 
Opinion 



_r\. 



Regulatory Permits — i 



Section 4M 
Oean Water Act 



404(b)(1| Analysis 



Action Not 

Leeet Damaging 

Altematlve 




MWgation Plan 



Permits Are Issued 



Analysb Satisiies 
Corps Of Engineers 
ft EPA Requirements 



Reasonable ft Prudent 
Alternative 



Action Plan Completed 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Environmental Review Process. Both the National Environmental Policy Act and the California 
Environmental Quality Act require decision makers to document and consider the environmental impacts 
of their actions and encourage public participation in the decision-making process. Both CEQA and 
NEPA processes start with a formal public notice announcing to the public and concerned agencies that 
the planning and environmental documentation process has begun and that public input is sought. Public 
scoping meetings are held to solicit public input in determining the scope of the environmental 
document. A draft environmental document is then prepared and released for public review and 
comments. The draft document includes a comprehensive evaluation of alternatives and their impacts 
along with potential mitigation measures. Successful completion of the environmental documentation 
process depends on an agency's ability to adequately evaluate and address public comments and to build 
consensus and support for the action. Environmental interests, water users, and local entities in the Delta 
all have a great interest in any major decisions made for the Delta. For any Delta water planning decision 
to be acceptable, it should protect Delta islands from flooding, ensure a reliable water supply of suitable 
quality for Delta water users, and guarantee environmental protection for fish and wildlife. 

Regulatory Permits. Implementation of a comprehensive program for the Delta requires a number of 
permits, including permits under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers 
and Harbors Act. These two permits are administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Section 
404 regulates the discharge of dredged and fill materials into waters of the United States. Issuance of 404 
permits requires EPA approval and coordination with USFWS. A Section 10 permit (Section 10 of the 
Rivers and Harbors Act) is required for obstruction of any navigable water including construction of 
dams or barriers. The Section 404 (b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the EPA state, "No discharge of 
dredged or fill materials shall be permitted if there is a practicable alternative to the proposed discharge 
which would have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, so long as the alternative does not have 
other significant adverse environmental consequences." Any Delta program must comply with these 
guidelines by going through a comprehensive alternative analysis to determine the "least environmentally 
damaging practicable alternative." The alternative analysis along with environmental impacts analyses of 
the proposed action can be formulated within the framework of environmental documentation required by 
NEPA. 



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The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Table 10-1. Major Permits Required for impiementation of 
Deita Water l\/lanagement Programs 



Agency 



Permit Description 



Permit Conditions 



Corps of Engineers (in Dredging Permit Required for any proposal to locate a structure, 

coordination with U.S. (Section 404, Clean vate, or discharge dredged or fill materials into 



exca- 



coordination with U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Ser- 
vice and Environmen- 
tal Protection Agency) 



(Section 404, Clean 
Water Act) 

Navigation Permit 
(Section 10, Rivers and 
Harbors Act). 



vate, or discharge dredged or fill materials into waters of 
the United States or to transport dredged material for the 
purpose of dumping it into ocean waters. 

Required for any proposal to divert or alter navigable 
waters in the United States, including wetlands. 



National Marine Fish- 
eries Service 



Incidental Take Permit 



Required for any action that may result in the take of 
listed anadromous species. Permit is issued under au- 
thority of ESA. 



U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service 



Incidental Take Permit 



Required for any action that may result in the take of 
listed species. Permit is issued under the authority of 
ESA. 



Department of Fish 
and Game 



Navigation Dredging 
Permit 



Required for any proposal to use suction or vacuum 
dredging equipment in any river, stream, or lake desig- 
nated as open. 



Stream or Lakeside 
Alteration Agreement 



Required for any activity that will change the natural 
state of any river, stream, or lake in California. 



Permit or MOU 



Required for any action that may result in the take of a 
State listed species. 



Caltrans 



Encroachment Permit 



Required for any proposal to do work or place an en- 
croachment on or near a State highway or proposal to 
develop and maintain access to or from any State high- 
way. 



Utility Encroachment 
Permit 



Required for work done by public utility companies pro- 
visioning services, such as gas, electricity, telephone, for 
most work within the right of way of a State highway. 



State Lands 
Commission 



The Reclamation 
Board 



Notice of Proposed Notice is sent to the State Lands Commission for any 

Use of State Lands proposed SWP or CVP projects in the Delta for review 

and concurrence. 



Encroachment Permit 



Required for any activity along or near the banks of the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers or their tributaries. 
The Reclamation Board also issues encroachment per- 
mits for activity on any "designated floodway" or flood 
control plan adopted by the Legislature or the Board 
within the Central Valley. 



State Water Resources 
Control Board 



Permit to Appropriate 
Water 



Required for any proposal to divert water from a surface 
stream or other body of water for use on nonriparian 
land or any proposal to store unappropriated surface 
water seasonally. 



Department of Water 
Resources, Division of 
Safety of Dams 



Approval of Plans and 
Specifications and 
Certificate of Approval 



Required for any proposal to constrict or enlarge a dam 
25 feet or more in height or impounding a reservoir with 
a capacity of more than 50 AF 



Regional Water Quality 
Control Board 



Waste Discharge 
Requirement 



Required for any actions that may result in the discharge 
or potential discharge of waste to Delta water. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Endangered Species Acts. Requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act and the California 
Endangered Species Act have altered and now greatly affect water resources planning in the Delta. Two 
species, the winter-run chinook salmon and Delta smelt, are now federally listed as threatened. These 
listings have changed the decision-making process for the Delta. In accordance with the ESA, a 
biological assessment should be prepared for any federal actions or permit applications in the Delta 
which may have impacts on listed and proposed species. The assessment contains information 
concerning listed and proposed species as well as material relating to the impacts of the proposed project 
on listed species. The biological assessment is used to determine whether formal consultation is required 
for the proposed action affecting the critical habitat or the species. Formal consultation is required if the 
listed species or their critical habitat are adversely affected by an action. 

Based on the biological assessment, a biological opinion is prepared by either the USFWS or NMFS 
depending on the species. NMFS is responsible for ocean and anadromous species, while USFWS is the 
authority for inland species. The appropriate agency then determines whether the action is likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. An incidental take statement is issued when there may be a taking of a listed species 
incidental to the action that does not jeopardize the listed species' continued existence or critical habitat. 
If the action would jeopardize the continued existence of the species, the opinion contains a reasonable 
and prudent alternative to avoid jeopardy. For the projects that may have an impact on the listed species, 
but do not require any federal actions, a Section 10 (Section 10 of the ESA) incidential take permit is 
required. 

When a Delta decision is determined to affect species listed under both FESA and CESA, a State lead 
agency engages in a consultation with DFG. DFG also participates in the federal consultation process to 
ensure that the federal biological opinion findings are consistent with the State findings. In most cases, 
DFG would adopt the federal biological opinion. 

Role of the U.S. EPA in the Delta 

The U.S. EPA role in the Delta is as follows: 

« 

O EPA has the authority to veto permits issued by the Corps under Section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act if EPA determines that the project causes unacceptable adverse effects. 

O The EPA has the authority to implement the Clean Water Act which, among other things, 
established a permit system to regulate point source discharges in navigable waters of the 
United States, provided for control of nonpoint pollution sources, and required the EPA to 
establish effluent limitations and water quality criteria. Recently, EPA indicated that under 
Clean Water Act authority, it will formulate water quality standards for the Delta. (In 
California, the authority to implement the Clean Water Act has been delegated to the 
SWRCB, although EPA retains the authority to step in when it determines State action is not 
adequate to protect the quality of U.S. waters.) 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 

O The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act directed the EPA to set national standards for drinking 
water quality. EPA is currently reviewing the standards for THMs and other disinfectant 
byproducts with the intent of replacing them with stricter standards. This would have a 
significant impact on the urban water agencies receiving their water from the Delta. Thus, 
EPA actions through its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and the federal Safe Drinking 
Water Act could significantly affect decisions for the Delta. 

The federal government is playing a much greater role in determining what is ultimately to be done 
in the Delta than it has in the past. The Delta is an estuary and a navigable waterway subject to a number 
of significant federal laws because it includes wetlands and valuable anadromous fisheries. Any 
constructed solution to Delta problems will require regulatory permits under Section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act and the endangered species acts. Over the years, activities necessary to obtain permits have 
evolved into complex and time intensive processes. 

Planning for the Delta generates controversy and promotes public and political debates. Actions by 
regulatory agencies are not isolated from these debates, and Delta planners recognize this complex 
relationship in formulating management strategies for the Delta. Such strategies require extensive 
coordination, cooperation, consultation, negotiation, and consensus between federal, State, and local 
entities. Building consensus for an action plan that would balance those interests and concerns of local 
entities requires extensive negotiations among agencies. The interrelationships between the 
environmental documentation process, permitting process, and endangered species actions is complex 
and continually changing. Delta planners are trying to find their way through an ever-changing maze of 
regulatory constraints surrounding the decision-making process in the Delta. 

Options for Enhancing Urban Water Quality, Water Supply Reliability, 
and Improving Delta Environmental Conditions 

The options discussed briefly here present some of the alternatives that are currently being evaluated 
or could be evaluated in the future. Protection offish and wildlife and the ultimate Delta solution will 
determine the feasibility of several water supply programs. The following programs are intended to show 
the range of options being discussed by interest groups and water planners at this time. 

Ongoing Delta Planning Programs 

Interim South Delta Water Management Program. DWR recently evaluated the South, North, and 
West Delta programs to improve conditions in the Delta. The Interim South Delta Water Management 
Program is an important part of any water banking program and was implemented in response to an 
October 1986 agreement among DWR, USER, and the South Delta Water Agency. The program also 
addresses the need to increase the operational flexibility and reliability of the SWP, including Los Banos 
Grandes, a south-of-the-Delta offstream storage project authorized in 1984. In the SDWA agreement, 
all three parties committed to develop mutually acceptable, long-term solutions to the water supply 
problems of local water users within SDWA. 



282 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-7. Proposed Interim South Delta Water Management Program 



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283 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The Interim South Delta Preferred Alternative consists of constructing interim facilities that include 
an additional SWP intake structure at Clifton Court Forebay, limited channel dredging, four flow control 
structures, and a permit allowing the SWP to increase its existing pumping capacity. These facilities are 
intended to provide for operational flexibility to improve SWP water supply capability, reduce fishery 
impacts (particularily on San Joaquin River salmon populations), and improve water levels and 
circulation for local agricultural diverters. 

A new multigate intake structure is proposed for the northeastern comer of the existing Clifton Court 
Forebay near the confluence of Old River and the Victoria and North canals as shown on Figure 10-7. 
This additional intake structure would be operated according to tidal water elevations to increase peak 
flow into the forebay. It would increase average daily diversion into the forebay and allow pumping at 
the H.O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant to the maximum design capacity of 10,300 cfs. Some channel 
dredging would be required to assure that channel scouring does not occur. This dredging would be in 
reaches of Old River north of the forebay, Victoria Canal, North Canal, and Middle River. 

Three of the four flow control structures are proposed to control water levels, circulation, and the 
flow in the South Delta channels. The structures would be tidally operated during the irrigation season. 
Operations would retain flood tide flows in South Delta channels for a longer period of time to raise 
water levels. During other times of the year these control structures would be opened and would not 
affect local hydrology. The fourth, a control structure on Old River near the San Joaquin River, would be 
operated in the fall and spring to help salmon migrating in the San Joaquin River. During other times of 
the year this structure would not alter flows. The Interim South Delta Water Management Program could 
augment SWP supplies by about 60,000 AF per year. 

North Delta Program. Limited channel capacity in the north Delta has contributed to two major 
problems: reverse flow, a consequence of SWP and CVP exports from the Delta, and repeated flooding of 
local leveed tracts. A proposed solution to both problems is dredging and widening of various interior 
Delta channels to allow more unrestricted flows. A primary focus of the North Delta Program is 
improving the connection to the Sacramento River, thereby sharply reducing reverse flow. 

For flood control, the biggest problem in the north Delta is the bottleneck caused by the narrow 
channels of the Mokelumne River. Its channels are too small to handle high water flows. Repeated 
flooding of leveed tracts is a threat to more than 2,000 people, their homes, and thousands of acres of 
valuable farmlands. 

The intent of the North Delta program is to allow greater flood flows to pass safely, while lowering 
flood levels throughout the area by dredging and building new setback levees. The new levees would 
provide greater protection for Thornton, Walnut Grove, Tyler Island, New Hope Tract, and other Delta 
lands. 

Increased channel capacity and less or no reverse flow would create a more efficient means of 
transferring water through the North and Central Delta, thus providing additional water supply for SWP 
users. Another benefit to increased channel capacity and reduced reverse flow is better water quality. 



284 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The winter run 1993 biological opinion requires that the Delta Cross Channel be closed from 
February 1 through April 30 each year to reduce entrainment of winter run chinook salmon into the 
Central Delta. Closing Delta cross channel gates increases reverse flow, thus curtailing SWP and CVP 
exports. Similar concerns would need to be addressed and resolved if North Delta facilities were in 
place. 

West Delta Program. DWR is implementing a unique land use management program that could 
effectively control subsidence and soil erosion on Sherman and Twitchell islands, while also providing 
significant wildlife and waterfowl habitat. DWR and DFG have jointly developed the Wildlife 
Management Plan for Sherman and Twitchell islands to accomplish this objective. This plan is designed 
to benefit wildlife species that occupy wetland, upland, and riparian habitat, and provide recreational 
opportunities for hunting and wildlife viewing. Property acquired and habitat developed through DWR's 
contribution will be available for use as mitigation for impacts associated with ongoing DWR Delta 
water management programs. 

This plan would significantly reduce subsidence by minimizing oxidation and erosion of the peat 
soils on the islands. This would be accomplished by replacing present agricultural cultivation practices 
with land use management practices designed to stabilize the soil. Such practices range from minimizing 
tillage to establishing wetland habitat. 

Altering land use practices on Sherman and Twitchell islands could provide up to 1 3,600 acres of 
managed wildlife and waterfowl habitat and responds directly to the underlying need for additional 
wetlands in the Delta, as expressed in national and State policies for wetlands enhancement and 
expansion. 

Long-Term Delta Planning Programs 

Recognizing the complexity of the Delta decision-making process, the governor provided specific 
direction and guidance to correct the current "broken" condition of the Delta in his 1992 statewide water 
policy speech. He established the Bay-Delta Oversight Council to help guide the planning and 
decision-making process. BDOC is to define objectives and evaluate criteria and formulate alternatives 
for the Delta. The council is composed of concerned private citizens from throughout California. 
BDOC will evaluate all reasonable options to solve complex Delta problems as part of this process. 
However, any recommended long-term solution must be practical, scientifically sound, improve 
protection for the Bay-Delta estuary, and provide for more reliable water supplies. The following are 
some of the programs that could be investigated for a long-term solution to Delta problems. 

Isolated Facility. The isolated facility consists of constructing £in isolated canal from near Hood on 
the Sacramento River to Clifton Court Forebay (with a fish screen near Hood), siphons, and the 
capability to release water to Delta channels to improve water circulation in Delta channels (Figure 
10-8). This option can improve water quality for urban and agricultural water users. It would eliminate 
reverse flow in the Delta and improve water quality and flow in the Delta by releasing water to South 
Delta channels. Because the intake gate of this facility would be upstream of much of the Delta along the 
Sacramento River, it would significantly reduce bromide and agricultural drainage impacts on water 



285 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



delivered to urban water purveyors. Possible collateral measures to improve water quality at the intake 
gate would be to divert major Sacramento Valley agricultural drainage and Sacramento Regional 
Treatment Plant effluent to the Yolo Bypass. This option would also reduce the effects of CVP and SWP 
export facilities on fish by eliminating predation in Clifton Court Forebay, improving fish migration by 
closing the Delta cross channel gates, and by eliminating reverse flow. 

The Dual Water Transfer Facility. The dual water transfer facility would also consist of an isolated 
canal, with fish screens near Hood, to transfer SWP water from Hood on the Sacramento River to Clifton 
Court Forebay on the same alignment as the above isolated facility, except it would be smaller. This 
facility would provide better quality water for urban water agencies, but its full potential, in this regard, 
could only be realized by separating urban from agricultural supplies using existing facilities and 
constructing new conveyance facilities south of the Delta. The Delta cross channel gates would remain 
operational. Pumping for SWP and CVP exports from the South Delta would continue, but at a lower 
rate and when high flows are available. Dual water transfer would allow for release of water to South 
Delta channels to improve water supply and circulation in the South Delta channels. This facility would 
provide some benefits to fisheries, but benefits would not be as great as with an isolated facility. 

Sierra Source. The Sierra source option consists of a new channel transferring water directly from 
the Feather and Sacramento rivers, bypassing the Delta, and delivering water directly to Clifton Court 
Forebay and the federal export facilities in the South Delta. This option would reduce THM precursors 
and would provide high quality water for export and would have the same fish benefit as an isolated 
facility. In addition, it would eliminate direct diversion along the Sacramento River and provide for a 
free-flowing river from Keswick through the Delta. A more detailed description of this option can be 
found in Chapter 12 under "Westside Sacramento Valley Project." 

Delta Agricultural Drainage Management. This management action would collect all or a major 
part of the agricultural drainage from Delta islands and discharge the drainage to another location or treat 
it to reduce THM precursors at Delta pumps. This management program improves Delta water quality 
for urban use by reducing organic THM precursors; however, bromide precursors will still be present in 
the water. Drainage water collection and disposal could be a major undertaking that may be costly for the 
benefit gained from the program. 

Delta Storage. Storage of unregulated flood flows in and around the Delta has been the subject of 
several studies in recent years. DWR studied Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the early 1980s to evaluate the 
feasibility of augmenting SWP supplies with the construction of a l-MAF storage facility on Kellogg 
Creek in Contra Costa County. This project has been further studied by Contra Costa Water District to 
provide water supply reliability to the district; see Chapter 12 for a more detailed description. 

In the late 1 980s a unique wetlands management and water storage project for the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta was proposed by Bedford Properties, a land development company. The Delta Wetlands 
project proposed to convert land use on four Delta Islands (Bouldin, Webb, Holland, and Bacon) from 
agricultural to seasonally available waterfowl habitat and to store water during winter and spring (Figure 
10-9). The water would be pumped from the islands in early summer to the adjacent channels for use by 



286 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-8. Proposed Isolated Facilities (1982) 




287 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



Figure 10-9. Proposed Delta Wetlands Project (1990) 




ACRAMENTO - SAN JOAQUIN OE 



288 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



the projects. This project has some potential to improve SWP supplies. However, there are some serious 
water quality, fisheries, and wildlife concerns. Peat soil on the four islands could increase THM forming 
potential of the water, and could increase the problems of meeting drinking water quality standards. 

Recommendations 

The Delta is the hub of California's water supply infrastructure. It is the source from which 
two-thirds of the State's population and millions of acres of agricultural land receive part or all of their 
water supplies. The Delta provides valuable habitat and migration corridors for many species, including 
winter-run salmon and Delta smeltm which are listed under the State and federal Endangered Species 
acts. Key problems in the Delta must be addressed before several other Level I options can progress to 
help California meet its water supply needs to theyear 2020. 

The Governor's water policy statement of April 1992 specifically called for taking interim actions in 
the Delta, such as improvements in the South Delta that will help restore the environment and improve 
water supply in the short-term, while starting the CEQA/NEPA processes to address and develop 
long-term solutions to Delta problems. State and federal agencies must work together to resolve these 
complex issues and move toward long-term solutions. 



289 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



290 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



11 OPTIONS FOR BALANCING WATER 
SUPPLY AND DEMAND 




Shasta Dam in October, 1992 — the tail end of the 6-year drought. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

11 OPTIONS FOR BALANCING WATER 
SUPPLY AND DEMAND 

The reliability of water supplies in each of California's ten major hydrologic regions derives from the 
climate, geography, patterns of water use specific to each region, the abundance of local supplies, and in 
some cases the availability of imported supplies. California's water supply network is a sophisticated 
system with many interconnections, giving local and regional water planners a wide array of options 
from which to meet needs. If a region cannot manage water demand through demand management 
actions or find sufficient water supplies within its borders, it often goes beyond those borders and imports 
water from, or shares water with, other regions. Conjunctive use, water banking, water marketing, 
conservation, waste water recycling, and conventional supply augmentation projects are all options that 
can be employed individually or collectively because of supply network flexibility. 

Whenever a region looks outside of its borders for water supply augmentation, statewide water 
management and integrated resource planning come into the picture. Depending on the package of 
options chosen, one region's actions can affect another region's supplies. The statewide planning 
process involves assessing trends in each region's water demand and quantifying the cumulative effects 
of each region's demand and use patterns on statewide supplies. It basically parallels the planning 
process at the local and regional levels. By working through a statewide planning process, the magnitude 
of both intraregional and interregional effects can be analyzed. However, in a number of circumstances, 
measures that would be taken to manage demand, to increase supplies, and to improve water service 
reliability are local decisions. These decisions must weigh the cost of increased reliability with the 
economic, environmental, and social cost of expected shortages. 

Planners at the local and regional levels face the same increasingly difficult issues that statewide 
planners face: the pressures of a continually growing population on existing supplies, more stringent 
regulatory requirements, environmental consequences of developing new sources of supply, and the 
increasing costs of implementing new programs or projects. To plan for long-term water supply 
reliability they must examine an increasingly wider array of supply augmentation and demand reduction 
options to determine the best courses of action for meeting water service needs. Such options are 
generally evaluated using the water service reliability planning approach outlined below. 

This chapter presents reliability planning concepts along with summarizing Level I and Level II 
water management options for enhancing water supply reliability. 

Reliability Planning: Maintaining the Balance Between Water Supply and Demand 

Water service planners now evaluate demand management options in much the same way that supply 
augmentation options were evaluated in traditional cost/benefit analyses completed for many of the 
State's existing major water supply facilities. For the California Water Plan Update, future long-term 
demand management options are those conservation or land retirement options beyond the actions 



291 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

included in urban Best Management Practices or agricultural Efficient Water Management Practices. 
(See Chapters 6 and 7.) Furthermore, the costs of demand management or supply augmentation options 
are high enough that planners must now also look more carefully at the costs of unreliability to make the 
best possible estimate of the net benefit of taking specific actions, hence the term "reliability planning." 
A broad definition of reliability, as stated in the introduction to Chapter 10, is necessary in order to use 
this type of planning most effectively. 

The objective of reliability planning is to determine the most effective way of achieving an additional 
increment of reliability at the least cost and to ascertain whether the benefits, in terms of avoided 
shortage-related costs and losses, justify the costs of adding that increment. Reliability planning requires 
information about: (1) the expected frequency and severity of shortages, (2) how additional water 
management measures are likely to affect that frequency and severity of shortages, and (3) how available 
contingency measures can reduce the impact of shortages when they occur. The approach also uses 
information about the costs and losses associated with shortages of varying severity and duration as well 
as the costs of long-term and contingency water management options. Outlined below are the principles 
on which water service reliability planning is based: 

O In any given year, available water supply and (to a lesser extent) water demand 
primarily depend on weather conditions. Because these conditions can be highly 
variable, shortages are projected in terms of their likelihood of occurrence and 
expected severity. 

O The larger the demand, relative to supply, the more likely a shortage in any 
given year and, given that a shortage occurs, the greater will be its expected 
severity. 

O Historical hydrologic records provide useful information for estimating the 
frequency, duration, and severity of shortages under various alternative water 
management plans. However, hydrologic record is not a complete predictor of 
future events and an added measure of conservatism may be required to be 
consistent with water service reliability requirements for an area. 

O The costs and losses associated with shortages, both economic and 

environmental, tend to increase at an increasing rate as shortages increase in 
duration and severity. 

O Emergency water management actions can effectively mitigate some costs and 
losses during shortages, particularly if they are developed ahead of time as a part 
of long-term planning. 

O Reliability can be enhanced by decreasing demand through reuse and 

conservation but at an increasing economic and, in some cases, environmental 
cost. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

O Reliability can be enhanced by constructing desalting, reclamation, and surface 
or ground water storage facilities to increase supply, but at an increasing 
economic and environmental cost. 

Plans based on these principles are more likely to achieve the best balance between the costs of 
increasing reliability and the benefits of reducing the frequency and severity of shortages. 

Supply Reliability and Demand Variability 

Surface and ground water reservoirs provide for water supply reliability through carryover storage. 
The success of these facilities in ensuring water availability depends on a number of factors, including 
storage capacity, precipitation, use in previous years, and projected use in future years. Use in previous 
years is a function of demand and decisions made by operators of the reservoir facilities. When water 
project planners and operators choose to restrict reservoir releases or ground water pumping to reduce the 
risk of shortages in the future, the cost of imposing a shortage in the current year is traded against the 
expected cost of future shortages. They use records of historic hydrologic conditions and trends to 
forecast future conditions and base their decisions about the amounts and timing of releases on these 
predictions. 

In addition to climate, other factors that can cause water supply shortages are earthquakes, chemical 
spills, and energy outages at treatment and pumping facilities. Planners should also include the 
probability of catastrophic outages when using the reliability planning approach. 

Reliability planning, used in conjunction with the Least Cost Planning process, offers water 
managers the best opportunity to identify how to integrate demand management and supply augmentation 
options into their planning process in the most productive and justifiable manner. The use of this 
planning process to evaluate alternative water management plans for enhancing an existing system's 
reliability involves the following steps: 

1 . Estimating the shortage-related costs and losses for alternative water management 
plans. 

2. Estimating the costs of construction, operation, and maintenance for alternative water 
management plans. 

3. Calculating point of minimum total cost (expected costs and losses from shortages 
plus expected cost of water management). 

4. Incorporating nonmonetary social and environmental costs. 

5. Interpreting results. 

Water management programs for the SWP, the East Bay Municipal Water District, and the 
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California are examples of programs based on this planning 
process (see the SWP and Local Water management Programs sections under Level I Reliability 
Enhancement Options). 



293 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Least-Cost Planning Process for Evaluating Water l\/lanagement Plans 

The least-cost planning process gives all available options an equal chance in the selec- 
tion process. If any options, demand management or supply augmentation, are arbitrarily ex- 
cluded, it becomes unlikely that the selected plan will cost the least. Using this criterion does 
not mean that planning decisions must be limited to evaluations that translate all costs into 
dollar amounts. The LCP concept can be incorporated into evaluations that rely on relative 
rankings of social and environmental impacts as long as the units of measurement used are 
consistent and the criteria for assigning values are clear. However, when social and environ- 
mental consequences of alternatives can be reasonably expressed in dollars, identifying the 
preferred plan will be less subjective. 

With LCR the water manager's objective becomes one of meeting all water- related needs 
of customers, not one restricted to looking for ways of providing additional supply. For exam- 
ple, if a growing service area's need for additional water can be reduced with an ultra- low- 
flush toilet retrofit program rather than additional water supplies for this purpose, then the ret- 
rofit program should be considered on its merits and compared with all other options when 
putting together a water management plan. 

In addition to its focus on considering all feasible options for meeting customers' needs, 
the LCP process requires systematic and comprehensive evaluation of all costs associated 
with each option when devising alternative plans, including the costs of not fully meeting the 
customers' needs at all times and planning for some probability of shortages. The option of 
planned periodic shortages must be as carefully evaluated as any other (Plans which would 
result in extreme shortages jeopardizing life or health would, of course, be unreasonable.) Ex- 
pressing this valuation in a way that can be used in a reliability model is often problematic. 
While some of the losses can be quantified (for example, the cost of lawn replacement), oth- 
ers, such as the loss of aesthetics, environmental cooling, and inconvenience, are difficult to 
measure. 



Figure 1 1-1 shows the basic concept of how the alternative plans are compared and an optimal plan 
for increasing water service reliability is identified. Each of the alternative water management plans that 
have been analyzed using the least-cost process are arrayed according to their water management costs. 
Plan 1 represents existing conditions (no additional water management actions). In this example, the 
least-cost plan is Plan 8. Water management expenditures lower than those in Plan 8 would expose the 
local area to higher shortage-related costs and losses than would be necessary. Water management 
expenditures higher than those of Plan 8 do not "pay for themselves" in terms of reduced 
shortage-related costs and losses. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-1. Least-Cost Reliability Planning 
Total Costs of Alternative Plans 



T3 

C 
CO 

to 
o 

o 

B 
o 











1 — 1 








li 








1 — 1 






Lc 

/ 


ast 


Co 


SIP 


an 






p- 




— 




■ 







1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 

Alternative Plan 



|ii|yj Added Water Management Costs | | Expected Shortage Costs and Losses I 



295 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Options for Enhancing Water Supply Reliability 

California's increasing urban and environmental water needs require that existing supplies be more 
efficiently managed while programs are developed and implemented to provide for future water supply 
needs. Water management plans by State and local agencies can increase reliability through long-term 
or contingency measures, or both. Long-term measures reduce the expected frequency and severity of 
shortages and contingency measures reduce the impacts of shortages when they occur. Three pieces of 
legislation were recently enacted to encourage agencies to develop plans based on all available water 
management options: the Urban Water Management Planning Act (in 1983); the Agricultural Water 
Management Planning Act (in 1986); and the Water Shortage Contingency Planning Act (in 1991), see 
Chapter 2, "Institutional Framework." Under the auspices of these acts, DWR is working with local 
agencies in developing those plans. 

This chapter presents demand management and water supply augmentation options for meeting 
California's water needs to 2020. They are further broken down into long-term and short-term demand 
management measures, available to water agencies to meet average and drought year needs, and 
long-term water supply management options. The future water management options are presented in two 
levels to better reflect the status of investigations required to implement them. 

O Level I options are those that have undergone extensive investigation and 
environmental analyses and are judged to have a higher likelihood of being 
implemented by 2020. 

O Level II options are those that could fill the remaining gap shown in the 
balance between supply and urban, agricultural, and environmental water 
demands. These options require more extensive investigation and 
alternative analyses. 



California's Water Supply Availability 

Average year supply is the average annual supply of a water development system over a 
long period. For this report the SWP and CVP average year supply is the average annual delivery 
capability of the projects over a 70-year study period (1922-91). For a local project, it Is the 
annual average deliveries of the project during 1984-1986 period. For dedicated natural flow, it 
is the long-term average natural flow for wild and scenic rivers or it is environmental flows as re- 
quired for an average year under specific agreements, water rights, court decision, and congres- 
sional directives. 

