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Full text of "California water plan update"

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Watted P-iuainj 




California 

Water Plan 

Update 



Volume 1 

Bulletin 160-93 
October 1994 



Pete Wilson 

Governor 

State of California 



Douglas P. Wheeler 
Secretary for Resources 
The Resources Agency 



David N. Kennedy 
Director 
Department of 
Water Resources 




© Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, 1994 



Copies of this bulletin may be purchased at $25.00 for Volumes 1 and 2 from: 

State of California Department of Water Resources 

P. O. Box 942836 

Sacramento, CA 94236-0001 

Make checks payable to: Department of Water Resources 

California residents add current sales tax. 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Foreword 



i 



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. The updates were 
published five times between 1966 and 1987. While they generally did not contain 
specific blueprints for water management and development, they described California's 
water use and supply at the time of their publication, projected future water needs, and 
provided information to guide beneficial use of the State's water resources. 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 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 update was 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 methods, including 
conservation and land retirement, as additional means of meeting water needs; and, 

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 chronic 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 1 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 it recommends 
options for balancing water demand and supply in the future. Volume II presents 
issues specific to each of the ten major hydrologic regions and chronicles water use and 
supply conditions by region. 

Bulletin 160-93 was developed with extensive public involvement in accordance 
with amendments to Sections 10004 and 10005 of the California Water Code. An 
outreach advisory committee made up of representatives of urban, agricultural, and 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 




David N. Kennedy 
Director 



IV 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



A Letter from the California Water Commission 



STATE OF CAUFORNIA • THE RESOURCES AGENCY 



PETE WILSON. Qownor 



Department o( Water Reeouroea 

CAUFORNIA WATER COMMISSION 

1416 NINfTH STF»EET. ROOM 1104-4 
SACRAMEMTO, CAUFORNIA 9581 4 

Audrey Z. Tennia, Chair - Chioo 

Katharine Dunlap, Vice Chair • Loe Angeiaa 

Stanley M. BartMa - Vwalia 

Kenneth S. Caldwell - Camarillo 

Clair A. Hill - Redding 

Michael D. Madigan - San Oiego 

Martin A. Matich - San Bernardino 



Mr. David N. Kennedy, Director 
Department of Water Resources 
1416 Ninth Street, Room 1115 
Sacramento, California 95814 



Pi»as« Addnat Communlcmllona to: 

The Chairman of the Commlaalon 

P.O. Box 942836 

Sacramvnto, CA 9423&<X»1 

Phona: (01 Q 653-5058 

FAX: (91Q 6534745 




April 1, 1994 



Dear Mr. Kennedy: 

The Water Code directs the Department of Water Resources to update the 
California Water Plan every five years, and it requires the Department to release a 
preliminary draft of the Plan for review and comment. As a part of this process, the 
Department, or at the Department's request, the California Water Commission must 
conduct a series of hearings with interested persons, local, State and Federal agencies 
and representatives of the diverse geographical areas and interests of the State. In 
response to these requirements, the Department prepared a draft of Bulletin 160-93, 
California Water Plan Update, which was released to the public for comments in 
November, 1993, and the California Water Commission conducted the public hearings 
on this Draft. 

The members of the Commission conducted ten hearings in January and early 
February, 1994. One hearing was conducted in each of the State's ten major hydrologic 
regions. Comments were received from more than one hundred individuals. The 
Commission appreciates the detailed and cogent comments by many of those who 
participated in the hearings, which reflected a great deal of thought and analysis of the 
technical material and issues covered in the Draft. 

The range of coomients on the Draft, as well as issues raised in the Dr?ift itself, 
point out that there is a serious and long-standing gap between planning on the one hand 
and construction and operation of water supply facilities on the other. To bring these 
together will require accommodation of engineering, economic and socio-political 
considerations. The comments highlight a number of serious problems in meeting 
California's water needs and strong political forces appear to be pulling in opposite 
directions. Bulletin 160 will provide factual information which should be helpful in 
reaching some reasonable accommodation. California can and must provide adequate 
supplies of good quality water to its citizens, indmtries, and lands in concert with a 
suitable environment for its fish and wildlife. 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



A Letter from thie California Water Commission (continued) 



Mr. David N. Kennedy 
April 1, 1994 
Page Two 



The Commission believes that the Department of Water Resources staff has done 
an excellent job of developing and presenting the extensive material in the Draft. It 
represents the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of California's water needs and 
future supply options since the publication of Bulletin 1 in 1951, Bulletin 2 in 1955, and 
Bulletin 3 in 1957. Most witnesses at the hearings complimented the Department on the 
breadth and quality of the report and they indicated that the final report should be very 
helpful for their local planning efforts. 

TTie Commission also appreciates the efforts of the BuUetin 160 Advisory 
Committee members who contributed substantial amounts of time and effort in reviewing 
and commenting on earlier administrative drafts. The quality of the Draft is in no small 
part the result of the Advisory Committee's efforts. 

The Commission has considered the statements presented at each of the ten 
hearings, and has developed its own comments and recommendations on the Draft. 
These are set forth in the enclosed memorandum. We commend the Department's staff 
for its fine efforts, and we look forward to publication of the final document. 



■yi^ylLo 



Enclosure 




Audrey Z. Tennis 
Chair 



VI 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Acknowledgment 

In July 1 992, the Department ofWater Resources established an outreach advisory 
committee made up of people representing urban, agricultural, and environmental 
interests from various regions of the State to evaluate and advise DWR as to the 
adequacy of work in progress to update the California Water Plan. 

DWR is indebted to the advisory committee members for providing critical feedback 
on the content and analyses required to produce the California Water Plan Update. 
While this report is a DWR product and does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of each 
committee member nor the member's organization, 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: 



i 



Bob Reeb, Chair 



California Water Resources Association 



George Baumli 
Hal Carter 
Cindy Chadwick 
Grace Chan 
Vernon Conrad 
Bill DuBois 
Lyle Hoag 
Laura King 
John Krautkraemer 
Billy Martin 
Shel Meyer 
Christine Morioka 
Larry Preston 
Stuart Pyle 
Jim Sequeira 
Charles Shreves 
Polly Smith 
A. J. Yates 



State Water Contractors 

University of California Agricultural Issues Center 

Department of Fish and Game 

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 

County Supervisors Association of California 

California Farm Bureau 

California Urban Water Agencies 

Natural Resources Defense Council 

Environmental Defense Fund 

California Central Valley Flood Control Association 

NorCal Fishing Guides and Sportsmen's Association 

City of San Francisco Water Department 

North State Water Association 

Association of California Water Agencies 

City of Sacramento Department of Utilities 

Imperial Irrigation District 

League of Women Voters 

Department of Food and Agriculture 



VII 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Contents 



i 



Foreword iii 

A Letter from the California Water Commission, Acknowledgment 

Chapter 1 Summary of Volume I 1 

Effects of Recent Changes in the Institutional Framework 3 

California's Water Supplies 4 

Surface Water Supplies, Ground Water Supply, Water Quality 
Considerations 

The Need and Demand for Water 7 

Will There Be Enough Water? 9 

Recommendations 11 

Demand Management, Supply Augmentation 

Chapter 2 The institutional Framework for 

Water Resource IVIanagement in California 19 

Allocation and Management of California's Water Supplies 20 

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 24 

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

Water Quality Protection 30 

Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, National Pollutant 
Discharge Elimination System, Drinking Water Quality 

San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 32 

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 38 

Water Transfers, Water Use Efficiency, Management Programs 

Interstate Water Resource Management 46 

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

Contents 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Chapter 3 Surface Water Supplies 49 

Droughts in California 51 

Length and Frequency of Droughts 

Water Supply Development 53 

Local and Imported Supplies, State Water Project, Central Valley 
Project, Other Federal Projects, Colorado River, Water Recycling 

Other Water Supplies 71 

Gray Water, Long-Range Weather Forecasting, Weather Modification, 
Watershed Management, Sea Water Desalination 

Recommendations 75 

Chapter 4 Ground Water Supplies 79 

Ground Water Defined 79 

Ground Water Development 80 

Statewide Ground Water Use 81 

Ground Water Overdraft 89 

Sea Water Intrusion, Subsidence, Ground Water Quality 

Management of Ground Water Resources 93 

Acijudicated Basins, Ground Water Management Agencies, Water 
Districts with a Pump Charge, Other Districts 

Effect of the Drought on Ground Water 99 

Ground Water Levels and Storage, Wells and Ground Water Use 

Conjunctive Use 102 

Conjunctive Use Programs, Prospects for the Future 

Recommendations 105 

Chapter 5 Water Quality 109 

Overview of Water Quality in California 109 

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 120 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Quality, Colorado River Water 
Quality, Ground Water Quality, Renwdiation and Protection of 
Ground Water Quality 

Qucdity Considerations for Water Reclamation and Reuse 130 

Costs of Poor Quality Water 130 

Recommendations 132 

Introduction Water Use 135 

Chapter 6 Urban Water Use 141 

Population Growth 141 

Urban Land Use 142 

Urban Water Conservation 144 

Urban Water Pricing 145 

Urban Retail Water Prices, Urban Ground Water Prices 

Per Capita Water Use 149 

Disaggregating Urban Water Use 152 

Urban Water Use Forecasts 153 

Urban Water Use Forecast to 2020 

Recommendations 155 

Contents 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 7 Agricultural Water Use 159 

Factors Affecting Agricultural Water Use 162 

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 173 

Drainage Reduction. San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program, Irrigation 
Efficiency 

Agricultural Water Demand Forecast 1 77 

1990 Level of Development, Agricultural Acreage Forecast. 
Urbanization of Agricultural Lands. 2020 Agricultural Water 
Demands 

Recommendations 183 

Ctiapter 8 Environmental Water Use 187 

Bay-Delta Estuary 188 

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 201 

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

Wetlands 219 

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 227 

Recommendations 229 

Chiapter 9 Water-Based Recreation 231 

Recreation and Water Management 23 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 235 

Water Use for Recreation 236 

Water Project Operations and Recreation Benefits 237 

State Water Project Recreation 

Drought Impacts on Recreation 241 

Direct Effects on Facility Availability. Reservoir Recreation Impacts. 
River Recreation Impacts, Winter Recreation Impacts 

Ctiapter 1 Thie Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 245 

Delta Flows 246 

Reverse Flow and Carriage Water 
Key Delta Issues 251 

Fish and Wildlife Issues, Local Issues 

Delta Water Quality Standards 253 

Racanelli Decision, SWRCB Bay-Delta Proceedings, Meeting Water 
Quality Standards 

Flooding in the Delta 256 

Stability of Delta Levees 

Delta Water Resource Management and Planning 257 

Contents 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 263 

Ongoing Delta Planning Programs. Long-Term Delta Planning 
Programs 

Recommendations 269 

Chapter 1 1 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 273 

Reliability Planning: Maintaining the Balance Between 

Water Supply and Demand 273 

Supply Reliability and Demand Variability 

Options for Enhancing Water Supply Reliability 276 

Level 1 — Reliability Enhancement Options 278 

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

Level II — Reliability Enhancement Options 312 

Long-Term Demand Management Options, Water Supply 
Management Options 

Chapter 1 2 Water Supply and Demand Balance 331 

Water Supply 332 

Existing Water Management Programs, Level I Water Management 
Options. Level II Water Management Options 

Water Demand 338 

Urban Water Use, Agricultural Water Use, Environmental Water Use 

California Water Balance 340 

Recommendations 345 

Demand Management, Supply Augmentation 

Economic Costs of Unreliability 347 

Contingency Losses, Long-Term Losses, Environmental Cqsts of 
Unreliability, Ek:onomic Impacts of the Drought 

Appendix A 357 

A. 1 Bibliography, Statutes, and Court Cases Cited in Chapter 2 357 

A. 2 Acts Authorizing Regional and Local Water Projects 361 

A. 3 Acts Authorizing Elements of the 

State Water Project and the Central Valley Project 363 

A. 4 Several Acts Regulating Activities Affecting the Environment 365 

Appendix B Public Comments on the 

Draft California Water Plan Update 367 

Background 367 

The Plan as a Whole 374 

Water Supply 375 

Water Use 376 

Meeting California's Water Needs 378 

Miscellaneous 38 1 

Glossary 383 

Abbreviations and Acronyms 391 

Figures 

Figure 1-1 . Water Project Facilities in California 2 

Figure 1 -2. California Water Balance 14 

Contents 



1 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



• Figure 2- 1 . Wild and Scenic Rivers in California 29 

Figure 3- 1 . Disposition of Average Annual Water Supply 49 

Figure 3-2. Distribution of Average Annual Precipitation and Runoff 50 

Figure 3-3. The Sacramento River Index Since 1906 52 

Figure 3-4. Comparison of Droughts Sacramento River Index 52 

Figure 3-5. Comparison of Droughts San Joaquin River Index 53 

Figure 3-6. Comparison of Multi-Year Droughts 

Average Annual Runoff 55 

Figure 3-7. Storage in 155 Major Reservoirs in California, October 1 58 

Figure 3-8. Historical Development of Reservoir Capacity 58 

Figure 3-9. Regional Water Transfers at 1990 Level of Development 59 

Figure 3-10. State Water Project Service Areas 61 

Figure 3-11. Major State Water Project Facilities 62 

Figure 3-12. State Water Project Deliveries 1967-1993 63 

Figure 3-13. Central Valley Project Service Areas 65 

Figure 3-14. Central Valley Project Deliveries 1960-1993 66 

Figure 3-15. Central Valley Project Annual Hydroelectric 

Energy Production 1960-1993 67 

Figure 3-16. Colorado River Service Areas 68 

Figure 3-17. Present Use of Recycled Water 70 

Figure 4- 1 . Cornponents of Ground Water Use and Sources of Recharge . 80 

Figure 4-2. Locations of Adjudicated Ground Water Basins 96 

Figure 4-3. Locations of Ground Water Management Districts or Agencies 98 

Figure 4-4. Cumulative Change in Ground Water Storage 

San Joaquin Valley 100 

Figure 4-5. Cumulative Change in Ground Water Storage 

Sacramento Valley 101 

Figure 4-6. Annual Well Completion Reports 102 

Figure 5-1. Disinfection Byproduct Precursors in the Delta: July 1983 to June 

1992 122 

Figure 5-2. Mass Discharge of the Rice Herbicide Molinate 

to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 125 

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

Example of Water Use in Inland Areas 136 

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

Example of Area with Salt Sink 137 

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

Example of Most Inland Areas with High Efficiency 1 38 

Figure 6- 1 . Comparison of California Population Projections 

Bulletin 160 Series 142 

Figure 6-2. Comparison of Department of Finance and 
Council of Governments Population Projections for 

California's Two Largest Metropolitan Areas 143 

Figure 6-3. Common Urban Water Rate Structures 147 

Figure 6-4. Urban Per Capita Water Use San Francisco Bay Area 

1920-1990 150 

Figure 6-5. Urban Per Capita Water Use 1940-1990 151 

Figure 6-6. Comparison of Per Capita Water Use 

by Selected Communities 151 

Figure 6-7. Average Monthly Urban Per Capita Water Use Statewide 152 

Figure 6-8. Urban Applied Water Use by Sector 153 



Contents xiii 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



i Figure 7- 1 . Comparison of Irrigated Acreage Projections 

Bulletin 160 Series 159 

Figure 7-2. Yield of Cotton Lint, Rice, and Alfalfa per Acre 1920-1990 . . 165 

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

of Various Irrigation Methods 166 

Figure 7-4. Irrigated Acreage in California 1870-1990 171 

Figure 7-5. Various Estimates of Irrigated Crop Acreage in California ... 178 

Figure 7-6. Irrigated Vegetable Acreage in California 1920-1990 180 

Figure 7-7. Irrigated Pasture Acreage in California 1950-2020 180 

Figure 7-8. Irrigated Acreage in California 1870-2020 181 

Figure 8-1. Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay 190 

Figure 8-2. Striped Bass Abundance Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary . 195 
Figure 8-3. Estimated Annual Ocean Harvest of Chinook Salmon 

1971-1991 198 

Figure 8-4. Fall-Chinook Salmon Runs on the 

Sacramento River and Tributaries 199 

Figure 8-5. Examples of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and Depletion 
for Instream Fishery Flows Example of Central Valley Streams 
—1990 Average Year 218 

Figure 8-6. Publicly Managed Fresh-Water Wetlands 220 

Figure 10- 1 . The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta 247 

Figure 10-2. Land Surface Below Sea Level, 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 248 

Figure 10-3. Tidal Flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 249 

Figure 10-4. Delta Flow Components and Comparisons 250 

Figure 10-5. Flow Distribution, With and Without Reverse Flows 251 

Figure 10-6. Delta Decision-Making Process 261 

Figure 10-7. Proposed Interim South Delta 

Water Management Program i 265 

Figure 10-8. Proposed Isolated Facilities (1982) 268 

Figure 10-9. Proposed Delta Wetlands Project (1990) 270 

Figure 11-1. Least-Cost Reliability Planning 

Total Costs of Alternative Plans 276 

Figure 11-2. Relationship Between Drought Contingency Measures 

and BMPs 281 

Figure 1 1-3. Water Sources and Allocations of the 

1991 and 1992 State Drought Water Banks 286 

Figure 1 1-4. 2020 Delivery Capability of SWP with 

Existing Facilities and Level I Programs Based on D-1485 289 

Figure 1 1-5. SWP Urban and Agricultural Deliveries with 
Existing Facilities and Level I Programs 
Based on D-1485 1990 and 2020 Levels of Demand 290 

Figure 1 1-6. Future Delivery Capability Objectives of Various Projects . . 291 

Figure 1 1-7. CVP and SWP Delta Export Capabilities 

Under Various Delta Export Restrictions 292 

Figure 11-8. Los Banos Grandes Facilities Location 293 

Figure 11-9. Proposed Coastal Branch Phase II and 

Central Coast Water Authority Extension 297 

Figure 1 1-10. Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Site and Facilities 311 

Figure 11-11. Usable Transfer Capacity with Existing 
SWP/CVP Facilities for Transfers from the Delta to 
the South Coast Region 318 

xiv Contents 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 11-12. Monthly Variation of Usable Transfer Capacity with 

Existing SWP/CVP Facilities for Transfers from the 

Delta to the South Coast Region Based on D- 1485 319 

Figure 11-13. Westside Sacramento Valley Storage 

and Conveyance Concepts 325 

Figure 12- 1 . California Water Balance 344 



Sidebars 

The Governor's Water Policy 3 

California's Water Supply Availability 8 

What Is Navigable? 21 

Point-Source Versus Nonpoint-Source Pollution 31 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, 1993 CVP Operations . . 39 

Water Transfer Criteria 41 

Possible Effects of Global Climate Change 56 

Estimating Perennial Yields of Ground Water Basins 82 

Evaluation of Ground Water Overdraft in the San Joaquin Valley 89 

Procedure for Adopting a Ground Water Management Plan 

in Accordance with Water Code Section 10750 94 

Principles of Water Utility Management as Set Forth by 

the Source Water Quality Committee of the 

California-Nevada Section, American Water Works Association 118 

Water Price and" Agricultural Production 168 

Land Use Survey Program 170 

Criteria for Summary of Present and 

Proposed Environmental Water Flows 189 

Least-Cost Planning Process for Evaluating 

Water Management Plans 275 

Water Conservation Bond Laws 277 

SWP Reliability Planning Process 294 

SWP Drought Year Supply 295 

Criteria for Determining Level I and Level II 

Water Reclamation and Available Supplies for Bulletin 160-93 299 

EBMUD Reliability Planning Process 302 

MWDSC Reliability Planning Process 308 

Water Transfer Costs 320 

California's Water Supply Availability 33 1 

Water Service Reliability 348 

Tables 

Table 1-1. California Water Supplies with 

Existing Facilities and Programs 5 

Table 1-2. Use of Ground Water by Hydrologic Region 6 

Table 1-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 6 

Table 1-4. Net Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 9 

Table 1-5. California Water Supplies with 

Level I Water Management Programs 11 

Table 1-6. California Water Budget 12 

Table 2- 1 California Water Code Requirements for Water Transfers 40 

Table 3- 1 . Pre- 1900 Dry Periods and Droughts Since 1900 54 

Table 3-2. Major Central Valley Project Reservoirs 64 



Contents xv 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



J Table 3-3. Present Use of Recycled Water by Category 70 

Table 3-4. Suitable Uses of Recycled Water 72 

Table 3-5. Major Surface Water Reservoirs in California 76 

Table 4- 1 . Use of Ground Water by Hydrologic Region 81 

Table 4-2. Ground Water Management in California 

1990 Level of Development 83 

Table 4-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 91 

Table 5-1. Threats to Water Quality 115 

Table 5-2. Contaminants Regulated Under the 

Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, August 1993 116 

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

Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, August 1993 117 

Table 5-4. Average Water Quality of Selected Sources, 

1986 to 1992 123 

Table 6- 1 . California Population by Hydrologic Region 142 

Table 6-2. 1990 Population Densities of Selected States 

and Countries 144 

Table 6-3. Best Management Practices for Urban Water Use 145 

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

and Costs for Selected Cities 148 

Table 6-5. Commercial and Industrial Monthly Water Use 

and Retail Costs for Selected Cities 149 

Table 6-6. Typical Urban Ground Water Costs in 1992 

by Hydrologic Region 1 50 

Table 6-7. 1990 Distribution of Residential Interior Water Use 153 

Table 6-8. Present and Projected Urban Unit Applied Water 

by Hydrologic Region 1 54 

Table 6-9. 1990 Percentage of Urban Water Use by Sector 154 

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

Depletions by Hydrologic Region ^ 155 

Table 6-11. Urban Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 1 56 

Table 6-12. Potential Best Management Practices 157 

Table 7-1. Crop Yields in California 160 

Table 7-2. Irrigated Crops Where California Influences or Dominates 

the U.S. Market 162 

Table 7-3. 1990 California Agricultural Export Data 163 

Table 7-4. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Quantity Index of 

Agricultural Imports 163 

Table 7-5. Agricultural Imports by Country of Origin 164 

Table 7-6. Ranges of Unit Evaporation of Applied Water 164 

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

by Hydrologic Region 165 

Table 7-8. Crop Acreage Irrigated by Various Methods 167 

Table 7-9. Typical Agricultural Retail Water Costs in 1991 

by Hydrologic Region 1 72 

Table 7-10. Typical Agricultural Ground Water Production Costs 

in 1992 by Hydrologic Region 173 

Table 7-11. Summary of Current Efficient Water Management 

Practices 1 75 

Table 7-12. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage 

by Hydrologic Region 1990 1 79 

Table 7-13. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage 

by Hydrologic Region 2020 (Forecasted) 181 

xvi Contents 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 7-14. Annual Agricultural Applied Water Reductions 
and Related Reduction Depletions by Hydrologic Region 
2020 (Forecasted) 182 

Table 7-15. Agricultural Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 184 

Table 8- 1 . Estimated Winter Run Chinook Salmon 

at Red Bluff Diversion Dam 196 

Table 8-2. Estimated Fall Run Chinook Salmon in the Feather River 199 

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

for Major California River Systems 202 

Table 8-4. Instream Environmental Water Needs by Hydrologic Region . . 217 

Table 8-5. Wetlands Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 226 

Table 8-6. Environmental Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 228 

Table 9- 1 . Recreation Use and Minimum Rafting Flows 

on Some Popular California Rivers 234 

Table 9-2. Estimated Current Annual and Cumulative 

Attendance (through 1990) at State Water Project Reservoirs 238 

Table 10-1. Major Permits Required for Implementation 

of Delta Water Management Programs 260 

Table 11-1. Level I Demand Management Options 278 

Table 11-2. Short-Term Water Transfers 1982 Through 1992 284 

Table 1 1-3. Recent Major Water Transfers for Environmental Uses 285 

Table 11-4. 1991 and 1992 Drought Water Bank Purchases 

and Allocations 287 

Table 1 1-5. Level I Water Supply Management Options 288 

Table 1 1-6. State Water Project Supplies 289 

Table 11-7. Total Water Recycling and Resulting New Water Supply 

by Hydrologic Region 300 

Table 1 1-8. Level II Water Management Options 313 

Table 11-9. Applied Water Reductions by 2020 With and Without 
Implementation of the Plan Recommended by the 
San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Drainage Program 315 

Table 1 1-10. SWP and CVP Usable Transfer Capability from the Delta . . 317 

Table 11-11. Annual 1990 and Potential Future Water Desalting 327 

Table 12-1. California Water Supplies with Existing 

Facilities and Programs 333 

Table 12-2. California Water Supplies with Level I 

Water Management Programs 334 

Table 12-3. State Water Project Supplies 336 

Table 12-4. California Water Demand 339 

Table 12-5. California Water Budget 342 



Contents 



J 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 1 



For the first time in recent history, Californians 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. 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 1 0004 was amended in 1 99 1 to require 
that the California Water Plan be updated every five 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 were listed under the State and federal 
Endangered Species acts, imposing restrictions on Delta exports, and the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act (PL 102-575) was passed in 1992, reallocating over a 
million acre-feet of CVP supplies for fish and wildlife. Other actions, such as the State 
Water Resources Control Board's Bay-Delta proceedings, and the federal Environmen- 
tal Protection Agency's proposed Bay- Delta standards, suggest that even more 
stringent requirements could be imposed. 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. Figure 1-1 shows major water 
project facilities in California. 

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 this water plan update. It begins by discussing the effects of recent 



Summary of 
Volume I 



Summary of Volume I 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 1-1. Water Project Facilities in California 



San Francisco 



South Ba 



lay 
Aqueduct 

San Felipe 
ut 
Montereyf Reservoir 




o^=>^ 



State Water Project Facilities 
Federal Water Project Facilities 
Local Water Project Facilities 



San Diego ^ 
V Aqueducts 
^ San 

Diego 



Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



changes to the institutional framework for water management in California and 
continues by presenting: (1) California's existing water supplies along with water 
quality considerations, (2) the plan's assessment of the need and demand for water, 
and (3) options for balancing those demands with supply. Finally, recommendations 
are highlighted. Discussion of regional issues and the results of regional analyses used 
in developing the California Water Balance can be found in Volume II. 

Effects of Recent Changes in the Institutional Framework 

Chapter 2, The Institutional Framework for Water Resource Management in 
California, presents an overview of the major constitutional requirements, statutes, 
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 on operations of the CVP 
and SWP 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. The actions and 
restrictions on water project operations contained in the biological opinions have 
immediate and future consequences on Delta export capability. The precise extent of 
those consequences is, thus far, unknown. Furthermore, the CVPIA 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 used on a long-term basis will be determined 
upon completion of a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. 

Other major actions (discussed in Chapter 2) that could have far reaching 
consequences are the EPA's proposed standards for the Bay-Delta estuary, future 
SWRCB Bay-Delta standards, and more stringent and costly drinking water quality 
standards. Recent 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 Coast Region, and a multitude of water management and water transfer 
legislation that has begun to open up the water market in California. 



The Governor's Water Policy 

Here are key elements of the Governor's water policy as announced on April 6, 
1 992. 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. 

Water Conservation 

Water Recycling 

Desalination 

Transfer of the federal Central 
Valley Project to State Control 

^''^''^® :] Colorado River Water Banking 

Additional Storage Facilities 



□ 


Fixing the Delta 


□ 


□ 


Reduction of Ground Water 


□ 




Overdraft 


^ 


□ 


Water Marketing and Transfers 


^ 


a 


Additional Water for Fish and 





Summary of Volume I 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Caiifornia'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 systems expected success 
in providing an adequate supply that meets expected demand and in managing 
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 to 
meet 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. The following sections describe 
California's surface and ground water supplies and summarize water quality 
considerations. 

Surface Water Supplies 

The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers have provided Californians 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 existing 
annual supply availability for urban and agricultural uses by about 1 to 3 maf. This 
range envelops proposed additional environmental water needs. 

Colorado River supplies to the South Coast Region for urban and agricultural 
uses could eventually decline from about 5.2 maf to California's apportionment of 4.4 
maf annually. Historically, Arizona and Nevada have used less than their apportion- 
ment of water, making their unused supply of Colorado River water available to meet 
California's requirements. Southern California was spared from severe rationing 
during most of the 1987-92 drought primarily as a result of the 600,000 af annually of 
surplus and unused Colorado River water that was made available to the Metropolitan 
Water District of Southern California. Even with this supply, however, much of 
Southern California experienced significant rationing in 1 99 1 . 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 construction of 
more interconnections between local. 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, water agencies were bu3ang 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 availability 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. (See Chapter 2 for 
details about D-1485.) Chapter 3 summarizes historical water supply and discusses 



Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 

Supply 1990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



Surface 

Local 

Local imports'^' 

Colorado River 

CVP 

Other federal 

SWP"i 
Reclaimed 
Ground water'^' 
Ground water overdraft*^' 
Dedicated natural flow 



10.1 
1.0 



27.2 



8.1 
0.7 



15.3 



10.1 
1.0 



8.1 
0.7 



10.2 
1.0 



8.3 
0.7 



27.4 



15.4 



27.4 



15.4 



10.3 
1.0 



27.4 



8.4 
0.7 



5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


7.5 


5.0 


7.7 


5.1 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


1.2 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


2.8 


2.1 


3.2 


2.0 


3.3 


2.0 


3.3 


2.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


7.1 


11.8 


7.1 


12.0 


7.2 


12.1 


7.4 


12.2 


1.3 


1.3 


— 





— 


— 





— 



15.4 



TOTAL 



63.5 



50.4 



62.4 



48.9 



62.7 



49.1 



63.0 



49.4 



(1) 1 990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies delivered to offset the reduction of supplies from the Mono and Owens basins to the South Coast 
hydrologic region. 

(2) Average ground water use is prime supply of ground water basins and does not include use of ground water which is artificially recharged from surface sources into the ground 
water basins. 

(3) The degree future shortages ore met by increased overdraft is unknown. Since overdraft is not sustainable, it is not included as a future supply. 

the current supply system. Table 1-1 shows California's water supply with existing 
facilities and programs as operated in accordance with D-1485 for Delta supplies. 

Average annual supplies at the 1990 level of development are about 63.5 maf 
(includes natural flows dedicated for instream use and ground water overdraft) and 
could decrease to 63.0 maf 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 50.4 maf and could decrease by about 1.0 maf by 2020 without additional 
storage and water management options. However, until comprehensive solutions to 
complex Delta problems are identified and implemented, SWP and CVP Delta 
diversions will continue to be impaired. 

Ground Water Supply 

California's ground water storage is about 850 maf, roughly 100 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 quantity of good-quality ground water makes it a 
crucial component of California's total water resource. 

In a year of average precipitation and runoff, an estimated 1 5 maf of ground 
water is extracted and applied for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use. This is 
over 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, the 1990 level average annual net ground water use 
was about 8.4 maf, including about 1 .3 maf of ground water overdraft. Overdraft 
estimates include 0.2 maf 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 



Summary of Volume I 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 1-2. Use of Ground Water by Hydrologic Region<^> 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



7990 


2000 


2070 


2020 


Fverage 


drought 


average 


drought 


average 


drought 


overage 


drought 


263 


283 


275 


295 


286 


308 


298 


316 


100 


139 


126 


174 


160 


174 


165 


174 


688 


762 


694 


769 


695 


776 


698 


781 


1,083 


1,306 


1,100 


1,325 


1,125 


1,350 


1,150 


1,375 


2,496 


2,865 


2,463 


2,985 


2,426 


3,033 


2,491 


3,038 


1,098 


2,145 


1,135 


2,202 


1,156 


2,227 


1,161 


2,252 


915 


3,773 


918 


3,758 


921 


3,726 


926 


3,758 


121 


146 


128 


154 


138 


165 


147 


173 


221 


252 


220 


237 


226 


271 


258 


271 


80 


80 


79 


79 


80 


80 


79 


79 



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



TOTAL 7,100 11,800 7,100 12,000 7,200 12,100 7,400 12,200 

(1) Average year ground water use represents use of prime supply of ground woter basins. Ground wafer overdraft is not included. 

ground water increases significantly to 13.1 maf (also including 1.3 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. 

Between 1980 and 1990, annual ground water overdraft had been reduced by 
about 0.7 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, construction and operation of new reservoirs in the San Joaquin River Region 
during the 1960s and 1970s, and prudent management of surface and ground water 
resources, including conjunctive use of those supplies. Table 1-3 shows 1990 level 
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 

Table 1 -3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 

Region 1990 

North Coast 

San Francisco Bay 

Central Coast 240 

South Coast 20 

Sacramento River 30 

San Joaquin 210 

Tulare Lake 650 

North Lahontan 

South Lahontan 70 

Colorado River 80 

STATEWIDE 1 ,300 

6 Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



up for reductions in surface water supplies from the Delta. In the long-term, continued 
overdraft is not sustainable and must be addressed in local and State water 
management plans. As such, overdraft is not included as a future supply. 

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 Californians is the water quality of the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 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 salts in Delta supplies. 
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 b5T)roducts of drinking water treatment. On the average. Delta 
influences are responsible for elevating the salt concentration at Banks Pumping Plant 
about 1 50 milligrams per liter above that of the fresh water inflows to the Delta. Most 
of the SWRCB's Delta water quality objectives relate to salinity. The SWP and CVP are 
required to operate 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. 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 bypro- 
ducts. 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. 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 



i 



Summary of Volume I 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 normalized 1990 level of development 
and for projections to 2000, 2010, and 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. 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 3.7 maf to 10.5 maf by 2020. Nearly half 
of the increased population is expected to occur in the South Coast Region, 
increasing that region's annual urban water demand by 1 .8 maf. (See Chapter 6.) 

O Irrigated agricultural acreage is expected to decline by nearly 400,000 acres, from 
the normalized 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 encroachment onto 
agricultural land and land retirement in the western San Joaquin Valley where poor 
drainage and disposal conditions exist. Increases in agricultural water use 
efficiency, combined with reductions in agricultural acreage and shifts to growing 
lower -water-use crops, are expected to reduce agricultural annual net water 
demand by about 1.9 maf by 2020. (See Chapter 7.) 

O The 1 990 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 CVPLA) , 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 environmental needs is expected to increase by 0.4 
maf by 2020. Furthermore, regulatory agencies have proposed a number of 
changes in instream flow needs for major rivers, including the Sacramento and San 

California's Water Supply Availability 

Average year supply is the average annual supply of o 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 
( 1 922-9 1 ). For a local project without long-term data , it is the annual average deliver- 
ies 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 
as required for an average year under specific agreements, water rights, court deci- 
sions, and congressional 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 1990 and 1991. 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 
directives. 




Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Joaquin. These proposed flow requirements are not necessarily additive; however, 
an increase from 1 to 3 maf is presented to envelop potential environmental water 
needs that could result from proposed additional instream needs and actions 
under way by regulatory agencies. (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 conflicting values and needs 
for the same river system. Recreation at reservoirs, natural lakes, and streams 
must be managed to prevent overuse and degradation. (See Chapter 9.) 

Table 1-4 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 7.7 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 D-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. 

Will There Be Enough Water? 

Today, areas of the State reljang on the Delta for all or a portion of their supplies 
find those supplies unreliable. Annual reductions in total water supply for urban and 
agricultural uses could be in the range of 500,000 af to 1 maf in average years and 2 
to 3 maf in drought years. These reductions result mainly from compliance with the 
ESA biological opinions and proposed EPA Bay-Delta standards. While these impacts 
do not consider the potential reductions in Delta exports due to "take limits" under the 
biological opinions, they basically fall within the l-to-3-maf range for proposed 

Table 1 -4. Net Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



1990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



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



20,035 


10,159 


20,182 


10,306 


20,213 


10,337 


20,238 


10,364 


6,071 


4,652 


6,185 


4,756 


6,253 


4,852 


6,296 


4,895 


1,143 


1,213 


1,194 


1,269 


1,245 


1,321 


1,291 


1,379 


4,379 


4,521 


4,812 


4,974 


5,319 


5,499 


5,903 


6,110 


11,734 


11,921 


11,841 


12,065 


11,907 


1 2,204 


1 2,036 


12,238 


6,826 


7,190 


6,847 


7,187 


6,764 


7,055 


6,763 


7,068 


8,136 


8,308 


8,031 


8,198 


7,932 


8,090 


7,844 


7,995 


514 


566 


518 


571 


520 


573 


537 


590 


555 


554 


577 


581 


648 


653 


735 


744 


4,124 


4,124 


4,041 


4,041 


4,018 


4,018 


4,012 


4,012 



TOTAL 



63,500 53,200 64,200 53,900 64,800 54,600 65,700 55,400 



Summary of Volume I 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



• f additional environmental demands for protection and enhancement of aquatic species . 

Such uncertainty of water supply delivery and reliability will continue until issues 
involving the Delta and other long-term environmental water management concerns 
are resolved. 

In 1990, average annual supplies, including 1.3 maf of ground water overdraft, 
were generally adequate for 1990 level average demands. However, 1990 level 
drought-year supplies were insufficient to meet 1990 level drought-year demands, 
which is illustrated by 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. Basically, shortages in supply 
exist today and are best illustrated by the year 2000 water budget. 

After accounting for future reductions of 1.3 maf in net water demand resulting 
from implementation of urban Best Management Practices and agricultural Efficient 
Water Management Practices (discussed in Chapters 6 and 7), and another 0.1 maf 
reduction due to future land retirement, projected 2020 net demand for urban, 
agricultural, and environmental water needs amounts to 65.7 maf in average years and 
55.3 maf in drought years. As noted, these demand amounts could increase by 1 to 3 
maf. 

By 2020, without additional facilities and improved water management, annual 
shortages of 3.7 to 5.7 maf could occur during average years depending on the 
outcome of various actions taking place to protect aquatic species. Average year 
shortages are considered chronic and indicate the need for implementing long-term 
water supply augmentation and demand management measures to improve water 
service reliability. Similarly, by 2020, annual drought year shortages could increase to 
7.0 to 9.0 maf under D- 1485 criteria, also indicating the need for long-term measures 
in addition to short-term drought management measures. 

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

O Level 11 options are those programs 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 analyses of 
alternatives. 

Implementation of Level 1 water management programs could reduce but not 
eliminate projected shortages. 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, 

10 Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



and additional south-of-the-Delta storage facilities). (Chapter 1 1 explains these 
options.) If all Level 1 options were implemented, there would still be a potential 
shortfall in annual supplies of about 2. 1 to 4. 1 maf in average years and 2.9 to 4.9 maf 
in drought years by 2020 that must be made up by Level II water supply augmentation 
and demand management programs. (Chapter 1 1 explains these programs.) Table 1-5 
shows California's water supplies with Level I water management programs. 

The California Water Budget, Table 1-6, compares total net water demand with 
supplies from 1990 through 2020. The water budget also 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. Figure 1 -2 illustrates the water 
supply benefits of short- and long-term water management programs under Level I 
options and the need for further investigating and implementing Level II options. 

Recommendations 

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 the 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 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 initi- 
ated, many options requiring improved Delta export capability could become feasible. 

Table 1-5. California Water Supplies with Level I Water Management Programs 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 

Supply 7990 2000 2010 2020 

overage drought average drought average drought average drought 

Surface 

Local 10.1 8.1 10.2 8.2 10.2 8.3 10.3 8.4 

Local imports"' 1.0 0.7 1.0 0.8 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 

Colorado River 

CVP 

Other federal 

SWPni 
Reclaimed 
Ground water'^' 
Ground water overdraft'-" 
Dedicated natural flow 27.2 15.3 27.5 15.4 27.5 15.4 27.5 15.4 

TOTAL 63.5 50.4 63.3 49.5 64.0 51.2 64.5 51.6 



i 



5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


7.5 


5.0 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


1.2 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


2.8 


2.1 


3.4 


2.1 


3.9 


3.0 


4.0 


3.0 


0.2 


0.2 


0.7 


0.7 


0.8 


0.8 


0.9 


0.9 


7.1 


11.8 


7.1 


11.9 


7.2 


12.2 


7.3 


12.3 


1.3 


1.3 


— 


















(1) 1990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies delivered to offset t})e reduction of supplies from the Mono and Owens basins to the South Coast 
hydrologic region. 

(2) Average ground water use is prime supply of ground water basins and does not include use of ground wotor which is artificially recharged from surfoce sources into the ground 
woter basins. 

(3) The degree future shortages ore met by increased overdraft is unknown. Since overdraft is not sustainable, it is not included as a future supply. 

Summary of Volume I 1 1 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 1 -6. California Water Budget 

(millions of acre-feet) 

Water Demand/Supply 7 990 

average drought 



Net Demand 


Urban — with 1 990 level of conservation 


6.8 


7.1 


1 


— reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level 1) 










Agricultural — with 1 990 level of conservation 


26.8 


28.2 




— reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level 1) 

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










Environmental 


28.4 


16.4 




OttieH" 


1.5 


1.5 




SubMal 


„, 63,5 


53.2 




Proposed Additional Environmental Water Demands'^' 
Cose 1 - Hypottietical 1 MAF 








Case II - Hypothefical 2 MAF ] 




^■— 




Case III - Hypotfietical 3 AAAF 


— 


— 






Total Net Demand 


63.5 


53.2 


i 


Case! 


— 


— 




CoseH 


— 


— 


1 


Casein 


— 


— 




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

Developed Supplies 


Surface Water<3i 


27.9 


22.1 


1 


Ground Water 


7.1 


11.8 




Ground Water OverdraP^i 


1-3 


1.3 


1 


Subtotal 


36.3 


35.2 




Dedicated Natural Flow 


27.2 


15.3 


1 




TOTAL Water Supplies 


63.5 


50.5 






Denrand/Suppty Balance 


0.0 


-2.7 


1 


Casel 


— 


— 




Casel 


— 


— 


1 


Casein 


— 


— 




Level 1 Water Management Programs'"' 

Long-term Supply Augmentation 


Reclaimed 


— 


— 


1 


Local 


— 


— 




Central Valley Project 


— 


— 


1 


State Water Project 
Short-Term Drought Management 


— 


— 




Potential Demand Management 


— 


1.0 




Drought Water Transfers 


— 


0.8 




Subtotal - level 1 Water Management Programs 


— 


1.8 




Net Ground Water or Surface Water Use Reduction 
Resulting from Level 1 Programs 


— 


0.0 




NET TOTAL Demand Redudion/Suppiy Augmentation 


0.0 


1.8 




Remaining Demand/Supply Balance Requiring Level II Options 


0.0 


-0.9 




Casel 


— 


— 




Cosen 


— 


— 




CoseH 


— 


— 







(1 ) Indudes major conveyance focility losses, recreation uses, and energy production. 

(2) Proposed EnvironnDental Water Demands — Case l-lll envelop potential and uncertain demands and hove immediate and future 
consequences on supplies from ttie Delta, beginning wilti actions in 1 992 and 1 993 to protect winter run salmon and delta smelt (octions 
which could also protect other fish species). 



12 Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



2000 

average drought 



Table 1 -6. California Water Budget 

(millions of acre-feet) 

2010 

average drought 



2020 

average drought 





immm6-3 


8.7 


JHHHHB.^-? 