Drought year supply is the average annual supply of a water development system during a 
defined drought period. For this report, the drought period is the average of water years 1 990 
and 1 991 . For dedicated natural flow, it is the average of water years 1 990 and 1 991 for wild and 
scenic rivers or it is environmental flows as required under specific agreements, water rights, 
court decisions, and congressional directives. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

The following sections describe Level I options in detail while Level II options are generally 
conceptual descriptions. The options are ordered according to whether they reduce demands or augment 
supplies at the statewide, regional, or local level. Options for solving complex problems in the Delta and 
improving Delta water quality for urban water purveyors are discussed in Chapter 10, "The 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. " 

Level I-Reliability Enhancement Options 

Long-Term Demand Management Options 

Demand management options discussed here are water management actions designed to permanently 
reduce demand for water (water conservation and land retirement). Table 1 1-1 shows demand reductions 
possible from Level I demand management options. 

Table 11-1. Level I Demand Management Options 







Net Water Demand 








Applied Water 
Reduction 


Reduction 
(I.OOOAF) 


Economic 
Unit Cost 




Programs 


(I.OOOAF) 


Average 


Drought 


($/AF)i 


Comments 


Long-term Demand 












Management: 












Urban Water 


1,300 


900 


900 


315-390 


Urban BMPs 


Conservation 












Agricultural Water 
Conservation 


1,700 


300 


300 


Not 
Available 


Increased irrigation 
efficiency. 


Land Retirement 


130 


130 


130 


60 


Retirement of land witfi 
drainage problems in v^est 
San Joaquin Valley. Cost is 
at the Delta. 


Water Transfer - 


70 


70 


70 


- 


IID water conservation proj- 


MWDSC 










ect. Increases supply to 
South Coast Region 


Short-term Demand 












Management: 












Demand Reduction 


1,300 





1,000 


Not 
Available 


Drought year supply 


Land Fallowing/Short- 
Term Water Transfers 


800 





800 


125 


Drought year supply. Cost 
is at the Delta. 



^ Economic costs Include capital and OMP&R costs discounted over a 50 year period at 6 percent discount rate. Tfiese costs do not Include applicable 
transportation and treatment costs. 



Water Conservation. Californians began recognizing and acting on the need for demand 
management through water conservation during the 1976-77 drought. Since then, much attention has 
been focused on plans, programs, and measures to encourage more efficient use of water. The latest of 
such programs are the Memorandum for Best Management Practices, adopted by over 100 major urban 
water agencies and environmental groups, and the Efficient Water Management Practices under 
consideration for agricultural water conservation and management (see the Urban and Agriculture Water 
Use, Chapters 6 and 7). The widespread acceptance of BMPs virtually assures that their implementation 
will become the industry standard for water conservation programs. Accepted future BMPs (measures 



297 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

that are accepted by urban agencies for future implementation) are expected to reduce future urban water 
demands by about 10 percent. This would result in an annual 1.3 MAF reduction in urban applied water 
by 2020 and a reduction in depletions of approximately 0.9 MAF. This is in addition to an estimated 0.4 
MAF annual savings resulting from conservation measures put into place between 1980 and 1990. 
Increase in agricultural water use efficiency and other EWMPs will reduce agricultural future water 
demands. These measures could result in an annual agricultural applied water reduction of about 1 .7 
MAF by 2020 (from 1990 level), which would resuh in an annual depletion reduction of roughly 0.3 
MAF. These savings have been accounted for in projections of agricultural and urban water demand. 
New water conservation measures will undoubtedly be suggested and evaluated in the future (see Level II 
options). But, as water use continues to become more efficient, water agencies will lose some flexibility 
to deal with shortages during droughts. 

Land Retirement. Land retirement will take place in parts of the San Joaquin Valley where drainage 
has been a problem and where continued cultivation of some marginal lands will not be feasible. In 
September 1990, a report titled A Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related 
Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley was published. This report evaluated the drainage 
problems in San Joaquin Valley and recommended a plan of action to resolve the drainage problems on 
the west side of the valley through the year 2040. The recommendations included source control 
(conservation), reuse of drainage water, and land retirement. For this water plan update, and for the 
purpose of agricultural water demand calculations, it was assumed that source control and land retirement 
recommendations would be implemented. The 1990 report suggests 45,000 acres of land on the westside 
of the San Joaquin Valley could be out of production by 2020 and about 70,000 acres by 2040. This is 
accounted for in agricultural acreage projections. The net water demand reduction resulting from land 
retirement could be about 0. 15 MAF. To facilitate this option, the CVP Improvement Act provides 
federal authority and possible sources of funding for land retirement. At the State level, the San Joaquin 
Valley Drainage Relief Act provides DWR with authority to undertake a program of retiring lands with 
drainage problems. 

Water Transfers. Year-to-year water transfers can augment a water agency's long-term annual 
supplies to improve the water service reliability for the receiving area. Such transfers have been going on 
since early this century as evidenced by the construction of several major intrastate transfer facilities, as 
described in Chapter 3. The 1987-92 drought caused some water agencies and individuals to begin 
looking at the potential of a water transfers market to meet their needs by augmenting long-term supplies 
as well as short-term drought supplies. (Long-term transfers are ones that can augment a year to year 
supply of a water short area; while short-term drought water transfers can be by either long-term 
agreements or on a spot market basis when needed.) However, areas looking to the water transfer market 
for long- term supplies need an element of predictability. Uncertainties of Delta transfer capabilities now 
and in the foreseeable future make it difficult to predict the availability of conveyance facilities when 
needed. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

The State Drought Water Bank experience was a good indication that obstacles to market based water 
transfers could be overcome. However, as more and more willing buyers and sellers got together, 
problems in completing such deals became more apparent. In response to such problems, the California 
Legislature has enacted and the governor has signed several pieces of legislation that should facilitate 
market based water transfers. Additional market based water transfer legislation continues to be 
introduced with the hopes of further removing impediments to such transfers. The CVPIA is an example 
of federal legislation that will help facilitate water transfers in California, particularly those involving 
federal supplies. 

In some source areas of transfer supplies, such as the upper Sacramento Valley, there is concern that 
the health of local economies and environment are at risk if long-term transfers of water is allowed. The 
same concerns have also been expressed in areas where the source supply is imported, but is allowed to 
be resold in the transfer market. To address these concerns, long-term water transfers must be treated as 
any other water management option, and be planned with a thorough investigative analysis, including 
alternatives, third party impacts, and environmental documentation in accordance with CEQA. A good 
example of a recent long-term transfer that underwent this type of process is the long-term (permanent) 
year to year transfer of 10,000 AF of State Water Project entitlement supply from Devils Den Water 
District, on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, to Castaic Lake Water Agency, in the South Coast 
Region. 

There is only one long-term water transfer agreement far enough along in its development to be 
considered as a Level I option. This transfer would be made possible as a result of an agreement recently 
signed by The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Imperial Irrigation District. In 
1988, Congress passed and the President signed Public Law 100-675 which authorized the lining of a 
portion of the Ail-American Canal and its Coachella branch. The act allowed the California water 
agencies with Colorado River supplies to fund the project in exchange for the water conserved in 
accordance with the provisions contained in their water delivery contracts. The USBR, Imperial 
Irrigation District, and MWDSC have been investigating possible alternatives for recovery of an 
estimated 68,000 AF of seepage water through preparation of environmental documentation. In August 
1993, the IID Board of Directors approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the IID and 
MWDSC that would fund the concrete lining of 23 miles of the All-American Canal. The Agreement 
will now be forwarded by IID to the USBR to provide assurance that a funding mechanism will be in 
place to carry out the project. When the Secretary of the Interior issues a record of decision upon review 
of the final EIS/EIR, and IID's, MWDSC's, CVWD's, and Palo Verde ID's boards approve entering into a 
construction funding agreement, this program can be implemented and the MWDSC's supplies could be 
enhanced by about 68,000 AF per year. 

Apart from the MWDSC-IID transfer agreement, there are no other future long-term, year-to-year 
water transfers far enough along in the planning process to be considered Level I options; thus, the 



299 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

California water balance in Chapter 12 does not include any provision for additional Level I, long- term 
year-to-year, water transfers. Such transfers and factors affecting their feasibility are considered as part 
of the Level II water management options. 

Short-Term Demand Management Options 

Short-term demand management options are actions taken by water managers to reduce water 
demand during drought. For this report, the "drought year" scenario was defined as a water year when 
statewide water supplies equals the average supplies of 1990 and 1991. Drought management options 
(mandatory conservation and land fallowing) are implemented by water managers during drought years to 
ensure water service reliability for critical needs during drought. Critical needs include maintaining 
public health and safety, providing for industrial and commercial uses, preserving permanent crops such 
as trees and vines, saving high investment crops such as cut flowers and nursery products, and ensuring 
the survival of fish and wildlife species. 

Demand Reduction. For this water plan update, a shortage of 1 5 percent for the urban sector during 
a 1990 level drought is used as a drought contingency measure. The 15 percent level reflects the actual 
1990 urban water use experience for areas in California impacted by moderate shortages. It was chosen 
as a management planning tool for drought periods to illustrate its potential as an option rather than as an 
action that could impose severe hardships on affected communities. Most of the urban areas which 
implemented special conservation programs during the recent drought achieved cutbacks at or above this 
level. However, it does not mean that every type of urban water user within an area had similar 
cutbacks. Generally, most business users had smaller cutbacks than residential users; this reflects local 
water agencies' actions to avoid or minimize adverse economic and employment impacts. DWR studies 
indicate that some individual sectors of local economies, such as the "green industry," suffered 
substantial income and employment losses in 1991. (The "green industry" includes nurseries, 
self-employed gardeners and landscapers, etc.) However, from a statewide perspective, a shortage of 15 
percent, based on the 1990-91 drought experience, is considered to be manageable at the 1990 level for 
drought events which would occur about once every 20 years. 

As more conservation measures such as BMPs are developed and implemented in the future, a 1 5 
percent shortage criterion will become more difficult to implement because of the increased efficiency in 
overall urban water use. These increases in efficiency mean that current drought contingency measures 
will be less productive in the future because opportunities to reduce or eliminate water use, (for example, 
toilet tank displacement bags or low-flow shower heads), for the large part, no longer exist. 
Consequently, smaller water supply shortages can result in greater adverse impacts. By 2020, the 1990 
level of 15-percent would be reduced to a 10-percent voluntary or mandatory shortage criterion for urban 
applied water use; while implementation of urban BMP's would reduce water demand by 10 percent for a 
total demand reduction of 20 percent in 2020 during drought years. Potential future measures such as 



300 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-2. Relationship Between Drought Contingency Measures and BI\/IPs. 

1990 - 2020 

25% -, 




1990 



2000 



2010 



2020 



Years 



urban rationing programs and changing water price rate structures, are assumed to be implemented during 
drought periods to attain the 10 percent cutback. 

Figure 1 1-2 shows the relationship between drought contingency measures and BMPs. Urban 
demand reductions from drought contingency measures could be about 1 .2 MAF in drought years by 
2020. However, such programs will vary from region to region depending on each region's water service 
reliability needs. During less frequently occurring and more severe droughts (i.e. an event that occurs 
once every 100 years), much greater shortages could occur causing substantial economic impacts to urban 
and agricultural areas and impacts on fish and wildlife. 

Short-Term Water Transfers. Short-term water transfers can be an expedient means of alleviating 
the most severe impacts of water shortages during drought. Such transfers generally reallocate existing 
supply and can enhance water service reliability in the area receiving the transfer. These transfers can be 
temporary transfers with short-term agreements or drought transfers with long-term agreements. 
Temporary transfers are generally interim supply measures taken until long-term measures (options) can 
be implemented to improve water service reliability. The following sections describe short-term water 
transfers and potential land fallowing and water bank operations. 



301 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Table 1 1-2 shows major short-term transfers between water purveyors in recent years. Transfers 
(trades) between water projects for operational reasons are not included. Much of the transferred water 
was from reserve supplies, or was replaced from alternative sources (such as ground water), and had 
little, if any adverse economic effect on the source areas. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 11-2. Short-Term Water Transfers 1 982 Through 1 992* 









Contracted Amount 


Year 


Transferred From 


Transferred To 


(In acre -feet) 


1982 


Yuba County WA 


Newhall 


5,000 


1984 


Yuba County WA 


Newhall 


2,266 


1965 


East Bay MUD 


Contra Costa WD 


5,000 




USBR 


DWR 


12.800 


1986 


USSR 


Grasslands 


22,000 




East Bay MUD 


Contra Costa WD 


5,000 


1967 


An/in - Edison WSD 


Dudley Ridge WD 


8,000 


1968 


Kern County WA 


Misc. Kern 


83,000 




CVP 


Cawelo WD 


10,000 




CVP 


Ukeside IWD 


10,000 




CVP 


Kings County WD 


10.000 




Tulare Lake BWSD 


Westlands WD 


1,600 




USBR 


DWR 


100,000 




Yuba County WA 


DWR 


110,000 




Yuba County WA 


DWR 


12,000 




Payne 


Heidrick 


1,450 


1969 


Dudley Ridge WD 


San Luis WD 


1,600 




USBR 


DWR 


10,000 




Dudley Ridge WD 


Tulare Lake BWSD 


2.400 




South Coast 


Marin Municipal 


10.800 




Yuba County WA 


East Bay MUD 


66,000 




Yuba County WA 


Napa 


7,000 




Yuba County WA 


DWR 


200,000 




Kern County WA 


Westlands WD 


55,000 


1990 


Dudley Ridge WD 


Munco Farms 


1.700 




La Hacienda 


SWP 


98.000 




Payne 


Heidrick 


1.450 




DWR 


Sayler 


8.500 




Yuba County WA 


Tudor Mutual WD 


6.500 




Placer County WA 


Westlands WD et. al. 


28.000 




East Contra Costa ID 


Westland WD 


3,500 




Western Canal WD 


DWR 


1,500 




Yuba County WA 


Feather ID 


1,500 




Modesto ID 


SFWD 


9,000 




Yuba County WA 


Napa 


7.000 




Yuba County WA 


DWR 


146.000 




Oroville -Wyandotte ID 


Westlands WD 


15.000 




Placer County WA 


Westlands WD 


40.500 




Tulare Lake BWSD 


Westlands WD 


1.500 




Byron -Bethany ID 


DWR 


8.000 




Joint Water DB 


DWR 


3.000 




Placer County WA 


SFWD 


15.000 




Thousand Trails 


Westlands WD 


1.000 




Modesto ID 


SFWD 


9.000 


1991 


State of California Drought Water Bank 


various 


390.945 




Yuba County WA 


Napa 


7.500 




Placer County 


City of San Francisco 


40.000 


1992 


State of California Drought Water Bank 


various 


134.250 



*Water transferred for environmental uses and transfers less than 1 ,000 AF are not included 



Some water transfers benefit wildlife. Refuge managers can use water transfers to augment their 
supplies. Table 11-3 shows major water transfers for environmental uses in recent years. 



303 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 11-3. Recent Major Water Transfers for Environmental Uses 

(in acre -feet) 



Year 


Supplier 


Purchaser 


Facilities Used or 
Facilitator 


Use 


Contracted 
Amount 


1985 


USER 


DFG 


DWR 


Grasslands Refuge 


28,000 


1985 


USER 


DFG 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


3,100 


1986 


USBR 


DFG 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


4,000 


1987 


USER 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


6,100 


1987 


USBR 


DFG 


DWR 


Winter Run Salmon 


9,300 


1988 


USER 


DFG 


DWR 


Winter Run Salmon 


125,000 


1988 


USER 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


8,200 


1988 


USER 


DFG 


DWR 


Stanislaus Salmon Spawning 


45,000 


1989 


EEMUD 


DFG 


DWR 


Grasslands Refuge 


39,000 


1989 


YCWA 


DFG 


DWR 


Sacramento -San Joaquin River 
Salmon Spawning and Migration 


30,000 


1989 


USER 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


7,200 


1990 


USER 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


6,200 


1990 


WCWD 


DWR 


USBR 


San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge 


3,500 


1991 


USER 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


6,200 


1991 


SFWD 


DFG 


DWR/USBR 


American River Salmon 


5,920 


1991 


DWR 


DFG 


DWR 


Various Wildlife Refuges 


13,400 


1985-91 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


42,835 


1992 


EWD 


DFG 


DWR 


Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge 


5,000 


1992 


EVID 


DFG 


DWR 


Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge 


5,000 


1992 


MID 


DFG 


— — 


Fish and Wildlife on Merced River, Volta, 
Los Bancs, and Mendota Areas 


15,000 



USBR: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 
DWR: California Department of Water Resources 
EBMUD: East Bay Municipal Utility District 
BWD: Butte Water District 



BVID: Browns Valley Irrigation District 
MID: Merced Irrigation District 
WCWD: Western Canal Water District 
SFWD: Sein Freincisco Water Department 



MWDSC is looking to water conservation and land fallowing programs through long-term 
agreements for short-term drought transfers to increase Colorado River supplies. There is a potential for 
transfer of 0.2 MAF from the Colorado River Region to the South Coast Region. 

In recent years, MWDSC and other urban water agencies have been actively negotiating to secure 
additional supplies through short-term water transfer agreements to enhance reliability of their water 
supplies. The following are some examples of such transfers: 

O MWDSC implemented a two-year test land fallowing program with Palo Verde 
Irrigation District beginning August 1, 1992. Under the program, 20,000 acres 
of agricultural land in PVID is not being irrigated with Colorado River water. 
MWDSC is compensating the landowners/lessees in the Palo Verde Valley who 
voluntarily fallow approximately 25 percent of their land. Such payments will 
total $25 million during the two-year period. Approximately 93,000 AF of 
Colorado River water a year will be saved, stored in Lake Mead and made 
available by the USBR to MWDSC when needed prior to the year 2000. 



304 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

O MWDSC also negotiated an agreement with Areias Dairy Farms in Merced 
County for transfer of 35,000 AF to Southern California over the next 15 years. 
Areias Diary Farms would receive $175 per acre-foot for water. The transfer is 
the first transfer under provisions of the CVPIA and requires review and 
approval by the Secretary of the Interior. 

Land Fallowing and Water Bank Operations are another option under short-term water transfers 
during periods of drought. The State Drought Water Bank began in 1991 . During the first year of 
operation, it purchased 820,000 AF. About 50 percent of water came from land fallowing (420,000 AF), 
followed by ground water exchange (258,000 AF), and stored water reserves (142,000 AF). State Water 
Bank operations were short-term (one year drought supply) for areas with critical needs as determined by 
Drought Water Bank criteria. Since overall statewide water supply and water service reliability was not 
improved for the long-term, the drought water bank is considered as a contingency or drought 
management supply option. 

The Department of Water Resources is considering making the Drought Water Bank a permanent 
water transfer program available for future drought management. A draft program EIR was published in 
January 1993 and, after public review, a final EIR will be released. The report reflects the experiences of 
DWR in running the 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Banks and evaluates potential environmental impacts 
associated with different categories of transfers. Figure 1 1-3 shows the categories of sources and 
allocations under the 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Banks. Table 11-4 shows 1991 and 1992 Drought 
Water Bank purchases and allocations. The program EIR only discusses a State-run Drought Water 
Bank involving short-term transfers during supply shortage or drought periods over the next 5 to 10 
years. Judging from the 1991 and 1992 experience, the operation of a water bank in the future could 
probably reallocate 600,000 AF of supplies during droughts. 



305 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 1 1 -3. Water Sources and Allocations 

of the 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Banks 

(in thousands of acre -feet) 

Sources of 1991 and 1992 Supplies 




Sources 



1991 1992 



Fallowing 


420 





Ground Water 


258 


161 


Storage 


142 


32 


Total 


820 


193 



Allocation of 1991 and 1992 Supplies 



Wildlife 
2% 




Allocation 


1991 


1992 


Agriculture 


83 


95 


Urban 


307 


39 


Fish &Wildlife 





25 


Delta Outflow 


165 


34 


In Storage (SWP) 


265 





Total 


820 


193 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 11-4. 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Bank Purchases and Allocations 






1991 Drought Water Bank 

■urchased Agencies Water Was 
-feet) Allocated To 




Area Where Water Was 
Purchased 


Amount F 
(acre 


Allocations 
(acre-feet) 


Above Shasta Reservoir 




6,707 


American Canyon WD 


370 


Sacramento River 




73,981 


San Francisco 


50,000 


Yolo Bypass 




61,950 


Contra Costa WD 


6,717 


Delta 




341,819 


Alameda CWC 


14,800 


Yuba/Feather Rivers, etc. 




336,208 


Alameda CFC&WCD 

Santa Clara VWD 

Oak Flat WD 

Westlands WD 

Dudley Ridge WD 

Kern CWA 

MWDSC 

Crestline-Lake Arrowhead 

SWP (in storage) 


500 

19,750 

975 

13,820 

13,805 

53,997 

215,000 

236 

265,000 


Total 




820,665 




654,970 






1992 Drought Water Bank 










Area Where Water Was 
Purchased 


Amount Purchase 
(acre-feet) 


Agencies Water Was 
Allocated To 


Allocations 
(acre-feet) 


Sacramento River 




12,302 


City of San Francisco 


19,000 


Yolo Bypass 




42,372 


Contra Costa WD 


10,000 


Yuba, Feather Rivers 




64,419 


Westside San Joaquin 
Valley 


4,530 


American River 




10,000 


Department of Fish and 
Game 


24,465 


Delta 




2,500 


Westlands WD 


51,000 


Stanislaus, Merced Rivers 




61,705 


Tulare Lake Basin WD 
Kern County WA 
MWDSC 


31,550 

8,170 

10,000 


Total 




193,298 




158,715 



Water Supply Management Options 

Water supply management options discussed here are those actions designed to augment supply in 
water short areas of California. Table 1 1-5 shows the capacity and annual supply for Statewide and local 
water supply management programs possible under Level I options. 



307 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 11-5. Level I Water Supply Management Options 



Programs 



Type 



Capacity 
(1,000 AF) 



Annual Supply Economic 

(1,000 AF) Unit Cost 

Average Drought ($/AF)l 



Statewide Water Management: 

Long-term Delta Delta Water 

Solution Management Program 



200 



400 



Local Water Management: 

Waste Water Recycling Reclamation 

Ground Water Reclamation 

Reclamation 

El Dorado County Wa- Diversion from South 
ter Agency Water Pro- Fork American R. 

gram 



Los Vaqueros 
Reservoir-Contra 
Costa Water 
District 

EBMUD 



New Los Padres 
Reservoir - MPWMD 

Domenigoni Valley 
Reservoir - MWDSC 



Inland Feeder- 
MWDSC 



Offstream Storage 
Emergency Supply 



Conjunctive Use and 
Other Options 

Enlarging existing 
reservoir 

Offstream storage of 

SWP and Colorado 

River water, drought yr. 

supply 

Conveyance Facilities 



800 
200 



100 



24 



800 



450 
100 



24 



N/A 



N/A 



22 



450 
100 



235 



N/A 



N/A 



18 



264 



N/A5 



Not 
Available 



"Interim" South Delta 


South Delta 


- 


66 


95 


60 


Water Management 


Improvement 










Program 












Los Banos Grandes 


Offstream Storage 


1,7303 


250-300 


260 


260 


Reservoir 2 












Kern Water Bank z 


Ground Water Storage 


3,0003 


44 


430 


140 


Coastal Branch - 


SWP Conveyance 


57 


N/A 


N/A 


630-1,110 


Phase II (Santa Ynez 


Facility 










Extension) 












American River Rood 


Flood Control Storage 


5453 


_ 


_ 


_ 


Control * 













125-840 
350-900 



280 



320-950 



20-70 370-1,830 



410 



Under study by Bay/Delta 
Oversight Council. Water 
supply benefit is elimination 
of carriage water under 
D-1485. 

Final draft is scheduled to 
be released in late 1993 

Schedule now coincides 
with BDOC process 

Schedule now coincides 
with BDOC process 

Notice of Determination was 
filed in July 1992. 
Construction is scheduled 
to begin in late 1993. 

Feasibility report and envi- 
ronmental documentation 
completed in 1991. 

Fresh water displaced 
Primarily in South Co£ist 

Certified final Programmatic 
EIR identifying preferred al- 
ternative; water rights hear- 
ings, new CVP contract fol- 
lowing EIR/EIS preparation 
T&E species, inundation of 
ag. land. Costs vary with 
different operation scenar- 
ios. 

Investigating 6 altematives; 
Draft EIR/EIS released in 
Dec. 1992 

T&E species, steelhead fish- 
ery in Ceirmel River 

Rnal EIR certified. 



140 



Capital costs only. Convey 
1 8,000 AF annually. 



San Felipe Extension CVP Conveyance 

- PVWA Facility 

^ Economic costs Include capital and OMP&R costs discounted over a 50 year period at 6 percent discount rate. These costs do not Include applicable transportation and 

treatment costs. 
' These programs are only feasible If a Delta water management program Is Implemented. 
3 Reservoir capacity. 

^ Fotsom Lake flood control reservation would retum to original 0.4 MAF. 
* Yield of this project Is In part or fully comes from the CVR 
s NA: Not Applicable 

SWP Water Supply Augmentation. Presented below, in addition to a discussion about SWP 
reliability, are several statewide programs designed to augment SWP supplies. A water conveyance 
project, the Coastal Branch, Phase II, is also presented below. The water supply benefits of these 
programs are included in the Level I future supplies of the SWP presented in Chapter 12. However, it 
must be noted that fixing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is integral to any statewide water 



108 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

management program. More information about the Delta and the options to solve complex Delta 
problems are presented in Chapter 10, "The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta." 

SWP Supply Reliability under D-1485 depends on demand for water in SWP service areas and 
delivery capability of the Project. Delivery capability of the SWP varies based on water year type. 

Figure 1 1^ shows the SWP delivery capability for year 2020 with existing and Level I water supply 
management programs under D-1485. In terms of "full service reliability," with existing facilities, the 
SWP will be able to meet its requirements of 4.2 MAP about 20 percent of the time. Planned programs 
under D-1485 could enable the SWP to meet its requirements about 75 percent of the time. Table 1 1-6 
shows SWP supplies for 1990 to 2020 with and without additional Level I programs. Planned Level I 
water management programs for SWP are discussed in detail under Level I — Reliability Enhancement 
Options and in Chapter 10, "The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta." 



SWP Reliability Planning Process 

DWR has done substantial planning to improve the water supply reliability of the SWR Since the 
mid-1980s, DWR has employed the water service reliability planning approach in the economic 
analyses of SWP water supply augmentation programs. For this purpose, the Economic Risk Mod- 
el, an urban water management simulation model, was used to identify least-cost plans by com- 
bining information about the costs and effectiveness of both contingency and long-term water 
management options with a method of estimating the economic costs and losses due to water 
shortages. 

For a proposed addition to the SWR local urban water management options were first evaluated 
using the principle of least cost planning to identify the optimal service area water management 
strategy without the proposed addition in question. The costs and losses associated with that strat- 
egy were then compared to the strategy identified eis optimal under conditions with the proposed 
SWP additions in place. In this way, the benefits of having the proposed SWP facility in place were 
identified and then compared to the respective costs of those facilities. 

Economic losses due to shortages were based on a contingent-value survey done for MWDSC 
for the SWRCB's Bay- Delta hearing process. The model was run with a SWP delivery capability 
sequence produced by DWR's Planning Simulation Model for each planning scenario. Weather- 
related changes in year-to-year urban water demand were also simulated by the ERM. The mod- 
el produced "snapshots" of reliability-related costs and losses for selected future years over the 
planning horizon. 

Using this approach, the potential contributions of all feasible local urban demand management 
and local supply augmentation options were explicitly taken into account on a "level playing field" in 
the process of estimating the benefits of the proposed SWP facilities. Local options that were the 
taie alternatives to the proposed SWP facilities were discovered by eliminating as alternatives those 
local options that would be used under the least cost planning principle irrespective of the existence 
of the proposed facilities. The total benefits of the proposed addition to the SWP were the avoided 
costs of the urban water management alternatives displaced and the reduction in costs and losses 
associated with a higher level of M&l water service reliability. 

Under provisions of the SWP Water Supply Contracts, when shortages in water supply occur, 
SWP shall reduce the water delivery to agricultural uses "not to exceed fifty percent in any one year 
or a total of one hundred percent in any series of seven consecutive years." The reductions in de- 
liveries allowable under this provision will be made before any reduction is made in deliveries for 
urban uses. Increases in water demand in SWP service areas and increased environmental water 
demand in the Delta, as a result of actions to protect listed species, would result in more frequent 
and severe shortages in both future urban and agricultural supplies until new programs are imple- 
mented to augment SWP supplies. 



309 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



SWP Drought Year Supply 

For this water plan update, the drought year scenario is defined as a water year when statewide 
water supplies equal the average supplies of 1 990 and 1 991 . For the 1 990 level of development, 
SWP drought year supplies were estimated using the average of historical deliveries for these two 
years. The frequency of occurrence of such an event was evaluated by examination of past hydrol- 
ogy and SWP delivery capabilities. 

The Sacramento River Index runoff for water years 1 990 and 1 991 totaled 1 7.7 MAF A review of 
the index from 1 906 through 1 992 indicates that there have been four 2 -year drought periods with 
a 2 -year total runoff of 17.7 MAF or less (including 1990 and 1991). 

Sacramento River Index Summary of 2 -Year Drought Periods 
(in millions of acre-feet) 

Years 2-Year Total Runoff Average Annuai Runoff 

6.60 
8.65 
8.80 
8.85 

Based on the Sacramento River Index (see Chapter 3), the frequency of the 1990-91 drought 
would be 4 out of 87 years, or about once every 22 years. This means the Sacramento River Index 
runoff for any 2-year period will exceed the1 990-91 runoff about 95 percent of the time. 

The drought year delivery capability of a project is determined by a combination of demand, 
hydrology, and carryover storage in the resen/oirs. For the SWR 71 -year operation studies 
(1922-1992) showed the lowest 2-year deliveries occurred in 1990-91 (4.4 MAF), 1933-34 (4.3 
MAF), 1976-77 (4.0 MAF), and 1977-78 (4.0 MAF). This pattem indicates that the 1990-91 deliv- 
ery would t>e exceeded about once every 18 years. 