10.3 


11.4 


11.9 


-0.4 


-0.4 


-0.7 


-0.7 


-0.9 


-0,9 


' 26.4 


27.7 


25.8 


27.1 


25.4 


26.6 


-0 2 
-0 1 


-0.2 
-0.1 


-0.3 
-0.1 


-0.3 
-0.1 


-0.4 
-0.1 


-0,4 
-0,1 


28.8 


16.8 


"■^^ 28.8 


16.8 


28.8 


16.8 


1.5 


1.4 


1.5 


1.4 


1.5 


1.4 


1 64.3 


53.9 


64.9 


54.5 


65.7 


55.3 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1,0 


1.0 


' 2.0 


2.0 


2.0 


2.0 


2.0 


20 


30 


3.0 


3.0 


3.0 


3.0 


3.0 




I - 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


65 3 


54.9 


65.9 


55.5 


66.7 


56.3 


66.3 


55.9 


66.9 


56.5 


67.7 


57.3 


67.3 


56.9 


67.9 


57.5 


68.7 


58.3 




[ 27,8 


21.5 


28.1 


21.6 


28.2 


21.7 


7.1 


12.0 


7.2 


12.1 


7.4 


12.2 


1 — 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


34.9 


33.5 


35.3 


33.7 


35,6 


33.9 


1 27.4 


15.4 


27.4 


15.4 


27.4 


15.4 




62.3 


48.9 


62.7 


49.1 


63.0 


49.3 




1 — 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


-3.0 


-6.0 


-3.2 


-6.4 


-3.7 


-7.0 


t..--4.o 


-7.0 


-4.2 


-7.4 


-4.7 


-8.0 


-5.0 


-8.0 


-5.2 


-8.4 


-5,7 


-9.0 




0.5 


0.5 


^^^B»0_6 


0.6 


0,8 


0.8 


0.0 


0.1 


0.0 


0.3 


0.0 


0.3 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.2 


0.1 


0.6 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


^^- — 


1.0 


— 


1.0 


— 


1.0 


— 


0.8 


— 


0.8 


— 


0.8 


i 0.7 


2.5 


1.3 


3.8 


1.5 


3.9 


0.1 


0.0 


0.1 


0.2 


0.1 


0.2 


0.7 


2.5 


1.4 


4.0 


1.6 


4.1 


— 











_ 


_ 


-2.3 


-3.5 


-1.8 


-2.4 


-2.1 


-2.9 


-3.3 


-4.5 


-2.8 


-3.4 


-3.1 


-3.9 


' -4.3 


-5.5 


-3.8 


-4.4 


-4.1 


-4.9 





(3) The degree future shortages are met by increased overdraft is unknown. Since overdraft is not sustainable, it is not included as a future supply. 

(4) 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 



Summary of Volume I 



13 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



•< Figure 1-2. 

California Water 

Balance 



Note: VVdrer supplies are 
based on SWRCB D- 1 485 
operating criteria for Delta 

exports. Tables 11-1. 11-5. 
and 1 1 -8 (Chapter 1 1) list 

Level I and Level II options. 




Following are the major Level I options recommended for implementation to help 
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 many of 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 
annualurbanapplied water demand by 1.3 maf, and net water demand by 0. 9 maf. 



14 



Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



afteraccountingfor reuse. Implementation ofagricultural EWMPs, which increase 
agricultural irrigation efficiencies, could reduce agricultural applied water 
demands by 1.7mafandnetwaterdemandby0.3maf, after accounting for reuse. 
In addition, lining of the All-American Canal will reduce net water demand by 
68,000 af. 

^ Land fallowing and water bank programs during droughts — 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. 
However, such transfers are impaired until solutions to Delta transfer problems 
are identified and implemented. 

^ Drought demand management — ^voluntary rationing averaging 10 percent 
statewideduringdrought could reduce annual drought-yearurban applied andnet 
water demand by 1.0 maf in 2020. 

^ Land retirement — retirement of 45,000 acres with poor subsurface drainage and 
disposal on 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 . 2 maf of water recycling and ground 
water reclamation by 2020 could provide annual net water supplies of nearly 0.8 
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. 2 to 0.4 maf annually of net water supplies (under D- 1485) and make many other 
water management options feasible. Including water transfers. 

^ Conjunctive use — more efficient use of major ground water basins through 
programs such as the Kern Water Bank could provide 0.4 maf of drought-year net 
water supplies (under D-1485). 

^ Additional storage facilities — projects such as Los Banos Grandes (SWF), 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 mcif of drought-year 
net water supplies. 

In the short-term, those areas of California reljang 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. At 
the same time, California's water supply Infrastructure is limited in its capacity to 
transfer marketed water through the Delta due to those same operating constraints. 
Until solutions to complex Delta problems are Identified and put in place, and demcind 
management and supply augmentation options are implemented, many Callfornians 
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. Such limitations of surface water deliveries from the Delta 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. In addition, water transfers within these areas will become more common as 
farmers seek to minimize water supply impacts on their operations. In urban areas, 
water conservation and water recycling programs will be accelerated to help offset ^ 

short-term reliability needs. 

Summary of Volume I 15 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Finally, it is recommended that Level II options be evaluated, expanded to include 
other alternatives, and planned for meeting the p>otential range of average-year short- 
ages of 2. 1 to 4. 1 maf and the potential range of drought-year shortages of 2.9 to 4.9 
maf. Level II options include demand management and suppfy augmentation mea- 
sures such as additional conservation, land retirement, increased water recycling and 
desalting, and surface water development. Several mixes of State and local Level 11 op- 
tions should be investigated, and their economic feasibility ascertained, to address the 
range of demand and supply uncertainty illustrated in the California Water Budget. 
Such uncertainty will affect the identification and selection of Level II options needed 
to meet California's future water supply needs. 



16 Summary of Volume I 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Summary of Volume I 1 7 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Water Right Decision 1485 established salinity control standards for the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. D-1485, the recently 
enacted Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, and biological 
opinions under the Endangered Species Act all affect the timing and amount 
of water Jlowir^ through the Delta at any given time. 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 2 



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 
Californians 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. Californians have become more environmentally sensitive, as 
reflected in statutes such as the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Endan- 
gered 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 Sacramento split-tail is also being 
considered for listing under the State and federal acts because of its low populations. 
Natural resource managers are looking for ways to help these species recover. Biological 
opinions have been issued under the federal Endangered Species Act; these opinions 
affect how water supply proj ects 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 affect 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 under an intri- 
cate 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 is allocated, developed, or used. All of these components, along with 
the responsible State, federal, and local agencies, compose the institutional framework 
for allocation and management of water resources in Cadifornia. 

This chapter presents an overview of California's institutional framework for man- 
aging 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 



The Institutional 
Framework for 
Water Resource 
Management in 
California 



The Institutional Framework 



19 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



J resource management and planning activities. (General references and citations to the 

laws and cases discussed are contained in Appendix A.) 

Allocation and Management of California's Water Supplies 

The following subsections condense the basic water rights laws and doctrines 
governing allocation and use of California's water supplies. 

California Constitution Article X, Section 2 

The keystone to California's water law and policy. Article X, Section 2 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 Approprlative Rigtits 

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 but not store 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. General- 
ly, all riparian water right holders must reduce their water use in times of water 
shortages. Under the prior appropriation 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 Rigtits Permits and Licenses 

The Water Commission Act, which took effect in 1914 following a referendum, 
recognized the overriding interest of the people in the waters of the state but provided 
that private 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 1 000) 
of the Water Code. These provisions place responsibility for administering appropriative 
water rights with the State Water Resources Control Board; however, the permit and 
license provisions do not apply to pre- 19 14 appropriative rights (those initiated before 
the act took effect in 1914). 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 a ground water management agency created expressly for 
that purpose. 

20 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



In 1 992. the Legislature repealed the water code sections that authorized manage- 
ment 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 landown- 
ers 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 aban- 
donment and destruction of wells, mitigation of overdraft, replenishment, monitoring, 
facilitating conjunctive use, identification of well construction policies, and construc- 
tion 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 
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 fish- 
ing. California law has expanded the traditional public trust uses to include protection 
offish and wildlife, preserving trust lands in their natural condition for scientific study 
and scenic enjoyment, and related open-space uses. 

In 1983. the California Supreme Court extended the public trust doctrine's 
limitation on private rights to appropriative water rights. In National Audubon Society 
V. Superior Court of Alpine County, the court held that water right 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. 



What Is Navigable? 

The law has a number of different— and often confusing— definitions of "naviga- 
ble" rivers and lakes (all tidal areas are considered navigable). For purposes of deter- 
mining state title to the beds of rivers and lakes, they must have been capable of carry- 
ing commerce at the time the state entered the union. "Commerce"includes more 
than boats carrying persons and cargo. The courts have found streams to be "naviga- 
ble" where they have carried saw logs or shingle bolts. For purposes of some federal 
regulatory programs, a waterway must have carried, or be capable of carrying, inter- 
state commerce. Other federal regulatory programs (e.g. , the Federal Power Act) in- 
clude waterways which could carry interstate commerce with reasonable modifica- 
tions. 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 in- 
cludes most water bodies in the nation. 



The Institutional Framework 21 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Since the 1983 National Audubon decision, the public trust doctrine has been 
involved in several other cases. In United States 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. TTie public trust doctrine was also a basis for the decision in 
Environmental Defense Fund v. East Bay Municipal Utility District. In this case, EDF 
clciimed 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 
EBMUDs contract with USBR but placed limitations on the timing and amounts of 
deliveries to EBMUD. As a result of these cases, the SWRCB now routinely implements 
the public trust doctrine through regulations and through appropriate terms and condi- 
tions in water rights permits and licenses. 

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 cmd San Pablo Bay. Later cases involved public trust rights to inland 
water bodies such as Clear Lake and LakeTahoe. 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 nonfederal hydroelectric projects proposing to use navigable waters or 
federal lands. The act contains a clause modeled 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 amd the Federal Power Act preempted inconsis- 
tent 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 proce- 
dural 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 earlier 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." 

In California v. FERC { 1 990) , 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 Avith Flirst 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 that 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 

22 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 between the two acts, 
finding that the Federal Power Act envisioned a broader and more active federal over- 
sight role than did the Reclamation law. 

The Federal District Court case ofSayles Hydro Association v. Maughan (February 
1993), reinforced this view by holding that federal law has "occupied the field," prevent- 
ing 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 propo- 
nents 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 al- 
ready-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 preemp- 
tion 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 Re- 
sources 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 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 provide a common source 
of fresh water for export to areas of water deficiency — is necessary for 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 1 984, additional area of origin protections were enacted covering the Sacramen- 
to, Mokelumne, Calaveras, and San Joaquin rivers; the 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 

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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



i 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 regulations to protect the public 
and its environment have 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. 

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 1 5 years. During this time, 
water resource managers have implemented a number of strategies to help Californians 
become more efficient in their water use, thus stretching existing supplies. But Califor- 
nia'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 
moving forward with cost effective and environmentally sound water supply develop- 
ment 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 inextric- 
ably 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 
majorenvironmentallawsinfluencingwatersupplyfacilityplanning, 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 110 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 

24 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



habitat critical for the survival of that species. 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 that 
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 1 0(a) of the ESA before carrying out activities that may inciden- 
tally 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 ongoing 
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 endan- 
gered. DWR initiated the Section 10(a) process to obtciln 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 
biologiccd opinions to protect the winter-run salmon and the Delta smelt. 

Calif ornia 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 to offer 
alternatives toavoidjeopardy.Stateagenciesmustadoptreasonablealternativesunless 
there are overriding social or economic conditions that make such alternatives infeasi- 
ble. 

Many California species are both federally listed and State listed. CESA directs 
DFG to coordinate with the USFWS and NMFS in the consultation process so that 
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 v»^ll 
be carried out. Plans must be created so that 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 

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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 404 of the federal Clean Water Act regulates 
the discharge of dredged and fill materials into waters of the United States, including 
wetlands. 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. No discharge 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, fish- 
eries, wildlife, or recreational areas. 

Section 404 permits the issuance of a general permit on a State, regional, or 
nationwide basis for certain categories of activities that will cause only minimal environ- 
mental effects. Such activities are 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. 

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

The majority of water development projects must comply with Section 404, Section 
10, or both. For example, proposed facilities such as Los Banos Grandes and Phase II 
of the Coastal Branch for the SWP and Los Vaqueros for the 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 public interest terms and conditions to conserve the public interest, specifi- 
cally 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. 

Releases of Water for Fish. Fish and Game Code Section 5937 provides protec- 
tion 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 Alpine County Superior Court entered a preliminary 

26 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 of Fish and 
Game. Where the project may substantially impact 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 mainte- 
nance activities are often subject to these sections. 

Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This act implements various treaties for the protec- 
tion 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 act was one of 
several factors leading to the decision to close the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge. (See the 
discussion of the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program under Management Programs 
in this chapter.) 

Environmental Review and Mitigation 

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

National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA directs federal agencies to prepare 
an environmental impact statement 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 nation- 
al 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 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 proj ect with significant environ- 
mental effects prepare an environmental impact report. An EIR contains a description 
of the project; a discussion of the project's environmental impacts, mitigation measures, 
and 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 substantive 
duties on all California governmental agencies approving projects with significant envi- 
ronmental impacts to adopt feasible alternatives or mitigation measures that 



The Institutional Framework 27 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



substantially lessen these impacts, unless there are overriding reasons why they can- 
not. When a project is subject to both CEQA and NEPA, both laws encourage the 
agencies to cooperate in planning the project and to prepare joint environmental docu- 
ments. 

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

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, his- 
toric, 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 Ameri- 
can, Tuolumne, Merced, Kings, North Fork Kern, South Fork Kern, Smith, Sisquoc, and 
Big Sur Rivers, and Sespe Creek (Figure 2- 1 ) . 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, 198 1 . 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 the 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, orotherwaterimpoundmentonadesignated 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 diver- 
sion 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 Commis- 

28 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 2-1. Wild and Scenic Rivers in California 




LEGEND 

Federal Designation 
State Designation Only 



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29 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



sion 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. 

Wild Trout Streams. The California Fish and Game Code designates certain 
sections of streams and rivers as "wild trout waters. "The Trout and Steelhead Conserva- 
tion 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. Com- 
mercial enterprise, permanent roads, motor vehicles, aircraft landings, motorized 
equipment, or construction of structures or installations are prohibited within desig- 
nated 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 require- 
ments . 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. 

30 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



National Pollutant Disctiarge 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 dis- 
charges 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 appli- 
cable 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 ap- 
proved. 

Drinking Water Quality 

The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, enacted in 1 974 and significantly amended 
in 1986, directed the Environmental Protection Agency to set national standards for 
drinking water quality. It required the 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 1986 amendments set a time table for the EPA to establish standards for 
specific contaminants and Increased the range of contaminants local water suppliers 



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 clas- 
sic example of this occurs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where a major wa- 
ter 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 up- 
stream diversions, salt water from the bay intrudes into the Delta. High salinities can 
cause problems for agricultural, 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 SWRCB to "establish 
such water quality objectives. . . as in its judgment will ensure the reasonable 
protection of beneficial uses " Beneficial uses include domestic, municipal, agri- 
cultural and industrial supply; power generation; recreation, aesthetic enjoyment; 
navigation; and preservation and enhancement offish, wildlife, and other aquatic 
resources or preserves. Establishing water quality objectives for the Delta and de- 
termining how to implement them is a major ongoing water management issue In 
California. 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



were required to monitor to include contaminants that did not yet have an MCL estab- 
* lished. 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 wellhead 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, ad- 
ministering 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 1 989 incorporated 
the new federal safe drinking water act requirements into California law, 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 MCLs. 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 990s 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 ki 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 referen- 
dum 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 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 1960 under the Burns-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 Engle, Whiskej^town, 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 elemients 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 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 

32 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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, 1 976, the Board initiated proceedings leading to the adoption ofWater 
Right Decision 1485 in 1978. Decision 1485 set forth conditions — including water 
quality standards, export limitations, and minimum flow 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 flow 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 reflect variations in hydrologic conditions during different tjrpes of water 
years. 

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 insuffi- 
cient. Decision 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 1 984, later extended 
to October 1988. 

Recognizing that the complexities of project operations and water quality condi- 
tions 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. 

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. 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" 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 look to all water 
rights holders 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. 

The Institutional Framework 33 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Coordinated Operation Agreement 

Later in 1986. DWR and the USBR signed the landmark Coordinated Operation 
Agreement obligating the CVP and the SWP to coordinate their operations to meet 
Decision 1 485 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 Jufy 1987. TTieir 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, includ- 
ing 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. 

The SWRCB released a draft Water Quality Control Plan for Salinity and Pollutant 
Policy Document in November 1988. However, the draft water quality control plan, a 
significant departure from the 1 978 plan, generated considerable controversy through- 
out the State. The Pollutant Policy Document was subsequently adopted in June 1990. 

In January 1989, the SWRCB decided to significantty 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. Concurrentfy, DWR and other agencies offered to hold a series of 
workshops to address the technical concerns raised by the draft plan. TTiese 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 1 99 1 . The federal EPA rejected this 
plan in September 1991. 

With the adoption of the Water Quality Control Plan, the SWRCB began the EIR 
scoping phase and held several workshops during 199 1 to receive testimony regarding 
planning activities, facilities development, negotiated settlements, and flow objectives. 
Tlie 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 to provide immediate 
protection for fish and wildlife. Water right hcculngs were conducted from July through 
August 1992. and draft interim standards (proposed Water Right Decision 1630) were 
released for public review in December 1992. Concurrently, under the broad authority 

34 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



of the Endangered Species Act. the federal regulatory process was proceeding toward 
development of Delta standards and upstream measures applicable to the CVPand SWP 
for the protection of the threatened winter-run chinook salmon. In February 1993. the 
National Marine Fisheries Service issued a long-term biological opinion governing op- 
erations 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 indicated that further restrictions of CVP and SWP operations 
would be required. 

In April 1 993, the Governor 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 stan- 
dards and provided interim protection forthe Bay-Delta environment. On December 1 5, 
1993. EPA announced its proposed standards for the estuary in place of SWRCB water 
quality standards EPA had rejected in 1991; USFWS proposed to list the Sacramento 
splittail as a threatened species; and NMFS announced its decision to change the status 
of winter-run salmon from threatened to endangered. 

In April 1994, the SWRCB began a series of workshops to review Delta protection 
standards adopted in its 1991 Water Quality Control Plan for Salinity and to examine 
proposed federal EPA standards issued in December 1993. These processes seek to 
involve both SWRCB and EPA and are intended to establish a mutually acceptable draft 
SWRCB Delta regulatory plan scheduled for release in December 1994. The plan will be 
developed in accordance with the Triennial Review requirements of the Clean Water Act. 

The California Water Policy Council, created to coordinate activities related to the 
State's long-term water policy, and the Federal Ecosystem Directorate (sometimes 
referred to as "Club Fed"), comprising representatives from the EPA. NMFS, USFWS, 
and the USBR, have developed and signed a framework agreement for the Bay-Delta 
Estuary. The agreement provides for improved coordination and communication among 
State and federal agencies with resource management responsibilities in the estuary. 
It covers the water quality standards setting process; coordinates water supply project 
operations with requirements of water quality standards, endangered species laws, and 
the Central Valley Project Improvement Act; and provides for cooperation in planning 
and developing long-term solutions to the problems affecting the estuary's major public 
values. 

Coordination of State-federal resource management and long-range planning in 
the Bay-Delta Estuary is necessary to promote regulatory consistency and stability and 
to address the estuary's environmental problems in a manner that minimizes the costs 
to the State in water for urban and agricultural uses and in dollars. 

Fish Protection Agreement 

To mitigate 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 constructed, seven of the eleven pumping units planned were installed. The 
remaining four units were only recently installed to provide more operational flexibility. 

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 repre- 

The Institutional Framework 35 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



. sentatives 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. Mitiga- 
tion of other species is 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 USBR 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 Flj^way depend on the marsh as a 
feeding and resting area. An adequate supply of water is essential to maintain the 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 
amonitoringagreementandamitigationagreement, approved in March 1987, describes 
proposed facilities to be constructed , a construction schedule , cost-sharing responsibi- 
lities 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 construc- 
tion for the facilities of the Plan of Protection which provides for test periods during 
which the effectiveness of the constructed facilities is 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. 

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 

36 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 Lx)s 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, Surface Water Supplies. 

Besides the major regional projects, there are over 40 different statutes under 
which local agencies may be organized and have, 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 155-94, General 
Comparison ofWater District Acts (March 1989), 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 is 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 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as directed by the Secretary of the Interior, are 
beginning to put into place the interim guidelines and procedures necessary to imple- 
ment 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 require- 
ments have been met, including completion of a programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement analyzing direct and indirect impacts and benefits of implementing the act, 
j Including fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration and the potential renewal of the existing 
CVP water contracts. 

j Renewals of existing water service contracts are limited to a term of 25 years, and 

1 contracts can only be renewed on an interim basis until environmental documentation 
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 discussed below in the Water Transfers section. 

Implementation of environmental restoration measures is a major goal of the act. 
which specifically reauthorizes the CVP to establish fish and wildlife mitigation, protec- 
tion, and restoration on a par with domestic and irrigation uses of water, and 
additionally places fish and wildlife enhancement on a par with hydro power generation. 
The act requires that 800.000 af annually of project yield be dedicated to general fish 
and wildlife, and habitat, purposes. It establishes a goal of doubling the natural produc- 
tion 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 

I 

The Institutional Framework 37 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 
However, California's continuing budget difficulties make cost sharing problematic at 
this time. 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 municipal and industrial water users. 

Transfer of the CVP 

As early as 1952, in a report titled Feasibility of State Ownership and Operation 
of the Central Valley Project of California, the State recognized that State ownership of 
the CVP would be in its best interests. Transfer of the CVP to the State of California is 
one of the elements of the Governor'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 allocating the State's water 
resources. 

In March 1992, California's Governor and the federal Secretary of the Interior 
designated representatives to negotiate the transfer of control of the CVP to the State. 
Any such transfer will require: (1) authorizing legislation from Congress, (2) compliance 
with NEPA, CEQA. and other applicable State and federal laws, and (3) 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. In 1993, the negotiations were stopped as other events affecting the CVP 
eclipsed this process. 

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 consid- 
erations, and the increasingdifficulty 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. 

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. There are generally 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 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 appropriative rights may transfer water, but SWRCB must approve any transfer 

38 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



requiring a change in terms and conditions of the water right permit or license, such as 
place of use, purpose of use, or point of diversion. Short-term (one year or less) tempo- 



Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992, 1993 CVP Operations 

The 1 993-94 water year is the first year of dedicated water use for fish and wildlife 
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 1 993 
prescribed measures include the following; 

Sacramento and American River Basins 

□ At least an 8,000-cubic-foot-per-second pulse flow from Keswick Dam for a 
five-day period in late April to assist downstream migration of juvenile fall-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. 

r) Close the Delta Cross Channel gates during May to reduce entrainment of 
downstream migrating 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 Reservoir of at least 1 ,500 cfs: ( 1 ) from April 24 
to May 1 6 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 100,000 to 11 5,000 acre-feet in New Melones Reservoir beyond 
spring of 1994 for improved water temperatures and as a contingency against 
drought. 

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 cfs 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 . (Stanislaus 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. 

G Base flows at Chipps Island between 14,000 and 7,700 cfs from May througti 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, and Delta smelt, as well as other migratory and resident estua- 
rine species. 



The Institutional Framework 39 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



raiy 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, SWRCB 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 endan- 
gered 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. Water rights along an adjudicated stream 
that prior to the adjudication would have been considered riparian may be transferred 
subject to the terms of the court decree. Similarly, contractual water rights based upon 
an exchange for riparian rights may be transferable subject to the terms of the exchange 
contract. 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. 
Underwater Code Section 1 707, SWRCB can authorize conversion of any existing water 
right into an "instream appropriation" to benefit fish, wildlife, or other instream benefi- 
cial use. The potential of this new code section is just beginning to be explored. If the 



Transfer Type 



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



Water Code 
Section 



Environmental Comments 
Actions 



Temporary Urgency 
Change (one year 
or less) 



1435 



1 . Urgent need 

2. No injury to vested rights 

3. No unreasonable effect 
on fish and wildlife 

4. Use in public interest 

5. Show diligence in 
seeking the permit or 
long-term change 



Normal CEQA 1 . Petition must be filed with SWRCB 

process 2. Change good for up to 1 80 days 

3. Can be renewed 

4. Board notice and action 



Temporary Change 1 725-1 732 1 . If applicable, petitioner must 

for Transfer (one have been diligent in petition- 

year or less) ing for a permanent change 

2. Involves only water consump- 
tively used or stored 

3. No injury to vested rights 

4. No unreasonable effect on fish 
or wildlife 



Exempt from 1 . Permittee notifies SWRCB of 

CEQA proposed change 

2. SWRCB must moke 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) 



1735 



1 . No injury to vested rights 

2. No unreasonable effect on 
fish or wildlife 



Normal CEQA 1 . Petition must be filed with SWRCB 

process 2. SWRCB provides notice and 

opportunity for hearing 
3. Good for any period in excess of 

1 year 



40 



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The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 transfer- 
able. 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. 

As a result of conditions in California during the 1987-92 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 a State Drought Water Bank first created by Governor Wilson in 1 99 1 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 
1991 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 1992 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 con- 
tract 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 the water was previously recharged to the basin as 
part of a ground water banking program. The amount of water made available by land 

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. 

Q 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 

habitats. 
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 mai<ing efficient use of existing water supplies, 
including carrying out urban Best Management Practices or 
agricultural Efficient Water Management Practices. 

O Water districts and agencies that hold water rights or contracts to 
transferred 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. 



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41 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



^ 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 ex- 
change 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 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, unreason- 
able 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 ofWater 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 1 600, 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. The act 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 exist- 
ing 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. 

42 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Water Conservation in LandscopinsrAct. The Water Conservation in Landscap- 
ing 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. It establishes 
methods of conserving water through water budgeting plans, plant use, efficient irriga- 
tion, auditing, and other methods. 

Cities and counties were required to review the model ordinance and adopt a water 
efficient landscape ordinance by January 1. 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 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. 1991. 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 Agvi- 

culturalWaterSuppliers Efficient Management Practices Act. adopted in 1990. requires 
that DWR establish an advisory task force to review efficient agricultural water manage- 
ment 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 Commit- 
tee 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 Under- 
standing 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 irriga- 
i tlon management services, providing information about crop water use. providing 
Irrigation consulting services, improving the supplier's delivery system, providing tech- 
nical and financial assistance to farmers, encouraging conservation through pricing of 
water, and monitoring. 

Urban Best Management Practices MOU. The Urban BMPs are being imple- 
mented under the auspices of the California Urban Water Conservation Council. This 
council consists of about 1 50 water agencies, environmental organizations, and other 
interested parties. The council is responsible for quantifying BMPs, reviewing exemp- 
tions requested by water agencies from certain BMPs, and evaluating potential BMPs. 
The BMPs and potential BMPs are discussed in Chapter 6, under Urban Water Conserva- 
tion. 

The Institutional Framework 43 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



' Water Recycling Act of 1 991 . This act makes legislative findings regarding the 

environmental benefits and public safety of using recycled water as a reliable and 
cost-effective method of helping to meet California's water supply needs. It sets a 
statewide goal to recycle 700,000 AF per year by the year 2000 and 1 ,000,000 AF by 
2010. 

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 discussed below. Both 
the Sacramento River Fishery and Riparian Habitat Restoration Plan and the Manage- 
ment Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related Problems on the Westside 
San Joaquin Valley (San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program) have been completed and 
are 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 1 992 CVP reform 
legislation and state legislation, particularly in the areas of water marketing and trans- 
fers, land fallowing, and conservation efforts. The 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 appointed by the Governor to "fix the Delta" in accordance with his April 1992 
Water Policy. 

Sacramento River Fishery andRiparianHabitat 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 1984 by 
the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor of California to study agricultural drain- 
age 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 disposal 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 USBR 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. 

44 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



The drain never reached the proposed outlet into the Delta because in the 
mid-1970s questions about the potential effects of untreated agricultural drainage 

I 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 

j was eventually closed in 1988. 

In September 1990. the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program published its final 
report. 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 for a few years while protecting fish and 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 contami- 
nated 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 safe- 
guards 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 
j 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 provisionof 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. 

To facilitate carrying out the plan component involving land retirement, the 

Legislature in 1 992 enacted the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Relief Act, which permits 

f 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. 

I 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 USER, which provides much of the water 

r 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 

I 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 

1 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 
jl criteria. Section 3406(b)(3) requires the Secretary ofthe Interior to implement a program 
\ to develop supplemental environmental water in conformance with the plan to double 
anadromous fisheries and the waterfowl habitat measures. "[Tlemporary and perma- 
nent land fallowing, including purchase, lease, and option of water, water rights and 
associated agricultural land" are specifically mentioned as methods of developing the 

The Institutional Framework 45 




Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



4 additional environmental water. Section 3408(h) specifically authorizes the Secretary of 

** the Interior to purchase land to retire from irrigation if it would assist in water conserva- 

tion or improve agricultural drainage or waste water problems. Once again the San 
Joaquin Valley Drainage Program report was specifically referred to. Finally, Section 
3408(j) requires the USER to develop a plan to replace water supplies for those used for 
fish and wildlife purposes within 1 5 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 offish 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. The members 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 

The Colorado River provides a primary source of supply for the South Coast and 
Colorado River regions. In addition to California, the states of Arizona, Nevada, Wyo- 
ming, 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 use 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 Department of Interior. 

In the California Limitation Act of 1 929, 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 maf in surplus years). The U.S. Supreme Court Decree in 
Arizona v. California, 1 964, established several additional dimensions to the apportion- 
ment 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 specified how water would be allocated to 
the lower basin states in years of insufficient runoff in the main stream (river) to satisfy 
the specified consumptive use of 7.5 maf. The act provided that California allocations 
of 4.4 maf have priority over allocations to the Central Arizona Project. 

The Colorado River Board of California is the state agency with statutory responsi- 
bility to represent and protect the interests of California, its agencies, and its citizens 
concerning the water and power resources of the Colorado River system. 

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

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s 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 

46 The Institutional Framework 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 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 
theTruckee and Carson rivers between California and Nevada. It is the first Congressio- 
nal apportionment since the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1 928. The act also addresses 
j a number of other issues, including settlement of certain water supply disputes among 
I 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 
I 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 

I 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, 

j which is chaired by a federal representative appointed by the President. The commission 

I 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. 



The Institutional Framework 47 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Silverwood Lake stores and regulates State Water Project supplies and 
provides water-related recreation. Located on the west fork of the Mojave 
River in San Bernardino County, the reservoir stores up to 78,000 acre-feet 
behind a 236 foot-high dam. 




y^^T'^ir^^ 






ii 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 3 




California has a wide range of climates due, in part, to its mountain ranges, which 
influence weather patterns and cause more precipitation on the western sides of the 
ranges than on the eastern sides. Average statewide precipitation is about 23 inches and 
most of it, about 60 percent, is used by native vegetation or lost by evaporation. Esti- 
mated average annual runoff amounts to about 7 1 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 
maf when out-of-state 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 75 percent of the 
net water demand is south of Sacramento. Almost 29 maf, 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. For example, 
Fresno County is the most productive county in the United States in terms of agri- 
cultural output measured in dollars . The largest environmental water use is in the North 
Coast Region where average annual dedicated natural flow in wild and scenic rivers 
amounts to 1 8 maf. Figure 3- 1 shows the disposition of average annual water supplies. 



Surface Water 
Supplies 



Figure 3-1. 
Disposition of 
Average Annual 
Water Supply 




Surface Water Supplies 



49 



BuUetin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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



Region 



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 



Legend 



Average 
Runoff 
(maf) 




Average 

Precipitation 

(Inches) 



Average 
Runoff 
(maf) 



NC 


51.0 


28.6 


SF 


25.8 4H 


B 1.6 


CC 


19.8 


2.5 


30 


18.4 ill 


m 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 



50 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Droughts in California 

Average runoff amounts are of some interest, but most of California's water de- 
velopment has been dictated by the extremes of droughts and floods. For example, the 
average yearly statewide runoff of 7 1 million acre-feet includes the all-time annual low 
of 15 maf in 1977 and the all-time high, exceeding 135 maf, in 1983. (Figure 3-2 
shows the distribution of average annual precipitation and runoff.) Stable and reliable 
supplies are required to sustain agricultural and urban economies, whereas environ- 
mental water needs vary with the natural hydrologic cycle. 

The records of pre- 




cipitation" 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. 
From 1928 through 
1937, the runoff was 
below average for ten 
straight years. Many res- 
ervoirs built since that 
time were sized to main- 
tain 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). 

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 (above 
Bend Bridge near Red Bluff), Feather River inflow to Oroville, Yuba River at Smartville, 
and American River inflow to Folsom. (Unimpaired runqffis the natural production of 
a stream unaltered by water diversions, storage, exports, or imports.) The major dry 
periods of this century include the 1929-34 dry period, the severe two-year drought of 
1976-77, and the recent drought, in which five of the six years were classified as criti- 
cal. The average of 18.4 maf shown on the chart is the currently used 50-year average; 
the average runoff for the entire 1906-93 period is slightly lower, about 17.8 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 



The 1987-92 drought 
lowered reservoir 
levels throughout 
California. These 
docks at Folsom Lake 
hit bottom during the 
drought. Folsom Dam 
usually stores over 
one million acre-Jeet 



Surface Water Supplies 



51 



Bulletin 160-93 


The California Water Plan Update 




Estimated 
Natural Runoff 
(million acre-feet) 

40 


Wet i. Above Nonnal i Below Normal r Dry 1 Crfflco/ 1 



1 

> illllllllll 1 i 1 II 


1 

11 kii ' 



Wafer Years 



1941-1990 Average— 18.4 



NOTE: The Sacramento River Itxlex is the sum of unimpaired runoff from itie Sacramento River at Bend Bridge, 
Feottier River Inflovy to Oroville, Yoba River at Smartville and American River Inflovy to Folsom. 



Figure 3-3. 

The Sacramento River 

Index Since 1906 



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. 



Figure 3-4. 

Comparison of 

Droughts 

Sacramento River 

Index 




52 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Figure 3-5. 
Comparison of 
Droughts 
San Joaquin 
River Index 




In fall 1992, the storage in California's major reservoirs was somewhat under 12 
maf, compared to a November 1 average of 21.4 maf. This was the lowest end-of-wa- 
ter-year storage level of the recent drought but was more than in 1977, when 
November 1 storage was only 7.6 maf. 

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 Laboratory of 
Tree-Ring Research of the University of Arizona. The reconstruction suggests that the 
1928-34 drought was the worst since 1 560. (Water year 1928 was near normal, but its 
dry spring led into a series of six dry or critical water years.) Table 3-1 was excerpted 
from the reconstruction. It shows other dry periods with consecutive years of runoff 
less than 15.7 maf (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. 

The record reconstructed from the tree-ring study does not always match the re- 
cord 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 irri- 
gate 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 reser- 
voirs were built to supplement low stream flows. A number of fairly large dams were 
built in Southern California by 1900, including Bear Valley, Hemet, Sweetwater, and 



Surface Water Supplies 



53 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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



Period 



Length 
(years) 



Estimated Average Runoff 

(maf/year) 



Based on tree ring studies 
1579-82 

1593-95 
1618-20 
1651-55 
1719-24 
1735-37 
1755-60 
1776-78 
1793-95 
1839-41 
1 843-46 
Based on flow measurements 
1918-20 
1 929-34 
1959-62 
1 976-77 
1987-92 




'Years wHh runoff less ilian 1 5.7 million acre-feet per year. 



Cuyamaca. Dams in Northern California were smaller and usually at the outlets of nat- 
ural 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 1900. 

During the 1920s, larger reservoirs were built irr Northern California; in many 
cases, they were partially funded by hydroelectric power companies. Beginning in 
1930, a number of critically diy years reduced snowmelt and streamflow and moti- 
vated another era of water storage development to provide more stable and reliable 
supplies. 

There are now more than 1 ,200 nonfederal dams under State supervision (gener- 
ally 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 to- 
gether 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 71 maf of annual runoff. The Colorado 
River alone, with a long-term average annual runoff of about 15 maf. has about 65 maf 
of storage. Table 3-5, 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 wa- 
ter, another important source of supply, is covered in Chapter 4.) The major categories 
are: 

O local surface and local imported supplies 

O State Water Project 

O Central Valley Project and other federally developed water 

O the Colorado River 

O water reclamation, including desalination 



54 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




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. Ini- 
j tially, 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 agen- 
cies are finding it increasingly difficult to continue to undertake new water projects to 
' meet their needs because potential sites for additional water projects are either envi- 
^ ronmentally 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 smcdl, but some are large- 

j 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 

BuUards Bar Dam on the Yuba Fiiver, built by Yuba County Water Agency. Some irriga- 



Figure 3-6. 
Comparison oj 
Multi-Year 
Droughts 
Average Annual 
RunoJJ 



Surface Water Supplies 



65 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



tion 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 recreational benefits. 

Figure 3-9 shows regional water transfers at the 1990 level of development. Most 
of these transfers are through the Delta, the hub of California's surface water delivery 
system. Until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified and put into place, 
1990 level water transfers cannot be sustained in the future. 

The first long-distance, inter-regional water transfer project in California was the 
Lx)s Angeles Aqueduct, completed by the City of Lx)s 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 1 970, which increased its potential 

Possible Effects of Global Climate Ctiange 

Much concern has been expressed about possible future climate change 
caused by burning fossil fuel and other modern human activities that increase car- 
bon dioxide and other trace greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. World weather 
records indicate an overall warming trend during the last century, with a surge of 
warming prior to 1 940 (which cannot be attributed to greenhouse gases) and a more 
recent rise during the 1 980s. 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 projections of future climate 
change are derived from computer climate simulation studies. Not yet well-repre- 
sented in the simulation models are cloud effects, which can have a large influence 
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 re- 
gional 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, in total, 
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 3 1 5 
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 
regional precipitation, and model results are not considered reliable enough to use 
for any decisions. Some researchers have examined scenarios with ranges of preci- 
pitation, 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 foot by the middle of the next century, which would represent a strong increase 
over the roughly 0.5-foot rise estimated for the past 1 00 years. 

Reduced Mountain Snowpack and Shift 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 tempera- 
ture; the warmer temperatures would mean higher snow levels during winter storms, 
more cool-season runoff, and less carryover into late spring and summer (assuming 
precipitation remains the same). 



56 Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



annual deliveries to 480,000 af per year. However, these projects were developed with- 
out 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 ye£irs. 

In the 1920s, the East Bay cities of the San Francisco Bay Region turned to Sier- 
ra 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 




If average temperatures warm by 3°C and this change applies to winter season 
storm systems, 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 significantly. 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 re- 
duce 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 releases. 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 in- 
crease 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 
liuality 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. Lift- 
ing of the air, either orographically by a mountain range, by convective activity (thun- 
derstorms) , 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-mov- 
ing 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 southwesterly winds are lifted to cross the Sierra 
Nevada and coastal mountain ranges (orographic effect). Whether the southwesterly 
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 develop 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. 



Surface Water Supplies 57 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



year supplies in the Pardee-Camanche Reservoir system are not always adequate to 
sustain full aqueduct capacity diversions. 

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 Aque- 
duct is about 330,000 af per year. Its primary supply reservoirs are Hetch Hetchy. 
Lake Lloyd (Cherry Valley), and Lake Eleanor. The City of San Francisco also has ex- 
change water storage in Don Pedro Reservoir which allows water that would otherwise 
go to Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts to be diverted through the Hetch Hetchy 
Aqueduct. 



Figure 3-7. 

Storage in 155 

Mcyor Reservoirs 

in California 

October 1 

Note: The 1987-92 storage 

amounts include New Melones 

and Warm Springs reservoirs 

which began operation after 

1977. The 1989-92 storage 

amounts include the new Spicer 

Meadows Reservoir on the 

Stanislaus River 




Figure 3-8. 

Historical 

Development of 

Reservoir Capacity 

(reservoirs of 

50,000 acre-feet 

or more) 




58 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 3-9. Regional Water Transfers at 1990 Level of Development 

(thousands of acre-feet per year) 



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 





South Bay Aqueduct 155 
Contra Costa Canal 85 
Mokelumne Aqueduct 245 
Hatch Hetchy Aqueduct 267 
e. San Felipe Unit 



Total California Colorado River Usage 2 Exchange 

Transfers from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are taken from commingled waters originating in both the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Regions. 



Surface Water Supplies 



S9 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



i. The Ail-American Csinal System was authorized under the Boulder Canyon Proj - 

ect Act of December 21, 1928. It diverts Colorado River water to the Imperial and 
Coachella valleys. 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 Impe- 
rial 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, which diverts Colorado River water from Lake 
Havasu above Parker Dam to the South Coast Region. 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 car- 
ried 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 population. Voters authorized construction of the 
project in 1960 by ratifying the Burns-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 3-12 depicts a 
history of SWP water deliveries from 1962 to 1993. Generally, San Joaquin Valley use 
of SWP supply has been near full contract amounts since about 1980 (except during 
very wet years and during 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 3-11). 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 

60 Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 3-10. State Water Project Service Areas 




Surface Water Supplies 



61 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 3-11. Major State Water Project Facilities 



North Bay 
Aquedaci 



South Bay 
Aqueduei 



Monterey 




62 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




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 wlas pumped at Edmonston Pumping 
Plant in 1990. 

The estimated seven-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 esti- 
mated 4. 1 maf. To augment project supply, additions to the SWP are proposed and 
include: Delta facilities; interim south Delta facilities; the Kern Water Bank; Los Banos 
Grandes; and possible conjunctive use of surface storage and ground water in the Sac- 
ramento and San Joaquin valleys; and short- and long-term water purchases. These 
projects and programs are discussed in Chapter 1 1 . 

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 un- 
certain 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. 

Central Valley Project 

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project is the largest water stor- 
age and delivery system in California, covering 29 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 of 
the CVP 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 to agricul- 
tural, urban, and wildlife uses. 

The federal government began construction of the CVP in the 1930s, as autho- 
rized under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937. CVP purposes expanded to include 



Figure 3-12. 
State Water 
Project Deliveries 
1967-1993 



Surface Water Supplies 



63 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 ^ 




New Melones 


2,420 


Millerton 


"wmmBmrn ^^o 



San Luis (federal share) 971 

river regulation, flood control, and navigation; later reauthorization included recre- 
ation and flsh and wildlife purposes. Initial authorization covered facilities such as 
Shasta and Friant Dams, Tracy Pumping Plant, and the Contra Costa, Delta-Mendota, 
and Friant-Kern 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). 

A large 2. 3-maf multipurpose dam, primarily for flood control and water supply 
on the American River, Auburn Dam, was authorized by Congress in 1965 as an addi- 
tion to the Central Valley Project. Foundation and other preparatory work for 
construction were halted by concerns for safety caused by the 1975 Oroville earth- 
quake. After study, the dam's design was changed in 1980 from a concrete arch to a 
gravity structure. Cost estimates have exceeded the original authorization, so new au- 
thorization is needed before work can resume. The proposed dam is now a source of 
controversy between proponents and those who wish to preserve the American River 
canyon as is. As currently planned. Auburn Reservoir could have provided somewhat 
over 0.3 maf per year of new water yield to the CVP. 

The flood of 1986 revealed that flood protection in the metropolitan Sacramento 
area is inadequate. In 1992, a proposal by the Corps of Engineers to build a 500,000- 
acre-foot "dry dam" for flood control only at the Auburn site did not pass Congress 
because of opposition from environmentalists and from supporters of a multipurpose 
dam. The Corps of Engineers and USER, in cooperation with local agencies and the 
State, are continuing studies to develop a management plan for the American River to 
provide for the area's flood control and water supply needs. 