1976-77 


13.2 


1991-92 


17.3 


1933-34 


17.6 


1990-91 


17.7 



Table 11-6. State Water Project Supplies 

(millions of acre-feet) 



SWP Delivery Capability^ 


Level of 


With Existing Facilities 


With Level 1 Additional 
Programs^ 


SWP Delta 
Export 


Development 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Demand 


1990 


2.83 


2.2 






3.0 


2000 


3.3 


2.1 


3.6 


2.6 


3.7 


2010 


3.4 


2.0 


4.0 


3.0 


4.2 


2020 


3.4 


2.0 


4.1 


3.0 


4.2 



^Assumes D-1485. SWP capability with Level I water management programs is uncertain until solutions to complex Delta problems 
are implemented and future actions to protect aquatic species are identified. Includes conveyance losses. 

^Level I programs include South Delta Water Management programs, long-term Delta water management programs, the Kem Water 
Bemk £uid Local Elements, £tnd Los Bancs Grandes Facilities. 

^1990 level SWP deliveries do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset the reduction of Mono and Owens basins to the South 
Coast Region. Reduction of Mono-Owens supplies in 1 990 were offset by additional exports from the Delta to the South Coast 
Region. 

Note: Feather River Service area supplies are not included. FRSA average and drought supplies are 927,000 and 729,000 AF 
respectively. 



310 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 1 1 -4. 2020 Delivery Capabiiity of SWP with Existing Facilities 

and Level I Programs 

Based on D-1485 



With Level I Programs 



4- 



1 




100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 

Percent Time At Or Above 

SWP Level I Water Management Programs 
South Delta Water Management Program 
Kern Water Bank - First Stage 
Kern Water Bank - Second Stage 
Kern Water Bank - Local Elements 
Los Banos Grandes Facilities 
Long Term Delta Program 



311 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

To illustrate the impact of drought periods on SWP deliveries to agricultural and urban users, 
frequency diagrams are presented showing deliveries based on a 4.2 MAF demand level (see Figure 
11-5). These diagrams reflect the future reliability of the SWP with existing SWP facilities and with 
planned Level I water management programs. These analyses are based on D-I485 standards and show 
that, with planned Level I water management programs, the SWP could provide full service delivery to 
urban contractors about 80 percent of the time. Figure 1 1-6 compares future delivery capability of the 
SWP (with Level I programs) with EBMUD and MWDSC reliability objectives 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-5. SWP Urban and Agricultural Deliveries 
with Existing Facilities and Level I Programs 

Based on D-1485 2020 Level of Demand 



100% 



Full Service Delivery 



60-'' 



40 




Existing 



■' i' . 



/ ..' 



'/ 



/ 
/ 
/ 
/ 



SWP Level I Water Management Programe 
South Delta Water Management Program 
Kern Water Bank - First Stage 
Kern Water Bank - Second Stage 
Kern Water Bank - Local Elements 
Los Banos Grandes Facilities 
Delta Water Management Program 



100 



90 



80 



70 



60 



30 



20 



Percent Time at or Above 



SWP delivery capability with Level I Programs 

(based on D-1485) 



SWP delivery capability with existing facilities 
(based on D-1485) 



313 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-6. Future Delivery Capability Objectives of Various Projects 



MWDSC Objective 



100% 




20- 



Full Service Delivery 



SWP Level } Water Mar^agement Programs 
South D^ta Water Management Program 
Kem Water Bank - First Stage 
Kem Water Bank - Second Stage 
Kem Water Bank - Local Elements 
Los Banos Grandes Facilities 
Delta Water Management Program 



1 

60 
Percent Time at or Above 



1^ 
50 



1^ 
40 



• EBMUD EIR 
*• SWP with Level I Water Management Programs 



20 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Los Banos Grandes Facilities . In 1983, DWR initiated a comprehensive investigation of alternative 
offstream storage reservoirs south of the Delta. In 1984, after an initial examination of 1 8 sites, a DWR 
study recommended that Los Banos Grandes be investigated to determine the most cost-effective 
reservoir size and its engineering, economic, and environmental feasibility. The proposed facilities 
would be located on Los Banos Creek in western Merced County, southwest of Los Banos and about 5 
miles upstream from the existing Los Banos Detention Dam, Figure 11-7 . 

Based on the feasibility investigation, a 1 .73 MAF size reservoir was selected as a technically 
feasible and cost-effective solution to help offset projected future SWP water shortages and to provide 
the highest net benefits to the SWP. However, due to the recent endangered species actions in the Delta, 
the feasibility of the project is being reassessed. The actual sizing and schedule is highly dependent on 
the selection of a long-term solution for resolving fishery issues and facilitating efficient water transfer 
through the Delta. 

The project will require several permits and agreements which would be issued by various agencies 
including a Section 404 permit (Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act), and a Final Biological 
Resources Mitigation Plan being developed with DFG and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among 
others, to address potential impacts to biological resources. 

Los Banos Grandes facilities could augment SWP supplies by about 300,000 AF in average years 
(under D-1485). Yield of LBG in drought years would be about 260,000 AF. The schedule for the 
investigation of this project has been slowed down in order to coincide with the Bay-Delta Oversight 
Council process, see Chapter 12. 

The Kern Water Bank , established under an agreement between DWR and the Kern County Water 
Agency, would take advantage of available opportunities to store and extract SWP water in the Kern 
County ground water basin. There are eight potential elements, or separate components, to the Kern 
Water Bank; seven will be sponsored by local water districts and the eighth element is DWR's Kern Fan 
Element. DWR is awaiting the analysis of future water supply impacts that may result from a long-term 
solution for resolving fishery issues and facilitating efficient water transfer through the Delta. For now, 
the planning program is focused on completion of a Habitat Conservation Plan, incidental take permits 
for terrestrial aspects of the KFE, analysis of delayed implementation on the economic viability of the 
KFE, and analysis of reduced levels of water supply on project economics. Once the supply impacts are 
identified and it appears that adequate water is available, the First Stage KFE will be reassessed, a final 
Supplemental EIR for the First Stage will be issued, and further feasibility studies for the local elements 
will be initiated. 

The Kern Fan Element Programmatic EIR was completed in 1986. The EIR proposed acquiring up 
to 46,000 acres for recharging, extracting, and storing SWP water in the Kern River Fan area. DWR 
acquired 20,000 acres for the bank in 1988. The KFE first stage could have a total ground water storage 
of 350,000 AF, with an annual capacity of 90,000 AF for recharge and 75,000 AF for extraction. The 



315 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-7. Los Banos Grandes Facilities Location 



^Santa Nella 
^ O'Neill Pumping 
Plant 




^^ PROJECT AREA > 



Los Banos 

• 




LOS BANOS GRANDES 
RESERVOIR 




2 3 •IS MILES 



316 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

estimated average annual water supply augmentation from the first stage of the KF'E is 44,000 AF. 
Initial studies indicate that the Kern Fan Element could be developed to store as much as 1 MAF and 
contribute as much as 140,000 AF per year to the SWP in drought years. 

The seven local elements are in various stages of investigation. A feasibility study and a negative 
declaration for local project impacts are essentially complete for a local element sponsored by the 
Semitropic Water Storage District. Reconnaissance level investigations for the six remaining elements 
are essentially completed. These six elements are sponsored by North Kern Water Storage District, 
Cawelo Water District, Kern County Water Agency Improvement District Number 4, Rosedale-Rio 
Bravo Water Storage District, Kern Delta Water District, and an element that is jointly sponsored by 
Buena Vista Water Storage District and West Kern Water Storage District. 

There is considerable variation in size and potential among the local elements. With a potential 
ground water storage capacity of more than 900,000 AF and a proposed annual recharge capacity of about 
114,000 AF, the Semitropic Local Element is the largest of the local elements. Cawelo Water District has 
the smallest element proposed to date, with a ground water storage capacity of about 11 0,000 AF and an 
annual recharge capacity of about 20,000 AF. Taken together, the local elements have the potential to 
provide over 2 MAF of ground water storage and a capability to store and extract about 370,000 AF 
annually (under D-1485). A preliminary estimate indicates that seven local elements with these 
characteristics have the potential to increase the average annual water supply of the SWP by 1 15,000 AF 
and the drought year supply by about 290,000 AF. When the Delta issues and their impacts on the water 
available for the local elements are better defined, planning investigations to examine the feasibility of 
the local elements of the KWB will resume. 

In a 1990 demonstration program by DWR and Semitropic WSD, about 100,000 AF of SWP supply 
was stored in the ground water basin underlying Semitropic WSD. In 1992, Semitropic WSD exchanged 
about 42,000 AF by pumping ground water for local use and allowing a like amount of SWP entitlement 
to be delivered to SWP contractors. After accounting for losses a balance of about 50,000 AF remains in 
ground water storage for later withdrawal. More recently, MWDSC and Semitropic WSD have agreed to 
an exchange program that basically encompasses the first two phases of the SWP Semitropic local 
element. This program would allow MWDSC to temporarily store a portion of its SWP entitlements for 
later withdrawal and delivery to MWDSC's service area. A minimum pumpback of 40,000 to 60,000 AF 
per year is expected and, in addition, Semitropic WSD could exchange a portion of its SWP entitlement 
water for MWDSC's stored water. An initial agreement to store water in 1993 has been executed and 
approximately 48,000 AF of MWDSC's 1992 SWP carryover water was stored. 

Coastal Branch. Phase II . Anticipating future supplemental water supply needs, San Luis Obispo and 
Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation districts signed contracts for SWP water 
deliveries in 1963. At the request of the two districts, construction of Coastal Branch, Phase II, and 



317 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

delivery of SWP water was deferred several times until in 1986, when SLOCFCWCD and SBCFCWCD 
asked DWR to begin planning for Coastal Branch completion. 

Water demand during the 1980s exceeded dependable water supplies by an average of 60,000 AF per 
year in Santa Barbara County and by 61 ,000 AF per year in San Luis Obispo County. In both San Luis 
Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, the lowering of ground water levels has resulted in overdraft 
conditions and deteriorating water quality. During the recent drought a number of communities in the 
two counties had severe water shortages. The Phase II aqueduct is designed to deliver 4,830 AF per year 
of SWP water to San Luis Obispo County and 42,486 AF per year to Santa Barbara County. 

The Coastal Branch, Phase II, is planned as a 102-mile buried pipeline which will complete the 
Coastal Branch of the SWP, Figure 11-8. The existing Phase I, a 15-mile canal from the California 
Aqueduct to Devils Den in northwestern Kern County was completed in 1968. Under current plans, 
Phase II will start at Devils Den, traverse San Luis Obispo County, extend 13 miles into Santa Barbara 
County, and terminate on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Three pumping plants will lift the water 
approximately 1,500 feet to Polonio Pass where the water will be treated at a regional treatment pleuit, 
constructed and operated by the local water purveyors. There will be a power recovery plant east of the 
city of San Luis Obispo. A fourth pumping plant near Casmalia will lift the water approximately 400 
feet over the Casmalia Hills to Tank 5, the terminus of Phase II. From there, local facilities will convey 
the water 42 miles to Lake Cachuma, which serves Santa Barbara. 

Potential benefits of SWP water for the area include improved municipal and industrial water quality, 
improved ground water quality, reduced ground water overdraft, and increased reliability of urban water 
supplies. While this project increases supplies in the Central Coast Region, it only reallocates existing 
SWP supply capabilities of the California Aqueduct. 

In June 1990, the Draft EIR for the Coastal Branch, Phase II, and the Mission Hills Extension (a 
local pipeline in Santa Barbara County) was released. The Final EIR was completed in May 1991 and 
the Notice of Determination was filed in July 1992. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 1993 and 
be completed in early 1997. 

CVP Supply Augmentation. Over the years, various projects have been studied for possible 
augmentation of CVP water supplies or improvement of water conveyance within the CVP service area. 
Examples include the Shasta Dam enlargement study and the San Joaquin Valley conveyance 
investigation described later in this chapter. Many of the CVP studies in recent years have focused on 
alternative strategies for managing existing water supplies, rather than development of new sources of 
supplies. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-8. Proposed Coastal Branch Phase II 
and Central Coast Water Authority Extension 




CENTRAL COAST 

WATER AUTHORHTY 

EXTENSION 



SCALE 

10 MILES 

■''''■''■'' 



319 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Recently, there has been a new mandate to investigate increasing CVP yield. The CVP Improvement 
Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to submit a plan to Congress by late 1995 for increasing the 
yield of the CVP by the amount of water dedicated for environmental purposes under the Act (800,000 
AF). Methods of increasing yield can include nonstructural approaches such as water transfers and 
purchases, as well as structural measures such as modifications or additions to existing facilities (see 
CVP Level II options). The act further directs the secretary to develop and implement a plan for 
obtaining supplemental water supplies for fish and wildlife. 

American River Flood Control (Auburn Dam) . In 1991 , The Army Corps of Engineers completed a 
Feasibility Report and environmental documentation for a 545,000 AF flood detention dam at the 
Auburn Dam site which would provide l-in-2(X) year flood protection for Sacramento and vicinity. The 
cost of the proposed 425-foot dam, along with the proposed levee improvements in the Natomas area of 
Sacramento, is estimated at $700 million. These improvements would provide about $134 million of 
flood protection benefits annually. 

Although considered by Congress, the American River Flood Control Dam (which was not a water 
supply augmentation project) was not authorized in 1992. Congress expressed concerns in two areas: (1) 
that the environmental protections being proposed by the project were not fully documented, and (2) that 
the guarantees offered by the project's supporters were insufficient to ensure that the dam would not 
impact future water supply development at the Auburn site. Studies addressing these concerns could be 
presented to Congress before 1996. This Level I option would have flood control benefits for the 
Sacramento area. Current temporary reoperation of Folsom Dam to provide limited flood control 
improvements has reduced the water supply available from Folsom Reservoir. 

Local Water Supply Augmentation. Existing local surface water projects were among the first 
projects developed to meet regional water needs. Currently, in an average year local agencies provide 
about 1 1 .0 MAF of annual supply, including 0.9 MAF of imported water supply. Future local water 
projects and demand management programs will also play a major role in providing water supply 
reliability out to 2020. Local water development programs are expected to add an additional 0.3 AF to 
average year supplies and 0.45 MAF to drought year supplies by 2020. The following is a brief 
description of some local projects currently under investigation. More detailed discussions of the local 
projects are presented in the regional chapters of Volume II. 

Waste Water Recycling. 1990 and projected waste water recycling is based on evaluation of water 
recycling data presented in Water Recycling 2000, a September 1991 report by the State Water 
Conservation Coalition Reclamation/Reuse Task Force, a work group of the SWRCB's Bay/Delta 
proceedings and information provided by local water and sanitation districts. 

Reclaimed water deliveries include those that replace the need for additional fresh water and those 
that would not, under most circumstances, have received fresh water if reclaimed water were not 
available (which are often viewed as a means of waste water disposal). The former is referred to as fresh 



320 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

water displaced and is considered as the contribution of waste water recycling to the State's future water 
supply. The amount of fresh water displaced as a percentage of total waste water recycled varies from 19 
to 82 percent, depending upon the region. 

Total annual fresh water displaced for 1990 and 2000 is estimated at 235,000 AF and 453,000 AF, 
respectively. Projections of waste water recycling for 2010 and 2020 are based on extrapolating waste 
water recycling data from V^ater Recycling 2000. Annual fresh water displaced for years 2010 and 2020 
is estimated to be about 561,000 AF and 676,000 AF, respectively. Table 1 1-7 shows the projected 
annual fresh water displaced and used as a contribution of waste water recycling in the California water 
balance. Chapter 12. 

Table 11-7. Annual Fresh Water Displaced 

(in thousand acre-feet) 



Region 


1990 


2000 


2010 


2020 


Change 
1990-2020 


NC 


12 


15 


18 


21 


9 


SF 


32 


43 


53 


70 


38 


CC 


6 


37 


44 


50 


44 


SC 


76 


234 


296 


357 


281 


SR 


9 


9 


9 


9 





SJ 


24 


27 


35 


41 


17 


TL 


63 


74 


9 


111 


48 


NL 


8 


8 


8 


8 





SL 


2 


3 


2 


4 


2 


CR 


3 


4 


4 


5 


2 


Total 


235 


453 


561 


676 


441 



A recent survey of "future water recycling potential" conducted by the WaterReuse Association of 
California (Final Report, July 1993) indicates that there is potential for accelerating the pace of water 
recycling in the future. However, current budgetary problems and the economic recession have had a 
negative impact on water recycling project development in the State. That report indicated that the 
State's goal of achieving and surpassing 1 MAF of water recycling by year 2010 "is definitely within 
reach." Level II options discuss the potential for additional waste water recycling. 

Ground Water Reclamation. High total dissolved solids and nitrate levels are the most common 
ground water quality problems. Ground water reclamation programs are designed to recover this 
degraded ground water. Currently, most of the ground water reclamation programs under consideration 
are located in Southern California (excluding ground water reclamation solely to remediate 
contamination at hazardous waste sites). Some of the polluted water must be treated, some can be 
blended with fresh water to meet water quality standards, and some can be applied untreated for 



321 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

landscape irrigation. Total annual contribution of ground water reclamation by year 2000 is about 90,000 
AF and is accounted for in evaluations of the South Coast Region's ground water supply. 

El Dorado County Water Agency Water Program. The El Dorado County Water Agency is 
preparing a water resources development and management plan to meet the long-term needs of the local 
water districts within its jurisdiction. In May 1993, EDCWA certified a final Water Program EIR for the 
El Dorado Irrigation District Service Area. 

Water demand for the EID service area is projected to increase from a 1990 level of 34,000 AF to 
60,000 AF in 2020. EDCWA proposes to provide a long-term water supply to the EID service area by 
implementing a water management program that involves use of various combinations of water rights, 
water storage, and water conveyance facilities. The preferred alternative is a combination of the El 
Dorado Project, the Folsom Reservoir Project, the White Rock Project, and a diversion and conveyance 
project which would not provide any additional water supply. The El Dorado Project consists of securing 
water rights to certain direct diversion and storage amounts from the South Fork of the American River 
using PG&E's El Dorado Canal. The combined average supply from these rights could be up to 17,000 
AF per year. 

The Folsom Reservoir Project involves recently enacted federal legislation (PL 101-514) designating 
15,000 AF of water stored in the CVP's Folsom Reservoir for municipal and industrial supply for 
EDCWA. EDCWA proposes to make this water supply available to both EID and Georgetown Divide 
Public Utility District. EID's portion of the Folsom Reservoir would be about 7,000 AF and 6,000 AF 
for average and drought years, respectively. 

Other alternatives considered involved the construction of new dams and reservoirs. Such options 
would be more costly and involve greater environmental impacts. To a certain extent, the EDCWA 
approach relied on least cost planning concepts, in that both structural and nonstructural options were 
evaluated on an equal basis. 

Contra Costa Water District — Los Vaqueros Project. Water quality and reliability are the 
objectives of Contra Costa Water District's Los Vaqueros Project. The $450 million project is currently 
under environmental review, which includes compliance with provisions of Section 404 of the federal 
Clean Water Act permit process. The 100,000 AF offstream reservoir near Byron would store high 
quality Delta water during wet periods for blending with lesser quality Delta supplies in dry seasons. 
The reservoir is also designed to meet the district's need for storage in the event of an emergency, such as 
a temporary loss of Delta supplies. 

The project includes a new supplemental Delta intake location, and conveyance and storage facilities 
necessary for project operations. The proposed reservoir would inundate about 1 ,400 acres along 
Kellogg Creek. The district purchased about 20,000 acres in the canyon along the creek, which would be 
used for open space and protected from future development. Careful land management would improve 
habitats for some rare and endangered species in the canyon. The Los Vaqueros Project would improve 



322 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

the reliability of the district's supplies but would not add any new water, as water for the project is 
provided by the CVP under an existing contract. 

East Bay Municipal Utility District Water Supply Management Program. The East Bay 
Municipal Utility District is a multi-purpose regional agency with water supply as a major function, 
serving an estimated 1 .2 million people and industrial, commercial, and institutional water users in the 
East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

EBMUD forecasts its customer demand to increase from an average 1990 level of 246,000 AF to 
280,000 AF in 2020. This projection includes demand reductions as a result of additional conservation 
and reclamation programs. It is projected that increased use of Mokelumne River water by senior water 
rights holders will decrease availability of Mokelumne River supply for EBMUD. With increases in 
customer demand and the projected increased use by senior water rights holders and possible additional 
Mokelumne River fishery flow requirements, EBMUD projects a shortage of 130,000 AF in 2020. To 
address this deficiency, EBMUD has been studying a wide range of potential water management options 
to help meet its future water demands. These include: several additional conservation programs, 
reclaimed water programs, conjunctive use options on the lower Mokelumne River, use of its CVP 
contract for Folsom-South Canal water, and a new dam on the Mokelumne River. 

After several hearings and extensive evaluation, EBMUD's Board of Directors designated two of the 
six composite programs as preferred alternatives. The main element of each alternative is the use of 
ground water storage. One of the preferred alternatives (Alternative II) would store available surface 
water in an underground basin during wet years and draw from the storage during dry years for 
agricultural irrigation, to augment flows in the lower Mokelumne River, or pump into the aqueducts for 
use by EBMUD's customers. The other preferred alternative (Alternative IV) includes the same 
components mentioned above, plus a supplemental water supply from the American River. Rights to use 
of this supply are regulated by court order. American River water could be delivered to the Mokelumne 
Aqueducts by a 16-mile pipeline tapping into the existing Folsom South Canal. EBMUD's proposed 
new water supply program specifies instream flows, reservoir operations, and hatchery operations and 
spawning habitat enhancements to improve fisheries in the Mokelumne River. The water supply benefit 
of this program is about 43,000 AF in drought years. 

Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. To improve the reliability of water supplies in the 
Monterey Bay area, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has taken a number of actions 
including water conservation and water reclamation, and has investigated several other water 
development alternatives. Improvements to the system also are needed to provide water for municipal 
and industrial users as well as for environmental water needs of the area. Current supply is inadequate 
during drought years when shortages develop due to lack of adequate carryover storage facilities. The 
district has investigated 32 alternatives. The current preferred alternative is enlarging a dam and reservoir 
on the Carmel River. Enlarging Los Padres Reservoir to approximately 24,000 AF could provide an 



323 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



EBMUD Reliability Planning Process 

The source for 95 percent of EBMUD's supply is the Mokelumne River in the Sierra Nevada, 
with a diversion point at Pardee Reservoir in the foothills. This reservoir is used in conjunction with 
Camanche Reservoir, immediately downstream of Pardee, and with five smaller terminal reservoirs 
in the East Bay Service Area. 

Reservoir storage is used to meet EBMUD's needs for service area water supply reliability and 
downstream obligations, including releases for irrigation, streamflow regulation, flood control, fish- 
ery needs, and the senior water rights of riparian and other appropriative entitlements. The exist- 
ing storage capacity is vital to the district's ability to meet its obligations, to provide reliable service 
to its customers, and to provide water for instream uses in dry years. 

In wet years, any portion of the district's water right entitlement that is not directly diverted for 
current use in the district's service area, or diverted to storage in Pardee or Camanche reservoirs, 
continues to flow downstream and is no longer available to the district. In dry years, the runoff is 
less than needed to meet demand and the district must use storage from prior years. In extended 
critically dry periods, the existing storage capacity on the Mokelumne River is not sufficient to sup- 
ply all consumptive and instream needs. 

Approach Used to Analyze Water Service Reliability. The analysis of water supply begins 
by defining each of the supply, demand, and operational factors affecting EBMUD's need for wa- 
ter (see figure 1 .) The specific conditions, or assumptions, associated with each factor affecting 
the need for water are then defined. 

The combined effects of each of the factors affecting the need for water and the related as- 
sumptions were analyzed using the district's water supply planning computer model. The water 
balance model of Mokelumne River operations allows for the simultaneous consideration of many 
interrelated factors. The model is used as a water supply planning tool by estimating reservoir 
storage levels, river flow rates, deliveries to customers, shortages, and hydroelectric generation for 
the next year and over the 70-year Mokelumne River study period under various conditions. 

As a matter of policy, EBMUD uses a three-year "worst-case" scenario as its drought plan- 
ning sequence. It assumes the historical 1 976-1 977 sequence plus a third year which is the 
hydrologic mean of the previous two. During prolonged dry periods, such as the drought planning 
sequence, EBMUD imposes deficiencies (rationing) on customers based on rules which use the 
projected storage at the end of September By applying these deficiencies in the early years of a 
drought ("early deficiencies"), EBMUD attempts to minimize rationing in subsequent years if a 
drought persists while continuing to meet its current and subsequent year fish release require- 
ments and obligations to downstream agencies. 

The deficiency rules are used to achieve the system -wide annualized demand reduction tar- 
get of no more than 25 percent. The limit of 25 percent was adopted by the EBMUD Board of Di- 
rectors as a reasonable planning criterion in 1989. Although the impacts of shortage were not eva- 
luated in terms of overall economic costs and losses, general impact studies by user type for vari- 
ous levels of shortage have been done by EBMUD. If the decision is made to do the additional 
work necessary to balance the total costs of reliability enhancement against the reduction in total 
shortage- related economic costs and losses, the framework to do this exists. 

The 25 percent criterion is an overall use reduction target which will result in an estimated 31 
percent reduction to residential users, 25 percent reduction to commercial and institutional users, 
and a 10 percent reduction to most industrial users. The higher reduction experienced by the resi- 
dential users is the result of an exemption process during shortage events which has as a major 
goal the protection of the economic well-being of commercial and industrial firms and the area's 
economic health. 



324 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure E-1. Factors Used by EBMUD in Projecting the Need for Water 



Factor 



2020 
Assumptions 



EBMUD'S 

Demand for Water in Normal Years' 



280 TAP I 

(250 MGD) I 




Notes: 

1 Conditions adding to the District's need for water 

2 Conditions reducing the District's need for water 

3 Conditions which could add to or reduce the District's need for water 

4 Conditions largely outside District's control 



TAF = thousand acre-feet 
MGD = million gallons per day 



Source: EDAW. Inc.. and EBMUD 



325 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



EBMUD Reliability Planning Process (continued) 

Long-Term Management Options and Reiiabiiity. In February 1990, EBMUD began formal 
preparation of an Updated Water Supply Management Program. The Updated WSMP addresses 
an extensive range of alternatives to help meet EBMUD's 2020 water needs. Alternatives include 
reducing demand on the Mokelumne supply through conservation and reclamation (the use of 
recycled water) and augmenting supplies through ground water storage/conjunctive use, reservoir 
storage and supplemental supply. 

A thorough alternatives screening process, including the use of the district's water supply 
planning model by EBMUD, reduced the range of alternatives within each of the component cate- 
gories based on evaluation using the district's planning objectives and related screening criteria. 
The district's planning objectives and screening criteria are very comprehensive and cover a broad 
array of issues. These are organized into the the following categories: operational, engineering, 
legal and institutional; economic; public health, public safety and sociocultural; and biological. 

The surviving component alternatives were then used to develop alternative Composite Pro- 
grams, or groups of demand -reduction and supply components that together would provide EB- 
MUD with an adequate water supply based on the water supply reliability analysis described earii- 
er in this chapter. Six Composite Programs were identified to represent a reasonable range of al- 
ternatives. (See table 1 .) 

Assumptions, including EBMUD'S demand and physical system characteristics, operating 
practices and criteria, water supply demands of the agencies, fishery releases, flood control re- 
quirements, and releases for channel losses were evaluated in operation studies and included in 
updated water supply management programs. WSMP is discussed in detail under Level I — Reli- 
ability Enhancement Options. Any short-term or long-term need for additional water is deter- 
mined by using water system model runs to estimate projected shortages during upcoming 
months or EBMUD's drought planning sequence. Figure 2 shows the results of making model 
runs for three planning scenarios: existing conditions, 2020 conditions with no water management 
planning actions, and 2020 conditions with proposed increased fishery flows under the EBMUD 
Lower Mokelumne River Management Plan. The increases in shortage frequency and magnitude 
can be clearly seen. 





Table E- 


-1. 


Primary Ci 


3m 


posite Programs for EBMUD 






^~^^,_^ COMPONEKTS 

COMPOSITE ^~^ 
PROGRAMS ^^^.^^^ 


DMP 


CONSERVATION 
(•AVINOS)' 


RIECUUIATION 
(•AVINQt)) 


OBOimOWATER 


RESERVOIR 


•UPPtJEMEKTAl. 
SUPPLY 


AiiacdiKt 


LMRMP 


Conposlta 

Scrmlof 
Dcal|nallCB> 


Mutmiiis 
IMMencj' 


n 

(OMOO, 


IV 


Al 

(SMGD) 


A2 
mMGD) 


A6 

dMcn 


Afrtcultunl 
E<ch.DK 


RW«r 
Sghrtltnfton 


DIlTCttO 

Aqacdncti 


Raba 
Panha 


Delta 


Folsom 

South 

Connection 


«1» 
TAP 


I 


Demand-Side 
Management 


35% 




• 




• 


• 


















X 


II 


Groundwater 


25% 


• 




• 






• 


• 


• 












A' 


in 


Delta Supply 


25% 


• 




• 














• 








B- 


IV 


Groundwater and 
Folsom South 
Connection 


25% 


• 




• 






• 


• 


• 






• 






C 


V 


Raise Pardee 


25% 


• 




• 












• 










F 


VI 


Groundwater Only 
(Least Cost) 


25% 












• 


• 


• 












J 



Notes: 

1 Savings indicated are In addition to savings from exisdng and adopted conservation and reclamation programs. 
Conservation and reclamation savings are not necessarily additive due to overlapping. 

2 Drought Management Programs (DMP) are short-term rationing Imposed on custcmicrs 
during droughts. A DMP would be implemented in addition ;o some level of conservation. . 

3 During the screening of aliemalive composite programs, the alternatives were identified by these letters. 

Source: EDAW, Inc. 



Ke^ 



Components included in 
Primary Composite Programs 



326 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure E-2. Projected EBMUD Customer Deficiencies 



Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 1990 Existing Conditions 



OK u 

1920 



■ I li 1 ■ I ■ I 1 ■ . ■ I t I I I I I I ■ I t I ■ 1 I I ■ 1 1 t t li I I I I I I I 1 ■ ■ ■ ■ I 1 

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

Fof Ported of Hydrotogic Record (1921-1990); 185 TAF SubtUtuted tof 1978 Runoff 



tt 



M 



'■■'■■■' 

1900 1990 



Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 2020 No Action Conditions 



70% 

60% 

I 

E 50% 

e 40% 

'S 90% 

8 20% 





















, 1 


■ 


1 


1 1 


ll 




.Ill 



1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

For Period of Hydrotogic Record (1921-1990); 185 TAF Sub»Ututed (or 1978 Runoff 



Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 2020 Proposed LMRMP Conditions 



70% 
E 50% 

i 

I 40% 

'S 30% 

c 

S 20% 

£ 

10% 



'''■■■ 
1920 



ZjI 



ll-l I I I I I I 

1940 



' 



l.ll. -■■■■■. IIJI 



1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

For Period of Hydrologic Record (1921-1990); 185 TAF Substituted for 1978 Runoff 



Source: EBMUD 



327 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

average annual water supply of 22,000 AF and drought year supply of about 1 8,000 AF to the Monterey 
Peninsula's water supply system. 

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern CaUfornia Water Management Programs. 

MWDSC supplies about one-half of the water delivered by its member agencies. These agencies, which 
cover all or part of six of California's most highly populated counties, serve over 15 million residents. 
MWDSC's major sources of supply are the SWP and the Colorado River. Ninety percent of the demand 
on MWDSC's supplies is from municipal and industrial users, the remaining demand is from agricultural 
users. 

Population in MWDSC's service area is expected to increase from 14.8 million in 1990 to more than 
20 million by 2010. In 1988, MWDSC began a preliminary effort to expand reservoir storage capacity to 
meet the projected water demands in its service area. Reservoir storage requirements were evaluated in a 
two-step process designed to establish the combined ground and surface storage need and to determine 
minimum surface storage needed. Three alternative sites for surface storage were selected, including the 
preferred alternative Domenigoni Valley in western Riverside County, based on the minimum reservoir 
storage need and a comparison of several sites. 

The Domenigoni Valley Reservoir involves constructing two main embankments as well as a large 
roller-compacted concrete saddle dam as shown on Figure 11-9. The site is near the junction of the 
Colorado River Aqueduct, the San Diego Pipeline, and the terminus of the East Branch of the California 
Aqueduct. The reservoir, which could receive water from both the Colorado River and California 
aqueducts, will have a capacity of 800,000 AF. 

The reservoir would provide emergency service, carryover storage, and seasonal storage and enhance 
operational reliability of MWDSC's system. It would also assist with ground water basin recharge as part 
of a regional conjunctive use program. Approximately 50 percent of the reservoir capacity would be 
allocated to emergency storage and the remainder would augment MWDSC supplies by 230,000 AF per 
year during drought years. In October 1991, MWDSC certified the final Environmental Impact Report 
for the Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Project. The current MWDSC schedule indicates that the project 
would be operational by the end of this decade. However, it could take about five or more years to fill 
the reservoir so the full benefit of the reservoir may not be realized until after the year 2004. 

Arvin-Edison — MWDSC Conjunctive Use Program is another supply augmentation program that 
MWDSC is investigating. The Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and MWDSC agreed on a complex 
conjunctive use program which allows Arvin-Edison to provide CVP entitlement water to MWDSC in 
dry years and use ground water pumped from previously stored ground water supplies made available by 
MWDSC from SWP supply in wet years. As originally envisioned, the project would have provided 
93,000 AF of drought year supply. However, recent actions to protect aquatic species in the Delta and 
implementation of the CVPIA have restricted operations in the Delta. Consequently, MWDSC and 
Arvin-Edison are currently reassessing the project. 



328 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



MWDSC Reliability Planning Process 

MWDSC concentrates on the development and management of sufficient and higfi quality 
water to meet the needs of its sen/ice area in an innovative and cost-effective manner that will 
sustain the economy and quality of life in Southem California. MWDSC's water supply reliability 
objective is as follows: 

Even under the most severe hydrologic event, MWDSC v/ill never provide less than 80 percent 
of full sen/ice to its customers; full sen/ice meaning wholesale demand for imported water, after 
accounting for the implementation of water management programs and conservation best man- 
agement practices, within its service area. 

This water supply reliability objective was developed after balancing the costs of resource 
expansion, economic impacts of water shortages, and practical levels of implementing water con- 
servation and other management programs. In order to assess and review the water reliability 
objective, MWDSC follows an on -going systematic procedure to ensure that the objective is ef- 
fective. This procedure is summarized below: 

1 . Project Water Demands 

2. Determine Quantities and Probabilities of Water Supply 

3. Identify Potential Water Management Strategies to Meet Demeuid 

4. Compare Total Available Water Supplies to Water Demands 

5. Determine Frequency of Water Supply Shortages 

6. Determine Costs and Benefits of Increasing Supply Reliability 

Water Demand Projections. MWDSC forecasts water demands using a sophisticated com- 
puter model known as MWDSC-MAIN, a regional version of the national IWRMAIN water de- 
mand model. MWDSC-MAIN projects water demands based on demographic and economic 
trends such as population, housing, family size, personal income, commercial and industrial em- 
ployment, labor rates, climate, and the price of water service. The model also takes into account 
long-term water conservation, such as those anticipated from the implementation of the "best 
management practices." These projected water demands can vary substantially from one year to 
the next. The variation in water demands is attributed mainly to weather and economic cycles 
such as recessions. Therefore, MWDSC presents its demand projections ranging from low to 
high. 

Quantities and Probability of Water Supplies. Water supplies will vary due to hydrology, 
weather, and operation of the supply system. Since it is impossible to accurately predict weather, 
historic years of hydrologic record are used to estimate the future probability of supply. MWDSC 
uses the DWRSIM hydrology/operations model to determine the probability of SWP supplies us- 
ing 70 years of record hydrology and operating scenarios. The other major supplies available to 
Southern California are: (1) the Colorado River Aqueduct; (2) local ground and surface water; and 
(3) the Los Angeles Aqueducts. The probabilities of receiving these water supplies were also esti- 
mated b£ised on similar hydrologic analyses. 

Estimating Potential Water Management Strategies. It is essential for MWDSC to explore 
all fesfiible demand management and water supply options in meeting the growing water needs 
of its service area. These options not only include traditional supply sources mentioned previous- 
ly and voluntary water transfers, but also water management programs such as waste water rec- 
lamation, ground water recovery programs, conjunctive use and storage, and conservation. 
MWDSC's approach in determining how to meet future demands is to evaluate all of its available 
water supply and management programs based on reliability, costs, flexibility, and other consider- 
ations. Projections of supply resulting from water management programs are estimated based 
on existing and potential local and regional projects. 



%7Q 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



MWDSC Reliability Planning Process (continued) 

Comparisons of Water Supply to Demand. After the projections of water supplies are deter- 
mined, they are compared to the projections of water demands. Figure 1 presents the minimum sup- 
plies available during the record drought. The water demand forecast reflects: (1) the latest demo- 
graphic projections; (2) the recent effect of the statewide drought; and (3) the effects of the current 
economic recession. The existing supplies, which are identified, do not meet full service demands. 
Even with aggressive water conservation and waste water reclamation (which together represent 
about one-half of all new supplies), there is a substantial shortage throughout the planning period. 
Additional aqueduct supplies, surface and ground water storage programs, and water transfers are 
needed to meet the full service needs of the region. 

Comparing all possible water demand and supply projections yields the frequency of supply 
shortages for Metropolitan. Figure 2 presents the water supply reliability for MWDSC's wholesale de- 
liveries. The vertical axis represents the percent shortage that will occur in the year 2010. The hori- 
zontal axis represents the frequency of the shortage occurring. The reliability is presented in four sce- 
narios. 

The first scenario represents "no new investment" for either water management programs or wa- 
ter supply expansion. Under the "no new investment" scenario, MWDSC would experience a whole- 
sale supply shortage of at least 60 percent (on average) every other year. At the retail level, regional 
water shortages for this same scenario would be about 30 percent every other year (since MWDSC 
supplies about half of the total water supplies to the region). 

The second scenario adds the conservation BMPs, which improves the supply reliability. Potential 
waste water reclamation is added in the third scenario, which further improves the supply reliability. 
Under the third scenario, the wholesale supply shortages would be at least 27 percent every other 
year. 

In order to achieve the fourth scenario, substantial investment is needed to improve aqueduct 
supplies, build an 800,000 AF storage resen/oir, implement ground water programs, build and im- 
prove pipelines and treatment facilities, and purchase water through voluntary transfer agreements. 
This scenario is the reliability goal determined by MWDSC to be justified by a cost and benefit analy- 
sis. 

Estimating Costs and Benefits of Reliability. Estimating the costs and benefits of increasing 
supply reliability is difficult because it is impossible to account for and quantify many of the true eco- 
nomic costs caused by supply shortages. While some economic impacts of rationing can be esti- 
mated, other economic and social consequences of severe water shortages are intangible. In addi- 
tion, rationing becomes less effective and more costly over time because of the implementation of 
long-term institutionalized conservation practices, such as the BMPs. Accounting for this phenome- 
non of demand hardening is critical to the determination of shortage costs. 

In order to determine a lower bound estimate of the benefits of increased supply reliability, 
MWDSC attempted to quantify as many of the economic impacts due to rationing as possible. To esti- 
mate the effect that rationing has on the residential sector, a contingent valuation survey was used to 
determine how much households would pay to avoid severe water shortages. The survey, conducted 
in 1987, found that customers would pay (on average) an additional $10 to $20 per month every other 
year to avoid shortages greater than what was experienced in 1 991 . This willingness to pay for reli- 
ability improvement for all residential customers in MWDSC's service area totals over $1 .5 billion per 
year. 

To estimate how shortages impact the industrial sector, MWDSC used the results of the Cost of 
Industrial Shortages (prepared for the California Urban Water Agencies in 1991). This study indicated 
that the impact of allocating a 1 5 percent shortage to Southern California's industrial sector would be 
a loss of about 16,000 jobs and over $3 billion in production. 



330 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure M-1. MWDSC Water Supply and Demand: Critical Droughit Year 




LOCAl WATER 



1980 



1985 



1990 



1995 



2000 



2005 



2010 



Note: Projections for existing supplies are conservative since they do not account for probability of having surplus water 



331 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure M-2. MWDSC Supply Reliability in Year 2010 



95% 




0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 



PROBABIUTY OF OCCURRENCE 



Note: Projections for existina supplies are conservative 
since they do not account for tlie probability 



of having surplus water 



332 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 1 1 -9. Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Site and Facilities 




333 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

MWDSC's Inland Feeder is a 45-mile long conveyance facility which will bring supplemental SWP 
water supplies to Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. The facility 
would be intended to help MWDSC preserve operational reliability, optimize use of existing water 
resources, and meet increasingly stringent State and federal water quality standards through blending of 
supplies. 

Pajaro Valley Water Authority Water Augmentation Program (San Felipe Extension). The 

Pajaro Valley Water Management Authority is analyzing whether or not to take water from the CVP's 
San Felipe Division. The proposed San Felipe extension would consist of a 22-mile pipeline from the 
Santa Clara Conduit to the Watsonville area. The pipeline, with a capacity of 75 cfs, could provide 
approximately 18,000 AF annually for municipal and industrial, as well as agricultural, water use in the 
Watsonville area. The San Felipe extension is a water conveyance rather than a water supply 
augmentation project. The supply for the project will come from reallocation of CVP supply pumped 
from the Delta. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Level II — Reliability Enhancement Options 

Following is a brief discussion of demand management and supply augmentation concepts or 
projects which are not specifically quantified but, through some combination of actions, could fill the gap 
between supply and demand shown in the California water balance. Chapter 12. Plans for some of these 
projects are on hold for various reasons, including the need for a long-term solution to Delta problems, 
but work on studies could be resumed at any time they are determined to be needed to help meet this 
State's growing need for water. Some others, such as San Diego County Water Storage Project and 
Conjunctive Use Programs, are very active but are in the early stages of planning and further studies are 
needed to determine the water supply benefits of such programs. Table 1 1-8 summarizes Level II water 
management options. 

Long-Term Demand Management Options 

Increased Agricultural Water Use Efficiency. A 73 percent seasonal application efficiency is 
defined as a statewide target in Chapter 7 and has been supported by many irrigation experts in a variety 
of reports. This coincides with the draft report "On-Farm Practices" prepared for the Agricultural Task 
Force of the State Water Conservation Coalition. The 73 percent target efficiency relies on: (1) 
subtracting any effective precipitation from the evapotranspiration requirement of the crop; (2) attaining 
an 80 percent distribution uniformity; and (3) adding a very small leaching requirement. This target 
assumes that all portions of farm fields will be fully irrigated. The target efficiency considered an 
appropriate Level I option is shown by the formula below. 

73% SAE = ETAW + LR 
AW 
Where: SAE is the seasonal application efficiency; 

ETAW is the evapotranspiration minus effective precipitation; 

LR is the leaching requirement; and 

AW is the applied water. 

Level II agricultural demand reduction is based on a statewide agricultural irrigation efficiency of 75 
percent. The feasibility of increasing agricultural irrigation efficiency over 73 percent should be further 
investigated because of potential reduction in yield due to under-irrigation, which may occur in part of 
each field. For example, Westlands Water District has estimated that irrigation efficiencies could reach 
75 percent in their service area at an 80 percent distribution uniformity. However, approximately 12.5 
percent of each field is under-irrigated using this formula according to Westlands Water District's Water 
Conservation Plan (July 1992). If under-irrigation of this magnitude is considered acceptable, an 
additional statewide annual reduction in applied water of approximately 300,000 AF could be attained 
and considered as Level II option. Reduction in depletion would occur only in areas from which outflow 
enters a saline sink such as the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Imperial Valley. However, 
because irrigation efficiency in Imperial Valley and Westland Water District has already reached 75 



335 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



percent, this option will not reduce depletions. The positive or negative effects of reducing applied water 
would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

Table 11-8. Level II Water Management Options 







Supply 








Augmentation 








or Demand 








Reduction 


Comments, Concerns, 


Programs 


Type 


(1,000 AF) 


Problems 


Demand Management: 








Agricultural Water Conservation 


Demand Reduction 


3001 


Increased agricultural water use efficiency. 


Urban Water Conservation 


Demand Reduction 


2201 


Increased urban water use efficiency 


Land Retirement 


Demand Reduction 


477 1 


Retirement of land with poor drainage in west side San 
Joaquin Valley 


Water Transfer 


- 


800 2 


Institutional constraints. 


Statewide Supply Management: 








Stanislaus -Calaveras River Water 








Use Program 


Conjunctive Use 


80 3 


DWR, USBR, and local agencies are conducting studies. 


Sacramento Valley Conjunctive 








Use Program 


Conjunctive Use 


1003 


Initial studies underway by DWR and local agencies. 


Red Bank Project 


Storage 


40 3 




Shasta Lake Enlargement 


Storage 


1,450 3 




Clair Engle Lake Enlargement 


Storage 


700 3 




Westside Sacramento Valley 


Conveyance 


- 




Project 








Westside Reservoirs 


Storage 


up to 2,000 3 




Mid -Valley Canal 


Conveyance 


- 




Folsom South Canal Extension 


Conveyance 


- 




American River Water Resources 


Storage 


- 




Investigation 








Local Water Management: 








Use of Gray Water 


Reclamatton 


1803 


Requires investment in separate plumbing; health con- 



Waste Water Recycling 

Water Desalting 

Reuse of AgriculturcU Brackish 

Water 

San Diego Emergency Water 
Storage Project 

Santa Clara Valley Water 
Management 

Delta Storage 
Watershed Management 



Reclamation 
Reclamation 
Reclamation 

Storage 



Storage 



cerns. 
150-700 3 Estimated ultimate potential. 
390 3 
- High salt accumulation in soil. 



1003 



1003 



Studies by district in progress. Will need 100,000 - 
150,000 AF additional supplies by 2020. 

Water quality, THM concems. 

Increstses runoff from the watershed. Environmenteil con- 
cerns. 



^ Reduction In applied water. 

^ Reallocation of supply for short- 

3 Annual supply. 



r long-term transfers. 



Increased Urban Water Use Efficiency. The Level I urban water conservation estimates were based 
on Best Management Practices, which included three landscape related BMPs that were quantified and 
ultra-low flush toilet replacement, among others. Two of the three landscape BMPs relied on the Model 
Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance developed by DWR. The criteria developed under this ordinance 
used the following formula to estimate allowable applied water (AW) in a landscape plan: 



AW = 0.8 rEto) -I- EP 
SAE 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Where: Eto is the reference evapotranspiration of well watered pasture; 

EP is the effective precipitation; and 

SAE represents 62.5 percent seasonal application efficiency. 

For a Level II option, an increase in irrigation efficiency of 5 percent should be investigated. The 
rationale behind this assumption is that this would parallel the increase in agricultural efficiency over the 
same period. If landscape irrigation efficiency is increased by 5 percent, an additional 220,000 AF in 
applied water reduction would be realized. This amount would be commensurate with a 170,000 AF 
reduction in depletions. 

Applied Water Reduction Due to Land Retirement. "A Management Plan For Agricultural 
Subsurface Drainage and Related Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley" (San Joaquin Valley 
Drainage Program, 1990) reported that many of the valley's water and drainage districts and individual 
growers had begun to take actions similar to those recommended in the report. Therefore, it was assumed 
in Chapter 6, "Agricultural Water Use," that the source control (irrigation efficiency improvements) and 
land retirement elements of the recommended plan developed by the SJVDP would be implemented by 
2020. Implementation of these two elements would result in an applied water reduction of 232,000 AF 
by 2020. This was adopted in the Level I scenario and included in water demand projections. 

The SJVDP report also suggested that if no portion of the recommended plan were implemented, 
applied water could be reduced by 1 ,040,000 AF due to the abandonment of 460,000 acres of irrigated 
land by 2040. Assuming that the abandoned acreage increases linearly over time, results in an estimate 
of 276,000 acres abandoned by 2020 and a reduction in applied water of 689,000 AF if no portion of the 
plan were implemented. The analysis also assumed that approximately 20,000 AF of source control 
would occur. 

Therefore, to establish a Level II option scenario, it is assumed that the SJVDP recommended plan 
will be partially implemented by 2020, reflecting the status of various recommendations in the report, 
resulting in a potential applied water reduction of about 477,000 AF from land abandonment and source 
control. Table 1 1-9 illustrates what could be available due to partial implementation of that preferred 
plan. However, more detailed analysis is required to determine whether the water would be used for 
other agricultural production in the region. 



337 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 1 1 -9. Applied Water Reductions by 2020 With and Without Implementation 

of the Plan Recommended by the San Joaquin Valley 

Agricultural Drainage Program*! 

Without Recommended Plan With Recommended Plan ^ 



Water made available by land abandonment ^ 689,000 

Water made availablethrough land retirement^ 1 1 9,000 

Water conserved through source control 5 20,000 113,000 

Subtotal 709,000 232,000 

Difference (Without-With) 477,000 

^ Source: straight-line Interpolation from data In *A Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley, 
Final Report of the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program,' September 1990. 

^ Recommended plan elements adopted in DWR Bulletin 160-33 projections. 

3 Land abandonment due to 276,000 acres forced out of production due to no drainage plan implementation by 2020. 

* Land retirement refers to ttie planned retirement of 45,000 selenium-laden acres. 

^ Source control Is equivalent to applied water reductions to reduce drainage volumes. 



Water Transfers. Water transfers can augment an area's water supplies on a short- or long-term 
basis. Short-term transfers are generally either one time spot market or long-term agreements for 
drought year supplies. Long-term annual transfers are generally designed to augment a water agency's 
year-to-year supplies over the long-term to improve the water service reliability for the receiving area. 
Such transfers have been going on since early this century as evidenced by the construction of several 
major intrastate transfer facilities, as described in Chapter 3. However, the 1987-92 drought caused 
some water agencies and individuals to begin looking at the potential of a water transfers market to meet 
their needs by augmenting long-term supplies as well as short-term drought supplies. 

There are currently physical limits to water transfers. Total usable transfer capacity of existing major 
conveyance facilities from the Delta, under D-1485, during drought years is about 1.4 MAP per year. 
Level I drought water transfers from the Delta are estimated at 0.6 MAP, resulting in a remaining Level II 
transfer potential of about 0.8 MAP The unused capacity of conveyance facilities is considerably less 
during average years when both projects would be able to export more of their own water. However, 
recent actions taken to protect fisheries in the Delta have considerably curtailed the pumping capability of 
the projects, resulting in increased limitations on the SWP and CVP facilities to convey or wheel transfer 
water. 1990 level drought year usable transfer capacity of the SWP and CVP is estimated to be about 0.7 
MAP when projects are operated to comply with Delta smelt and winter run chinook salmon 1993 
biological opinon as discussed in detail below under "physical limitation to water transfers." This section 
presents the factors affecting the feasibility of transferring water along with a general discussion of 
sources of water for transfer. 

The primary sources of water for transfer have been ground water substitution, unallocated developed 
supply, and land fallowing. 

Ground water substitution makes surface irrigation water available for transfer by pumping an 
equivalent amount of ground water for use on irrigated lands. Local water districts usually coordinate 
ground water pumping with reduced surface water diversions by growers, although growers not affiliated 



^^R 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

with a local water district have also participated in ground water substitution contracts. Replacement 
pumping must be far enough from perennial streams, rivers, and Delta tributaries to not induce additional 
immediate percolation to ground water, thus reducing surface water supplices and negating the transfer. 

Unallocated developed supply, which would have stayed in storage and possibly spilled in future 
years, can be available for transfer if the transferee obtains approval from the SWRCB and makes 
assurances that reregulation of reservoir operations will not adversely affect operations of the SWP or 
CVR This is essential, because SWP and CVP facilities are used to transport most transferred water and 
must meet downstream water quality standards obligations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Temporary fallowing of irrigated crop land is the water transfer alternative with the most potential for 
providing short-term water supply during drought, thus improving water service reliability for areas 
receiving the water. By not planting a crop, or by withholding irrigation from a crop already planted, or 
by shifting from a high water using crop to a lower water using crop, growers are able to free up 
irrigation supplies for transfer. Since drainage water is normally used on other farms, or maintains 
wildlife habitat, the amount of water transferred is usually limited to the average consumptive use on the 
transferring farm, i.e., evapotranspiration of applied water for specific crops and drainage if it goes to a 
saline sink. 

Permanent fallowing or land retirement is a long-term transfer strategy similar to temporary 
fallowing. The most attractive agricultural land for this type of transfer is land with salinity problems, or 
of only marginal production. The 1992 Castaic Lake Water Agency transfer of Devil's Den Water 
District SWP supplies is a good example of permanent land retirement although the actual retirement of 
the land is still several years away. 

Physical limitations to water transfers exist within the conveyance capability of the various water 
systems. The San Francisco Bay, the South Coast, the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, and the 
Tulare Lake regions are regions with water shortages, and these regions would likely be primary 
purchasers of water transfers. A key factor in water transfers to these regions is the Delta because the 
potential sellers of surplus water for interregional water transfers would primarily be in areas of surplus, 
such as the Sacramento River Region, and to a lesser degree, the San Joaquin River Region. 

The following water transfer discussions involving the hub of California's water supply 
infrastructure, the Delta, are based on SWRCB D-1485 and project operations under winter run salmon 
and Delta smelt criteria. Actions taken in 1992 and 1993 to protect fisheries in the Delta have already 
considerably reduced export capabilities. 

Most major water transfer actions require participation of SWP or CVP as facilitator to convey the 
transferred water to the areas of need, and approval from the SWRCB to change the point of diversion 
and place of use. Availability of unused capacity of pumping plants and conveyance facilities is critical 
in determining the feasibility of wheeling water to the receiving agency, particularly for long-term fixed 
annual deliveries. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

The CVP's Tracy Pumping Plant is generally used to almost full capacity to meet existing contractual 
commitments. However, during times of drought, there is unused CVP capacity which is considered in 
this analysis. The SWP's California Aqueduct capability is constrained at several critical locations which 
restrict excess capacity to convey transfer water. These constraints are Banks Pumping Plant, Reach 13 
of the California Aqueduct upstream of Buena Vista Pumping Plant in the lower San Joaquin Valley, and 
Edmonston Pumping Plant, where water is pumped over the Tehachapi Mountains into the upper desert 
and South Coast Region. 

Under D-1485, and the USCE permit (public notice 5820A, amended) with existing facilities. Banks 
Pumping Plant restricted capacity is about 6,400 cfs with limited additional capacity in winter and spring. 
The Banks Pumping Plant is physically capable of pumping approximately 10,300 cfs. With 
implementation of the proposed south Delta water management program and USCE pumping restrictions 
removed, Banks Pumping Plant capacity could increase to approximately 10,300 cfs under certain 
conditions. Edmonston Pumping Plant would then become the critical constraint in conveying water to 
the South Coast Region. Under endangered species operation criteria, constraints at Tracy and Banks 
pumping plants significantly reduce water transfer capabilities. 

Two operation studies were evaluated to determine the unused capacity of SWP and CVP facilities 
for the 1990 level of development, with D-1485 and with endangered species criteria based on the 1993 
Delta smeh and winter run chinook salmon biological opinions. The "take limitations" criteria imposed 
by the opinons cannot be modeled and are not included in the analyses. Another set of studies were 
conducted to evaluate year 2020 usuable transfer capacity of the conveyance systems with existing 
facilties and with Level I water management programs based on D-1485 criteria. 

Table 1 1-10 shows annual SWP and CVP usable transfer capacity from Banks Pumping Plant to the 
South Coast and San Francisco Bay regions, based on D-1485 operating criteria. Unused CVP capacity 
at Tracy Pumping Plant and Delta Mendota Canal are also included in the analyses. Unused capacity of 
the projects is directly related to annual hydrologic variations and the demand for water in the SWP/CVP 
service areas. During drought periods when supplies are insufficient to meet demands and deficiencies 
are imposed on SWP and CVP water contractors, more unused capacity is available in the conveyance 
systems. In addition, as demands for water in SWP service areas increase and additional facilities are 
completed to meet contractual demands, unused capacity of the SWP decreases. 

For the South Coast Region, the 1990 level of usable transfer capacities in drought and average years 
under D-1485 criteria are about 1 .4 and 0.6 MAF, respectively. By year 2020, with Level I water 
management programs, unused capacity of the projects will be reduced to 1.1 and 0.3 MAF in drought 
and average years, respectively. Similar analyses conducted for the San Francisco Bay Region indicate 
that the combined usuable transfer capacity of both the SWP South Bay Aqueduct and CVP San Felipe 
unit ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 AF in a drought year. However, in average and wet years, the 
conveyance facilities are fully used to meet contractual commitments to existing users. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Figure 1 1-10 compares the SWP and CVP water transfer capacity from the Delta to the South Coast 
Region under D-1485 and endangered species criteria. This figure shows that average and drought years 
usuable transfer capacities of the SWP and CVP are reduced to about 0.3 and 0.7 MAF, respectively, for 
the 1990 level when projects are operated under endangered species criteria for winter run salmon and 
Delta smelt, reflecting pumping curtailments resulting from endangered speices biological opinions. 
Among the factors limiting Delta exports are reverse flow criteria and take limitaitons.. Usable transfer 
capabilities discussed here do not reflect pumping limitations due to take limits under the biological 
opinions. 

Water transfers with source water from south of the Delta, for example the San Joaquin Region, 
would not have reverse flow limitations, but would be subject to other pumping restrictions. If source 
water for transfer is from the San Joaquin River, an additional pumping of about .2 MAF in drought years 
could be realized as shown in Figure 11-10. Therefore, the water transfer capability mentioned for 
through Delta transfers are less than those for source water from south of the Delta. Thus, considering 
pumping limitations in the Delta and Edmonston Pumping Plant, an envelope of usable transfer capacity 
can be developed. The envelope for water transfers to the Southern California ranges from an upper limit 
of 1 .4 MAF (under SWRCB D-1485) to about 0.9 MAF in drought years (under endangered species 
actions). Similarly, the average year Delta water transfer envelope for exports to Southern California 
would be about 0.3 to 0.6 MAF under endangered species actions and SWRCB D-1485, respectively. 
None of these restrictions consider potential pumping curtailments at the Delta due to take limits imposed 
by biological opinions. 

Other considerations that could impair water transfers include lack of willing buyers and sellers, 
potential third party impacts, and timing of availability of unused capacity of the facilities. Figure 1 1-1 1 
shows the monthly variation of unused capacity of SWP and CVP, under D-1485 for 1990 level, and 
indicates that unused capacity of conveyance facilities is extremely limited from May through July when 
demand for water is high and SWP and CVP pumping is limited by D-1485 criteria. Therefore, most 
long-term water transfers are limited to those agencies that have re-regulation and storage capabilities 
that can be operated to take advantage of timing of available transfer capability. However, short-term 
drought year transfers, such as Drought Water Bank transfers, can utilize unused SWP/CVP storage 
(nonproject contractors may have a lower priority for storage) and re-regulation capabilities to facilitate 
transfer of water to agencies without storage capacity. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-10. Usable Transfer Capacity with Existing SWP/CVP Faciiities 

from the Delta to South Coast Region 

(in thousands of acre -feet) 



1600 

1400 

1200 

1000 

800 

600 

400 

200 





1990 Level 




D-1485 ESA Operation ■'^1 D-1485 ESA Operation '^l 



(1) Usable transfer capacity from the Delta under D-1485 conditions. 

(2) Usable transfer capacity from the Delta under historic Delta flow patterns with 

ESA restrictions. 

(3) Usable transfer capacity including cabability to transfer south of the Delta source 

supplies that do not add to reverse flow problems thus allowing more water 
to be pumped than under historic Delta flow patterns. 

(4) Based on 1993 Delta Smelt Biological Opinion and Winter Run Salmon Biological Opinion. 

However, figures do not reflect pumping curtailments due to "take" limitations. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-11. Monthly Variation of Usable Transfer Capacity 

with Existing SWP/CVP Facilities 

from the Delta to South Coast Region Based on D-1485 

(In thousands of acre -feet) 



1990 Level 




OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP 



343 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Table 11-10. SWP and CVP Usable Transfer Capability from the Delta 

(in millions of acre-feet) 



to the South Coast Region (based on D-1485) 



Average Drought 

1990, Base Case 0.6 1.4 

2020, with Existing Facilities 0.3 1 .5 

2020, with Level I Programs 0.3 1.1 

to the San Francisco Bay Region (based on D-1485) 

Average Drought 

1990, Base Case 0.00 0.04 

2020, with Existing Facilities 0.00 0.06 

2020, with Level i Programs 0.00 0.03 



Water Rights Law is paramount in any discussion about water transfer. Virtually all of California's 
developed surface water is committed under riparian or appropriative water rights. Water rights laws and 
institutional constraints constrain the ability to make water transfers. Statues governing California water 
rights are generally administered by the SWRCB . Water transfers lasting more than a year generally 
require the water right holder to petition the SWRCB for approval. There are different procedures for 
temporary (one-year) and permanent (long-term) transfers. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act permits water districts and individuals receiving CVP 
water to transfer that supply to any other individual or entity subject to conditions specified in the Act, 
and subject to a federal approval process. The transfer must be approved by the affected district if the 
amount of the proposed transfer would exceed 20 percent of a district's CVP contract amount. 