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 re- 
ceive their supply from natural flow and 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 



64 Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 3-13. Central Valley Project Service Areas 




Surface Water Supplies 



65 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 in- 
clude Redding, Sacramento, Folsom, Tracy, most of Scinta Clara 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 Sacra- 
mento 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 ex- 
ported via the Contra Costa Canal and the Delta-Mendota Ccinal. Excess water during 
the winter is conveyed to off-stream San Luis Reservoir on the west side of the valley for 
subsequent deliveiy to the San Luis emd San Felipe units. A portion of the Delta-Men- 
dota 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 Sam 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 fur- 
nished to districts and water rights holders in the Sacramento Valley. American River 
water stored in Folsom Reservoir is used mainly for streemi flow and Delta require- 
ments, including CVP exports. More recently, the San Felipe Unit was added to sen'e 
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 SWF 
to meet water quality and other standards set by the State Water Resources Control 
Board, and more recentty by federal fisheries agencies. 

Figure 3-14 shows historical CVP water deliveries since 1960. The drop in 1977 
and 1990-92 deliveries was caused by shortages in supply during the critically dry 
years. CVP water deliveries to agricultural and urban users have been reduced by the 
passage of the CVP Improvement Act of 1992. As a result, CVP contractors will under- 
go 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 hydroelec- 



Figure 3-14. 

Central Valley Project 

Deliveries 

1960-1993 




66 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Kilowatt Hours 
(billions) 


^H iiiiiiiiiiiiii 


Illllllllllllll 


- 


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

I960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 

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



trie 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 
I 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 ex- 
ample, in 1993, an above-normal runoff year, environmental restrictions limited CVP 
deliveries to Westlands Irrigation District to only 50 percent of contracted supply. Fur- 
ther, 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. 

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 cate- 
gory are: the Klamath Project on the California-Oregon border; the Orland Project on 
Stony Creek (west side of the Sacramento Valley); the Solano Project on Putah 
Creek,which stores water in Lake Berryessa in Napa County and conveys water 
through Putah South Canal in Solano County; New Hogan Reservoir in Calaveras 
County; the four major dams and reservoirs on the east side of the Tulare Lake Re- 
gion — Pine Flat, Terminus, Success, and Isabella; and Cachumaand Casitas reservoirs 

j 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, annual use of 7.5 maf of Colorado River 
water was apportioned among the three lower division states of Arizona, Nevada, and 
California. Arizona could begin using 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 are delaying the buildup in demand. Arizona's 
Colorado River water use in 1993 was 2.2 maf. Nevada's water use is expected to reach 



Figure 3-15. 
Central Valley Project 
Annual Hydroelectric 
Energy Production 
1960-1993 



Surface Water Supplies 



67 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 3-16. Colorado River Service Areas 



ssacrvoo 


MODOC 


/ SHASTA 


L4SSEN 


\ 


1 TtHAMA ^ 


} 

) 

\ 
/ 

r 

J 


Pt-UMAS 


1 f 8UTTE 

J~\ GIJENN { 


-YJ^ 






j^ HDIADA 




"-r^^ 


/^ PLACER 





SAN FRANQSC 




68 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



its 0.3-maf apportionment in a little over a decade. Nevada used 0.18 maf in 1993. 
California's use in 1993 was about 4.8 maf. 

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 apportion- 
ment. 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 1 . 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. 

The agricultural water diverters in the Colorado River Region are Palo Verde 
Irrigation District, Imperial Irrigation District, the Reservation Division of the Yuma 
Project, and Coachella Valley Water District (see Figure 3-16). These water users have 
priority rights to the first 3.85 maf of California's Colorado River supply. This would 
leave 550,000 af, less the water used by Native Americans, for MWDSC's Colorado 
River Aqueduct, instead of the 1 .2 maf that it has been using in recent years. Further 
reductions in Metropolitan's supply are also expected; 55,000 af may be used by Native 
American Tribes and others along the Colorado River. To partially offset potential 
reductions, MWDSC has executed a number of agreements to increase its water sup- 
plies. In December 1988, Imperial Irrigation District and MWDSC 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. When completed, these 
projects will save an estimated 106,000 af of water annually. MWDSC is funding the 
construction, operation, and maintenance of the projects; the estimated total cost is 
$222 million (1988 dollars). In exchange, MWDSC will be able to divert additional 
water, under certain conditions, from the Colorado River through its Colorado River 
Aqueduct. The amount of additional Colorado River water MWDSC diverts is to be 
equivalent to the amount of water conserved through the MWDSC-financed projects in 
the event MWDSC's available allocation is reduced to an amount below its aqueduct 
capacity. As the result of a contract between the Coachella Valley Water District and 
the United States, the first 49 miles of the Coachella Canal were lined to save 132,000 
af annually, which can also be made available to MWDSC under certain conditions. 

Water conservation measures implemented by IID since 1 954 have decreased the 
amount of water entering the Salton Sea. 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 from higher Salton Sea stages. 

Water Recycling 

Water recycling, formerly known as waste water reclamation, has been intention- 
ally 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 recycled water. This higher level is needed so that re- 
surface Water Supplies 69 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 3-17. 

Present Use of 

Recycled Water 



cycled water can be safely used for a wider variety of applications. Part of the recycled 
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 de- 
gree of treatment depends 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 comparison to other fresh water supply augmentation options. 
Sometimes reverse osmosis desalination may be required to reduce the salt content; in 
such cases, 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 recycling infeasible 
in many regions. 

A July 1993 report 
by the WateReuse Asso- 
ciation of California 
summarized present and 
future potential water 
recycling data gathered 
during a 1992 survey. 
About 240 agencies were 
contacted, and 111 
responded to the survey. 
Its purpose was to de- 
termine the agencies' 
plans, projections, and 
vision for future water 
reuse. One of the pur- 
poses of the survey report 
was to encourage agen- 
cies to set realistic goals, 
and develop long-term strategies to better meet future water needs. It was noted that 
water reuse had increased from about 270,000 af per year in 1987 to over 380,000 af 
per year by 1993. Water reuse as reported in the 1993 survey is shown in Figure 3-17 
and Table 3-3. Future estimates for water recycling are discussed in Chapter 11. 




Table 3-3. Present Use of Recycled Water by Category 



Type of Reuse 



Rate of Reuse 

(thousands of acre-feet per year) 



Percent of Total 



Agricultural Irrigation 
Ground Water Recharge 
Landscape Irrigation 
Environmental Uses (Wildlife Habitat) 
Industrial, Seawater Intrusion Barriers, 
and Miscellaneous Uses 
(Recreational and Others) 



80 
185 
47 
29 
43 



21 
48 
12 
8 
11 



TOTAL 384 

Ackipted from WaleReuse 1 993 survey. Future Water Recycling Potential, July 1993. [\ 992 level of recycling) 



100 



70 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Most of the 384,000 af recycled is in the South Coast. Central Coast, and Tulare 
Lgike regions. Some uses of recycled water, such as environmental enhancement or 
landscape projects, are new uses that would not have received fresh water in the ab- 
sence of a water recycling project because imported fresh water was too costly or not 
available. In addition, outflow from waste water treatment plants in the Central Valley 
is generally put into streams or ground water basins and reused. Recycling of such 
outflow, therefore, does not generate new water supply. 

Some constraints to fully implementing all potential water recycling options in- 
clude: 

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

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

Q Acceptance by the public and health authorities. 

O Regional economics, energy, and funding for new water recycling 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 disposal problems. 

Table 3-4 specifies a number of possible nonpotable uses of recycled 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 indi- 
cates the higher standard of 2.2 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters, and the 
"Disinfected Secondary-23" column indicates the less-treated reclaimed water con- 
taining 23 coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters. 

The potential for increased use of recycled water in the future depends on many 
factors and is discussed in Chapter 1 1 . The primary source of raw supply would be the 
estimated 2.5 to 3 maf of treated wastewater discharged annually into the ocean from 
California's coastal cities. Smaller amounts of reclaimed water could come from re- 
claiming brackish ground water, including contaminated ground water or ground 
water with high nitrate content, and from desalination of ocean water. 

Other Water Supplies 

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

Gray Wafer 

For the residential homeowner, some waste water can be directly reused as gray 
water (used household water). Gray water can be used in subsurface systems to irri- 
gate lawns, 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 reuse, whereas water from a toilet, kitchen sink, or dishwasher or 
water used in washing diapers should not be directly reused. Care must be taken so 
! that children and others do not come in direct contact with gray water, and any food 
from areas irrigated by subsurface systems that use gray water should be rinsed and 
cooked before being consumed. 

Surface Water Supplies 71 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 3-4. Suitable Uses of Recycled Water 

Conditions in Which Use Is Allowed 



Use 



Irrigation of: 

Parks, playgrounds, scfiool yards, 
residential yards, and golf courses 
associated witfi residences 
Restricted access golf courses, 
cemeteries, and freeway landscapes 
Non-edible vegetation at otfier areas 
with limited public exposure 
Sod farms 

Ornamental plants for 
commercial use 
All food crops 

Food crops that are above ground 

and not contacted 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 

consumption (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, or other 
feature that creates aerosols or other mist 
Industrial process with exposure of workers 
Industrial process without exposure of workers 
Industrial boiler feed 



Disinfected 


Disinfected 


Disinfected 


Undisinfected 


Tertiary 


Secondary 


Secondary 


Secondary 


Spray, drip, or 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


surface 








Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Not allowed 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface'"' 


Spray, drip, or 
surface'"' 


Not allowed 


Spray, drip, or 


Spray, drip, or 


Spray, drip, or 


Not allowed 


surface 


surface 


surface 




Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Not allowed 


Spray, drip, or 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


surface 








Spray, drip, or 


Drip or surface 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


surface 








Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Not allowed 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Drip or surface 


s Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Drip or surface 


Drip or surface 


Drip or surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Drip or surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Drip or surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, drip, or 
surface 


Spray, 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 



(a) Use is not allowed if part of o park, playground, or school yard. 



Gray water has been used 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 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 



72 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 3-4. Suitable Uses of Recycled Water (Continued) 



Conditions in Which Use Is Allowed 



Use 



isinfected 


Disinfected 


Disinfected 


Undisinfected 


Tertiary 


Secondary 


Secondary 


Secondary 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 


Not allowed 



Dampening soil for compaction at 
construction sites, landfills, and elsewhere 
Washing aggregate and making concrete 
Dampening unpaved roads and 
other surfaces for dust control 
Flushing sanitary sewers 
Washing yards, lots, and sidewalks 
Supply for landscape impoundment 
without decorative fountain 
Supply for decorative fountain 



Source: California Department of Healtfi Services, August 1 7, 1 992. 

Copies of tfie full text of Draft Language for Amendments to Title 22 ore available from Department of Heohti Services. 

Standards and with the approval of local jurisdictions. Statewide, residenticd use of 
gray water will be legal by fall 1994. 

Long-Range Weather Forecasting 

Accurate advance weather information — extending weeks, months, and even sea- 
sons ahead — ^would be invaluable in planning water operations in all t5q5es 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 1 977, 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 prob- 
ably 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 
cind 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 (until recently), 
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 l\/lodlflcatlon 

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. Before the recent drought, 
there were about 10 to 12 weather modification projects operating, with activity 
tjqpically increasing during dry years. By spring 1 99 1 , the number of programs operat- 
ing in California had increased to 20. New projects started during the drought include 
programs involving the Lake Benyessa area; San Gabriel Mountains; Calaveras, Tuo- 
lumne, 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 



Surface Water Supplies 



73 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



programs were dropped in the 1992-93 season, when 18 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 planned five- 
year demonstration program of cloud-seeding in the upper middle fork Feather River 
basin during the 199 1-92 season. The project was testing the use of pure liquid pro- 
pane injected into the clouds from generators on a mountain-top. The liquid propane 
is essentially a chilling agent that helps produce ice crystal nuclei and enhance snow- 
fall. The program was terminated after three years, in 1994, due to several overriding 
considerations . 

A 1993 U.S. Bureau of Reclamation feasibility study for a cloud seeding program 
in the watersheds above Shasta and Trinity Dams indicated good potential for the Trin- 
ity River Basin, but the study cast doubt about the effectiveness of a project for Shasta 
Lake. The Bureau has done substantial cloud seeding research in the Colorado River 
Basin. In September 1993. it published Validation of Precipitation Management by 
Seeding Winter Orographic Clouds in the Colorado River Basin. However, the Bureau is 
phasing out its participation in weather modification projects. 

Interest in using cloud seeding to provide both short-term and long-term 
drought relief remains high. 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 tal^e 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 sedi- 
mentation 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 conven- 
tional means. However, extensive expanses of land must be managed to significanth' 
increase statewide supplies. The primary purposes of vegetation management toda\ 
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 fi-om 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 because there is no space available in reservoirs to hold the water. 
However, about 100.000 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 implement- 
ing recommended or selected forest management plans. 



74 Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Sea Water Desalination 

Sea water desalination 
can be a cost-effective 
water supply alternative 
for some coastal commu- 
nities that have limited 
local supplies and are 
relatively far from the 
statewide distribution 
system, or communities 
that are concerned about 
water service reliability. 
Desalination plants in 
Avalon (on Catalina Is- 
land) and the City of 
Santa Barbara are exam- 
ples of such projects. 
However, a major limita- 
tion for sea water desalt- 
ing is its high cost, much of which is directly related to its high energy requirements. 
Sea water desalting plants could be designed to operate only during droughts to aug- 
ment other supplies and avoid the relatively high costs during wet periods. They could 
also be downsized and operated continuously in conjunction with ground water, re- 
ducing ground water pumping during wet periods and providing more ground water 
supplies for drought periods. Chapter 1 1 presents a broader discussion of the poten- 
tial for future desalination in California. 

Recommendations 

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




During the 1987-92 
drought, a few 
communities had to 
resort to nontraditional 
means of supplying 
water. For example, the 
City of Santa Barbara 
financed and built a 
desalination plant to 
increase the reliability 
of its supplies. 



Surface Water Supplies 



75 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 3-5. Major Surface Water Reservoirs in California* 



Reservoir 

(dam) 



Hydrologic 
Region 



Area 

(acres) 



Capacity 

(1000 af) 



Owner 



Year 
Completed 



Clear Lake 

Tahoe 

Clear Lake 

Hatch Hetchy (O'Shaughnessy Dam) 

Shaver Lake 

Almanor 
Bucks 
Pardee 
Salt Springs 
El Capitan 

Hovasu (Parker) 

Matthews 

Lake Crowley (Long Valley) 

Prado 

Shasta 

Millerton (Friant) 
Isabella Lake 
Cochuma (Bradbury) 
Thomas A. Edison 
Pine Flat 

Fdsom 

Lloyd Lake (Cherry Valley) 

Nacimiento 

Berryessa (Monticello) 

Vaquero flwitcheil) 

Wishon 

Courtright 

Casltas 

Lake Mendocino (Coyote Valley) 

Mammoth Pool 

dair Engle (Trinity) 

Lake Kaweah (Terminus) 

Black Butte 

Camp Far West 

Union Valley 

Comanche 

Whiskeytown 

New Hogon 

San Antonio 

French Meadows (L. L. Anderson) 

Hell Hole 



NC 

NL 

SJ 
SJ 

SR 

m 

SJ 

sc 



NC 
TL 
SR 
SR 
SR 
SJ 
SR 
SJ 

cc 

SR 
SR 



24,800 

122,000 

43,800 

1,970 
2,180 

28,260 
1,830 

2,130 

980 

1,560 





16,400 
1,940 
4,560 
2,680 
2,870 
7,470 
3,200 



1,143 
106 
210 
142 
113 




2,448 

143 
144 
104 
277 
417 
241 



USER 

YCFCWCD 
SF 



PG&E 
&E 

EBMUD 



SD 



SSWD 
SMUD 
EBMUD 



1910 
1913 
1914 
1923 
1927 

1927 
1928 
1929 
1931 
1934 





1962 

1962 
1963 
1963 
1963 
1963 
1963 



4,410 




317 


USCE 


1963 J 


5,602 


^^Ml 


335 


MCWRA 


1965 M 


1,420 




136 


PCWA 


1965 ^ 


1,250 




208 


PCWA 


1966 H 



76 



Surface Water Supplies 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 3-5. Major Surface Water Reservoirs in California* (Continued) 

Owner 



Reservoir 

(dam) 



Hydrologic 
Region 



Area 

(acres) 



Capacity 

(1000 of) 



Year 
Completed 



Lake McClure (New Exchequer) 


SJ 


7,150 


1,024 


MID 


1967 


San Luis 


SJ 


13,000 


2,039 


USBR 


1967 


Oroville 


SR 


15,800 


3,538 


DWR 


1968 


New Bullords Bar 


SR 


4,810 


966 


YCWA 


1970 


Stampede IH^^^^^H 


Mil NL 


3,440 


226 


USBR 


1970 



New Don Pedro 




Pyramid 

Perris 

H. V. Eastman (Buchanan) 



1 2,960 
2,240 
1,300 
1,360 
1,780 



2,030 
324 
171 
131 
150 



TID-MID 
DWR 
DWR 
DWR 
USCE 



1971 
1973 
1973 
1973 
1975 



Indian Valley 

New Melones 

Sonoma Lake (Warm Springs) 

New Splcer Meadow 



SJ 
NC 

SJ 



4,000 

12,500 

3,600 

1,990 



300 

2,420 

381 

189 



YCFCWCD 

USBR 

USCE 

CCWD 



1976 
1979 
1982 
1989 



Reservoir Owners Listed 

CCWD: Calaveras County Water- District 

DWR: California Department of Water Resources 

EBMUD: East Boy Municipal Utility District 

LADWP: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 

MCWRA: Monterey County Water Resources Agency 

MID: Merced Irrigation District 

MWD: Metropolitan Water District of Soutfiem California 

PCWA: Placer County Water Agency 

PG&E: Pacific Gas and Electric Company 

SCE Soutfiern California Edison Company 

SD: City of San Diego 

SF: City and County of San Francisco 

SMUD: Sacramento Municipal Utility District 

SSWD Soutfi Sutter Water District 

ID-MID: Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District 

USBR: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 

USCE: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

YCFCWCD: Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 

YCWA: Yuba County Water Agency 



•Reservoirs witfi capacities exceeding 1 00,000 acre-feet; listed in cfironological order of completion. 



Surface Water Supplies 



77 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Ground water pumping in Yolo County. Ground water provides roughly 25 percent of 
the State's urban and agricultural average annual supply. 




k^ 



^^ 



wl^^ 



1.1, 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 4 



In an average year, about 40 percent of the urban and agricultural applied water 
use or over 20 percent of total applied water in California is provided by ground water 
extraction. In drought years, when surface supplies are reduced, ground water 
provides an even larger percentage of applied water. This shift from surface to ground 
water supplies in drought years is an indication of the sheer magnitude of ground 
water storage versus surface storage. Surface water and ground water are really one 
source of supply that originates with precipitation and runoff. 

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, under present circumstances, is usable 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 too poor a 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 develop- 
ment in California, statewide ground water use, ground water overdraft, management 
of ground water, the effect of the 1987-92 drought on ground water, and conjunctive 
use. 



Ground Water 
Supplies 



Ground Water Defined 

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 can 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 



Ground Water 



79 



BuUeUn 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



fractured hard rock and is an important source for domestic supplies in foothill and 
mountain communities. However, the following discussion will focus on the ground 
water in basins with abundant ground water storage and high well yields. 

Ground water basins in California have been defined on the basis of geologic and 
hydrologic conditions in DWR Bulletin 118, Ground Water Basins in California, 
January 1980. In Bulletin 118-80, some basin boundaries were modified to reflect 
political or water district boundaries that constitute potential ground water 
management units. Figure 4-1 illustrates components of ground water use and 
sources of ground water recharge. 

Figure 4-1. 

Components of 

Ground Water 

Use and 

Sources of ^ , , 

Overdrafh 
Recharge Depletion of grou 

water storage 
long pen^ of time 

Prime Supply: 

Natural percolation of 
rainfall and seepoge 
from streonibeds 




Net Ground Water Use = 

Prime supply + overdraft 

Perennial Yield = 

Extraction - overdraft 



Ground Water Development 

When Europeans 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 
many flowing streams were supplied from overflowing ground water basins. As 
California settlers began to use water for crop irrigation and for industrial and domes- 
tic purposes, readily available and reliable ground water was used to augment surface 
water supplies. 

As the amount of ground water extraction increased, ground water levels in many 
basins began to decline 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 



80 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



most recharge resulted from infiltration of surface water runoff directly into the sedi- 
ments 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 some 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 estab- 
lishment of vigorous agricultural and urban economies. These sectors were later able 
to pay the costs of developing and importing surface water by building dams and con- 
veyance systems to meet the growing demand for water; reduce ground water over- 
draft; and, in some instances, increase ground water storage. 

Statewide Ground Water Use 

In a year of average precipitation and runoff, an estimated 15 maf of ground wa- 
ter 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 percolation of applied 
water. The 1990 statewide average annual net ground water use was about 8.4 maf. 
The use of prime supply from ground water basins for 1990 was about 7. 1 maf, and 
the remaining 1 .3 maf was overdrafted from the basins. (Ground water prime supply is 
the long-term average annual percolation into major ground water basins from preci- 
pitation and from flows in rivers and streams.) Table 4-1 shows use of ground water 
(excluding overdraft) by hydrologic region. 

In an average year, the amount of deep percolation from applied surface and 
ground water supplies that recharges the aquifers is an estimated 6.5 maf. In addition. 

Table 4-1. Use of Ground Water by Hydrologic Region<^) 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



7990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



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



263 


283 


275 


295 


286 


308 


298 


316 


100 


139 


126 


174 


160 


174 


165 


174 


688 


762 


694 


769 


695 


776 


698 


781 


1,083 


1,306 


1,100 


1,325 


1,125 


1,350 


1,150 


1,375 


2,496 


2,865 


2,463 


2,985 


2,426 


3,033 


2,491 


3,038 


1,098 


2,145 


1,135 


2,202 


1,156 


2,227 


1,161 


2,252 


915 


3,773 


918 


3,758 


921 


3,726 


926 


3,758 


121 


146 


128 


154 


138 


165 


147 


173 


221 


252 


220 


237 


226 


271 


258 


271 


80 


80 


79 


79 


80 


80 


79 


79 



TOTAL 



7,100 



11,800 7,100 12,000 7,200 12,100 7,400 12,200 



(1) Average year ground water use represents use of prime supply of ground woter basins. Ground water overdraft is not included. 