Transfers carried out in accordance with the Act must meet the conditions specified therein, and must 
comply with relevant State and federal laws such as CEQA, NEPA, and the State and federal Endangered 
Species Acts. Transfers must also comply with USBR's interim Guidelines for Water Transfers, which 
have been prepared in advance of the water transfer rules and regulations that USER will promulgate. 
The restrictions contained in the guidelines apply in particular to transfers of project water, rather than to 
transfers of water rights settlement water conveyed by the CVP. Given the restrictions placed on 
transfers of project water, it is likely that transfers of water rights settlement water may constitute much 
of the total CVP-related supply being made available for transfer. The CVP Improvement Act also 
contains provisions allowing use of project facilities to carry out water banking programs, including 
banking programs for fish and wildlife. 

Delta Outflow Requirements are another factor affecting water transfers. Minimum water quality 
standards for the Delta are set by the SWRCB and the SWP and CVP must be operated to meet those 
standards. Presently, Delta outflow is maintained by either limiting exports or increasing releases from 
upstream reservoirs. Since most transfers of water originating in the Sacramento Region must be 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Water Transfer Costs 

Water transfer costs include more than the amount that prospective sellers would be will- 
ing to accept for their water. Other eissociated costs can be a substantial or even the major 
part of the cost of a water transfer. Mitigation for adverse third-party economic impacts in 
the area of origin may require payments to local agencies; as a consequence, "freeing up" 
water for transfer has at least two cost components. 

Purchase prices can be set by a drought water bank type operation or directly negotiated 
between prospective buyers and sellers. Negotiated prices will fall between the cost to the 
sellers of forgoing the use of that water and the willingness of the buyers to pay. 

The cost to the sellers is affected by the magnitude of the transfer. If available, initial 
quantities probably involve in-lieu ground water pumping or releases of uncommitted stored 
water. These sources are likely to be least costly to the sellers in terms of pumping energy or 
foregone income. Further increments of water likely will involve crop fallowing or switching to 
lower water using crops. These actions result in substantial income losses to sellers and, as 
a consequence, are likely to require higher water prices to make them palatable. 

Higher prices are more likely in a "spot market" than under a long-term agreement. 
Spot meirkets favor the seller; there is little doubt about the buyer's immediate need for the 
water. Buyers have a certain advantage under long-term agreements. Under long-term 
agreements the seller is trying to reduce or eliminate the uncertainty of income from water 
sales and the buyer is not necessarily facing an immediate crisis, but is planning to augment 
supply reliability. Prices paid by buyers of transferred water reflect the the cost of convey- 
ance, which depends upon the facilities used. 

The conveyance losses reduce the water delivered compared to the amount purchased. 
Alternatively, these losses may be thought of as increasing the unit cost of the remaining wa- 
ter to the buyer, that is, as water surcharges. If the transferred water has to be moved across 
the Delta under controlled flow conditions, a portion of the water must be dedicated to Delta 
outflow Eis a means of meeting Delta salinity standards. This is an example of a conveyance 
loss. Other conveyance losses include evaporation from reservoirs and canals as well as ca- 
nal seepage. 

Water "surcharges" for environmental mitigation needs such as increasing stream flows 
for anadromous fish spawning can also be a requirement for permitting transfers. 

Short-term emergencies generally are characterized by the prospect of large economic 
losses from unmet demands and the high cost or limited nature of the options to meet those 
demands or to mitigate the losses. Under these conditions even a relatively small quantity of 
transferred water can eliminate the most serious impacts of shortage. The willingness of buy- 
ers to pay is correspondingly high. 



conveyed through either the SWP or CVP Delta facilities, transfers must conform to existing and future 
Delta outflow requirements. 

Threatened and Endangered Species must also be considered when discussing water transfers. 
Potential impacts of transfer on listed species must be evaluated under the State and federal Endangered 
Species Acts. CVP/SWP pumping from the Delta is currently restricted to protect listed species. The 
lack of Delta transfer capacity rather than the general availability of supply may be a common 
occurrence. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Environmental Impacts of a water transfer are another factor to consider. The quantity and timing of 
reservoir releases are very important and can have significant impact upon instream fish flows. Careful 
consideration and coordination with the DFG is required. For example, the Drought Water Bank water 
was transferred later in the year to minimize impacts upon chinook salmon and Delta smelt. However, 
conjunctive use programs can have a positive affect on aquatic resources by using ground water for 
irrigation during dry years, thereby reducing direct pumping from the river which results in fewer fish 
being taken through unscreened intakes. 

Not all negative impacts on wildlife can be eliminated. Land fallowing has some negative impact on 
wildlife habitat, by cutting off some food sources, vegetation for cover, and nesting. Any future 
fallowing contracts are expected to contain provisions to minimize these impacts. Water transfers also 
can substantially reduce surface flows to waterfowl areas which are depended on to provide habitat for 
migrating and resident birds using cultivated crops as food and nesting sources. 

Impacts on Transferring Area are important. Two concerns with water transfers involve the impacts 
on local ground water levels and impacts on local tax revenues and economies. For example, those 
issues arose during the 1991 Drought Water Bank due to the replacement of transferred surface water 
with ground water, sale of pumped ground water, and the fallowing of more than 150,000 acres. 

Review and evaluation of ground water data indicate little impact on ground water levels from the 
State Water Bank transfers that took place in 1991 and 1992. Monitoring programs have been established 
in areas where such ground water pumping took place. Approximately 100 wells, part of DWR's usual 
semi-annual monitoring program in Butte, Colusa, and southern Glenn counties, were monitored 
monthly during the transfer and subsequent recovery periods. The result of the monitoring program did 
not indicate any significant impact on the ground water basins in these counties as the result of ground 
water pumping for the State Drought Water Bank. Local concerns regarding future water transfers will be 
assessed through expanded ground water monitoring similar to those implemented as part of the 1991 
and 1992 Drought Water Bank programs. 

Transfer from agricultural water use to urban use is a concern because many agricultural areas are 
considered more economically vulnerable than urban areas. Although not all water transfers from land 
fallowing go to urban areas, urban areas have a relatively higher ability and willingness to pay for water 
during shortages, which makes them the likely recipients of water transfers to shore up water service 
reliability. 

The economic health of farm communities is tied to the farm activity within their spheres of 
influence. For many local businesses the goods and services furnished to farmers is a major part of their 
income. If farm production declines, whether because of drought, government programs, or crop land 
fallowing for water transfers, a ripple effect happens in the local economy. These supporting businesses 
will likely see less sales income, and if there is less business income, employees may be terminated or 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

asked to work fewer hours, reducing the amount of salaries paid. In turn, the employees spend less 
money in the community, and another round of adverse impacts results. 

Any resulting unemployment can be an additional burden on local governmental and private agencies 
that provide services to unemployed and indigent people. Compounding this problem is the likelihood 
that, due to the aforementioned decline in business activity, these same agencies will be facing revenue 
cutbacks from falling tax income and fewer charitable contributions. However, payments for the 
transferred water, water surcharges, and controls on land fallowing can be used to mitigate these impacts. 
Restricting the percentage and frequency of land fallowed within any one area can allow affected 
communities to avoid any permanent economic or social damage. 

Water Supply Management Options 

Level II supply management options discussed here are those actions that could augment supplies in 
water-short areas of California. Table 1 1-8 also shows statewide and local water supply management 
programs under Level II options. 

SWP Water Supply Augmentation. The following conjunctive use options offer potential means to 
further enhance the SWP reliability. These are not, by any means, meant to be all inclusive; other options 
could also be identified and investigated in the future for augmenting SWP supplies. 

Conjunctive Use Options. Conjunctive use of surface and ground water supplies can be an efficient 
means of augmenting supplies to help meet California's future water needs. Conjunctive use is the 
operation of a ground water basin in coordination with a surface water supply system to optimize the 
combined yield. A surface water storage and conveyance system is used to recharge a ground water 
basin, either directly or indirectly, during wet years to provide storage of water that can be used during 
dry years. The Stanislaus River Basin and Calaveras River Water Use Program exemplifies the kind of 
conjunctive use program under study in the State today. 

Currently, DWR, USBR, and local agencies are conducting planning studies for this conjunctive use 
program. The Stockton East Water District and the Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District 
have contracted for 155,000 AF from New Melones Reservoir, a CVP facility on the Stanislaus River. 
During wet, above average, and average years, the two agencies would divert their contract water from 
the Stanislaus River. During below average, dry, and critical years the agencies would pump ground 
water to meet their need and release their contract water down the Stanislaus River to provide increased 
flows for fish, water quality improvement in the south Delta channels, and increased yield to the SWP. 
The ground water basin would be replenished during wet years. A draft EIR/EIS is scheduled for release 
by fall 1994. 

DWR has also started investigations to identify conjunctive use projects in the Sacramento Valley 
which could further supplement SWP supplies. Initial studies are focused in eastern Yolo County, Butte 
County, and southern Sutter County. Other areas could be studied in the future, as agreements are 
reached with local agencies. Sacramento Valley conjunctive use programs could potentially augment 



347 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

drought year SWP supplies by as much as 100,000 AF annually by the year 2000. These conjunctive use 
programs are in the early planning stages and their yields of these programs are not included in SWP 
future supplies. (For more details about conjunctive use programs, see Chapter 4, Ground Water 
Supplies.) 

Red Bank Project. The project, approximately 1 8 miles west of Red Bluff, would consist of two 
storage reservoirs, Dippingvat on the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek and Schoenfield on Red Bank 
Creek. The combined storage would be about 354,000 AF and could produce an estimated 40,000 AF of 
water supply benefit annually. The estimated cost of this project is $209 million. The project would 
provide increased water supply reliability for the SWP, increased flood protection along Cottonwood 
Creek and the Sacramento River, recreational opportunity, and anadromous fish restoration. The project 
is essentially on hold because of the uncertainty of Delta transfer facilities and escalating SWP costs. 

CVP Water Supply Augmentation. The following options summarize the programs that could be 
investigated in the future or have been studied in the past, but are on hold for a variety of reasons. These 
programs could be reevaluated at any time to augment CVP supplies. 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act Studies. This effort to identify elements of new yield 
totaling 800,000 AF is just beginning, and no specifics are available. 

Shasta Lake Enlargement. Both the USER and DWR have studied enlarging Shasta Lake. Prior 
planning efforts looked at increasing the storage capacity by approximately 9.7 MAF to a total capacity 
of 14.25 MAF. This would require raising the existing dam approximately 213 feet. The enlargement 
would increase the firm yield to the SWP and CVP by 1 .45 MAF annually, and would cost about $4.5 
billion. The enlargement would also provide instream flows for fish, increase flood protection on the 
Sacramento River, and provide greater amounts of dependable hydroelectric energy. 

Some of the issues surrounding Shasta Dam enlargement are the inundation of significant cultural 
sites, environmental impacts, and relocations of 1-5 and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Because of these 
issues and the high capital cost of construction, this project has been deferred indefinitely. 

Clair Engle Lake Enlargement. An alternative to the Shasta Lake enlargement is enlarging Clair 
Engle Lake by raising Trinity Dam. The capital cost of this project would be less than the Shasta Lake 
Enlargement because of lower relocation costs. This option would raise Trinity Dam by about 200 feet to 
increase reservoir storage by about 4.8 MAF. (See Figure 1 1-12.) 

As envisioned by Harza Engineering Company, unregulated flood flows from the Sacramento River 
would be pumped to Clair Engle Lake through a pump/generation facility. Water would then be released 
to Shasta Reservoir to meet the water needs during the dry season. Enlarging Clair Engle Lake would 
have a water supply benefit of about 700,000 AF per year. Production of hydroelectric power during 
on-peak periods could provide revenues to help finance the project. The environmental impacts have 
not been identified. 



348 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Figure 11-12. Clair Engie Enlargement and Westside Sacramento Valley 
Storage and Conveyance Concepts 



CLAIR ENGLE ENLARGEMENT 

& CLAIR ENGLE / SHASTA 

INTERTIE 



CLAIR ENGLE LAKE. 



LEW1ST0N LAKE 



SHASTA LAKE 



OROVILLE INTERTIE 



LAKE OROVIXE 




349 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Westside Sacramento Valley Project. This concept was first presented in Bulletin 3, "The 
California Water Plan," published in 1957. The Westside conveyance facility would originate above 
Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River and would convey water along the west side of the Sacramento 
Valley and could be extended to Clifton Court Forebay in the South Delta. Anderson Cottonwood Canal, 
Tehema Colusa Canal, Glenn Colusa Canal, Coming Canal, and a number of smaller Sacramento River 
diverters could be supplied by the Westside Canal. Under this option, Red Bluff Diversion Dam and 
major pumping plants and diversions along the Sacramento River could be removed, providing free 
flowing river from Keswick to the Delta. A cross-valley conveyance facility could also connect the 
Oroville complex with the Westside Canal, to convey SWP water to the Banks Pumping Plant. The 
facility could deliver over 3 MAP of CVP water to Sacramento Valley service areas eliminating over 300 
unscreened diversions along the Sacramento River. If the canal were extended to the Clifton Court 
Forebay, it would replace the isolated facility discussed in Chapter 10. (See Figure 1 1-12.) 

This option could greatly reduce the impact of diversions on Sacramento River fishery; would 
improve conditions for Sacramento River fish migrations, thus enhancing the recovery of the winter run 
Chinook salmon; would begin the restoration of the Delta by reducing direct diversions and pumping 
from the Delta; and could provide good quality water for urban users. 

Westside Reservoirs. Yet another alternative to the Shasta Lake Enlargement is offstream storage 
facihties in the westside of the Sacramento Valley. This concept was also first proposed in Bulletin 3. 
However, this option combined with the Westside Sacramento Valley Project as envisioned by CH2MHill 
Engineering, would tie Shasta, Clair Engle, and Oroville reservoirs and would be operated for multiple 
uses including flood control, environmental, and water supply. There are number of sites on the Westside 
of the Sacramento Valley that could be investigated for offstream reservoirs, including various sites on 
Cottonwood Creek, Stony Creek, Red Bank Creek and Sites Reservoir (west of Maxwell) among others. 
Under this option, a portion of the Sacramento River flood flows would be diverted and stored in 
offstream reservoirs for later use, thus reducing flood flows downstream. 

Mid- Valley Canal. The USBR investigated options to provide supplemental water supplies to the 
east side of the San Joaquin Valley to improve the ground water overdraft problem. A Report on the San 
Joaquin Valley Conveyance Investigation, released in June 1990, identified the Mid- Valley Canal as the 
best option to develop a long-term solution to the valley overdraft problem. 

The San Joaquin Valley Conveyance Investigation involves issues and activities affecting CVP water 
yield and project management. These include fish agreements and negotiations, the CVP Improvement 
Act of 1992, Delta point of diversion and rediversion under CVP water rights, consolidated place of use 
for CVP water rights, cross-Delta facilities, conveyance capacity south of the Delta, and the CVP water 
contracting program. 

Because these unresolved issues will have an impact on the availability of a supplemental water 
supply for the canal, further work has been deferred on the San Joaquin Valley Conveyance Investigation. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Folsom South Canal Extensioa Folsom South Canal originates at Nimbus Dam on the American 
River and extends southward toward San Joaquin County. The original plan was for a 68.8 mile-long 
canal, terminating about 20 miles southeast of the City of Stockton to deliver American River water to 
agricultural and urban contractors. The first two reaches of the canal were completed in 1973 to a point 
just south of State Highway 104. Construction of the three remaining reaches, a total of 42.1 miles, has 
been suspended pending completion and consideration of alternative studies. 

American River Water Resources Investigation. A five-year study of water needs and water 
supply alternatives in the American River Watershed and adjacent counties began in 1991 . The study is 
governed by a memorandum of agreement between USER and the Sacramento Metropolitan Water 
Authority. Costs are shared on a 50/50 basis. Other local cost sharing partners include the American 
River Authority, Sacramento County Water Agency, and San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water 
Conservation District. DWR is represented at the executive and management level and provides in-kind 
services. The study area includes portions of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Sutter 
counties. The results of this study will be coordinated with early stages of design of the American River 
Flood Control Project, if authorized by Congress. 

This study, under the leadership of the USBR, will evaluate alternatives for supplying unmet water 
demands in the study area. Included as alternatives are water transfers, conjunctive use, water 
conservation, and development of additional water supplies on the American River and other rivers in the 
study area. The feasibility report and environmental documentation for this study should be completed in 
1996. 

Local Water Supply Augmentation. Several possibilities for augmenting local water supplies are 
discussed below. 

Gray Water Use. Gray water use could help reduce the demand for potable fresh water over the 
long term. Most homes have the potential to produce between 24 and 36 gallons of gray water per person 
per day. Many population centers in California are located in areas where the climate requires landscape 
irrigation at least seven months of the year, so gray water could replace potable water during that time 
span. Gray water would generally only be practical in larger lots where adequate side clearances can be 
maintained for subsurface irrigation fields. 

A more substantial use of gray water in residential areas would require major investments in 
plumbing and may not be practical for existing housing. The expected population increase between 1990 
and 2020 is about 19 million people. If half of these people live in single-family dwellings in new 
housing with gray water plumbing, the potential for gray water use, at 30 gallons per person per day, 
could be about 180,000 AF of water in 2020. 

Waste Water Recycling. A "Survey for Future Water Reclamation Potential" (final report, July 
1993) was conducted by the Water Use Association of California. The report indicates that there is 



351 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

potential for accelerating the pace of water recycling in the future which could raise the ultimate 
statewide water recycling to about 850,000 AF per year. 

Level I water recycling options would produce an additional 800,000 AF per year by the year 2020 
(Table 1 1-1). Ultimately there could be a potential for another 150,000 to 700,000 AF per year of 
recycled water which should be investigated under Level II options. 

Water Desalting. Engineers and scientists have been working on economical ways to desalt 
agricultural brackish water and sea water for the last 50 years. While assessing environmental impacts is 
important in planning for desalting, the major limitation to desalting is its high cost, much of which is 
directly related to high energy requirements. Ocean water desalting costs range from $900 to $2,000 per 
AF at sea level; additional costs are required to convey the water to the place of use. With few 
exceptions, the combined costs are far greater than obtaining water from most other sources. Costs of 
agricultural drainage water desalting are about $500 to $600 per AF. Table 11-11 shows potential future 
ocean water desalting projects by hydrologic regions. The largest post-2000 desalination projects are 
currently in the conceptual stages. MWDSC and the San Diego County Water Authority are currently 
planning for these projects. Future desalting programs depend on several factors including the success of 
initial pilot projects (including determination of environmental requirements) and the availability and 
cost of other sources of supply. Because of its high cost and the uncertain future, desalting is considered 
to be a minor possible option for future water supply. Its use is not likely to be widespread and therefore 
is not included in water supply projections and the water balance in this report. 

Table 11-11. Annual 1990 and Potential Future Ocean Desalting by Region 

(in acre -feet) 



Region 


1990 


2000 


2010 


2020 


NC 


— 


— 


— 


— 


SF 


— 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 


CC 


10,300 


17,800 


19,800 


19,800 


SC 


266 


110,300 


220,300 


370,300 


Total 


10,600 


129,100 


241,100 


391,100 



Reuse of Brackish Agricultural Drainage Water. Agricultural drainage is reused extensively 
throughout the State. As drainage water is reused, its salinity can be increased to a level that prohibits 
further reuse for most crops. Some salt tolerant crops can be grown with a portion of applied water 
having a relatively high concentration of dissolved solids. Fresh water use might be reduced by 
substituting brackish agricultural drainage water or brackish shallow ground water for irrigation during 
the mid- and late growing season. Using drainage water for irrigation of some salt tolerant crops was 
studied and discussed in the Management Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drairuzge and Related 
Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley report. 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

The primary concern in long-term use of brackish drainage water for irrigation is the impact of sah 
accumulation on the integrity and productivity of the soil. Before a decision can be made about large 
scale reuse of brackish agricultural drainage water for irrigation, field-sized pilot experiments should be 
conducted during the next decade to examine the impact of salt accumulation on soil and the feasibility 
of commercial farming with brackish water. 

San Diego County Water Authority Emergency Water Storage Project. The San Diego County 
Water Authority is conducting studies to determine the best method for meeting the county's emergency 
water storage needs. The project's goal is to provide sufficient water storage capacity so the county can 
endure a six-month supply interruption without severe economic and environmental damage. 

The county relies on water imported from MWDSC via the California and the Colorado River 
aqueducts for about 90 percent of its total supply. However, the imported water supply pipelines cross 
three major earthquake faults and the flood-prone San Luis Rey River. Currently, San Diego County's 
105,000 AF of emergency storage is considered inadequate. The latest population growth projections 
indicate that the county will need as much as 100,000 AF in increased storage capacity by 2030. 

The objective of the current study is to identify combinations of various elements that are capable of 
meeting the requirements for emergency storage. Each system alternative may be comprised of any or all 
of the following elements: surface reservoirs, ground water basins, emergency re-operation, and new 
pipeline facilities. There are currently five surface storage sites being considered. San Vicente and Lake 
Wohlford are existing reservoirs that would be expanded. The others — Guejito Valley, Moss Canyon, 
and Pamo Valley — would be new surface reservoirs. Five ground water basins have been identified 
which may play a role in the emergency storage project. The Authority is also examining reoperation - 
reconfiguring and enlarging the existing distribution system so that pipelines can shift water among the 
existing reservoirs in the county. 

The reservoir sites, ground water basins, and reoperation can be combined in many different systems 
to meet the county's emergency storage needs. Strategies to be examined will also include the use of 
recycled waste water as a source of supply, under the criteria that will be used by the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers and the federal Environmental Protection Agency when granting the necessary permits under 
the Clean Water Act. The review process is designed to select the least environmentally damaging, most 
practicable alternatives. 

Santa Clara Valley Water District. Santa Clara Valley Water District is currently investigating 
various ways of providing additional drought year supplies for its service area. Investigations include 
increased water conservation programs (to reduce demand), water reclamation, permanent water transfers, 
and additional long-term storage. Existing facilities and contracts can meet current and future demands 
during average years through the year 2020. Additional supplies are needed to meet the district's demand 
during drought periods. Projected drought year deficiencies are approximately 125,000 AF annually. 



353 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 

Other Water Management And Supply Augmentation Options could include Delta transfer 
facilities such as an isolated pipeline through or around the Delta for municipal and industrial purposes 
only, and watershed management. Potential water supply management benefits from implementing water 
shed management in national forests could be about 100,000 AF statewide. There is also some potential 
for watershed management on lands other than those owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Evaluation of 
such options would be performed during alternative analyses for specific water management programs. 



354 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, Novemher 1993 



12 WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND 
BALANCE 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

12 WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND BALANCE 

Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanack, "When the well's dry, we know the worth of 
water." This simple truism embodies the key to determining the value of water — the scarcer it is, the 
more valuable. Furthermore, the consequences of poor quality water or deficient supplies can range from 
minor inconveniences to damaging economic and environmental effects. In extreme cases, the 
consequences endanger human health. Water must be available in the quantity and quality expected for 
stability, productivity, growth, and a healthy environment. The water supply must be reliable to achieve 
these ends. 

The term "reliability" is used in the day-to-day planning and management of California's water 
resources. It is a measure of a water service system's expected success in managing drought shortages, 
without detrimental effects, and providing a supply that meets expected demands. It is not strictly a 
characteristic of water supply because it includes demand management and any actions, such as 
emergency water allocation programs during drought years, that can mitigate the effects of shortages. 
Given this definition, California essentially had an adequate average annual developed supply that could 
meet the 1990 level urban, agricultural, and environmental water demands. However, the actual 1990 
drought experience found many Califomia communities and the environment suffering from a somewhat 
less than reliable drought supply to meet drought year needs. 

This water plan update presents two water supply and demand scenarios to best illustrate overall 
demand and supply availability. An average year and a drought year are presented for the 1990 level of 
development and for projections to 2020. Shortages shown under average conditions are chronic 
shortages indicating the need for additional long-term water management measures. Shortages shown 
under drought conditions can be met by both long-term and short-term measures, depending on the 
frequency and severity of the shortage and water service reliability requirements. 



California's Water Supply Availability 

Average year supply: the average annual supply of a water development system over a long 
period. For this report the SWP and CVP average year supply is the average annual delivery ca- 
pability of the projects over a 70-year study period (1922-91). For a local project, it is the annu- 
al average deliveries of the project during the 1984-1986 period. For dedicated natural flow, it is 
the long-term average natural flow for wild and scenic rivers or it is environmental flows £is re- 
quired for an average year under specific agreements, water rights, court decisions, and congres- 
sional directives. 

Drought year supply: the average annual supply of a water development system during a 
defined drought period. For this report, the drought period is the average of water years 1990 
and 1 991 . For dedicated natural flow, it is the average of water years 1 990 and 1 991 for wild and 
scenic rivers or it is environmental flows as required under specific agreements, water rights, 
court decisions, and congressional directives. 



355 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

This chapter presents 1990 level and future water needs to 2020 and balances them with supplies 
from existing facilities and water management programs, along with future demand management and 
water supply augmentation options (the California Water Balance). Future water management options are 
presented in two levels to better reflect the status of investigations required to implement them. 

O Level I options are those that have undergone extensive investigation and 
environmental analyses and are judged to have a higher likelihood of being 
implemented by 2020. 

O Level II options are those that could fill the remaining gap shown in the 
balance between supply and urban, agricultural, and environmental water 
demands. These options require more extensive investigation and 
alternative analyses. 

Recommended actions follow the California water balance. These actions are needed to implement a 
proactive water resource management program to restore the health of our rivers and aquatic species 
while making our water supply infrastructure more reliable. A discussion on the economic costs of 
unreliability is also provided. Chapter 10 presents a discussion of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 
water management programs that could lead to improvements in Delta water transfer efficiency while 
improving conditions for aquatic species. Chapter 11 presents detailed descriptions of Level I and Level 
II demand augmentation and supply management options. 

Water Supply 

California should be able to meet its future water service reliability needs through a variety of water 
management actions designed to supplement, improve, and make better use of existing systems while 
protecting and enhancing the aquatic environment. These demand management and supply augmentation 
options include increased water conservation, expanded conveyance system capabilities, additional 
storage facilities , additional waste water recycling, more reliance on conjunctive use of ground water 
basins, and increasing the use of water transfers and water banking. The following sections summarize 
the benefits of existing water management programs and future Level I and Level II water management 
options that can be implemented to meet California's water service reliability needs. 

Existing Water Management Programs 

Table 12-1 shows California's water supply with existing facilities and programs. (Supplies from the 
Delta were calculated under D-1485 operating criteria.) The 1990 level average annual supply is about 
63.7 million acre-feet (including natural flows dedicated for instream use) and could increase to 65.2 
MAF by 2020 without any additional facilities or programs. A possible substantial reduction in 
Colorado River supplies could be offset largely by short-term transfers and increased SWF Delta 
diversions. The 1990 level annual drought year supply is about 50.5 MAF and could increase as demands 
increase to 50.9 MAF by 2020 without additional storage and water management options. Note that 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

supplies shown for the Delta exports do not take into account the 1993 biological opinions to protect 
winter-run salmon and Delta smelt which have significantly reduced existing Delta export capacity. In 
addition, the supplies shown under D-1485 do not take into account 800,000 AP of CVP water now 
dedicated to environmental needs pursuant to the CVPIA. As a result of these actions, the CVP and SWP 
supplies are overstated. However, proposed environmental water demands are included in the 
l-to-3-MAF range of additional environmental water needs in the California Water Balance. 

The largest single source of water supply in California is ground water. On average, ground water 
provides about 14 MAP of applied water annually. However, because of deep percolation and extensive 
reuse of applied water, current average annual net ground water use is about 8.5 MAF, including about 
1 .0 MAF of ground water overdraft. Also, there could be an additional 0.2 MAF of overdraft due to 
possible degradation of ground water quality in the trough of the San Joaquin Valley ground water basins. 
In drought years, the net use of ground water increases significantly to 13.2 MAF (including overdraft), 
which indicates the importance of the State's ground water basins as storage facilities to meet drought 
year water needs. 

Annual ground water overdraft in 1990 was reduced by about 1 MAF from the 1980 level of 2 MAF. 
The reduction is mostly in the San Joaquin Valley and is due primarily to the benefits of imported 
supplies to the Tulare Region and construction and operation of new reservoirs in the San Joaquin Region 
during the 1960s and 1970s. 



357 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

However, until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified, the reductions in overdraft seen 
in the last decade in the San Joaquin Valley will reverse as more ground water is pumped to make up for 
lost surface water supplies from the Delta. 



Table 12-1. California Water Supply with Existing Facilities and Programs 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Actions for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 



Supply 


1990 




2020 




Change 




Supplies 

Surface: 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average Drought 


Local 


10.1 


8.2 


10.3 


8.4 


0.2 


0.2 


Imports by local agencies^ 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


0.7 


0.0 


0.0 


Colorado River 


5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


-0.8 


-0.7 


CVP 


7.5 


5.0 


7.9 


5.1 


0.4 


0.1 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.2 


0.8 


0.0 


0.0 


SWP1 


2.8 


2.2 


3.4 


2.1 


0.6 


-0.1 


Reclaimed 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.0 


Ground water 


7.5 


12.2 


8.3 


12.9 


0.8 


0.7 


Ground water overdraft 


1.0 


1.0 


0.7 


0.7 


-0.3 


-0.3 


Dedicated Natural Flow 


27.2 


15.1 


27.8 


15.6 


0.6 


0.5 


Total Supplies 


63.7 


50.5 


65.2 


50.9 


1.5 


0.4 



^ 1 990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset reduction of supplies from the Mono and 
Owens basins to the South Coeist hydrologic region. 



Level I Water Management Options 

Water managers are looking into a wide variety of water management actions to supplement, 
improve, and make better use of existing resources. The single most important action will be solving key 
issues in the Delta. The challenge is to continue to explore new and innovative water management 
methods while implementing various programs and facilities to meet the water demands of the State's 
growing population, agriculture, and the environment. Level I demand management and water supply 
management options are described in detail in Chapter 11. 