Ground Water 



81 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



over 7.0 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 1 .3 maf — a considerable 
reduction from former estimates of nearly 2 maf — and is largely the result of changes 
in water management. Implementation of agricultural water conservation and urban 
landscape conservation will decrease deep percolation of applied water, thereby reduc- 
ing future ground water recharge and perennial yield of ground water basins. In areas 
like San Joaquin and Tulare regions, where deep percolation of applied water is a ma- 
jor contributor of ground water perennial yield, this process could exacerbate ground 
water overdraft in the future. 

In wet years, when more surface water is available, less ground water is ex- 
tracted, more recharge occurs, and ground water levels can recover. Conversely, in 
years of low runoff, such as the 1987-92 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 a few percent or as 
much as 90 percent of the total applied water in an area during an average year. 

Table 4-2 shows the normalized 1990 level of development for ground water. The 
perennial 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 perennial 
yields may be reduced because of changes in the amount of surface water that is im- 
ported. 

Estimating Perennial Yields of Ground Water Basins 

Perennial yield is estimated by plotting the change in ground water level versus 
the amount of ground water extracted each year over a period of years that are 
considered to be representative of the long-term average hydrology. For this 
analysis, data for 13 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 estimated perennial yield of ground water 
in that basin. The perennial yield is similar to long-term sustained yield, assuming 
there are no changes in water management practices. 

The procedure 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. 




82 Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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88 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



' Ground 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 decreasing the amount of ground water 

Evaluation of Ground Water Overdraft in ttie San Joaquin Valley 

Ground water overdraft for the San Joaquin Valley was evaluated for each 
planning subarea (PSA) using two independent methodologies: the specific yield 
method and the water balance method. The specific yield method examines 
changes in ground water storage over a long period; the water balance method is 
based on the balancing of water supplies and demands for each PSA. 

In computing overdraft using the specific yield method, ground water level 
measurements from 1 970 through spring 1 983 were used. This period was chosen for the 
following reasons; 

O The total water supplies and demands for this period 
were nearly the same as the 1990 normalized supplies 
and demands. 

O On average, the local water supplies and deliveries dur- 
ing 1970-82 were quite similar to the long-term average 
supplies and deliveries. This minimizes the need to correct 
for any unusual ground water recharge and pumping. 
Also, local stream runoff during 1 970-82 was very close to 
the long-term average runoff (about 102 percent of the 
long-term average). Ground water overdraft was com- 
puted based on 100-percent average local runoff and 
deliveries. 

O The years preceding the ground water level measure- 
ments in 1970 and spring 1983 were both wet years and 
quite similar. This similarity reduces the potential for signif i- 
I cant differences in ground water recharge during unlike 

I years. Such an occurrence would complicate overdraft 

I computations using the specific yield method. 

t 

I The impact of subsidence on water level measurements and the loss of ground 

■ water storage were evaluated using pre-1970 subsidence rates. More recent, but 

; limited, data from a few locations along the California Aqueduct were also used. 

f For the water balance method , the long-term overage local and imported water 

supplies were tabulated, along with the long-term average annual natural 
I percolation to ground water tables. These amounts were then compared to the 
I normalized water demand for each PSA, Ground water overdraft was computed as 
I the difference between water supplies and demands. 

I The two methodologies produced similar ground water overdraft computations 

I . for most of the PSAs in the San Joaquin Valley. One notable exception is the 

I Kings-Kaweah-Tule Rivers PSA , where the specific yield method produced significantly 

I smaller overdraft than did the water balance method. An extensive investigation was 

I done to understand the reason for such a difference; however, no specific reason for 

f the large difference could be found. Actual ground water overdraft in the 

I Kings-Kaweah-Tule Rivers PSA is probably somewhere between the values produced 

I by the two methodologies. For this PSA, the California Water Plan Update used the 

I overage of the ground water overdraft values computed using the two different 

I methods. 



Ground water quality degradation is another factor that must be considered 
when computing overdraft. Ground water overdraft in a basin may induce the 
subsurface movement of poor-quality water into higher-quality water. The resultant 
quality degradation may reduce the usable storage of a ground water basin. This 
adverse effect of ground water overdraft was evaluated and included in the ground 
water overdraft computations for the California Water Plan Update. 




Ground Water 89 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie CaUfomla Water Plan Update 



In Sacrajnento, 
California, a gasoUne 
tank suspected of leaking 
is being removed to 
protect ground water 
quality. Until recently, 
most types of under- 
ground chemical storage 
tanks were constructed 
in a way that allowed 
the tariks to leak contam- 
inants into the soiL 
SWRCB now manages a 
program to control con- 
tamination from 
underground tanks. 



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. Such a period of time must be long enough to produce a record that, when 
averaged, approximates the long-term average hydrologic conditions for the basin. 
Bulletin 11 8-80 defines "overdraft" as the condition of a ground water basin \«^ere 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 manage- 
ment practices that "would probabty result in significant adverse overdraft-related en- 
vironmental, social, or economic effects." Water quality degradation and land subsi- 
dence are given as examples of two such adverse effects. Table 4-3 shows 1990 
estimated ground water overdraft by hydrologic r^on. 

During the 1987-92 drought, ground water, where available, was extracted to 
make up for reductions in surface water deliveries. The result was that ground water 
levels and the amoiuit of ground water in storage declined considerably. Such a decline 
is not considered overdraft, rather it is considered as removal of ground water finom 
storage, similar to removal of water fix>m a surface reservoir. In the past, such declines 
have been reversed during wet years ui^en surface water reservoirs refilled and ground 
water aquifers were recharged. 

Ground water quality degradation reduces usable ground water storage in 
ground water basins. Ground water overdraft in a basin can produce a gradient that in- 

induces movement of 
water firom adjacent 
areas, tf the adjacent 
areas contain poor qual- 
ity water, d^radation 
can occur in the basin. 
There is a west-to-east 
water gradient in the 
San Joaquin valley fit>m 
Merced County to Kern 
County. Poor quality 
ground water moves 
eastward along this 
gradient. displacing 
good quality ground wa- 
ter in the trough of the 
vaUey. The total dis- 
solved solids in the west 
side of the vaUey general^ range from 2.000 to 7.000 millig)rams per liter, the east side 
water from 300 to 700 milligrams per liter. This adverse effect of overdraft and pos- 
sible degradation of ground water quality in the San Joaquin Vall^ has been eva- 
luated and included in ground water overdraft estimates. 




In the short term, those areas of California that rety on Delta e:^ports for all or a 
portion of thefr 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 re- 
strictions limited CVP deliveries to 50 percent of contracted suppty for federal water 
service contractors fix>m Tracy to Kettleman City. Because ground water is used to re- 
place much of the shortfall in svirface water supplies, limitations on Delta exports will 



90 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 4-3. Ground Water Overdraft by Hydrologic Region 

(Hiousands of acre- feet) 

Region 1990 

North Coast 

San Francisco Bay 

Central Coast 240 

South Coast 20 

Sacramento River 30 

San Joaquin 210 

Tulare Lake 650 

North Lahontan 

South Lahontan 70 

Colorado River 80 

STATEWIDE 1,300 

increase ground water overdraft in the San Joaquin River and Tulare Lake regions, and 
in other regions receiving a portion of their supplies from the Delta. 

The ground water basins in small coastal areas of the Central Coast Region have 
limited storage capacity. During drought periods, water levels in most of these basins 
sometimes decline to a point where ground water basins are not usable. However, dur- 
ing wet periods, most of these basins recover, thus making evaluation of overdraft or 
perennial yields difficult. Overdraft amounts shown for the Central Coast Region were 
estimated by reviewing previous studies and could be overestimated. In addition, the 
Central Coast presently receives USER water through San Felipe and will soon receive 
SWP water through the Coastal Branch of the California Aqueduct. These imported 
supplies could reduce overdraft in the region. A more comprehensive study of the 
ground water use in this region is needed to more accurately estimate the overdraft. 

Estimated overdraft amounts are based on ouerdrq/i 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 a new and higher perennial yield re- 
quires 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 1990 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. These 
estimates 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. 



i 



Ground Water 91 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Such decreases in delivery of surface water will probably decrease perennial yields in 
basins that receive SWP and CVP water. 

Sea Water Intrusion 

Along some parts of the coast, declining ground water levels allow sea water to 
intrude into fresh water aquifers. Los Angeles County operates sea water intrusion bar- 
rier projects in West Basin and Dominguez Gap. Los Angeles and Orange counties 
jointly op)erate a sea water intrusion barrier in Los Alamitos Gap, which straddles the 
border between the two counties. In most of these barriers, water from water recycling 
facilities or from MWDSC imported deliveries is injected and flows down gradient in 
both directions — toward the ocean 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 Salinas Valley, sea water intrusion was occurring before the drought began. 
During the drought, the rate of intrusion accelerated because of decreased ground wa- 
ter recharge and increased ground water extraction. Monterey County Water Re-i 
sources 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 pressure 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. MCWRA is dealing with overdraft and sea water intrusion in the coast- 
al areas of the Salinas Basin and is in the process of preparing the Salinas River Basin 
Management Plan. Under this plan, MCWRA will screen management alternatives for 
preparation of an EIR/EIS. The agency has also adopted eight ordinances including 
requiring the metering of all wells with a discharge size greater than three inches, agri- 
cultural and urban conservation measures, establishing upper pumping limits, and 
ground water management charges with penalties for use exceeding the pumping lim- 
its. Sea water intrusion is also occurring in the area of the Pajaro River. Pajaro Valley 
Water Management Agency and the City of Watsonville are formulating plans to ad- 
dress the problems in that area. 

In Ventura County, elevated chloride levels have been measured in much of the 
Oxnard Plain since the 1950s. Recent studies have concluded that there are three 
sources of chloride: sea water intrusion in a relatively small area; a larger area into 
which saline water has migrated from adjacent marine formations; and leakage of chlo- 
ride from an upper perched aquifer through failed well casings into an underlying aqui- 
fer. The sea water does not appear to be moving inland. Local agencies are developing 
programs to address the migration of saline water and the wells that have been im- 
properly destroyed. Fox Canyon Ground Water Management Agency, United Water 
Conservation District, and City of Ventura are all formulating plans to address the 
problems in that area. 

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 repairof other structures. In some instances. 






92 Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



local water management agencies may determine that a certain amount of land subsi- 
dence is allowable as a part of their ground water management program. 

In areas where ground water extraction is proceeding or where such programs 
i are planned, the potential for subsidence should be evaluated. Water managers may 
{ wish to include extensometer and land surface surveying if subsidence is a real poten- 
tial. 

I Ground Water Quality 

A change in ground water gradient may accelerate movement of 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. However, a ground water monitoring program for water 
levels and water quality is necessary to evaluate such changes. 

Management of Ground Water Resources 

Ground water basin management is defined as: protection of natural recharge 
and use of intentional recharge; planned variation in amount and location of extrac- 
tion over time; use of ground water storage conjunctively with surface water from lo- 
cal and imported sources; and, protection and planned maintenance of ground water 
quality. If the basin is managed to achieve these goals, ground water overdraft will be 
reduced and water supplies of good quality will be sustainable. 

Initial use of ground water in California considered only one aspect — building a 
! I well and extracting ground water. It was only when ground water levels began to de- 
cline, or landowners could not extract enough water from their wells, that consider- 
ation 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 tjApe of management structure and the extent of management of ground wa- 
ter basins in California vary 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 regu- 
lated both by statute and by case law from court decisions. As might be imagined, the 
I j combination of the two makes for great complexity in managing this resource. 

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 (in a number of statutes that have established local ground water agencies) 
and by the courts (in decisions). State agencies have encouraged local agencies to de- 

i velop effective ground water management programs to maximize their overall water 
supply and to avoid lengthy and expensive lawsuits resulting in adjudicated basins. 
The end result of either local agency ground water management programs or adjudica- 

I tlon may be similar. Effective management can be achieved through either method. 

Thirteen ground water basins have been adjudicated and are operated in accor- 
dance with court settlements. A fourteenth watershed has been adjudicated in federal 
court, but water users are not limited in their ground water extraction. 

The California Water Code provides for management and distribution of surface 
i j water and in many instances provides some limited authority to deal with ground wa- 

Ground Water 93 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



ter through a number of types of local water agencies and districts, formed either by 
general or special legislation. Nine ground water management agencies have been au- 
thorized by the State Legislature. These agencies can enact ordinances affecting 
ground water extraction, establish zones of benefits, and charge a ground water ex- 
traction fee or levy taxes for actions that benefit the extractors. "Zone of benefit" means 
an area, including but not limited to, subbasins within a district which will benefit 
from planning, studies, or any management program undertaken by that district in a 
manner different from other areas or subbasins within the district (Water Code, Appen- 
dix 119-322 and 135-833). 

Many water agencies have statutory authority from the Legislature to levy 
charges for ground water extraction when it is shown that the surface water conveyed 
to the area recharges the aquifer, thereby benefiting the ground water extractors. Not 
all of these agencies have exercised that authority. Some of those that have are Orange 
County Water District, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, Santa Clara Valley 
Water District, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, and recently, Mon- 
terey County Water Resources Agency. 

Such charges are colloquially called a "pump tax," although the term "water re- 
plenishment assessment" is used in the Water Code. The water replenishment assess- 
ment may consist of a water charge, a general assessment, a replenishment assess- 
ment, or a combination of two or more of the above. 

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 40 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 resolu- 
tions of intent in accordance with Water Code Section 10750 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 formulat- 
ing 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. 

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. 

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

□ Prepare a draft ground water management plan within two years or restart the pro- 
cess. 

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

□ Landowners affected by the plan may file protests. 

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

□ 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 manage- 
ment costs associated with the implementation of the ground water management 
plan, if such authority is approved by a majority of votes cast in a popular election. 



94 Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



However, such local entities are not included in the legal definition of'local agency" but 
can sign Memorandums of Understanding with local agencies to develop a ground wa- 
ter management plan under Section 10750. 

Adjudicated Basins 

In 13 adjudicated ground water basins, ground water extraction is regulated by 
a watermaster that has been appointed by the court. Twelve of these adjudicated ba- 
sins are in Southern California and one is in Northern California (Figure 4-2). 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 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 avciilable each 
year, as determined by the watermaster. While each court decision may be slightly dif- 
ferent, the goal is to avoid ground water overdraft by providing sustainable yield. Adju- 
dication of these ground water basins has generally resulted in additional imports of 
surface water supplies to make up for reduced extraction. 

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

Los Angeles County 
Q Central Basin: DWR 
O West Coast Basin: DWR 

O Upper I>os Angeles River Area: an individual specified in the court decision 
O Raymond Basin: management board appointed by the court, DWR staff 
O Main San Gabriel Basin: nine-director board 

Kern County 
O Cummings Basin: Tehachapi-Cummings Water District 
O Tehachapi Basin: Tehachapi-Cummings Water District 

San Bernardino County 
O Warren Valley: Hi-Desert 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: two local irrigation districts 

Ground water and surface water in a fourteenth basin, Santa Margarita River 
Watershed in Riverside and San Diego Counties, has also been adjudicated by the fed- 
eral court. Water users are required by the court decision to report to the court-ap- 
pointed water master the amount of surface water they divert 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 95 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 4-2. Locations of Adjudicated Ground Water Basins 




96 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. Ground water underflow from Puente Ba- 
sin, 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 ca- 
pacity of watermaster. 

Ground 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 wa- 
ter that is extracted and limit its place of use within the district's boundaries. Nine 
ground water management agencies have been formed by such spiecial legislation. (See 
Figure 4-3 for their locations.) 

While these agencies have the authority to pass ordinances, such ordinances lim- 
iting extraction are not popular with landowners within the agency's boundaries. In 
addition, the funding for studies that are required to establish zones of benefit to en- 
sure 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. 

The nine ground water management agencies are: 

Lassen County 

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

O Willow Creek Valley Ground Water Management District: Board of Directors has 
been 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 Tri-Valley Ground Water Management Agency: 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 Pqjaro Valley Water Management Agency: is dealing with sea water intrusion 
and high nitrates in ground water. A basin management plan that will address 
ground water extraction and surface water imports has been completed, and 
fees on extraction have been assessed. 

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. 

Groundwater 97 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 4-3. Locations of Ground Water l\/lanagement Districts or Agencies 




98 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Q OJai Basin Ground Water Management Agency: Board of Directors recently 
appointed. Water quality of the basins is good, with the apparent exception of 
localized, elevated nitrate ion concentrations. Further data collection over a 
wider geographic area will be required to identify the severity of the problem. 

Water Districts witti a Pump Ctiarge 

A number of water districts have obtained Legislative authority to levy a pump 
charge 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 

Santo Clara County 
Q Santa Clara Valley Water District 

Monterey County 
O Monterey Peninsula Water Management District 

Ott)er Districts 

Desert Water Agency and Coachella Valley Water District are authorized to levy 
replenishment assessment charges to fund certain programs. 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 manage- 
ment. 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 statewide. 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 consider- 
ably 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 pre- 
vious 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 precipita- 
tion and runoff are above normal, it can take several years of above normal precipita- 
tion before ground water levels in a basin recover to pre-drought levels. The increase in 
ground water storage is a function of the amounts of pumping and natural rechcirge, 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 because of the low amount of recharge from spring 

Ground Water 99 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



1987 through spring 1992, combined with the large amount of ground water that was 
extracted during that time. 

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 
199 1 and spring 1992 in Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings coun- 
ties was significantly less than the amount of ground water extracted during the pre- 
vious few years. The reasons for the unexpected decreases in ground water extractions 
are still being investigated. Possible factors include rainfall variations, 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 south- 
ern Sierra Nevada. The change in ground water in storage in the San Joaquin Valley is 
shown in Figure 4-4. 

Ground water levels in most basins rose 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. Such recovery 
of ground water levels in many basins occurs 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 In many areas, about 1 5 to 20 percent of the water applied for irrigation moves 
past the root zone and results in recharge of the ground water basin. The 
amount of such deep percolation varies in different areas. 

The net change in the amount of ground water storage during summer 1993 will 
not be known until spring 1994 water level measurements are evaluated. The spring 
measurements of any year reflect events that occurred during the previous 12 months. 
Thus, spring 1 993 water level measurements reflect the recharge that occurred in win- 
ter 1992-93 and the extraction that took place in sunjmer 1992. 

In the Sacramento Valley, ground water levels and storage did not decline signifi- 
cantly in Glenn and Colusa counties during the 1987-92 drought. In Butte and 



Figure 4-4. 

Cumulative Change in 

Ground Water Storage 

San Joaquin Valley 




100 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Tehama counties, ground water levels declined, but some remained higher than they 
were after the 1976-77 drought. The change in ground water storage in the 
Sacramento Valley is shown in Figure 4-5. 

In coastal areas, some ground water basins have limited storage. Ground water 
levels in such basins are often lowered to near critical levels each fall, thus making 
evaluation of overdraft or sustainable yield difficult. These basins require relatively 
little time to recharge to return to a full condition. As a result, ground water levels in 
these basins can rise rapidly due to high rainfall such as occurred in March 1991, De- 
cember 1992. and January through March 1993. 

The ground water basins surrounding Clear Lake in Lake County also have lim- 
ited storage capacity. Each year ground water levels in these shallow ground water ba- 
sins decline to a point where ground water quality starts to deteriorate. But each win- 
ter these basins normally refill. In these areas of limited storage, ground water has very 
little capacity to support additional development. 

Ground water levels in the adjudicated basins and managed basins in Southern 
California vary. In 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 San Fernando Valley range from high to low, depending on location. 
Levels in Central and West Coast Basins cire 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 decline, 
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, re- 
quiring deepening or, in some cases, replacement of wells. (Figure 4-6 shows the num- 
ber 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. 



i 



Million Acre-Feet 

A 


o 


^^^^^^^^g 






^^^^B^HB 




^Rl^S^^H 


k^ 


4 * 1 


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 


1 1 


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

Unconfined Aquifer 



Figure 4-5. 

Cumulative Change in 
Ground Water Storage 
Sacramento Valley 



Ground Water 



101 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 4-6. 
Annual Well 

Completion 

Reports 

(thousands) 




Ground water 

recharge in the City 

of Bakersjield. The 

city operates a 

2,800-acre recharge 

facility southwest of 

Bakersfield where 

the city and some 

local water agencies 

recharge surplus 

Kern River water, 

and occasionally 

SWP and Friant-Kern 

Canal water The 

water is withdrawn 

in drier times. 



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 re- 
placement or deepening of existing wells. 

Conjunctive Use 

Conjunctive use is the operation of a ground water basin in coordination with a 
surface water system to increase total water 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. In some 
instances conjunctive use is employed for annual regulation of supplies. These pro- 
grams involve recharge with surface water or reclaimed water supplies and same-year 
extraction for use. Aquifer storage and recovery programs are a good example of con- 
junctive use. Following is a discussion of effective conjunctive use programs and the 

types of programs in- 
place today. 

Conjunctive use 
programs are designed 
to increase the total us- 
able water supply by 
jointly managing sur- 
face and ground water 
supplies as a single 
source. As such, they 
are widespread in 
California but differ 
greatly in their intensity 
and degree of planning. 
Management can vary 
from recharging a lim- 
ited amount of sporadi- 





102 



Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



cally available surface water to a comprehensive management program that coordinates 
surface water use, delivery, recharge, and ground water extraction and use. 

In the future, carefully planned 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 wa- 
ter 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 im- 
plemented some or all of the following components of a conjunctive use program: 

O a source of surface water 

Q identified usable storage capacity in the aquifer 

Q 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 

Carefully planned and implemented conjunctive use programs can be developed 
without causing significant adverse impacts. However, the effect of such programs on 
native vegetation and wetland habitat, fish and wildlife resources, third parties, land 
subsidence, and degradation of water quality in the aquifer must be evaluated. Phrea- 
tophytic vegetation may be stressed when ground water levels are lowered because less 
water is available in root zones. Similar processes can also affect wetlands. Potential 
adverse effects on third parties include lowering of ground water levels below the bot- 
tom of wells, or raising ground water levels so that local flooding occurs. Subsidence 
caused by extraction of ground water can affect canals, wells, buildings, tanks, 
bridges, and levees that 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 wa- 
ter transfers under their respective jurisdictions cause "no significant long-term ad- 
verse 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 devel- 
oped. The range of conjunctive use activities in California is illustrated by the following 
partial list of examples of programs in place today. 

Alameda County Water District. The district is located near the mouth of the 
Niles Cone area of Alameda County, adjacent to San Francisco Bay. Historically, ex- 
Ground Water 103 




Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



traction 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 pro- 
gram to recharge local supplies from Alameda Creek and imported supplies from other 
surface sources. 

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 Ba- 
sin is in overdraft although changes in storage vary considerably depending on the sur- 
face water availability to local agencies. Several districts have responded by building 
and operating recharge projects that take advantage of imported and/or local surface 
water when available. For example, the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District pur- 
chases 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 interregional scale, the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and the Met- 
ropolitan Water District of Southern California are developing a cooperative water 
banking project. In this complex program, Arvin-Edison will provide MWDSC water 
during dry years from Aivin-Edison's CVP supply and will replace this water by pump- i 
ing ground water from a basin previously recharged with surface water supplies made 
available by MWDSC from its SWP supply. (See Chapter 1 1 for more details about the 
program.) | 

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 1 1 for more details.) 

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In 1989, MWDSC imple- : 
mented a seasonal ground water storage program utilizing both direct and in lieu re- : 
charge and storage in local ground water basins to increase emergency supply and pro- 
vide carryover storage for droughts. 

Orange County Water District. This district has, one of the most elaborate con- 
junctive use programs. It purchases imported surface water from MWDSC for ground 
water recharge, manages runoff and recycled 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 improv- 
ing ground water quality in areas where it has been degraded, and recharges a large 
quantity of recycled water. ^yk 

41 

Santa Clara Valley Water District. The district provides and operates treat- • 
ment 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 provide an adequate supply of ground water annually, eliminate land subsidence, 
and provide carryover ground water storage as a buffer against dry years when local 
and imported surface water supplies are reduced. 

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 devel- 
oped 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 de- 
mand on the ground water basin, which has since recovered. During extended dry pe- 
riods, 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. 

104 Ground Water 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. 

Westlands Water District. The early development of irrigated agriculture in 
Westlands was based on extraction of ground water from a deep, confined aquifer sys- 
tem. This development resulted in extensive land subsidence. To alleviate this prob- 
lem. 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 sur- 
face water supplies, water users revert to ground water pumping. 

Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. This district op- 
erates 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 wa- 
ter, 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. 

Prospects for the Future 

In the future, conjunctive use is expected to increase and become more compre- 
hensive 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 environ- 
mental impacts. 

Recommendations 

The State should encourage efforts to develop ground water management pro- 
grams at the local and regional levels and to remove legal, institutional, financial, and 
other barriers that limit conjunctive use of ground water basins. The programs should 
be focused on solutions to clearly identified problems, such as overdraft, and natural 
and human-caused contamination so as to optimize the use of surface and ground 
water resources. Specific recommendations are as follows: 

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

a. Identify and protect major natural recharge areas. Devel- 
op managed recharge programs where feasible. 

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

c. Increase monitoring of ground water quality so that the 
State can improve its ability to assess and respond to wa- 
ter degradation problems. Report trends in the chemical 
contents of ground water. 

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

Ground Water 105 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



e. Adopt and implement a public education program to en- 
sure that citizens understand the importance of ground 
water and steps they can take to protect and enhance their 
water supply. 

Continuing use of overdraft as a source of supply is not sustainable and must 
be addressed in State and local water management plans. Options for addres- 
sing the management of overdraft will be strongly influenced by economic fac- 
tors that must be considered in such plans. 



106 Groundwater 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



i 



Ground Water 107 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Water samples are tested at DWR's Bryte Lab, located on the west 
side of the Sacramento River. The sensitive electronic equipment 
used at this lab can detect one part chemical in one billion parts 
water. 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 5 



i 



Water has numerous uses, and each use has certain quality requirements that Woter QuaMtV 
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 temperatures 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, and oxygen, mineral, 
dissolved metal, £md 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 avail- 
ability 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 prob- 
lems for California. 

This chapter describes factors affecting water quality as they relate to California 
water management as well as the regulatory mechanisms designed to correct and 
prevent quality problems affecting 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 discussed. The Colorado River and California's ground water supplies 
are also of great importance, and quality issues affecting these supply sources are also 
addressed. 

California's burgeoning population and limited water supplies require maximum 
water use efficiency. Water recycling and reuse are important means of stretching 
supplies; therefore, quality considerations pertaining to recycling and reuse are re- 
viewed. Finally, an overview of some costs of poor water quality makes the importance 
of water quality 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 msmiy influences. 

Mineralization and Eutroptiication 

As water passes over and through soils, it picks up soluble minerals (salts) pres- 
ent in the soils because of natural processes, such as geologic weathering. As the water 

Water Quality 109 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



passes through a watershed and is used for various purposes, concentrations of dis- 
solved 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.) 

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

In California, a major source of mineralization is sea water intrusion into the 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the exp>ort location for much of California's water 
suppfy. 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 dis- 
solved 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. 

Tlie San Joaquin River contributes about 16 percent, on average, of the fresh 
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 drain- 
age, municipal waste water) could be eliminated. 

The bromides contributed by sea water intrusion are of particular concern be- 
cause 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 frequentty 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 orgcmisms 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 
directfy injurious to human health, may cause the water to smell smd taste bad and 
can be costly and extremefy difficult 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. 



110 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Many of these are pres- 
ent in California's water 
due to runoff from aban- 
doned 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 
I upper watershed. 

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 tjqses 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 
I humans which comes from this organism. Cryptosporidium is another pathogenic or- 
ganism 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 the presence of Cryptospori- 
dium in their water supply. This outbreak presents a striking example of the 
importance of maintaining the quality of source waters. Even well-operated water 
I treatment facilities can be overwhelmed when the quality of the source water is erratic. 

■ Federal and State Surface Water Treatment Rules , effective in June 1 993 , 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 Cryptos- 
poridium.. However, not all disease-causing viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts are 
destroyed in conventional drinking water treatment processes, and these may grow af- 
ter 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 fulvlc acids, and 

f 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 
ji organisms. Chemicals such as chlorine, which are capable of efficiently killing such 



High concentrations of 
iron and other minerals 
in drainage from the 
abandoned Iron 
Mountain Mine affect 
water quality in 
Sprir^ Creek and the 
Sacramento Riven 



i 



Water Quality 



111 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 or- 
ganic material dissolved in the water. Where present, bromide (a type of salt found in 
sea water) enters the reaction to produce bromine-containing trihalomethane com- 
pounds. 

The organic matter and salts in Delta waters are by themselves not harmful and 
only become so when they undergo reaction during water treatment. However, 
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 ac- 
cordance with the federal and State Safe Drinking Water laws. The current MCL for 
THMs in drinking water is 0. 1 mg/L. The regulations establishing the MCLs are being 
reviewed, and the stricter standard of 0.08 mg/L is expected to be promulgated. Revi- 
sions to the federal regulations are to be proposed in 1994. 



The Metropolitan 

Water District of 

Southern California 

uses ozone to 

disinfect water at 

its ozonation plant 

in LaVerne, 

California. MWDSC 

supplies 2.5 million 

acre-feet annually 

to 16 million water 

users. 



There are less 
notorious disinfec- 
tion byproducts, 
also produced in 
drinking water, that 
may cause adverse 
health effects. The 
U.S. EPA and the 
World Health Or- 
ganization have 
identified disinfec- 
tion byproducts of 
potentially more se- 
rious human health 
concern than triha- 
lomethanes. One of 
these is bromate, 
formed during ozone 
disinfection of wa- 
ters containing bro- 
mide. Drinking water regulations for disinfection bj^iroducts such as bromate are ex- 
pected to be included in the regulations to be proposed in 1994. 

Ozone is a powerful oxidant widely used for drinking water disinfection. Its ad- 
vantages are that it is a very strong oxidizer that efficiently kills pathogens, destroys 
tastes and odors, and minimizes production of trihalomethanes and unwanted by- 
products. The problem of bromide in Delta water has serious implications for 
California and is discussed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water Quality sec- 
tion 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. (By comparison, 
point sources are more identifiable and generally more sub-ject to control, such as a 
pipe discharging to a water 




112 



Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



body.) Agricultural drainage may contain chemical residues, toxic elements, salts, nu- 
trients, 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 Pro- 
gram in Chapter 2.) 

Urban Pollutants 

In urban areas, water quality is influenced by nonpoint sources of pollution such 
asrecreationalactivities,drainagefromindustrialsites,runofffromstreetsandhighways, 
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 Water Quality Protection in Chapter 2 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 pollu- 
tion). In California, discharge of untreated sewage into the environment is not 
permitted. The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System regulates point dis- 
charges 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-treatment of their industrial waste prior to Its discharge to the munici- 
pal waste water treatment plant. Like municipal discharges. Industrial discharges are 
subject to regulation through the NPDES. Industries discharging directly Into the envi- 
ronment 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 dis- 
charge 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 proto- 
zoan cysts, which are harder to Inactivate (disinfect) than most other waterborne 
pathogens and are capable of causing disease. In addition, permitted discharges in- 
clude nitrogen compounds that can be harmful to aquatic life, cause unwanted 
growths of algae In surface water bodies, and force downstream drinking water facili- 
ties to increase their use of chlorine. 

Synthetic chemicals (manufactured by humans) are very widespread. Unfortu- 
nately, some waste water treatment plant processes do not completely remove all 
synthetic chemicals that can be present in the water. Depending on the processes 
used, some treatment plants may remove most of these compounds, while others are 
not able to do as well. As a result, some synthetic organic chemicals, especially from 
agricultural and industrial waste water, are emitted into California's waterways 
through treatment plant discharges. 

Ottier Pollutants 

There are a number of other sources of water pollution. Mining activities (pre- 
viously 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 

Water Quality 113 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



bacterial contamination and nutrient pollution of ground water resources. The best 
solution to this problem has been installation of sewer collection and treatment 
* facilities. 

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 peri- 
ods, eroded soils cause turbidity in the water which can seriously impact aquatic 
organisms and adversely affect drinking water treatment processes. Wildlife can also 
add nutrients to water bodies, and can host some types of waterbome disease organ- 
isms. 

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 Ser- 
vices. This table summarizes threats to water quality within California. 

Drinking Water Regulations and Human Health 

Currently, there are State and federal regulations for a variety of physical, chemi- 
cal, and microbiologic constituents in drinking water, including pesticides and other 
agricultural chemicals, trihalomethanes, arsenic, selenium, radionuclides (such as ra- 
dium), nitrates, and toxic metals, as well as treatment and disinfection requirements 
for bacteria, viruses. Giardia, and other pathogens. Standards for a total of 83 Individ- 
ual 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-reach- 
ing 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 in- 
creasing numbers of constituents and lowering acceptable concentrations. 

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 per- 
mit a large degree of variation in source water quality: this is no longer the case. Under 
current regulations, it is necessary to operate a very finely tuned treatment system to 
provide adequate disinfection while minimizing unwanted chemical byproducts. Sig- 
nificant 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 increased capital and operational 
expenditures. Municipal water agencies in California are facing the prospect of signifi- 
cant rate increases to recoup these expenditures. 

Clearly, the trend toward ever more stringent drinking water regulations is a fac- 
tor 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 con- 
trol plans, commonly known as Basin Plans, establish specific water quality objectives 

114 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Source of Contamination 



Table 5-1 . Threats to Water Quality 
Contaminant 



Tyf^cal Sites 



Natural (occur statewide) 



Dissolved minerals 

Asbestos 
Hydrogen-sulfide 

Radon 



Mineral deposits, mineralized waters, hot springs, sea 

water intrusion 

Mine tailings, serpentine ^rmotions 

Subsurface organic deposits, such as Delta Islands and 

San Joaquin Valley trough 

Most geologic formations 



i 



Commercial Businesses 



Gasoline 
Solvents 
Toxic metals 



Service stations' underground storage tanks 
Dry cleaners, machine sfwDps 

Photo processors, laboratories, metal 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 manufacturing, metal fabricating and 

plating, transporters, storage facilities, hazardous 

waste disposal 

Chemical brmulating plants 

Pressure treating power poles, wood pilings, 

railroad ties 



Solid waste disposal 



Solvents, pesticides, toxic metals, organics, 
petroleum wastes, and microbial agents 



Disposal sites located statewide receive waste from 
a variety of industries, municipal solid wastes, wasted 
petroleum products, household waste 



Agricultural 



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



Irrigated farm runoff, ag chemical applications, 
fertilizer usage, chemical storage at farms and 
applicators' air strips, agricultural produce packing 
sheds and processing plants, meat processing plants, 
dairies, and feed lots 



Disasters 



Solvents, petroleum products, microbial 
agents, other hazardous materials 



Earthquake-caused pipeline and storage tank 
failures and damage to sewage treatment and 
containment facilities; major spills of hazardous 
materials; flood water contamination of storage 
reservoirs and ground water sources 



Adapted from Drinking Water into the 21st Century — Safe Drinking Water Plan for California, A Report to the Legislature, California Department of HeaWi Services, Office of Drinking Water, 
January 1 993, p. 38. 



for individual bodies of water. The Basin Plans are master planning documents in- 
tended 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 wa- 
ter to meet these Delta salinity standards. Chapter 10 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 



Water Quality 



115 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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

August, 1993 



1 , 1 -Dichloroethylene 

1,1,1 -Trichloroethone 

1 ,1 ,2-Trichloroetfiane 

1 ,2-Dibronx>-3-chloropropane (DBCP) 

1 ,2-Dichlorobenzene 

1 ,2-Dichbroethane 

1 ,2-Dichbroethylene 

1 ,2-Dichbropropane 

1 ,2,4-Trichlorobenzene 

1 ,4-Dichlorobenzene 

2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin) 

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid {2,4-D) 

2,4,5-TP (Silvex) 

Acrylamide 

Adipates 

Alachlor 

AnHmony 

Arsenic 

Asbestos 

Atrozine 

Barium 

Benzene 

Berylium 

Cadmium 

Carbofuran 

Corbon tetrachloride 

Chlordane 

Chromium 



cis-1 ,2-Dichloroelhylene 

Copper 

Cyanide 

Dolapon 

Dichloromethane 

Dinoseb 

Diquat 

Endothail 

Endrin 

EpichloFohydrin 

Ethyibenzene 

Ethylene dibromlde (EDB) 

Flouride 

Giardia lamblia 

Giyphosote 

Gross alpha partides activities 

Gross beta particles activities 

Heptdchior 

Heplochlor epoxide 

Heterotrophic bacteria 

Hexochlorobenzene 

Hexochlorocyclopentodiene 

Lead 

Legionella 

Lindane 

Mercury 

Methoxychlor 

Monochlorobenzene 



Nickel 

Nitrate 

Qxamyl 

Pentachlorophenol 

Phthaldtes 

Picloram 

Poiychlorinated biphenyis (PCBs) 

Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) 

Radium 226 

Radium 228 

Selenium 

Silver 

Simazine 

Styrene 

Sulfate 

Tetrochloroethyiene 

Thallium 

Ibiuene 

1bial coliforms 

1btal trihalomethane 

Ibxaphene 

trans- 1 ,2-Dichloroethylene 

Trichloroethylene 

Turbidity 

Vinyl chloride 

Viruses 

Xylenes (total) 



Gimpiledand updated from Staha of Contaminanis Regulated Under ^ Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmeold Protodion Agency, Aprf 1991. 



drinking water quality standards are met by California's municipal drinking water uti- 
lities. However, 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 by- 
product formation is Increased. Additioucdly, 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 dis- 
infection byproducts. 

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

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the annual nationwide 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 



116 



Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

August 1993 



1,1-Dichloroethane 

1,1,1 ,2-Tetrachloroethane 

1 ,1 ,2,2-Tetrachloroethane 

1 ,2,3-Trichloropropane 

2,4/2,6-Dinih-otoluene 

4-Nitrophenol 

Acrylonitrile 

Aldehydes 

Aldicarb 

Aldicarb sulfone 

Aldicarb sulfoxide 

Aluminum 

Bentazon 

Boron 

Bromacil 

Bromate 

Bromodichlorometfiane 

Bromoform 



Bromomethane 

Chloral hydrate 

Chloramine 

Chlorate 

Chlorine 

Chlorine dioxide 

Chlorite 

Chloroform 

Chloropicrin 

cis/trans-1 ,3-Dichloropropene (Telone) 

Cyanazine 

Cyanogen chloride 

Dacthal (DCPA) 

Di bromoch loromethane 

Dicamba 

Ethylene thiourea (ETU) 

Hexachlorobutadiene 

lodate 



Isophorone 

Lactofen/Acifluorfen 

Manganese 

Methomyl 

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) 

Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) 

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) 

Metolachlor 

Metribuzin 

Molybdenum 

Naphthalene 

Pentachlorophenol 

Prometron 

Radon 

Trifluralin 

Uranium 

Vanadium 

Zinc 



i 



Compiled and updated from Status of Contaminants Regulated Under itie Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, April 1 991 . 



million a year by the year 2000. These estimates demonstrate that major costs will 
result from meeting the new standards. 

According to data published in Drinking Water into the 21st Century, the current 
annual cost-per-servlce connection for drinking water ranges from about $250 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. 

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 re- 
sponse 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 inves- 
tigation 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 chemi- 
cals, precursors, and pathogens all affect water quality and present complex challenges 
for water managers. Compared to other parts of the country, California has some dis- 
tinct 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 
/ar II. Generally, we are not faced with the problem of antiquated sewer systems and 
)ther more difficult environmental problems experienced by states with facilities 



Water Quality 



117 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



installed longbefore World War II. Fortunately, environmental awareness and regulato- 
ry 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 (mostfy from hydraulic mining opera- 
tions 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 fed - 
eral Clean Water Act in California on behalf of the U.S. EPA. These agencies document 



Principles of Water Utility Management as Set Fortti by 

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

American Water Works Association 

As a result of the April 1993 outbreak of Crypto^x>ridiosis in Milwaukee, 
President Foster Burtx3 of the American Water Works Associatkxi called on its 
membership to test water supplies for ttie preser»ce of Cryptosporidium, and 
said, 'Not only are we issuing this national call to action on testing, we're 
strongly encouraging water utilities to develop stricter watershed manage- 
ment and treatment practices.' 

The Source Water CKjality Committee of the California-Nevada Section 
of ttie AWWA adopted the foBowing statement on April 14, 1993: 

Ttie Source Water Quality Committee of ttie California-Nevada Section 
of the American Water Works Association supports ttie fundamental objec- 
tives of providing drinking water from the best quality sources reasonat>ly at- 
tainable . and of managing such sources to protect and enhance water quali- 

iy. 

Wrth increasingly stringent drinking water regukations, it is important That 
water utilities obtain and maintain supply sources of the b^^ avaitat>le quali- 
ty. Water utility marxagers should imp>lement the folkDwing princples: 

1 . Where altemative sources of supply are available, drinking water stKXJkJ 
be taken from the highest quality source reasonably attainable. 

2. Where there are competing uses for water sources, publk: drinking water 
shoukj be tt»e Ngtiest priority use. 

3. Ttie quality of existing and potential sources of drinking water, including 
both ground water and surface water, sttould be actively and aggres- 
sively protected and entxinced. Source water quality protection pro- 
grams shoufcl: 

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

^ Determine factors Influencing, and potentially af- 
fecting, source water quality; Including both point 
and nonpoint contaminant sources, and continu- 
ous, seasonal, and ephemeral contamination. 

^ Implement an active program of monitoring and 
maPKaging activrties In source water bodies, aqui- 
fers, and watersheds to minimize contamination 
and drinking water degradation. 

4. Decisions regarding altemative resources uses and development stioukj 
give full conskjeration to impacts on water quality— including piiDlic 
t»ealth. economic, aesthetic, and environmental impacts. 

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



118 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



many water quality problems and are developing more restrictive water quality criteria 
and preparing regulatory actions to make further improvements. The control of disin- 
fection 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. 

Important among California's current water quality concerns is the relatively re- 
cent 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 consequences of this problem are 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 im- 
portant 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 reli- 
ability. 

Some municipal water supply agencies, with the 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 reliabil- 
ity of their water treatment processes to produce safe drinking water. 

Similar protection for Delta and Colorado River water supplies is out of the ques- 
tion. 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 pro- 
cesses used may not reliably remove all chemical agents present in the water. 

In its 1993 report, Drinking Water into the 21st Century, the California Depart- 
ment 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 1990, 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. 

Water Quality 1 19 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Critical Components of State Water Supply 

Water quality considerations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its tribu- 
tary streams (principally the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers), in the Colorado 
River, and in ground water will significantly influence management of these critically 
important source water supplies. The following sections summarize water quality con- 
siderations 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 Ekiosystem and Water Quality. The Delta provides habitat for many spe- 
cies of fish. Unfortunately, some are in serious decline. Striped bass, winter-run 
Scilmon, and Delta smelt are fish whose evident declines have generated much atten- 
tion. Pollution has been suggested as a cause of some 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 de- 
cline in the Delta and are probably affected by some of the same factors as striped bass 
cind 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. Unfortu- 
nately, inadequate evidence exists to aid basic fishery management decisions. 