The following sections summarize the water supply benefits of Level I Water Management Programs. 
The contribution of these programs to future California water supplies is included in Table 12-2, which 
shows statewide water supply assuming additional water supply augmentation and management 
programs, under Level I, would be in place. Level I options could contribute up to an additional 1 .2 
MAF in an average year by the year 2020. The drought year contribution could be an additional 3.5 
MAF by 2020. Most of the increase would be through new State and local facilities and programs as 

358 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

discussed below. Implementation of these programs would also reduce ground water overdraft by 0.2 
MAF in both average and drought years. 



Table 12-2. California Water Supply with Level I Water Management Options 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria without Endangered Species Actions for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 



Supply 


1990 




2020 




Change 




Supplies 

Surface: 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Average Drought 


Local 


10.1 


8.2 


10.3 


8.4 


0.2 


0.2 


imports by local agencies'' 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


1.0 


0.0 


0.3 


Colorado River 


5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


-0.8 


-0.7 


CVP 


7.5 


5.0 


7.9 


5.1 


0.4 


0.1 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.2 


0.8 


0.0 


0.0 


swpi 


2.8 


2.2 


4.1 


3.0 


1.3 


0.8 


Reclaimed 


0.2 


0.2 


0.7 


0.7 


0.5 


0.5 


Ground water 


7.5 


12.2 


7.8 


12.8 


0.3 


0.7 


Ground water overdraft 


1.0 


1.0 


0.5 


0.5 


-0.5 


-0.5 


Dedicated Natural Flow 


27.2 


15.1 


27.8 


15.6 


0.6 


0.5 


Total 


63.7 


50.5 


65.7 


52.3 


2.0 


1.8 



^ 1990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset reduction of supplies from tfie Mono and 
Owens basins to the South Coast hydrologic region. 

Demand Management Programs. These programs are designed to reduce long-term demand for 
water (water conservation and land retirement), or to manage supplies during short-term drought 
conditions (mandatory conservation and land fallowing) to ensure water service for critical needs. 
Critical needs include maintaining public health and safety, providing for industrial and commercial uses, 
preserving permanent crops such as trees and vines, saving high investment crops such as cut flowers and 
nursery products, and ensuring the survival of fish and wildlife. 

Level I urban water conservation, through implementation of urban Best Management Practices, 
could reduce urban applied water by 1 .3 MAF and reduce net water demand by 0.9 MAF by 2020. 
Level I agricultural water conservation, through increased irrigation efficiencies and implementation of 
Efficient Water Management Practices, could reduce agricultural applied water by 1 .7 MAF and reduce 
net water demand by 0.3 MAF by 2020. Agricultural land retirement of 45,000 acres (primarily lands 
with poor drainage conditions) under Level I could further reduce agricultural net water demand by 0. 15 
MAF by 2020. 

Short-term demand management options during periods of drought, such as demand reduction 
through urban rationing programs, could reduce net water demands by 1 .0 MAF. The urban rationing 
program is illustrative of a 10-percent shortage for drought events that could occur about once every 20 

359 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

years. During less frequently occurring and more severe droughts (i.e., an event that occurs once every 
100 years), much greater shortages would occur, causing substantial economic impacts to urban and 
agricultural areas and environmental impacts to fish and wildlife. 

Rationing becomes less effective and more costly over time because of the implementation of 
long-term institutionalized conservation practices, such as the urban BMPs. Accounting for this 
phenomenon of demand hardening is critical to the determination of shortage costs. A 10-percent 
shortage is used to illustrate the Level I option. Planning for such drought rationing programs must 
include evaluation of the cost of shortages versus the cost of providing the supply. Further, drought 
rationing programs will vary from region to region depending on each region's water service reliability 
needs. See Chapter 11 for a full discussion of these Level I options. 

Local Agency Programs. Local programs are designed to augment both average and drought year 
supplies, with some programs primarily providing drought year supplies. Water reclamation (including 
waste water recycling and ground water reclamation) is expected to increase local average and drought 
year supplies by about 0.5 MAF per year by 2020 (the 1990 level of reclamation is about 0.3 MAF per 
year). Other Level I local water management programs under study could improve local drought supplies 
by about 0.3 MAF annually by 2020. These programs include additional supplies planned by The 
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from construction of Domenigoni Valley Reservoir, 
East Bay Municipal Utility District's water management program, Monterey Peninsula Water 
Management District's construction of New Los Padres Reservoir on the Carmel River, and benefits from 
El Dorado County Water Agency's water resources development and management program. The water 
supply of Contra Costa Water District's Los Vaqueros Reservoir and the CVP portion of El Dorado 
County Water Agency's water management program are accounted for under existing CVP supplies. 

Offsetting some of the supply improvements to the South Coast Region are actions that reduce 
reliability of supplies. The City of Los Angeles has historically imported a major portion of its supply 
from Mono and Owens basins, South Lahontan Region. Export of water from these basins has been the 
subject of litigation since the early 1970s. In 1972, the County of Inyo filed suit against the City of Los 
Angeles claiming that increases in ground water pumping for export were harming the Owens Valley 
environment. The parties recently reached agreements on the long-term ground water management plan 
for the Owens Valley. Flow diversions from Mono Basin also have been the subject of extensive 
litigation. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is now prohibited by court order from 
diverting from Mono Lake tributaries until the lake level stabilizes at 6,377 feet above sea level. These 
lawsuits, together with the impact of the recent drought, resulted in an estimated reduction of over 0.3 
MAF in 1990 exports from the basins by LADWP. Due to these reductions in imported supplies from 
Mono and Owens basins, LADWP increased its request for supplemental water supplies from MWDSC. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

As a result, MWDSC increased its request for deliveries of SWP supplies, thus increasing demands on 
Delta supplies. 

In addition, California in recent years has received about 5 MAF of Colorado River water annually, 
including about 0.6 MAF of surplus water. As Arizona and the states in the Upper Colorado River Basin 
increase the use of their apportionments, the availability of surplus supplies for California will be 
diminished. This will also affect supplies in the Colorado River Region, but will have the greatest 
impacts on imports to the South Coast Region. MWDSC is looking to short-term transfers to fill the 
Colorado River Aqueduct in order to maintain the reliability of its supplies (see the water marketing and 
transfers section). 

State Water Project Programs. Average annual SWP supplies could increase from the 1990 level of 
2.8 MAF to 3.4 MAF by 2020 due to increased demand. Historically, project deliveries were lower 
than they could be in the future, reflecting the fact that demands were lower then than they are now and 
the ability to use unused diversion capability of the SWP that is possible with existing facilities operated 
under SWRCB D-1485. SWP drought year annual supplies, without additional facilities, will only be 
about 2.1 MAF from 1990 to 2020, based on 1990-91 drought conditions. However, recent and future 
actions to protect aquatic species could greatly limit SWP export capability from the Delta, thus reducing 
the reliability of existing SWP supplies and the feasibility of additional storage facilities and the ability 
to transfer water until solutions to complex Delta problems and future fishery requirements are identified. 

Average annual SWP delivery capability could increase from the 1990 level of 2.8 MAF to about 4.1 
MAF in 2020 with additional Level I facilities to augment SWP supplies (under D-1485 criteria). These 
programs include the South Delta Water Management programs, long-term Delta facilities, the Kern 
Water Bank and Local Elements, and the Los Banos Grandes Facilities. These projects, which are 
included as Level I options, have been planned in significant detail, including environmental impact 
assessments. As planning is finalized, implementation of these projects is authorized under existing 
DWR authority and financing. Table 12-3 shows the projected SWP delivery capability and SWP water 
demands. By the year 2020 the annual SWP contractor demand on the SWP supply to contractors would 
be about 4. 1 MAF. SWP average annual delivery capability, with additional facilities, would be about 
4.2 MAF and would be able to meet contractor water demands in average years. The 2020 supplies 
would be reduced to 3.0 MAF in drought years reflecting the severity of the 1990 and 1991 drought 
event. 



361 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



Table 12-3. State Water Project Supplies 
(millions of acre-feet) 



SWP Delivery Capability^ 


Level of 


With Existing Facilities 


With Level 1 Additional 
Facilities^ 


SWP Delta 
Export 


Development 


Average 


Drought 


Average 


Drought 


Demand 


1990 


2.83 


2.2 






3.0 


2000 


3.3 


2.1 


3.6 


2.6 


3.7 


2010 


3.4 


2.0 


4.0 


3.0 


4.2 


2020 


3.4 


2.0 


4.1 


3.0 


4.2 



^Assumes D-1485. SWP capability with additional facilities is uncertain until solutions to complex Delta problems are implemented 
and future actions to protect aquatic species are identified. Includes conveyance losses. 

^Level I — includes South Delta Water Management programs, long-term Delta water management programs, the Kem Water Bank 
and Local Elements, and Los Banos Grades Facilities. 

31990 level SWP deliveries do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset the reduction of Mono and Owens basins to the South 
Coast Region. Reduction of Mono-Owens supplies in 1990 were offset by additional exports from the Delta to the South Coast 
Region. 

Note: Feather River Service area supplies are not included. FRSA average and drought supplies are 927,000 and 729,000 AF 
respectively. 



Central Valley Project Programs. CVP exports from the Delta through the Tracy Pumping Plant 
will not increase above historical levels because of existing pumping limitations. Future increases in CVP 
deliveries to the San Joaquin and San Francisco Bay regions would be primarily from increased Delta 
supplies to the Contra Costa Water District and supply development from New Melones Reservoir in the 
San Joaquin Region. 

CVP deliveries to urban contractors north of the Delta could increase as urban demand increases with 
existing CVP facilities. Supplies will most likely come from any presently developed surplus that may 
exist and from reallocation of existing CVP supplies. The CVP Improvement Act of 1992 and recent 
actions to protect aquatic species greatly affect current and future CVP operations. The USER is 
preparing a program EIS to implement provisions of the act. 

The USBR is required by the CVPIA to find replacement sources for 800,000 AF of water recently 
allocated to environmental uses. The 1990 level CVP supplies for average and drought years were about 
7.5 MAF and 5.0 MAF respectively, and are expected to increase slightly to 7.9 MAF and 5.1 MAF by 
2020 under D-1485 criteria. However, recent endangered species actions will greatly affect the 
feasibility of additional CVP storage facilities until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified. 

Water Marketing and Transfers. Water marketing and transfers can significantly increase the 
reliability of drought year supplies for some agricultural and urban areas and the environment. Such 
short-term transfers most often result in a reallocation of existing supplies, by either temporary (spot 
market) or long-term agreements. Sources of transfer water include reserve surface supplies, conjunctive 
use of ground water, and water made available by agricultural land fallowing. The contribution of such 

362 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

water transfers among willing sellers and buyers could be 0.6 MAF or more during drought years (as 
experienced in 1991), depending on location of the source and availability of short-term drought 
transfers from capacity in conveyance systems. There also is a 0.2 MAF potential for additional transfer 
from the Colorado River Region to the South Coast Region. (Chapter 1 1 presents a discussion of water 
transfer limitations.) Drought water transfer operations similar to the 1991 and 1992 State Drought Water 
Bank are being planned to lessen drought impacts in the future. 

Although water transfers are expected to significantly reduce overall economic impacts of droughts, 
from a statewide demand and supply perspective, water marketing would not significantly augment 
long-term average annual water supplies. Long-term transfers (ones that require supplies to be 
transferred every year, not only during drought years) are limited by available capacity in the major 
transportation and conveyance systems which are normally used at capacity during wet and average 
years. Nevertheless, transfer programs such as the IID-MWDSC agreement, which provides conserved 
IID water for transfer to the MWDSC service area by using available capacity in the Colorado River 
Aqueduct, will contribute to the State's long-term water supplies. 

However, there are currently institutional and physical limits to water transfers. Total usable transfer 
capacity of existing major conveyance facilities from the Delta, under D-1485, during drought years is 
about 1 .4 MAF per year. Level I drought water transfers from the Delta are estimated at 0.6 MAF, 
resulting in a remaining Level II transfer potential of about 0.8 MAF. The unused capacity of 
conveyance facilities is considerably less during average years when both projects would be able to 
export more of their own water. However, recent actions taken to protect fisheries in the Delta have 
considerably curtailed the pumping capability of the projects, resulting in increased limitations on the 
SWP and CVP facilities to convey or wheel water transfer water. The 1990 drought year usable transfer 
capacity of the SWP and CVP is estimated to be about 0.7 MAF when the projects are operated to 
comply with Delta smelt and winter-run salmon 1993 biological opinions. 

Future Water Management Options: Level II Options 

There are a number of future water management options requiring more extensive investigation and 
alternative analyses that could either further reduce demand or augment supplies to meet remaining 
demands to 2020. Level II water management programs are not inclusive of all available future options, 
but rather a starting point to begin investigations to fill the remaining gap shown in the balance between 
supply and urban, agricultural, and environmental demands. Chapter 1 1 presents a more descriptive 
discussion of Level II options. 

Water Demand 

California's estimated total net demand of water for the 1990 level of development was 63.7 MAF 
for the average year scenario and 53.2 MAF for the drought year scenario. Urban and agricultural 
demands are discussed in detail in Chapters 6 and 7 respectively. Environmental water demands are 

363 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



existing instream flow requirements, wild and scenic river flows, Bay-Delta protection requirements 
under SWRCB D-1485, and supplies for managed fresh water wetlands. Potential increases in 
environmental water demands are broken down into hypothetical Cases I through III (1 to 3 MAF), 
representing the envelope or range of potential and uncertain environmental water demands that have 
immediate and future consequences on supplies available from the Delta, beginning with actions taken in 
1992 and 1993 to protect winter-run salmon and Delta smelt (actions that could also indirectly protect 
and enhance conditions for other aquatic species) and water dedicated to environmental needs in the 
CVPIA. Environmental water needs are discussed in Chapter 8. 

Table 12^ shows the urban, agricultural, and environmental water demand for 1990 through 2020. 
Note that the net water demand is usually much less than applied water, because of the extensive reuse 
that takes place. Factors affecting California's water demand are briefly discussed below. 

Table 12-4. California Water Demand 

(in millions of acre-feet) 



Net Demand 



1990 2020 Change 

Average Drought Average Drought Average Drought 



Urban 

Applied water demand'' 
Net water demand^ 
Depletion^ 

Agriculture 
Applied water 
Net water demsmd 
Depletion 

Environmental 
Applied water 
Net water demand 
Depletion 

Other* 
Applied water 
Net water demand 
Depletion 



7.8 


8,1 


12.6 


13.1 


4.8 


5.0 


6.7 


7.0 


10.5 


11.0 


3.8 


4.0 


5.7 


6.0 


8.5 


8.9 


2.8 


2.9 


30.9 


32.8 


28.9 


30.4 


-2.0 


-2.4 


27.0 


28.4 


25.1 


26.3 


-1.9 


-2.1 


24.4 


25.8 


22.9 


24.2 


-1.5 


-1.6 


28.6 


16.4 


29.5 


17.3 


0.9 


0.9 


28.2 


16.1 


29.0 


16.9 


0.8 


0.8 


24.4 


12.7 


24.7 


13.0 


0.3 


0.3 


0.5 


0.5 


0.7 


0.5 


0.2 


0.0 


1.8 


1.7 


1.8 


1.5 


0.0 


-0.2 


1.3 


1.3 


1.3 


1.1 


0.0 


-0.2 



Total Applied Water 


67.9 


57.8 


71.7 


61.3 


3.8 


3.5 


Total Net Water 


63.7 


53.2 


66.4 


55.7 


2.7 


2.5 


Total Depletion 


55.8 


45.8 


57.4 


47.2 


1.6 


1.4 



^ The amount delivered to a water system intake, fami headgate, a marsh or other wetland, either directly or by incidental drainage flows. 
For instream use, the portion of streamflow reserved under the federal or State Wild and Scenic Rivers acts. 

^ The sum of evapotranspiration of applied water in an area, the irrecoverable losses from the distribution system, and the outflow leaving 
the service area. 

3 The water consumed within a service area and no longer available as a source of supply. 

* Includes recreational water use, conveyance losses, and energy production. 



364 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

Water conservation effects on net water demand vary greatly, depending on the opportunity for water 
reuse within an area. Effective water conservation in a region is the reduction in depletion, which is 
defined as reduction of the evapotranspiration of applied water, irrecoverable losses from a distribution 
system, and outflow to a salt sink. For example, in the Sacramento River Region water is reused 
extensively, so the potential for effective conservation is limited, but a large water savings potential exists 
in the Colorado River Region and the coastal regions, where excess applied water generally enters saline 
sinks (for example, the Salton Sea or the Pacific Ocean), or saline ground water basins and cannot be 
economically reused. 

Reductions in applied water can often be beneficial because they reduce the pumping and treatment 
costs for urban uses and could reduce overall diversions from streams and rivers to benefit fish and 
wildlife. However, care must be taken to look at impacts on downstream reuse such as other farms or 
wetlands that rely on excess applied water. 

Average demand for water for the 1990 level of development is normalized. Normalization of 
agricultural net water demand is based on adjusted irrigated acreages due to changes in crop markets, 
government intervention (farm programs), and the effect of annual hydrologic conditions on water use, 
such as drought. Normalization of urban water demand is based on adjusted per capita use to take into 
account the impact of the drought on urban water use (see Chapters 6 and 7). 

Unit water demand during drought years increases because crops and landscapes require more 
irrigation earlier in the season to replace lost precipitation. However, insufficient supplies force demand 
management measures, such as more intensive irrigation management, water rationing, and land 
fallowing. These measures help reduce the actual water use during extreme drought, but overall demand 
for water during drought periods is generally greater than average. 

California's annual net water demands in 2020 are projected to reach 66.4 MAF in average years and 
55.7 MAF in drought years. With the range of 1 to 3 MAF for proposed additional environmental water 
demands, California's annual net water demand could increase to 67.4 to 69.4 MAF in average years and 
56.7 to 58.7 MAF in drought years, depending on the outcome of actions currently being taken to 
improve environmental conditions for aquatic species. These demand projections include the effects of 
existing and future urban and agricultural water conservation efforts to reduce applied water use. 

Urban Water Use. California's population is projected to increase to 49 million people by 2020 
(from about 30 million in 1990) and even with extensive water conservation, urban annual net water 
demand will increase by about 3.8 MAF. Nearly half of the increased population is expected to occur in 
the South Coast Region, increasing that region's annual water demand by 1 .5 MAF (see Chapter 6). 

Agricultural Water Use. Irrigated agricultural acreage is expected to decline by nearly 400,000 
acres, from the 1990 level of 9.2 million acres to a 2020 level of 8.8 million acres, representing a 700,000 
acre reduction from the 1980 level. Reductions in projected irrigated acreage are due primarily to urban 

365 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

encroachment onto agricultural land and land retirement in the western San Joaquin Valley where poor 
drainage conditions exist. Increases in agricultural water use efficiency, combined with reductions in 
agricultural acreage and shifts to growing high-value, lower-water-use crops are expected to reduce 
agricultural annual net water demand by about 2 MAF by 2020 (see Chapter 7). 

Environmental Water Use. The 1990 level and projections of environmental water needs include 
water needs of managed fresh water wetlands, instream fishery requirements. Delta outflow, and wild and 
scenic rivers. Environmental water needs during drought years are considerably lower than average 
years, reflecting principally the variability of natural flows in the North Coast wild and scenic rivers. 
Furthermore, regulatory agencies have proposed a number of changes in instream flow needs for major 
rivers, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin. These proposed flow requirements are not additive; 
however, an increase from 1 to 3 MAF is presented to envelope potential environmental water needs as a 
result of proposed additional instream needs and actions under way by regulatory agencies, both of 
which benefit fisheries. 

Implementation of the CVP Improvement Act is an example of an ongoing activity significantly 
affecting water and fishery management conditions in California. The State is working closely with the 
federal government in implementing the act. The work includes negotiation of the cost-sharing 
agreement for environmental restoration measures required by the Act. Some of the cost-shared 
measures to be covered in the agreement include: 

O Construction of the Shzista Dam temperature control device 

O improvement of fish passage conditions at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam 

O Provision of Level 4 water supply to specified wildlife refuges in the Central 
Valley 

O Restoration of spawning gravels 

O Screening diversions 

When implemented, the mandated restoration measures should constitute a particularly significant 
benefit to fishery conditions on the upper Sacramento River. These restoration measures will be put into 
place over the next decade and beyond, reflecting the magnitude of the undertaking encompassed by the 
Act. 

California Water Balance 

The California Water Balance, Table 12-5, compares total net water demand with supplies from 
1990 through 2020. (Delta supplies assume SWRCB's D-1485 operating criteria without endangered 
species action.) Average annual supplies for the 1990 level of development are generally adequate to 
meet average demands. However, during drought, 1990-level supplies are insufficient to meet demand, 
which results in a shortage of over 2.7 MAF under D-1485 criteria in 1990. In drought years 1991 and 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

1992, these shortages were reflected in urban mandatory water conservation, agricultural land fallowing 
and crop shifts, reduction of environmental flows, and short-term water transfers. 

Projected 2020 net demand for urban, agricultural, and environmental water needs amounts to 66.4 
MAF in average years and 55.7 MAF in drought years, after accounting for future reductions of 1.3 MAF 
in net water demand due to increased water conservation efforts (resulting from implementation of urban 
BMPs, agricultural EWMPs, and increased agricultural irrigation efficiencies discussed in Chapters 6 
and 7) and another 0.15-MAF reduction due to future land retirement. These demand amounts could 
increase by 1 to 3 MAF depending on the outcome of a number of actions being taken to protect aquatic 
species (see Chapter 8). 

By 2020, without additional facilities and improved water management, an annual shortage of 2.2 to 
4.2 MAF could occur during average years depending on the outcome of various actions taking place to 
protect aquatic species. This shortage is considered chronic and indicates the need for implementing 
long-term water supply augmentation and management measures to improve water service reliability. 
Similarly, by year 2020, annual drought year shortages could amount to 5.8 to 7.8 MAF under D-1485 
criteria, also indicating the need for long-term measures. 

However, water shortages would vary from region to region and sector to sector For example, the 
South Coast Region's population is expected to increase to over 25 million people by 2020, requiring an 
additional average year water supply of 1 .5 MAF. Population growth and increased demand combined 
with a possibility of reduced supplies from the Colorado River means the South Coast Region's annual 
shortages for 2020 could amount to 0.4 MAF for average years and 1 .0 MAF in drought years. Projected 
shortages would be larger if solutions to complex Delta problems are not found and proposed local water 
management programs and additional facilities for the SWP are not constructed. 

Level I water management options could reduce ground water overdraft and projected shortages in 
2020. Included are short-term drought management options (demand reduction through urban rationing 
programs or water transfers that reallocate existing supplies through use of reserve supplies and 
agricultural land fallowing programs) and long-term demand management and supply augmentation 
options (increased water conservation, agricultural land retirement, additional waste water recycling, 
benefits of a long-term Delta solution, more conjunctive use programs, and additional 
south-of-the-Delta storage facilities). These factors combined leave a potential shortfall in annual 
supplies of about 1 .6 to 3.6 MAF in average years and 2.5 to 4.5 MAF in drought years that must be 
made up by future water supply augmentation and demand management programs shown as Level II 
options. (Chapter 1 1 explains these options.). 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



Table 12-5. California Water Balance 
(millions of acre -feet) 



Net Demand/Suppiy/Baiance 



1990 



2020 



average drought average drought 



Net Demand 

Urban - with 1990 level of conservation 

- reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level I) 
Agricultural - with 1990 level of conservation 

- reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level I) 

- land retirement in poor drainage areas of San Joaquin Valley (Level 1) 
Environmental 

Other 
Subtotal 

Proposed Additional Environmental Water Demands^ 

Case I - Hypothetical 1 MAP 

Case II -Hypothetical 2 MAP 

Case III - Hypothetical 3 MAP 



6.7 



27.0 



28.2 

1.8 

63.7 



7.1 



28.3 



16.1 

1.7 

53.2 



11.4 
-0.9 
25.5 
-0.4 
-0.1 
29.1 
1.8 
66.4 

1.0 
2.0 
3.0 



11.9 
-0.9 
26.8 
-0.4 
-0.1 
16.9 
1.5 
55.7 

1.0 
2.0 
3.0 



Total Net Demand 
Case I 
Case II 
Case III 



63.7 



53.2 



Total Water Supplies 



63.7 



50.5 



67.4 56.7 

68.4 57.7 

69.4 58.7 



Water Supplies w/Existing Facilities Under D-1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Exports 

Developed Supplies 

Surface Water 28.0 22.2 28.4 21.7 

Groundwater 7.5 12.2 8.3 12.9 

Ground Water Overdraft 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.7 

Subtotal 36.5 35.4 37.4 35.3 

Dedicated Natural Plow 27.2 15.1 27.8 15.6 



65.2 



50.9 



Demand/Supply Balance 
Case I 
Caseil 
Case ill 



0.0 



-2.7 



-2.2 
-3.2 
-4.2 



-5.8 
-6 8 
-7 8 



Level I Water Management Options: ^ 

Long-Term Supply Augmentation 

Reclaimed 

Local 

Central Valley Project 

State Water Project 
Short-term Drought Management 

Potential Demand Management 

Drought Water Transfers 
Subtotal- Level I Water Management Options: 

Net Ground or Surface Water Use Reduction Resulting from Level I Programs 



1.0 
0.8 
1.8 



0.5 
0.0 
0.0 
0.7 



1.2 

-0.6 



0.5 
0.3 
0.0 
0.9 

1.0 

0.8 

3.5 

-0.2 



Net Total Demand Reduction/Supply Augmentation 


- 


i.6 


0.6 


13 


Remaining Demand/Supply Balance Requiring Future Level 11 Options 


0.0 


-0.9 






Casel 


- 


- 


-1.6 


-2.5 


Caseil 


- 


- 


-2.6 


-3.5 


Case III 


- 


- 


-3.6 


-4.5 



' Proposed Environmental Water Demands -Csise l-lll envelope pratential and uncertain demands that have immediate and future conse- 
quences on supplies available from the Delta, beginning with actions in 1992 and 1993 to protect winter- run salmon and Delta smelt (ac- 
tions which could also indirectly protect other fish species). 

^ Protection of fish and wildlife and a long-term solution to complex Delta problems will determine the feasibility of several water supply 
augmentation proposeils and their water supply benefits. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

Recommendations 

The California Water Balance, Table 12-5, indicates the potential magnitude of water shortages that 
can be expected in average and drought years if no actions are taken to improve water supply reliability. 
The water balance also illustrates the water supply benefits of short- and long-term water management 
programs under Level I options and the need for a program to address fishery needs. These needs must 
be more clearly defined so that the water supply requirements can be assessed and the remaining water 
supply needs and sources identified. 

The Delta is the hub of California's water supply infrastructure; key problems in the Delta must be 
addressed before several of the Level I options in this California Water Plan Update can be carried out. It 
is recommended that finding solutions to those problems be the first priority. Also, a proactive approach 
to improving fishery conditions — such as better water temperature control for spawning, better 
screening of diversions in the river system to reduce incidental take, and better timing of reservoir 
releases to improve fishery habitat — must be taken so that solutions to the Delta problems mesh with 
basin-wide actions taken for improving fishery conditions. To that end, many of the restoration actions 
identified in the Central Valley Project Improvement Act for cost sharing with the State can improve 
conditions for aquatic species. Once a Delta solution is in place and measures for recovery of listed 
species have been initiated, many options requiring improved Delta export capability could become 
feasible. 

Following are the major Level I options recommended for implementation to meet California's water 
supply needs to 2020, along with their potential benefits. Many of them still require additional 
environmental documentation and permitting, and in some instances, alternative analyses. Before these 
programs can be implemented, identification and prioritization of environmental water needs, and 
funding issues must be addressed. 

Demand Management 

Water conservation — by 2020, implementation of urban BMPs could reduce annual urban applied 
water demand by 1 .3 MAP , and net water demand by 0.9 MAP, after accounting for reuse; 
implementation of agricultural EWMPs, which increase agricultural irrigation efficiencies, could reduce 
agricultural applied water demands by 1 .7 MAP and net water demand by 0.3 MAP, after accounting for 
reuse. Purther, lining of the Ail-American Canal will reduce net water demand by 0.07 MAP. 

Drought land fallowing and water bank programs — temporary, compensated reductions of 
agricultural net water demands and purchases of surplus water supplies could reallocate at least 0.6 MAP 
of drought year supply by 2020. 

Drought demand management — voluntary rationing averaging 10 percent statewide during drought 
could reduce annual urban applied and net water demand by 1 .0 MAP in 2020. 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

Land retirement — retirement of 45,000 acres of land with poor sub-surface drainage in the western 
San Joaquin Valley could reduce annual applied and net water demand by 0.13 MAF by 2020. 

Supply Augmentation 

Water reclamation — plans for an additional 1 MAF of waste water recycling and ground water 
reclamation by 2020 could provide annual net water supplies of nearly 0.6 MAF after accounting for 
reuse. 

Solutions to Delta Water Management Problems — improved water service reliability and increased 
protection for aquatic species in the Delta could provide 0.3 to 0.5 MAF annually of net water supplies 
(under D-1485) and make many other water management options feasible. 

Conjunctive use — more efficient use of major ground water basins through programs such as the 
Kern Water Bank could provide 0.5 MAF of drought year net water supplies (under D-1485). 

Additional storage facilities, including Los Banos Grandes (SWP), could provide 0.3 MAF of 
average and drought year net water supplies (under D-1485), and Domenigoni Valley Reservoir 
(MWDSC) could provide 0.3 MAF of drought year net water supplies. 

In the short-term, those areas of California relying on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies 
face uncertain water supply reliability due to the unpredictable outcome of actions being undertaken to 
protect aquatic species and water quality. Until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified and 
put in place, and demand management and supply augmentation options are implemented, many 
Califomians will experience more frequent and severe water supply shortages. For example, in 1993, an 
above-normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited CVP deliveries to 50 percent of contracted 
supply for federal water service contractors in the area from Tracy to Kettleman City. Limitations of 
surface water deliveries will exacerbate ground water overdraft in the San Joaquin River and Tulare Lake 
regions because ground water is used to replace much of the shortfall in surface water supplies. At the 
same time, California's water supply infrastructure is severely limited in its capacity to transfer marketed 
water through the Delta due to constraints to protect aquatic species placed on export pumping from the 
Delta. 

Finally, it is recommended that Level II options be evaluated, expanded to include other alternatives, 
and planned for meeting the potential range of average year shortages of 1 .6 to 3.6 MAF and the 
potential range of drought year shortages of 2.5 to 4.5 MAF. (These Level II options include demand 
management and supply augmentation measures such as additional land retirement, increased waste water 
recycling and desalting, and surface water development.) Several mixes of State and local Level II 
options should be looked at to address the range of uncertainty of demand and supply illustrated in the 
California Water Balance. Such uncertainty will affect the identification and selection of Level II options 
needed to meet California's water supply needs. Thus, a specific plem for implementing Level II options 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

for meeting the remaining water supply requirements cannot be put forth in this update of the California 
Water Plan. 

Economic Costs of Unreliability 

The economic cost of unreliability is significant and could impact the economic well-being of the 
State if nothing is done to improve the long-term reliability of supplies. For example, the economic cost 
of drought-induced water shortages in 1991 is estimated to be well over $1.0 billion. This loss indicates 
an immediate need for more reliable supplies. This portion of Chapter 12 is presented to illustrate the 
economic costs of unreliability. Chapter 1 1 presented a discussion on reliability planning that guides the 
alternative analyses and option selection process. The following sections discuss contingency losses and 
long-term impacts resulting from frequent and severe shortages. 

The most important element in analyzing the costs of unreliability is understanding the 
consequences of shortages as completely as possible in terms of where the costs occur and why. For this 
discussion, the costs of shortages are limited to short- and long-term contingency losses, loss of sales, 
and increased costs of production, among others. 

The costs discussed below do not include all possible costs of unreliable water supplies. The social 
costs of unreliability can be substantial, but they are not easily translated into consistently measurable 
units, such as dollars, and social impacts often result from the adverse effects of unreliability on 
economic welfare. Looking solely at economic value may not be completely satisfactory, but it is the 
most practical and rational method currently available. Two distinct consequences of unreliability incur 
economic costs: contingency losses and long-term losses. Contingency losses arise from failure to meet 
existing needs within any given year, whereas long-term losses stem from the perception that future 
shortages will be greater than what is considered tolerable. 

Basically, these losses are caused by shortages, and shortages occur because of insufficient water 
quantity or unacceptable quality. Often these two factors combine, creating a shortage that is difficult to 
alleviate for the short- or long-term. For example, water supply conditions that limit the amount of 
water available for export from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta also make it difficult to maintain 
export water quality, as well as water quality for users within the Delta. 

Areas that experience surface water shortages may be forced to turn to additional ground water 
pumping or rely on alternative surface water deliveries, both of which may result in lower supply quality. 
Furthermore, increased reliance on ground water due to more frequent or more severe shortages can have 
long-term water quality consequences. (The adverse effects of reduced water quality are discussed in 
Chapters.) 

Contingency Losses 

The size and duration of a shortage will determine the contingency losses suffered. Some of the 
major costs incurred during water shortages are: loss of sales, loss of market, costs of landscape 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

replacement, damage to wildlife habitat, loss of recreational opportunities or aesthetic values, loss of 
convenience, and costs of shortage management programs. 

Loss of Agricultural, Commercial, or Industrial Sales. Water is involved in the production of 
goods and services in a number of ways. Agricultural production probably has the most visible need for 
large amounts of water. Water also plays a vital role in industry where it is used for cooking, washing, 
cooling, and conveying as part of the processing, and water is often part of the product (for example, soft 
drinks). 

In the short term, the production level can be independent of the amount of water available during a 
given year, depending on the flexibility of the manufacturer's water supply system. Emergency 
conservation and reuse measures can reduce the amount of water needed for some uses. The degree of 
flexibility available for managing shortages depends on the specific production technology used and the 
extent to which conservation and recycling measures already in place have reduced the opportunity for 
further conservation and reuse. 

At a certain point, further water cuts will curtail business production and affect employment and 
sales. In some cases, the effects may extend beyond the shortage year. Farmers who stress trees due to 
water shortages may lose production not only during the shortage year, but also in future years, until the 
trees recover. Crop production can also be affected if shortages force farmers to substitute lower quality 
water for their normally available surface water. In the case of farms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
Delta, increased salinity intrusion during water shortages reduces the quality of the irrigation water. 

Water shortages indirectly affect businesses too. Housing construction can be delayed because of a 
shortage-related water connection moratorium. Drought perceptions or hearsay, as well as actual 
shortages, can hurt businesses catering to recreation. Landscaping businesses can be affected if 
customers choose to, or are forced to, let severely stressed landscaping die during shortages. Decreases 
in fish populations reduce income and employment in commercial fishing. Municipalities experiencing 
water shortages can lose revenues from public parks and golf courses. Water agencies also experienced 
loss of revenues due to reduced water sales during the drought. 

Increased Costs for Agricultural, Commercial, or Industrial Users. The various ways businesses 
can avoid curtailing production may be effective but some can also be costly. Installing temporary 
recycling equipment is one example of a cost imposed by a water shortage. Reusing cooling water, while 
allowing continued production during a shortage, may result in costly mineral scale removal to restore 
cooling efficiency later. Retrofit of water-saving equipment can be expensive, but it also has benefits 
beyond the immediate shortage, such as reducing the potential effect of future shortages during the life of 
the equipment and saving water and effluent charges. Lack of water for hydroelectric plants and reduced 
generating ability (as reservoirs are drawn down) forces electrical utilities to buy energy from other 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

sources or expand the use of their thermal generation capacity. In either case, more costly operation is the 
result. 

Farmers who have to substitute ground water to replace unavailable surface supplies incur increased 
costs during shortages. This substitution may require installing new wells or renovating existing ones; 
and in some cases, the ground water is pumped from great depths, which adds to the expense. These 
ground water costs are in addition to the fixed costs agricultural water contract holders must pay for the 
surface water delivery system, whether or not any water has been delivered. A farmer can also institute 
more intensive (and more costly) irrigation management with the help of climate data obtained from a 
computer database. 

Cost of Landscaping Replacement. Replacing dead landscaping or invigorating stressed landscapes 
after a severe water shortage can be costly for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. However, 
such expenses can help make up for income lost by seed and plant suppliers and landscape service 
businesses during a drought. While the landscaping is stressed, or until dead landscaping can be 
replaced, the cooling effect provided by healthy landscaping is reduced or lost. As a result, during 
summer months, city residents use air conditioners more often or for longer durations, and energy bills 
increase. Along with the replacement and additional cooling costs, there is also the loss of the aesthetic 
enjoyment provided by healthy grass, shrubs, and trees. Plant growth is also important for air quality 
because the plant transpiration process helps remove some pollutants from the air. It may be many years 
before replacement plants regain the stature (and the value) of trees and shrubs that were lost. 

Loss of Recreational Opportunities. Water shortages reduce recreational opportunities in several 
ways. Reservoir, lake, and instream flow levels drop, causing water temperatures to rise and adversely 
affect fish. As water levels and fish populations decrease, so do opportunities for such activities as 
boating, camping, and fishing. The businesses serving these recreation industries and the people using 
recreational facilities suffer economic and other losses. 

Loss of Convenience. Taking shorter showers or flushing the toilet less frequently in response to 
emergency water pricing, rationing, or voluntary conservation programs are inconveniences people 
would rather avoid. The ability to shower longer or flush toilets more frequently is worth something to 
most people. 

The values of aesthetics and recreational opportunities, and of avoiding the loss of certain 
conveniences, are economic costs of water shortages. These costs can be measured by water users' 
responses to changes in water prices or by their responses to surveys. Although measurement is difficult 
with existing methods, research shows water for recreation, aesthetics, and convenience is of substantial 
value, especially during extended shortages. 

Costs of Shortage Management Programs. Another cost of shortages is borne by water agencies 
that employ water shortage management techniques, such as public information campaigns, "water 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

waster" patrols, retrofit programs, and water allocation programs. These added costs can be offset 
somewhat by lower variable costs (such as costs for energy) because reduced supply availability means 
less water to be treated and distributed by the agency. However, due to the nature and timing of 
shortages, funds and personnel shifts result in deferred maintenance and capital projects which increase 
long-term costs. 

Long-Term Losses 

Long-term losses are not related to a specific shortage event but are caused by unfavorable 
perceptions of the potential frequency and severity of future shortages. Some of the more damaging 
long-term losses are reduced economic activity, higher business costs, and constrained landscaping 
options. 

Reduced Likelihood of Retaining or Acquiring Economic Activity in a Region. Many factors 
influence a company's decision to expand into a new area or move an existing plant. Examples include 
work force skills, prevailing wages, proximity to markets, energy costs, costs and quality of water supply, 
and costs of effluent disposal. Public service reliability is a factor when companies consider locating in 
an area because a better quality of life is more attractive to potential employees. Water service reliability 
to ensure uninterrupted production is another important factor. The expected costs of maintaining 
production during water shortages by using self-supplied water (if available), emergency conservation, or 
other shortage management measures are also important. If reliability cannot be assured and shortage 
management is costly or infeasible, a company may decide to locate elsewhere; if already located in an 
area with unreliable water supply, a company may decide to move. Either way, the jobs and income 
would be lost. 

Business loans are likely to be more costly, and may be unavailable. Crop production loans for 
farmers are particularly vulnerable if business owners cannot assure lenders that their water supplies are 
reliable. The increased risk of shortage-related damage to costly perennial or truck crops will make 
farmers less willing to invest in these types of crops, endangering California's singular advantage in soils 
and climate for these high-valued crops. Agricultural markets for some crops are also sensitive to the 
buyers' perceptions regarding consistent product availability. Such markets can be lost if an unreliable 
water supply causes buyers to anticipate undependable product availability. 

Higher Business Costs. For urban businesses facing unreliable water utility supplies, installing 
self-service capability, including arranging privately negotiated transfers (if feasible) or installing 
lower-use process and cooling water technologies, becomes an important cost consideration. For 
agricultural users overlying ground water, the need to increase reliability by installing increased ground 
water pumping capacity to cope with anticipated surface water shortages can be a major capital cost. 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

Environmental Costs of Unreliability 

Environmental losses related to unnatural water supply variability can be serious, although not easily 
expressed in dollars. During critically dry years, wildlife habitat often diminishes, and plant and animal 
mortality increase. This process occurs naturally, but can be exacerbated by water development that 
changes the natural flow patterns. 

Wildlife Habitat. Shortage-related reductions in streamflow and increases in water temperature can 
have a devastating effect on fish spawning. Plants not killed outright by lack of moisture are made more 
susceptible to disease. In some instances, the impacts of drought on the environment can be reduced by 
water project operations. Projects can be used to either convey water or allow water transfers to 
environmentally sensitive areas that otherwise would not have sufficient water available. 

Urban Wildlife Habitat. Urban trees, shrubs, and lawns as well as parks and golf courses provide 
habitat for birds and small mammals. Reduced runoff and shortages force irrigation cutbacks during 
drought which can lead to habitat loss in these areas. 

Agricultural Wildlife Habitat. Irrigated cropland is a source of food for migrating waterfowl and 
other wildlife. Habitat provided by border areas and in crop stubble after harvest is also significant. 
Fallowing of this cropland can reduce food and habitat. 

Economic Impacts of the Drought 

The impacts of the 1987-92 California drought illustrate the consequences of shortages and the 
degree to which existing water management programs and projects have been successful in mitigating the 
drought's effects. Experiences from the recent drought and the 1976-77 drought have helped identify 
effective shortage management strategies. 

Agricultural Impacts. DWR studies indicate that the drought had a direct economic cost of about 
$460 million to California agriculture in 1990. The cost was attributed to reduced yields, increased farm 
and ranch costs, and lost output from about 194,000 drought-idled acres. Most of the State's 
drought-idled acres would have been planted in cotton and grains. Commodities hit hardest in the 
drought were dry grains, dry hay, and beef cattle; agricultural areas suffering the most drought impacts 
were the southern San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast. 

Although the unusually abundant precipitation in March 1991 greatly helped ranchers with 
pastureland, farmers in the Central Valley and Southern California faced cuts in surface water deliveries 
of 15 to 100 percent. Estimated gross revenue loss to California farms was about $250 million in 1991 
(the result of drought-induced net idled acres and reduced crop yields). About 347,000 crop acres were 
idled by the drought in 1991 . Growers of barley, rice, wheat, and com had the greatest relative declines 
in gross farm receipts. 

The economic impact of the drought on California agriculture in 1992 was an estimated gross 
revenue loss of about $190 million, roughly $60 million less than the 1991 loss. The associated net 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

amount of drought-idled farmland was about 279,000 acres. The decrease in idled acres was due largely 
to relatively abundant precipitation over most of the State during February and March. While growers 
along the Southern and Central coasts experienced the biggest improvements, farmers and ranchers in 
northeast California were generally worse off than before. Barley, cotton, and sugar beets were the 
hardest hit crops. 

A record number of farm wells were drilled or deepened (about 1,700 in 1991), increasing the use of 
ground water, to replace much of the curtailed surface water deliveries. The continuing success of 
California's farm production is the result of available ground water supplies. This option will become 
unavailable or too costly to use in many areas in the future, however, without replenishment from the 
percolation of rainfall or recharge from surface supplies. 

A successful water bank and local water transfers helped assure normal yields on 1 13,000 acres of 
permanent crop land in the San Joaquin Valley during 1991. Farmers used localized, farmer-oriented 
weather data, in conjunction with new irrigation technologies, to significantly reduce applied water. 
Cropping patterns were changed to produce more revenue with less water. Growers in areas with 
adequate water increased their plantings to help offset drought-idled acres elsewhere in the State. 

Municipal and Industrial Impacts. DWR surveyed over 60 urban water districts, chambers of 
commerce, trade groups, and industry associations throughout California regarding drought impacts to 
assess the effect of the 1987-92 drought upon the commercial and industrial sectors . Survey responses 
indicated that only one major industry group, the "green industry" (landscape and gardening industry), 
was significantly affected by the drought. Most firms were able to avoid significant reductions in output 
or employment in spite of overall water use cutbacks that reached or exceeded 20 percent in many major 
urban areas. This was partly due to agencies placing a proportionately higher reduction burden on 
residential customers. 

Green industry firms, especially those in the coastal and mountain areas, were seriously impacted 
when customers deferred installing new landscapes and reduced maintenance of existing landscapes 
because of the drought. Public agencies that provide maintenance services to parks, schools, and 
highway landscaping were also adversely affected, as were public and private golf courses. The green 
industry lost about $460 million in gross revenues and 5,600 full-time jobs during 1991. Green industry 
firms contributed an estimated $7 billion toward the State's economy in 1990 and employed about 
125,000 full-time workers. The industry may recover from the adverse effects of the drought with a 
likely increase in business as customers replace drought-damaged landscapes or change landscapes to 
cope with future droughts. 

One explanation for the minimal impact on most businesses is that most water agencies established 
exemption programs for hardship cases. In some instances, firms that otherwise would have been 
significantly affected were spared because their utilities granted them exemptions from water allocation 

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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 

limits. The rationale behind these exemptions for commercial and industrial utility customers was to 
keep job losses to a minimum. Another likely reason drought impacts were not as severe as might have 
been expected is that firms implemented additional conservation programs to compensate in part for lost 
supplies. There was also some additional flexibility to avoid business losses because of recession-related 
reductions in industrial production which lowered water demand by the affected companies. 

From a statewide perspective, the 1991 drought had a negligible effect on total urbain water costs. 
However, some demand reductions could have been attributed to the recession. Additionally, at the local 
level, certain water purveyors experienced financial difficulties because they could not raise unit rates fast 
enough to offset their drought-induced revenue decline. The major drought impacts in urban areas has 
been the inconvenience and annoyance of lifestyle and comfort changes, and the cost to residential water 
users in inconvenience, lost and damaged landscaping and the accompanying loss of ambience and well 
being, and delayed landscaping work. 

Other Economic Impacts. Another economic impact of the drought arose from reduced 
hydroelectric generation capability. Energy utilities were forced to substitute more costly fossil-fuel 
generation at an estimated statewide cost of $500 million in 1991. The drought also adversely affected 
snow-related recreation businesses. Some studies suggest as much as an $85-million loss for 
snow-related recreation businesses during the winter of 1990-91. 

Environmental Impacts. The impacts on the State's ecosystems were some of the most important 
and potentially negative aspects of the recent drought. Important environmental consequences of the 
drought are effects on freshwater, marine and anadromous fisheries, wetland and marsh area reductions, 
and substantial forest damage from pests and fire. (Several of these consequences are discussed in 
Chapter 8, "Environmental Water Use.") 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Water Supply and Demand Balance 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



APPENDIXES 



Appendix A Statutes and Regulations Affecting 
Water Management in California 

Appendix B Public Comments on Draft of the 
California Water Plan Update 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Appendix A 

STATUTES AND REGULATIONS 
AFFECTING WATER MANAGEMENT IN 

CALIFORNIA 

A. 1 Bibliography, Statutes, and Court Cases Cited 
in Chapter 2 

A. 2 Acts Authorizing Regional and Local Water 
Projects 

A. 3 Acts Authorizing Elements of the State Water 
Project and Central Valley Project 

A. 4 Acts Regulating Activities Affecting the 
Environment 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 



A.l BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Allocation and Management of California's Water Supplies 

Riparian and Appropriative Riglits 

Attwater and Markle, "Overview of California Water Rights and Water Quality Law," 19 Pacific Law 
Journal 957 (1988), reprinted in the pocket part of West's Annotated California Codes, Water Code Sec- 
tions 1-6999 (1971). 

Water Rights Permits and Licenses 

Water Commission Act, Water Code Sections 1000 et seq. 
See also Water Code Section 102. 

Ground Water Management 

AB 3030 (Stats. 1992, Ch. 947) repealed Water Code Sections 10750-10767, and adopted new Sections 
10750-10755.4. 

California Constitution Article X, Section 2 
Public Itust Doctrine 

National Audubon Society v. Superior Court of Alpine County. 33 Cal. 3d 419, 189 Cal. Rptr. 346 
(1983), cert, denied, 464 U.S. 977 (1983). 

U.S. V. State Water Resources Control Board . 182 Cal. App. 3d 82 (1986), sometimes called the 
Racanelli decision after Justice Racanelli who authored it. 

Environmental Defense Fund v. East Bay Municipal Utility District . 20 Cal. 3d 327 (1977), vacated, 439 
U.S. 811 (1978), opinion on remand 26 Cal. 3d 183 (1980). 

Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. Sections 791a-793, 796-818, 820-825. 

Reclamation Act of 1902. 32 Stat. 388; 43 U.S.C. Section 391. 

California v. United States . 438 U.S. 645 (1978). 

California v. FERC . 1 10 S. Ct. 2024 (1990), sometimes called the Rock Creek decision. 

First Iowa Hydroelectric Cooperative v. Federal Power Commission . 328 U.S. 152 (1946). 

Sayles Hydro Association v. Maug han. 985F.2d 451 (1993). 

Area of Origin Statutes 

County of Origin Statutes (Water Code Sections 10505 and 10505.5) . 
Area of Origin Protections (Water Code Sections 1 1 128, 1 1460-1 1463). 
Delta Protection Act (Water Code Sections 12200 - 12220). 
Municipal Liability (Water Code Section 1245). 
Water Code Section 1215 through 1220. 

The Current Regulatory and Legislative Framework 
Protection of Fish and \^ldlife and Habitat 

Endangered Species Act. 16 U.S.C. Section. 1531 et seq. (1973). 



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California Endangered Species Act. Fish and Game Code Section 2050 et seq. (1984). 

Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. Fish and Game Code Section. 2800 et seq. (1991). 

Dredge and Fill Permits 

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 33 U.S.C. Section 1344. 

Section 10 of the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S. Section 403). 
Minimum Fish Flows 

Fish and Game Code Section 5937. 

California Trout. Inc. v. the State Water Resources Control Board . 207 Cal. App.3d 585, 255 Cal. 

Rptr. 184 (1989). 

Streambed Alteration Agreements 

Fish and Game Code Sections 1601 and 1603 . 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 16 U.S.C. Sections 703 et seq. 

Environmental Review and Mitigation 

National Environmental Policy Act. 42 U.S.C. Sections 4321 et seq. (1969). 
California Environmental Quality Act. Pub. Res. Code Sections 21000 et seq. (1970). 
Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. 16 U.S.C. Sections 661 et seq. 

Protection of \^ld and Natural Areas 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. (Federal) 16 U.S.C. Sections 1271 et seq. (1968). 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. (California) Public Resources Code, Sections 5093.50 et seq. (1972). 

Wild Trout Streams 

The Trout and Steelhead Conservation and Management Planning Act of 1979. Fish and Game 
Code Sections 1725-1728. 
Fish and Game Code Section 703. 
National Wilderness Act. 16 U.S.C. Sections 1131 et seq. (1964). 

Water Quality Protection 

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act Water Code Sections 13000-13999.16 (1969). 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. 33 U.S.C. Sections 1341 and 1342 (Sections 401 and 
402 of the Clean Water Act) (1972). 

In 1972 the California Legislature passed a law amending the Porter-Cologne Act which gave 
California the ability to operate the NPDES permits program. 

Drinking Water Quality 

Safe Drinking Water Act (Federal). 42 U.S.C. Sections 300f et seq. 

Safe Drinking Water Act (California). California Health and Safety Code Sections 4010 et seq. 

Domestic Water Quality and Monitoring Regulations. Title 22, California Code of Regulations 
64401 et seq. 

California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976. Water Code Sections 13850 et seq. 



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California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1984. Water Code Sections 13810 et seq. 
California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1986. Water Code Sections 13895 et seq. 
California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1988. Water Code Sections 14000 et seq. 

San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 

The State Water Project and Federal Central Valley Project 

The California Central Valley Project Act Water Code Sectionl 1 100 et seq. 

Specific laws authorizing construction of elements of both the State and federal projects are summa- 
rized in A. 3 Acts Authorizing the State Water Project and Central Valley Project . 

Decision 1485, State Water Resources Control Board, April 29, 1976. 

The Racanelli Decision. U.S. v. State Water Resources Control Board . 182 (Decided 8/78) Cal. App. 3d 
82(1986). 

Coordinated Operation Agreement 

Congress enacted legislation authorizing execution of the agreement in October 1986. PL. 99-546; 
100 Stat. 3050. 

Fish Protection Agreement, Department of Water Resources and Department of Fish and Game, Decem- 
ber 1986. 

Suisun Marsh Preservation Agreement. The Suisun Marsh Preservation and Restoration Act of 1979 
authorized the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a Suisun Marsh cooperative agreement with State of 
California and specified the federal share of costs of facilities. PL. 96-495; 94 Stat. 2581. 

Surface Water Management 
Regional Water Projects 

For a summary of the major regional projects, see Section A.2, Acts Authorizing Regional and Local Wa- 
ter Projects. 

DWR Bulletin No. 155-77: General Comparison of Water District Acts (May 1978), which is being re- 
vised and should be republished in 1993, contains a full listing of water district acts. For a summary of 
some of the major acts that include a large number of districts, see Section A.2, Acts Authorizing Re- 
gional and Local Water Projects. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 

PL. 102-575; 106 Stat.4706. 

Trends in Water Resource Management 
Water IVansfers 

See generally Water Code Sections 1706 and 1725-1746. 

In 1991, temporary changes to the law designed to facilitate the State Drought Water Bank were en- 
acted. Stats. 1991-92, 1st Ex. Section, c. 3. 



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The Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, P.L. 102-575; 106 Stat. 4706. 

These changes were made permanent in 1992. Stats. 1992, c.481; Water Code Sections 
1745-1745.11. 

Water Use Efficiency 

Article X, Section 2 of the California Constitution 

Water Code Section 275 

Imperial Irrigation District v. State Water Resources Control Board . 225 Cal. App.3d 548, 275 Cal. Rptr. 
250(1990). 

Urban Water Management Planning Act. Water Code Section 10610 et seq. (1983). 

The Water Conservation in Landscaping Act. Government Code, Section 65591 et seq. 

The model ordinance was adopted in August 1992, and has been codified in Title 23 of the 
California Code of Regulations (§ 490-492). 

Agricultural Water Management Planning Act. Water Code, Section 10800 et seq. (1986) . 

Agricultural Water Suppliers Efficient Water Management Practices Act. Water Code, Section 10900 
et seq. (1990). 

Agricultural Water Conservation and Management Act of 1992. Water Code, Section 10521 et seq. 

Urban Best Management Practices MOU. 

Management Programs 

Sacramento River Fishery and Riparian Habitat Restoration (SB 1086). SB 1086, passed in 1986, 

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 62 (passed 1989). 
San Joaquin River Management Program. Water Code Sections 12260 et seq. (1990). Stats. 1990, 
Ch. 1068. 

The San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program. 

San Joaquin Valley Drainage Relief Act (Water Code Sections 14900-14920, Stats. 1992, c. 

959). 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, PL. 102-575; 106 Stat. 4706. 

Interstate Water Resource Management 

Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1991. Title II of PL. 101-618; 104 Stat. 
3289 (1990). 

See Water Code Section 5976. 

For further information on the history of the Truckee River water rights disputes, and how they are 
addressed by the Settlement Act, see DWR's June 1991 Truckee River Atlas, and the December 1991 
Carson River Atlas. 



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Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 

A.2 ACTS AUTHORIZING REGIONAL AND 
LOCAL WATER PROJECTS 

1. Hetch-Hetchy Project. Raker Act (Act of December 6, 1913; 38 Stat. 242) The Hetch-Hetchy 
Project, which supplies water to the City of San Francisco and 33 Bay Area communities, includes 
two reservoirs within Yosemite National Park (Hetch-Hetchy Reservoir and Lake Eleanor) and three 
within Stanislaus National Forest (Lake Lloyd Project and Moccasin Reservoir). In the Raker Act, 
Congress granted the city rights-of way within the Park and Stanislaus National Forest to construct 
these facilities. Federal law has been modified recently to prohibit new reservoirs or expansion of 
existing reservoirs within National Parks. 

2. Colorado River Aqueduct . Metropolitan Water District Act (Stats. 1927, Chapter 429, repea/e J 
and reenacted Stats. 1969 Chapter 209, as amended; Cal. Water Code Appendix Sections 109-1 et 
seq. The Colorado River Aqueduct supplies water from the Colorado River to serve several major 
urban areas in southern California. The Metropolitan Water District Act of 1927 allowed these areas 
to form the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Under the act, the district was 
granted the authority to acquire water and water rights within and without the state. It also gave the 
district the power to acquire real property through purchase, lease or eminent domain, and the power 
to acquire, construct, operate and maintain all works, facilities and improvements necessary to pro- 
vide water to inhabitants of the district. The district also was granted the power to issue and sell 
bonds, levy and collect general taxes, employ laborers and enter into contracts. 

3. Los Angeles Aqueduct . The authority for the Los Angeles appears to come solely from Article 
11, Section 19 of the California constitution, which authorizes municipal corporations to establish 
and operate public works for supplying their inhabitants with water, and from the City of Los An- 
geles charter. In 1905 Los Angeles voters approved a bond for the purchase of the original rights of 
way for the aqueduct from Owens Valley, with President Roosevelt allowing rights-of-way over fed- 
eral lands in 1908. 

4. Mokulumne River Aqueduct . The Municipal Utility District Act of 1927, Stats. 1921, c. 218 as 
amended; Public Utility Code Section 11501 et seq. This Act grants the East Bay Municipal Utilities 
District the power to acquire, construct, own, operate, control or use, within or without the district, 
works for supplying inhabitants of the district with water and other utilities. The Act also grants the 
district the powers of eminent domain, taxing, and issuing and selling bonds. The Mokulumne River 
Aqueduct began transporting Sierra water to East Bay cities in 1929. 

5. Re gional and Local Water Distribution . There are over 40 different statutes under which local 
agencies may be organized, having among their powers the authority to distribute water. In addition, 
there are a number of special act districts. DWR Bulletin No. 155-77: General Comparison of Water 
District Acts (May 1978), which is being currently being revised and should be republished in 1993, 
contains a full listing of these statutes. A summary of some of the major acts which include a large 
number of districts follows: 

a. County Water Districts . Water Code, Div. 12, Sections 30000-33901 (1913). The County 
Water District Law authorizes the people of a county, or two or more contiguous counties, or a 
portion of a county or counties to form a county water district. A district may do whatever is 
necessary to furnish sufficient water in the district for any present or future beneficial use, includ- 
ing: acquiring appropriating, controlling, conserving, storing and supplying water; draining and 
reclaiming lands; generating and selling incidental hydro-electric power; using any land or water 



383 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 



under district control for recreational purposes; acquiring, constructing and operating sewer, fire 
protection, and sanitation facilities. 

b. Irrigation Districts . Water Code, Div. 11, Sections 20500-29978 (1897). Under Irrigation 
District law, a majority of the owners of land susceptible of irrigation from a common source, or 
500 or more petitioners residing in the proposed district or owning at least 20 percent in value of 
the land therein, may propose the formation of an irrigation district. A district may do whatever 
is necessary to furnish sufficient water in the district for any beneficial use. These powers in- 
clude controlling, distributing, salvaging and other acts, any water, including sewage, for benefi- 
cial use, to provide drainage, or develop and distribute electric power. The district has the power 
to allocate water according to crops and acreage in certain situations, provide flood control in 
districts of 200,000 acres or more, provide sewage disposal upon approval of voters by majority 
vote, and construct and operate incidental recreational facilities. 

c. Municipal Utility Districts . Public Utilities Code, Div. 6, Sectionsl 1501-14401. Under the 
Municipal Utility District Act, any "public agency" (city, county water district, county sanitation 
district or sanitary district) together with unincorporated territory, or two or more public agencies 
with or without unincorporated territory, may organize and incorporate as a municipal utility dis- 
trict. These agencies may be in the same separate counties and need not be contiguous; howev- 
er, no public agency shall be divided. A district may do all things necessary to acquire, 
construct, own, operate, control, or use works for supplying inhabitants of the district with light, 
water, power, heat, transportation, telephone service, or other means of communication, or means 
for the collection, treatment, or disposition of garbage, sewage or refuse matter; provide for waste 
water control, including sewage and industrial wastes. 

d. Municipal Water Districts . Water Code, Div. 20, Sections 71000-73001. Under the Munici- 
pal Water District Law of 1 9 1 1 , the people of any county or counties, or of any portions thereof, 
whether or not such portions include unincorporated territory, may organize a municipal water 
district. The lands need not be contiguous. A district may: acquire, control, distribute, store, 
spread, sink, treat, purify, reclaim, recapture and salvage any water, including sewage and storm 
waters, for beneficial uses of the district, its inhabitants, or owners of rights to water in the dis- 
trict; sell water to cities, public agencies and persons, in the district only, unless there is a sur- 
plus; construct and operate recreational facilities appurtenant to district reservoirs; collect, treat, 
and dispose of sewage, waste, and storm water; provide fire protection, first aid, ambulance and 
paramedic service; collect and dispose of garbage, waste and trash; and produce and sell hydro- 
electric power. 

e. Public Utility Districts . Public Utilities Code, Div. 7, Sections 11501-18055. Under the Pub- 
lic Utility District Act, the people of unincorporated territory may organize a public utility dis- 
trict. The district may: do whatever is necessary to acquire and operate, within or without the 
district, works for supplying inhabitants with light, water, power, heat, transportation, telephone 
or other means of communication, means for disposition of garbage, sewage or refuse matter; 
purchase and distribute such services and commodities; acquire and operate a fire department, 
street lighting system, public parks, playgrounds, golf courses, swimming pools, recreation and 
other public buildings, and drainage works. 

f. Water Conservation Districts . Water Code, Div. 21, Sections 74000-76501. The Water Con- 
servation Act of 1931 was declared to be a continuation and re-enactment of the Water Conserva- 
tion Act of 1929, and also covers districts organized under the Conservation Act of California 
(Stats. 1919, c. 332). The board of supervisors of any county may organize and establish a dis- 
trict, or qualified electors in an area comprising the whole or a part of one or more watersheds 
may petition for organization and establishment of a district. The district may be entirely or part- 
ly within unincorporated territory, may be within one or more counties, and need not be contigu- 



384 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 



ous. A district may do all acts necessary for the full exercise of its powers, which include: con- 
serving and storing water by dams, reservoirs, ditches, spreading basins, sinking wells, sinking 
basins, etc.; appropriate, acquire and conserve water and water rights for any useful purposes; 
obtain water from wells; sell, deliver, distribute or otherwise dispose of water; make surveys; 
provide recreational facilities; provide flood protection; and reclaim sewage and storm waters. 



385 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 



A.3 ACTS AUTHORIZING ELEMENTS OF THE STATE WATER 
PROJECT AND THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT 

The State Water Project . 

a. The California Central Valley Project Act . Water Code Section 11100 ef^e^. Approved by 
the voters in a referendum in 1933, this Act authorized construction of the Central Valley Project. 
The State was unable to construct the project at that time because of the Great Depression, and 
portions of it were subsequently authorized and constructed by the United States (See below). 
Other portions of it were constructed by the state after the depression as part of the State Water 
project, which includes: the Feather River Project (§ 11260), the North Bay Aqueduct (§ 11270) 
and various power facilities (§ 11295). The Act permits the Department to administratively add 
units to the project, so long as those units are consistent with the objectives of the project (§ 

1 1290). The Department is authorized to issue Revenue bonds to finance the project (Sections 
11700 etseq.). 

b. The Bums-Porter Act . Water Code Section 1 1930 et seq. The Act was adopted in 1959 and 
approved by the voters in 1960. It authorized the issuance of general obligation bonds in the 
amount of $1 ,750,000,000 and appropriated the California Water Fund for the State Water Re- 
sources Development System, commonly known as the State Water Project (SWP). Principal 
facilities include Oroville and San Luis Dams, Delta Facilities, the California Aqueduct, and 
North and South Bay Aqueducts. The provisions of the California CVP Act are incorporated into 
the Bums-Porter Act. 

. The Federal Central Valley Project . 

a. Reclamation Act of 1902. 32 Stat. 388; 43 U.S.C. Section 391. This Act created the predeces- 
sor to the Bureau of Reclamation and provided the framework for development of water in the 
Western states through federal reclamation projects. It established a revolving fund from the sale 
of public lands to finance location and construction of irrigation projects (which are now 
constmcted with general funds), and provided for the repayment of project costs through con- 
tracts with users. It contained acreage limitations and residency requirements for the farmers us- 
ing the irrigation water Section 8 of the Act contains a "savings clause", deferring to state laws 
relating to the control, appropriation, use, or distribution of water for irrigation. (For more dis- 
cussion of the savings clause, see the discussion in relation to the Federal Power Act at page 
.) 

b. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937 . Authorizes constmction of Shasta, Friant, Keswick, 
DMC, Coleman Hatchery, etc., subject reclamation laws. PL. 75-392; 50 Stat. 884. As 
amended by the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1940, PL. 76-868; 54 Stat. 1 198. (added irrigation and 
distribution systems). 

c. Reclamation Project Act of 1939 . RL. 75-260; 53 Stat. 1 187. This act provided for a 40 year 
term for repayment of contracts, and included provisions for payment and accounting. 

d. San Luis Unit Authorization Act . San Luis Dam and pump-generation, O'Neil Forebay, San 
Luis Canal, Pleasant Valley Canal (Coalinga Canal); provisions for assurances from State for 
joint use facilities, including master drain; no water for production of excess agricultural commo- 
dities; USBR may tum O&M over to State. PL. 86-488; 74 Stat. 220. 

e. Flood Control Act of 1962 . New Melones Dam, Hidden and Buchanan Dams; includes fish 
and wildlife measures, recreation; electric power to preference customers. PL. 87-874; 76 
Stat. 1173. 

f. Reclamation Project Act Amendments of 1956 . PL. 84-643; 70 Stat. 484; 43 U.S.C. Section 
485h-5; PL. 88^4; 77 Stat. 68; 43 U.S.C. Section 485h. Contract terms and conditions were 



386 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 



changed to provide that long-term contractors have first right to stated amount of water on re- 
newal. It also permitted M&I long term contracts to include a renewal provision, including first 
right to a stated amount of water. 

g. Auburn - Folsom South Unit Authorization Act . Auburn Dam and Powerplant, Sugar Pine 
Reservoir, Folsom-South Canal, recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement facilities; Secre- 
tary recommend to Congress compliance with state laws, including areas of origin. P.L. 89-161 ; 
79 Stat. 615; 43 U.S.C. Section 616 bbb et seq. 

h. San Felipe Division Authorization Act . Pacheco Tunnel, pumping plants; Recreation and 
Fish and Wildlife in accordance with Fed. Water Project Recreation Act; contracts with SWP; 
Excess land limitations not applicable; Surplus crops limitation. P.L. 90-72; 81 Stat. 173. 

i. Trinity River Stream Rectification Act . Authorizes Secretary to design and carry out sand 
dredging operation on Trinity River near Grass Valley Creek and a debris dam on that Creek; 
matching funds from the State of California; all costs are nonreimbursable. P.L. 96-355; 94 
Stat. 1062. 

j. Suisun Marsh Preservation and Restoration Act of 1979 . Authorizes Secretary to enter into 
Suisun Marsh cooperative agreements with State of California for mitigation of adverse effects of 
CVP on fish and wildlife resources of Suisun Marsh; specifies Federal share of costs of facilities. 
P.L. 96-495; 94 Stat 2581. 

k. Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 . PL. 97-293; 96 Stat. 1263; 43 U.S.C. Section 390 aa et 
seq. This act revises the acreage limitation of the 1902 Act from 160 acres to 960 acres and elim- 
inates the residency requirement if a district amends its existing contract to conform to the Act. 
Districts not electing to amend their contract remain subject to prior law, except that water may 
be delivered to their land holdings in excess of 160 acres only at full cost (the "hammer clause"). 
Deliveries to holdings in excess of 960 acres are also authorized, but only if such excess lands are 
subject to a recordable contract requiring disposal of the excess lands within a reasonable time. 

1. Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Act . Directs the Secretary to formulate 
and implement a fish and wildlife restoration program designed to restore fish and wildlife popu- 
lations to levels which existed before construction of Trinity River Division facilities; directs 
Secretary to enter into MOU with state, local agencies and Tribes to implement activities not in 
Secretary's jurisdiction; establishes Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife task force. P.L. 
98-541; 97 Stat. 2721 (1984). 

m. Central Valley Project Improvement Act . Title XXXIV of P.L. 102-575 (1992). This Act 
reauthorizes the CVP to include fish and wildlife among Project purposes, and directs the Secre- 
tary of the Interior to undertake a number of specified actions to protect and restore anadramous 
fish and wildlife habitat, and to dedicate specified amounts of water for that purpose. The Act 
prohibits new CVP water supply contracts until the specified fish and wildlife restoration activi- 
ties are carried out and the SWRCB completes the review of Delta water quality studies required 
by the Racanelli decision (See Bay-Delta section of text). The Secretary must prepare a pro- 
grammatic environmental impact statement on the impacts of fish and wildlife restoration and 
renewal of existing water supply contracts. Until that BIS is done, existing contracts can be re- 
newed for an initial interim period of three years and subsequent interim periods of two years. 
Thereafter, the Secretary must renew contracts for a 25 year period, and may renew contracts for 
subsequent 25 year periods. The Act also authorizes marketing of CVP water outside the CVP 
area (see Water Transfer section below), subject to a first right of refusal within the CVP and oth- 
er specified criteria, and it requires the Secretary to develop water conservation standards for the 
CVP. 



387 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix A 

A.4 ACTS REGULATING ACTIVITIES 
AFFECTING THE ENVIRONMENT 

Following is a summary of environmental statutes not covered in Chapter 2. 

1. Federal 

a. National Historic Preservation Act . 16 U.S.C. Section 470 et seq. This act directs Secretary 
of the Interior to expand and maintain a National Register of Historic places and establishes crite- 
ria for state historic preservation programs. It provides for grants and loans for the preservation 
of eligible properties and requires federal agencies to take into account the effect of a proposed 
federal undertaking or assistance on sites, buildings, or objects included or eligible for inclusion 
in the National Register. It also establishes a number of specific responsibilities for Federal 
agencies to assume for historic properties which they own or control. 

b. Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 . RL. 96-95; 93 Stat. 721; 16 U.S.C. Sec- 
tion 470 aa et seq. This act requires a Federal permit to disturb or remove any archaeological 
resource from specified federal lands, including national forests and wildlife refuges, and lands 
included in a National Park or under the jurisdiction of the Smithsonian Institution. 

c. Comprehensive Environmental Response. Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 . PL. 
96-510; 94 Stat. 2772; 26 U.S.C. Section 4611 et seq; 42 U.S.C. Section 9601 et seq. This act 
confers broad authority on the EPA to clean up or order the cleanup of hazardous substance con- 
tamination through removal or remedial actions and establishes liability for potentially responsi- 
ble parties (PRP's) to either carry out or fund cleanup actions. It sets up a National Priority List 
of the most seriously contaminated sites and creates a "Superfund" to help finance cleanups. The 
EPA may order PRP's or seek court orders compelling PRP's to undertake response actions to 
abate threats to heath, public welfare or the environment. The Act provides civil and criminal 
penalties for violations. 

d. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act . 42 U.S.C. Section 6901 et seq. This act regulates 
the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste through a 
"cradle to grave" record keeping process and includes a corrective action program to clean up 
spills and releases. 

2. State 

a. Hazardous Waste Control Law . Cal. Health & Safety Code Section 25300 et seq. Regulates 
hazardous waste from time of generation to final disposal and governs state program pursuant to 
the federal RCRA. 

b. Underground Storage Tank Act . Cal. Health & Safety Code Section 25280 et seq. Regulates 
construction, permitting, and monitoring of underground storage tanks in lieu of provisions under 
the federal RCRA. 

c. Toxic Pits Cleanup Act . Cal. Health & Safety Code Section 25208 et seq. Regulates surface 
impoundments of liquid hazardous wastes to protect drinking water supplies. 

d. Hazardous Substance Account Act . Health & Safety Code Section 25300 et seq. Authorizes 
state to oversee cleanups of hazardous contamination and establishes a fund to assist in paying 
cleanup costs. 

e. Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Act . Health & Safety Code Section 25299.10 
et seq. Establishes fund for cleanups of leaking underground petroleum tanks and governs state 
program pursuant to federal RCRA provisions pertaining to underground petroleum tanks. 



388 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Appendix B 



PUBLIC COMMENTS ON DRAFT OF THE 
CALIFORNIA WATER PLAN UPDATE 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix B 

APPENDIX B PUBLIC COMMENTS ON ADMINISTRATIVE DRAFT OF 
THE CALIFORNIA WATER PLAN UPDATE 



389 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Appendix B 



390 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Best Management Practice (BMP) an urban water conservation measure that the California Urban Water 
Conservation Coalition agrees to implement among member agencies. 

Biota all living organisms of a region, as in a stream or other body of water. 

Brackish Water water containing dissolved minerals in amounts that exceed normally acceptable 
standards for municipal, domestic, and irrigation uses. Considerably less saline than sea water. 

-C- 

Chaparral a major vegetation type in California characterized by dense evergreen shrubs with thick, 
hardened leaves. 

Closed Basin a basin whose topography prevents surface outflow of water. It is considered to be 
hydrologically closed if neither surface nor underground outflow of water can occur. 

Confined Aquifer a water bearing subsurface stratum that is bounded above and below by formations of 
impermeable, or relatively impermeable, soil or rock. 

Conjunctive Operation the operation of a ground water basin in combination with a surface water 
storage and conveyance system. Water is stored in the ground water basin for later use by 
intentionally recharging the basin during years of above-average water supply. 

Critical Dry Period a series of water-deficient years, usually a historical period, in which a fiill reservoir 
storage system at the beginning is drawn down to minimum storage at the end without any spill. 

Critical Dry Year a dry year in which the full commitments for a dependable water supply cannot be met 
and deficiencies are imposed on water deliveries. 

-D- 
Deep Percolation the percolation of surface water through the ground and beyond the lower limit of the 
root zone of plants into a ground water aquifer. 

Dependable Supply the annual quantity of water that can be delivered during critical dry years. See 
also Firm Yield or Project Yield. 

Depletion the water consumed within a service area or no longer available as a source of supply. For 
agriculture and wetlands, it is ETAW (and ET of flooded wetlands) plus irrecoverable losses. For 
urban water use, it is ETAW (water applied to landscaping or home gardens), sewage effluent that 
flows to a salt sink, and incidental ET losses. For instream use, it is the amount of dedicated flow 
that proceeds to a salt sink. 

Desalting a process that converts sea water or brackish water to fresh water or an otherwise more usable 
condition through removal of dissolved solids. Also called "desalination." 



392 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Detailed Analysis Unit (DAU) the smallest study area used by Department of Water Resources 
analyzing water demand and supply, generally defined by hydrologic features or boundaries of 
organized water service agencies. In the major agricultural areas, a DAU typically includes 100,000 
to 300,000 acres. 

Discount Rate the interest rate used in evaluating water (and other) projects to calculate the present 
value of future benefits and future costs or to convert benefits and costs to a common time basis. 

Dissolved Oxygen (DO) the oxygen dissolved in water, usually expressed in milligrams per liter, parts 
per million, or percent of saturation. 

Distribution Uniformity (DU) the ratio of the average low-quarter depth of irrigation water infiltrated 
to the average depth of irrigation water infiltrated, for the entire farm field, expressed as a percent. 

Double Cropping the practice of producing two or more crops consecutively on the same parcel of land 
during a 12-month period. Also called multi-cropping. 

Drainage Basin the area of land from which water drains into a river; as, for example, the Sacramento 
River Basin, in which all land area drains into the Sacramento River. Also called, "catchment area," 
"watershed," or "river basin." 

-El- 
Ecology the study of the interrelationships of living organisms to one another and to their surroundings. 

Economic Demand the consumer's willingness and ability to purchase some quantity of a commodity 
based on the price of that commodity. 

Ecosystem recognizable, relatively homogeneous units, including the organisms they contain, their 
environment, and all the interactions among them. 

Efficient Water Management Practice (EWMP) an agricultural water conservation measure that water 
suppliers could implement. EWMPs are organized into three categories: 1) Irrigation Management 
Services; 2) Physical and Structural Improvements; and 3) Institutional Adjustments. 

Environmental Water the water for wetlands, the instream flow for a major river (based on the largest 
fish flow specified in an entire reach of that river) or, for wild and scenic rivers, based on unimpaired 
natural flow. 

Effluent waste water or other liquid, partially or completely treated or in its natural state, flowing from a 
treatment plant. 

Environment the sum of all external influences and conditions affecting the life and development of an 
organism or ecological community; the total social and cultural conditions. 



393 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Estuary the lower course of a river entering the sea influenced by tidal action where the tide meets the 
river current. 

Evapotranspiration (ET) the quantity of water transpired (given off), retained in plant tissues, and 
evaporated from plant tissues and surrounding soil surfaces. Quantitatively, it is expressed in terms 
of depth of water per unit area during a specified period of time. As used in this report, 
evapotranspiration is synonymous with consumptive use. 

Evapotranspiration Of Applied Water (ETAW) the portion of the total evapotranspiration which is 
provided by irrigation. 

-F- 

Firm Yield the maximum annual supply of a given water development that is expected to be available on 
demand, with the understanding that lower yields will occur in accordance with a predetermined 
schedule or probability. See also Dependable Supply, Project Yield. 

Forebay a reservoir or pond situated at the intake of a pumping plant or power plant to stabilize water 
levels; also a storage basin for regulating water for percolation in ground water basins. 

Fry a recently hatched fish. 

-G- 

Gray Water waste water from a household or small commercial establishment. Graywater does not 
include water from a toilet, kitchen sink, dishwasher, or water used for washing diapers. 

Gross Reservoir Capacity the total storage capacity available in a reservoir for all purposes, from the 
streambed to the normal maximum operating level. Includes dead storage, but excludes surcharge (water 
tempxjrarily stored above the elevation of the top of the spillway). 

Ground Water water that occurs beneath the land surface and completely fills all pore spaces of the 
alluvium, soil, or rock formation in which it is situated. 

Ground Water Basin a ground water reservoir, defined by all the overlying land surface and the 

underlying aquifers that contain the water stored in the reservoir. In some cases, the boundaries of 
successively deeper aquifers may differ and make it difficult to define the limits of the basin. 

Ground Water Mining the withdrawal of water from an aquifer in excess of recharge over time If 
continued, the underground supply would eventually be exhausted or the water table could drop 
below economically feasible pumping lifts. 



394 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Ground Water Overdraft the condition of a ground water basin in which the amount of water withdrawn 
by pumping exceeds the amount of water that recharges the basin over a period of years during which 
water supply conditions approximate average. 

Ground Water Prime Supply the long-term average annual percolation to the major ground water basins 
from precipitation falling on the land and from flows in rivers and streams. Also includes recharge 
from local sources that have been enhanced by construction of spreading ground or other means. 
Recharge of imported and reclaimed water is not included nor is recharge using applied irrigation 
water. 

Ground Water Recharge increases in ground water storage by natural conditions or by human activity. 
See also Artificial Recharge. 

Ground Water Reservoir an aquifer or an aquifer system in which ground water is stored. 

Ground Water Storage Capacity the space or voids contained in a given volume of deposits. Under 
optimum conditions, the usable ground water storage capacity is the volume of water that can, within 
specified economic limitations, be alternately extracted and replaced in the reservoir. 

Ground Water Table the upper surface of the zone of saturation (all pores of subsoil filled with water), 
except where the surface is formed by an impermeable body. 

-H- 

Hardpan a layer of nearly impermeable soil beneath a more permeable soil, formed by natural chemical 
cementing of the soil particles. 

Head Ditch the water supply ditch at the head end of an irrigated field. 

Hydrologic Balance an accounting of all water inflow to, water outflow from, and changes in water 
storage within a hydrologic unit over a specified period. 

Hydrologic Basin the complete drainage area upstream from a given point on a stream. 

Hydrologic Region a study area, consisting of one or more Planning Subareas. 

-/- 

Incidental Waste Water Reclamation treated waste water returned to fresh-water streams or other water 
bodies. Additional use made of this treated waste water is only incidental to waste water treatment 
and disposal. 

Instream Use use of water that does not require diversion from its natural watercourse. For example, the 
use of water for navigation, waste disposal, recreation, fish and wildlife, esthetics, and scenic 
enjoyment. 



395 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Irrecoverable Losses the water lost to a salt sink or lost by evaporation or evapotranspiration from a 
conveyance facility, drainage canal, or in fringe areas. 

Irrigation Efficiency the efficiency of water application. Computed by dividing evapotranspiration of 
applied water by applied water and converting the result to a percentage. Efficiency can be 
computed at three levels: farm, district, or basin. 

Irrigation Return Flow applied water that is not transpired, evaporated, or deep percolated into a ground 
water basin but that returns to a surface water supply. 

Isohyetal indicating equal rainfall, generally expressed as lines of equal rainfall. 

-L- 

Land Subsidence the lowering of the natural land surface in response to: earth movements; lowering of 
fluid pressure (or lowering of ground water level); removal of underlying supporting materials by 
mining or solution of solids, either artificially or from natural causes; compaction caused by wetting 
(hydrocompaction); oxidation of organic matter in soils; or added load on the land surface. 

Laser Land Leveling use of instruments featuring laser beams to guide earth-moving equipment for 
leveling land for surface-type irrigation. 

Leaching the flushing of salts from the soil by the downward percolation of applied water. 

Leaching Requirement the incremental water necessary to prevent harmfiil salt accumulations in the 
soil. LR = ETAW X LP DUlOO (1-LF) where LP is the leaching fraction. 

Level of Development in a planning study, the practice of holding constant the population, irrigated 
acreage, industry, and wildlife so that hydrologic variability can be studied to determine adequacy of 
supplies. 

-M- 

Mean Annual Runoff the average value of annual runoff amounts calculated for a selected period of 
record for a specified area. 

Megawatt one million watts. 

Milligrams per Liter (mg/L) the weight in milligrams of any substance dissolved in one liter of liquid. 
Nearly the same as parts per million. 

Moisture Stress a condition of physiological stress in a plant caused by a lack of water. 

Multipurpose Project a project designed to serve more than one purpose. Por example, one that 

provides water for irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, and, at the same time, controls floods or 

generates electric power. 



396 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

-N- 
Natural Flow the flow past a specified point on a natural stream that is unaffected by stream diversion, 
storage, import, export, return flow, or change in use caused by modifications in land use. 

Net Water Demand the amount of water needed in a water service area to meet all requirements. It is 
the sum of evapotranspiration of applied water (ETAW) in an area, the irrecoverable losses from the 
distribution system, and the outflow leaving the service area. 

Nonpoint Source waste water discharge other than from point sources. See Point Source. 

Nonreimbursable Costs project costs allocated to general statewide or national beneficial purposes and 
funded from general revenues. 

-P- 

Pathogens any viruses, bacteria, or fungi that cause disease. 

Peak Load (Power) the maximum electrical energy used in a stated period of time. Usually computed 
over an interval of one hour that occurs during the year, month, week, or day. The term is used 
interchangeably with peak demand. 

Perched Ground Water ground water supported by a zone of material of low permeability located above 
an underlying main body of ground water with which it is not hydrostatically connected. 

Per-capita Water Use the water produced by or introduced into the system of a water supplier divided 
by the total residential population; normally expressed in gallons per-capita-per-day (gpcd). 

Percolation the downward movement of water through the soil or alluvium to the ground water table. 

Permeability the capability of soil or other geologic formation to transmit water. 

Phytoplankton minute plants, usually algae, that live suspended in bodies of water and that drift about 
because they cannot move by themselves or because they are too small or too weak to swim 
effectively against a current. 

Planning Subarea (PSA) an intermediate size study area consisting of one or more Detailed Analysis 
Unit(s). 

Point Source a specific site from which waste or polluted water is discharged into a water body, the 
source of which can be identified. See also Nonpoint Source. 

Pollution (of water) the alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of water by the 
introduction of any substance into water that adversely affects any beneficial use of water. 



397 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Project Yield the water supply attributed to all features of a project, including integrated operation of 
units that could be operated individually. Usually, but not always, it is the same as firm water yield. 
See also Dependable Supply, Firm Yield. 

Pumping-generating Plant a plant at which the turbine-driven generators can also be used as 
motor-driven pumps. 

Pumped Storage Project a hydroelectric powerplant and reservoir system using an arrangement whereby 
water released for generating energy during peak load periods is stored and pumped back into the 
upper reservoir, usually during periods of reduced demand. 

-R- 

Reasonable Pump Lift includes consideration of: water quality in the aquifer or the basin, including sea 
water intrusion, base of fresh water, and lateral or vertical migration of contaminants; the ground 
water management program; thickness of the aquifer; the depth of existing wells; the capital cost of 
new wells; the net cash flow; and the total amount of ground water than can be extracted during one 
water year by the total number of existing wells. 

Recharge Basin a surface facility, often a large pond, used to increase the infiltration of surface water 
into a ground water basin. 

Reclaimed Waste Water waste water that becomes suitable for a specific beneficial use as a result of 
treatment. See also Waste Water Reclamation. 

Recreation-day participation in a recreational activity, such as skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, boating, or 
camping, by one person for any part of a day. 

Reimbursable Costs those costs of a water project that are expected to be recovered, usually from direct 
beneficiaries, and repaid to the funding entity. 

Reverse Osmosis method of removing salts from water by forcing water through a membrane. 

Reserve Supply developed but presently unused surface water supply available to certain portions of 
Hydrologic Study Area to meet planned future water needs; the supply is not usually available to 
other areas needing additional water because of a lack o f physical facilities and/or institutional 
arrangements. The reserves include the sum of the reserves in each Planning Subarea (PSA) from 
local development and imports, the SWP and CVP, and other federal development. Not a 11 the total 
of these reserves is usable because some of it consists of return flows that become part of the 
downstream reserve supply for a PSA. Some of the reserve supply identified for a PSA may also be 
included in the a mount identified for one or more other PSAs. 



398 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Return Flow the portion of withdrawn water not consumed by evapotranspiration or system losses 
which returns to its source or to another body of water. 

Reuse the additional use of previously used water. 

Riffle a shallow extending across a streambed that causes broken or turbulent water. 

Riparian of, or on the banks of, a stream or other body of water. 

Riparian Vegetation vegetation growing on the banks of a stream or other body of water. 

Runoff the surface flow of water from an area; the total volume of surface flow during a specified time. 

-s- 

Safe Yield the maximum quantity of water that can be withdrawn from a ground water basin over a long 
period of time without developing a condition of overdraft. Sometimes referred to as sustained yield. 

Salinity generally, the concentration of mineral salts dissolved in water Salinity may be measured by 
weight (total dissolved solids), electrical conductivity, or osmotic pressure. Where sea water is 
known to be the major source of salt, salinity is often used to refer to the concentration of chlorides 
in the water. See also Total Dissolved Solids. 

Salinity Intrusion the movement of salt water into a body of fresh water. It can occur in either surface 
water or ground water bodies. 

Salt Sink a body of water too salty for most freshwater uses. 

Salt-water Barrier a physical facility or method of operation designed to prevent the intrusion of salt 
water into a body of fresh water. 

Seasonal Application Efficiency (S AE) the sum of evapotranspiration of applied water, leaching 
requirement, and cultural practices (e.g., frost protection, heat protection, weed control) divided by 
the total applied water expressed as a percentage. 

^^^ _ ETAW + LR + CP 
AW 

Secondary Treatment in sewage, the biological process of reducing suspended, colloidal, and dissolved 
organic matter in effluent from primary treatment systems. Secondary treatment is usually carried 
out through the use of trickling filters or by the activated sludge process. 

Sediment soil or mineral material transported by water and deposited in streams or other bodies of water. 

Seepage the gradual movement of a fluid into, through, or from a porous medium. 



399 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

Self-produced Water a water supply developed and used by an individual or entity. Also called 
"self-supplied water." 

Service Area the geographical land area served by a distribution system of a water agency. 

Sewage the liquid waste from domestic, commercial, and industrial establishments. 

Spreading Basin See Recharge Basin. 

Spreading Grounds See Recharge Basin. 

Spawning the depositing and fertilizing of eggs (or roe) by fish and other aquatic life. 

Stream/low the rate of water flow past a specified point in a channel. 

Striped Bass Index in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta system, a number 
representing the abundance of striped bass. 

Surface Supply water supply from streams, lakes, and reservoirs. 

Surplus Water developed SWP water supplies in excess of contract entitlement water. 

-T- 

Tail Water applied irrigation water that runs off the end of a field. Tail water is not necessarily lost; it 
can be collected and reused on the same or adjacent fields. 

Tertiary Treatment in sewage, the additional treatment of effluent beyond that of secondary treatment to 
obtain a very high quality of effluent. 

Total Dissolved Solids a quantitative measure of the residual minerals dissolved in water that remain 
after evaporation of a solution. Usually expressed in milligrams per liter. Abbreviation: TDS. See 
also Salinity. 

Transpiration the process in which plant tissues give off water vapor to the atmosphere as an essential 
physiological process. 

Trihalomethane (THM) chlorinated halogen compounds such as chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and 
bromoform, formed by reactions between carbonaceous matter and chlorine or bromine. 

-U- 

Vsable Storage Capacity is the available storage capacity plus the remaining ground water storage within 
a reasonable pump lift. Specific yield of the sediments is used in calculating estimates of usable 
storage capacity. 



400 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 

-V- 

Visitor-day See Recreation-day. 

-W- 
Waste Water the water remaining after use, liquid waste, or drainage from a community, industry, or 
institution. 

Water Conservation as used in this report, is the reduction in depletion. This reduction includes the 
reduction of the evapotranspiration of applied water and irrecoverable losses to salt sinks. 

Waste Water Reclamation the planned reuse of waste water for specific beneficial purposes. 

Water Demand Schedule a time distribution of the demand for prescribed quantities of water specified 
purposes. It is usually a monthly tabulation of the total quantity of water that a particular water user 
intends to use during a specified year. 

Water Quality used to describe the chemiciil, physical, and biological characteristics of water, usually in 
regard to its suitability for a particular purpose. 

Water Reclamation the treatment of water of impaired quality, including brackish water and sea water, 
to produce a water of suitable quality for the intended use. 

Water Requirement the quantity of water required for a specified use under a predetermined or 
prescribed situation. 

Water Right a legally protected right to take possession of water occurring in a natural water way and to 
divert that water for beneficial use. 

Watershed See Drainage Basin. 

Water Table See Ground Water Table. 

Water Year a continuous 12-month period for which hydrologic records are compiled and summarized. 
In California, it begins on October 1 . 

* * * 



401 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Glossary 



402 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Notes & Comments 



Draft of The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93, November 1993 



Notes & Comments 



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