Drinking Water Supply. Drinking water for about 20 million Californians flows 
through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The water is influenced by so many fac- 
tors 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 natural- 
ly 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, compliance with the Sur- 
face Water Treatment Rule, required beginning 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 concentra- 
tions 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 



120 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 potential of Delta waters to form trihalomethanes. a form 
of disinfection byproducts. (Figure 5-1 was derived from data in The Delta as a Source 
of Drinking Water, Monitoring Results. 1983 to 1987, August 1989. Department of Wa- 
ter Resources.) The size of each pie is proportional to the capacity to form 
trihalomethanes 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 
capacity to form trihalomethanes. as compared to locations in the southern and west- 
em Delta. Table 5-4 shows averages of selected constituents in the Delta and Colorado 
River. 

The western Delta has higher organic precursor concentrations, along with much 
greater bromide influence. The interior Delta locations depicted are intermediate in or- 
ganic 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 signifi- 
cant 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 expen- 
sive to treat. The expected new, more stringent, drinking water regulations for 
trihalomethanes and other disinfection byproducts may particularly increase the diffi- 
culty 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 re- 
sults 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 ad- 
versely 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 wa- 
ter 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 $120 per acre-foot, which is roughly the amount of water an average family 
uses in a year. These costs arise primarily from the need to use more soaps and deter- 
gents, and to more frequently replace plumbing fixtures and water-using appliances. 



i 



Water Quality 121 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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




^^ Brominated Methane 

■ik Formation Potential (ugi.) 

^^k Chloroform 

^^B Formation Potential (ugi} 

Area of pie is proportionai to totd THMFP 



122 



Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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Water Quality 



123 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



These 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, re- 
quire 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. 

Delta Agriculture and Wetlands. While the quality of Delta water available to 
agriculture is generally satisfactory, certain conditions create problems with salt con- 
tent. Sufficiently high concentrations of salt can stunt or kill plants. When salt content 
is high, more applied water is required for irrigation 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 ir- 
rigation water exported from the Delta. At times, salts from this source adversely affect 
agriculture in the southern Delta. Recent mitigation measures, such as installing tem- 
porary rock barriers in certain Delta channels, improved the overall quality of water in 
the southern Delta. 

Some Delta 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 miner- 
als, 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 ac- 
tivity 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 I 
public entities. The compilation indicates a great deal of interest in the quality of Delta I 
waters. Millions of dollars are invested each year in the pursuit of assessing Delta 
water quality. 

Scu:raniento 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 1983 to June 1992, DWR data indi- 
cate that dissolved solids concentrations ranged from about 50 to 1 50 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 be- 
low 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 riv- 
er as a result of acid mine discharges from mines on Iron Mountain. Several fish kills 



124 Water Quality 






The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 
i usin^ Sacramento River water collected in the reach from Keswick Dam to Hamilton 
City. The results of these tests should help determine the degree of water quality im- 
pairment of the river and should show what length of river is affected. Large releases of 
firesh water are made annually from Lake Shasta in efforts to dilute the pollution to 
nontoxic 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 agri- 
cultural discharge from this drain. (Bioassays are conducted by exposing test 
oijganisms. 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 com- 
plaints from Sacramento residents about the taste of the water. A multi-agency team 
that included public agencies and agricultural and rice industry participants was es- 
tablished 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 suc- 
cessful in reducing rice herbicide concentrations in the Sacramento River since 1986. 
Reductions of molinate and other agricultural chemical residue can also be attributed 
to use of improved chemicals requiring lower usage, use of disease-resistant and weed- 
resistant rice strains, better water management, and integrated pest management 
practices. Figure 5-2 depicts the dramatic reduction in discharges of the rice herbicide 
molinate from 1982 through 1992. 

While reduction of agricultural drainage is generally desirable for protection of 
ivater quality, it is also true that long-term reductions in drainage can have the unde- 
sirable effect of causing salt buildup in agricultural soils. Numerous ancient 
civilizations declined as a result of soil infertility associated with salt buildup. There- 




i 



Figure 5-2. 
Mass Discharge of 
the Rice Herbicide 
Molinate to the 
Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta 



Water Quality 



126 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



fore, 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, disin- 
fection 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 disinfec- 
tion byproduct precursors in the river measurably increases. 

The Sacramento regional waste water treatment plant discharges into the Sacra- 
mento River near Freeport. The plant provides a high level of treatment and is in 
compliance with its discharge requirements a high proportion of the time. The plant 
does not, however, remove minerals from the water. This causes the total dissolved 
solids concentration of the river to increase a few percent in the low flow periods of 
summer and early autumn. 

San Joctquin 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 
inflow, and are of generally excellent quality.) Unlike the Sacramento River, the mineral 
quality of the San Joaquin River is not very good 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. In recent years, releases 
from reservoirs such as New Melones have helped meet water quality standards in the 
lower San Joaquin River. Data from 1982 through May 1992 indicate levels of dis- 
solved solids in the San Joaquin River near Vemalis have ranged from about 110 to 
900 milligrams per liter; the numbers reflect high find low flow conditions, respective- 

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 concentra- 
tions, well within drinking water standards. While measured pesticide concentrations 
have been low by drinking water standards, recent measurements by the U.S. Geologi- 
cal Survey and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control board indicate the 
presence of certain insecticides in the tributaries to the Delta. Evidence indicates that, 
during wet periods, these levels can be present in pulses high enough to produce in- 
dications of widespread toxicity in the Bay-Delta estuary for short periods of time. 

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 de- 
formities and lack of reproductive 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 concentra- 
tions 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 en- 
vironment even though it is not considered a threat to drinking water quality. In small 



126 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



concentrations, selenium is an essential nutrient, but studies have indicated that con- 
centrations 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 thou- 
sands 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 SWP. During the period 1986 to 
1992. dissolved solids In the Colorado River Aqueduct averaged 580 mg/L (parts per 
million). During this period, dissolved solids concentrations in the California Aque- 
duct of the SWP averaged 310 mg/L. 

As practicable. MWDSC blends Colorado River water with water from the SWP 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 in 1975. 

Unlike the watersheds of the Delta, the soils of the Colorado River watershed are 
primarily low in organic content. Consequently, disinfection byproduct precursor con- 
centrations 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. 

Most of the water released from Parker Dam Is used for irrigation in the Imperial 
and Coachella valleys and in northeastern Baja California. The agricultural drainage 
from the two valleys in 



i 



California as well as 
much of the drainage 
from the irrigated area in 
Baja California flows into 
Sal ton Sea. 

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. The current 
concentration of dis- 
solved solids (salts) in 
the sea is about 45,000 




Agricultural 
drainage in the 
Imperial Valley 
contains h^h 
concentrations of 
naturally occurring 
salts and minerals. 



Water Quality 



127 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 places considerable physical stress upon the fish. 

In 1973, the seven states within the Colorado River basin formed the Colorado 
River Basin Salinity Control Forum to develop numeric criteria for controlling salinity, 
and to develop plans to implement controls. This group was formed in order to comply 
with the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act, requiring water quality standards 
for salinity in rivers. Salinity standards for the basin were promulgated in 1975 and 
were subsequently approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Forum 
established a permanent work group to perform studies and triennial reviews of prog- 
ress and to 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 Colorado River which 
are used in the United States and Mexico. Currently, salinity control activities are re- 
moving 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 

About 40 percent of California's annual total urban and agricultural applied wa- 
ter use is provided by ground water extraction. 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- molecu- 
lar -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 accom- 
panied by indiscriminate disposal practices, such as dumping waste material on the 
ground or in unlined ponds. 

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 as- 
signed to specific industries. There, electronic industries which released solvents into 
the ground (often because of leaky underground storage tanks), are proceeding suc- 
cessfully with cleanup efforts which are costing millions of dollars. 

Leaking underground tanks have been found to be a particular problem. Gaso- 
line storage tanks and most other types of underground chemical storage tanks were. 



128 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 
now manages a program to control contamination from underground tanks. 

Ground water contamination by synthetic organic pollutants may be more seri- 
ous than surface water pollution because of the difficulty and expense of cleanup. This 
(yf)e of pollution is widespread in California and presents a serious challenge. Howev- 
er, 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 ni- 
trates. 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, in- 
dustrial disposal, waste water treatment plant sludge application, or 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 agri- 
cultural practices, primcirily 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 ni- 
trates people can tolerate; infants, in particular, are susceptible to nitrate poisoning 
(methemoglobinemia). Nitrates can also limit the use of ground water for other pur- 
poses such as stock watering. In too high concentrations, nitrates become toxic to 
plants. The biggest problem with nitrates is that treatment to remove them is so expen- 
sive that it is 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. Poultry 
waste was generally piled up and left to decompose on the site of the poultry operation. 
Poultry waste is a potent source of urea and organic nitrogen, which can convert to 
nitrates and then migrate into the ground. Even after poultry operations were discon- 
tinued, plumes (feather-shaped bands) of nitrates remained in the ground. When it 
rains, water percolates down through these plumes and dissolves some of the nitrates, 
carrying it into the water-bearing stratum below. A 198 1 study demonstrated nitrates 
in the Petaluma area's ground water ranging to over 300 milligrams per liter, signifi- 
cantly 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 ni- 
trate removal from ground water is not usually economically feasible. Increasing 
awareness of this problem at the federal 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 Californians. 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 greatly by disposing of toxic and hazardous materials in a safe, environmentally 
acceptable manner. 



i 



Water Quality 129 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Quality Considerations for Water Reclamation and Reuse 

As discussed in Chapter 3, 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 tjrpes 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 reclciimed 
water. 

The Office of Drinking Water within the California Department of Health Services 
is responsible for regulating use of reclaimed waste water. Regulations stipulate treat- 
ment levels for use of reclaimed water for various purposes such as irrigation, 
recreation, and ground water recharge. The objective of these regulations is to cdlow 
the maximum use of reclaimed water while protecting public health. More specific reg- 
ulations 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, ground water recharge, and other uses which do not involve direct hu- 
man consumption. The concentration of salts 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 hu- 
man consumption of reclaimed water. The primary concerns are pathogenic organisms 
and harmful chemical residues. Treatment processes used for recharging potable wa- 
ter supplies must not only successfully remove harmful constituents, but also be 
highly reliable. 

The Department of Health Services evaluates aU proposals for potable use of re- 
claimed 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 cur- 
rently 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 pro- 
cesses required to meet standards specified for the intended use. Drinking water 
standards and those for municipal, industrial, and agricultural water use specify the 
qusdity 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 

130 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



required to construct filtration facilities as a result of the Federal Surface Water Treat- 
ment Rule which generally requires filtration and rigorous disinfection of surface 
drinking water supplies. In California, the SWTR will be administered by the State De- 
partment of Health Services. 

In general, the better the quality of the source for drinking water, the less treat- 
ment it requires and, consequently, the less it costs to produce. Many water quality 
parameters affect treatment costs, including microbiological quality, turbidity, color, 
alkalinity, hardness, and 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 cleans- 
ers. 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 ur- 
ban 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 incremen- 
tal 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 
$0.30 per pound of dissolved mineral matter in the water. The impact of this added 
cost can be quite significant. 

Studies have also shown that lower water quality in urban supplies increases 
consumer use of bottled water and home treatment devices. Surveys of California com- 
munities indicate that about half of all California residences use some bottled or 
home-treated water. The collective cost of these choices by 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 com- 
mon 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 in- 
creased 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 quali- 
ty 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 agri- 
cultural 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 re- 



i 



Water Quality 131 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



quired 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, addition- 
al 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 beyond the optimal ranges specific to indi- 
vidual crops. 

Numerous aspects of water quality can affect fish and wildlife habitat and result 
in monetary or envirormiental 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, elevated selenium concentrations 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 con- 
tinued industrialization, will continue to greatly challenge our ability to mciintain 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. 

Recommendations 

1 . Increasingly stringent and costly drinking water qucility standards for public 
health protection will affect the continued availability and cost of water sup- 
plies. More effort must be made by State and*federal agencies to balance the 
cost with public health and other benefits of such standards. 

2 . 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 capac- 
ity of aquatic organisms. (Research should be a cooperative effort by State and 
federal agencies.) 

3 . 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 Deltaisland drainage. Factors responsible forquality degradation 
from Delta island drainage should be investigated by State agencies, and poten- 
tial means of mitigating problems identified. 

4. 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 
£irid portions of the State. Efforts by State agencies should be continued to de- 
fine 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. 



132 Water Quality 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Water Quality 133 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



134 Part III 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Introduction 



This part of Bulletin 160-93 covers urban, agricultural, environmental, and 
recreational water use. Certain key concepts, defined below, are important to 
understand before reading the following chapters because 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: 

□ 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 

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) ; repelling salinity; or maintaining 
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 evapo transpiration of applied water, ETTAW, 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 and 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 EnWW (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 III-A through III-C show examples of how applied water, net water use. 
and depletion amounts are derived in three different cases. Figure III-A shows how 
outflow in an inland area is reusable; Figure III-B shows how outflow to a salt sink is 
not reusable; and Figure Ill-C shows how outflow in an inland area is reusable when 
agricultural water use is more efficient. 



Water Use 



Part III 



135 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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

Example of Water Use in Inland Areas 



500 Un I ts 



Un i ts 



ETAW 

\ 3 Un i t s 




Applied Water 

Reuse Water 

Net Water Use 

ETAW 

Irrecoverable Losses* 

Depletion 

ETAW = EVAPOTRANSPIRATION OF APPUEO WATER 



'Irrecovefable losses are losses from conveyance facilities due to evaporation, evapotranspirotion, or deep percolation of Vi/ater to saline sinks. 



136 



Part III 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

Example of Area with Salt Sink 



500 Un i ts 



10 Uni ts 



ETAW 

3 Uni ts 




Applied Water 
Reuse Water 
Net Water Use 



U7 
47 

100 



ETAW 


66 


7 


3 


18 


83 


Irrecoverable Losses* 


4 





5 


8 


17 


Depletion 


se 


7 


8 


26 


100 



ETAW = EVAPOTRANSPIRATION OF APPUEO WATER 



■Ifrecovefoble losses are losses from conveyance facilities due to evaporation, evapotransplrcition. or deep percolation of water to saline sinks. 



Part III 



137 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



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

Example of Most Inland Areas with High Efficiency 



500 Un i t s 



10 Units 



ETAMtf 

\ 3 Uni Is 



fcrecovefabte 
Losses* 

I Un I t 




An* 



City Fann "B" TOTAL 




N«t Water Use — 

ETAW 55 

Irrecoverable Losses* 4 



ETAW = EVAPOnUNSPIRATION Of APfUED WATEB 



'Irrecoverable losses ore losses from cortveyorx^ fodRies due to evaporation, evopotronspiration. or deep percolation at water to soine srda. 



138 



Part in 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Part III 139 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Xeriscaping, designing landscapes that incorporate low-water-using 
plants, is an effective means of reducing landscape irrigation. As 
shown by this xeriscape in Riverside County, the designs use a 
variety of plants — not Just succulents or cacti. 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 6 



Urban water use is generally determined by population, its geographic location, Urbon Water Use 
and thejpercentage of water used in a community by residences, industry, government, 
and commercial enterprises. It also includes water that cannot be accounted for be- 
cause of distribution system losses, fire protection, or unauthorized 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 develop- 
ment trends, such as increased multiple-family dwellings and reduced lot sizes, have 
actually lowered per capita 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 production 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 wa- 
ter 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-wa- 
ter-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. Furthermore, per capita water use values can mask effects of 
drought, conservation, inland growth, changes in industry, and other factors affecting 
water use simultaneously. 

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. 

^F>ylation Growth , 

Population growth now exceeds projections made in the 1980s and has contin- 
ued into the 1990s despite the recent economic recession, v^lthough several entities 
forecast population growth. State law requires that the Department of Water Resources 
use Department of Finance population projections for planning purposes. Forecasts of 
urban water use in this bulletin are based on Department of Finance's Population Pro- 
jections 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 pro- 
jections use a baseline 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 



Urban Water Use 



141 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




here. DOF projections at the county level were used as the control for all DWR projec- 
tions. Only some Northern California coastal counties, such as San Francisco and 
Marin, are projected to have little or no growth out to 2020. The 1990 through 2020 
population figures, by hydrologic region, are shown in Table 6- 1 . 

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 

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 

Table 6-1. California 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 




|0.9 
6.9 
2.0 

25.3 
4.1 
3.2 

|3.5 
0.1 
1.9 
1.0 



TOTAL 



30.0 



36.5 



42.5 



48.9 



142 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Population 

(millions) 



Soulhom CnBfomo 











1980 1990 
Actual Actual 

Department of Finance 





2000 
Projected 



Council of Governments 



2010 
Projected 



Figure 6-2. 
Comparison of 
Department of 
Finance and 
Council of 
Governments 
Population 
Projections for 
California's Tux) 
Largest 
Metropolitan Areas 



Population 
(millionsl 



San Francisco Bay Area 



Department of Finance 



2000 2010 

Projected Projected 



Council of Governments 



per capita water use. For example, smaller lot sizes and Increased multi-family hous- 
ing generally lower per capita water use. Also, increased plantings of low-water-using 
landscapes and more efficient watering tend to push per capita water use down. How- 
ever, water conservation efforts have only managed to slow increases in the applied 
ijrban water demand because of significant population increases and growth in the 
State's warmer interior. Based on DWR land use surveysconducted 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, Flprida._and countries with similar 
levels of industrial development. 

With regard to the urbanization of agricultural lands, the Department of 
Conservation has estimated 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. 



Urban Water Use 



143 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 6-2. 1 990 Population Densities of Selected States and Countries 



State/Country 



Unifed Kingdom 
France 



Population 



Area 

(square miles) 



57,411,000 
56,614,000 



93,643 
210,026 



Density 

(population/ sq. mi.) 



California 


29,760,000 


155,973 


191 




Florida 


1 2,938,000 


53,997 


240 




NewYoli^l, 


17,990,000 


47,224 ^bH 


■■iP^381 


l-l-M 


Texas 


1 6,987,000 


261,914 


65 




Germany 


79,113,000 


137,822 ■■ 


^^^^■■IH 


^■1' 


Netherlands 


1 4,944,000 


13,103 


1,141 




Japan 


123,612,0001^^ 


HP 145,875 WtKk 


HHHHHI 


WKKk 



613 
270 



Urban Water Conservation 

Urban water conservation efforts haveijeen expanding^ since the 1970s. Unlike 
agriculture, organizations such as the University of California Cooperative Extension 
and local Resource Conservation Districts did not exist to provide conservation exper- 
tise to urban water users. Urban water agencies have now filled that void and are 
dramatically increasing water conservation programs. DWR's Water Conservation Of- 
fice works cooperatively with local water agencies on many conservation efforts such 
as leak detection, plumbing code changes, conservation planning, efficient landscape 
ordinances, and Best Management Practices. DWR's Water Education Office, with as- 
sistance from district offices, is working with local agencies to develop and implement 
water education programs. 

With the passage of the Urban Water Management Planning Act in 1983, the 
California Legislature acknowledged the importance of water conservation and de- 
mand^ 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 Wa- 
ter Resources Control Board widely divergent opinions on appropriate levels for 
implementing urban conservation measures. To resolve these differences, urban water 
agencies, environmental groups, and State agencies actively 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. 

A practice for which sufficient data are available from existing water conservation 
projects to indicate that significant conservation or conservation-related benefits 
can be achieved; the practice is technically and economically reasonable, 
environmentally and socially acceptable, and not otherwise unreasonable for most 
water suppliers to cany 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 Man- 



144 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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, x 
Multi-Family Residential, and Governmental/institutional Customers 

2. New and Retrofit Plumbing x 

3. Distribution System Water Audits, Leak Detection, and Repair x 

4. Metering witfi Commodity Rates for All New Connections and Retrofit of Existing Connections x 

5. Large Landscape Water Audits and Incentives x 

6. Landscape Water Conservation Requirements for New and Existing Commercial, x 
Industrial, Institutional, Governmental, and Multi-Family Developments 

7. Public Information x 
« 8. Water Education Programs for Schools x 

9. Commercial and Industrial Water Conservation x 

1 0. New Commercial and Industrial Water Use Review x 

1 1 . Conservation Pricing x 

1 2. Landscape Water Conservation for New and Existing Single Family Homes x 

1 3. Water Waste Profiibition x 

1 4. Water Conservation Coordinator x 

15. Financiallncentives x 

16. Ultra-Low Flush Toilet Replacement Programs x 

agement 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. 

As of December 1992, over 100 water agencies, plus over 50 public advocacy 
groups and other interested parties, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding Re- 
garding 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 im- 
plementation will become the industry standard for water conservation programs 
through 2001 and probably beyond. The BMP process offers great advantages for wa- 
ter agencies. There will be significant opportunities to combine 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 manag- 
ing California's urban water needs. Proven conservation measures will be implemented 
by more agencies, and new measures will gain greater acceptance. More sophisticated 
economic analyses will shape the ways that water 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 in- 



Urban Water Use 145 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



elude 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 contrast, the cost of sea water desalination can exceed 
$2,000 an acre-foot. Other significant factors influencing 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 usable. For example, the State 
Water Project delivers supplies both in Northern and Southern California and contract- 
ing 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 reaching thefr final destination. As a 
result, the costs of these supplies are greater than those delivered farther north be- 
cause of increased transportation costs. The pricing scheme is much like that of train 
tickets; for example, the farther you travel, the higher the price of the ticket. 

If an agency serves a heavily px)pulated area with a large number of connections 
per square mile, the average fixed costs cind some variable energy costs of serving each 
customer will tend to be less. Conversely, if the agency serves a sparsely populated 
area, the average fixed costs of serving each customer are normally higher. 

Generally, supplies used for urb£in purposes cost more than those used for agri- 
culture because urban supply systems are more complex and ofi:en involve costly local 
facilities for system regulation, pressurization, treatment plants, distribution systems. 
water meters, and system operation (including meter reading 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 headgate 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 sup- 
plies throughout a farm. These costs ofi:en incorporate land preparation, specialized 
machinery, and complex distribution through canals, pipes, or drip lines. 

The policies adopted by various water agencies also significantty 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, water agencies that have flat rates (water 
charges indejjendent of use) are not affected by reduced revenues 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 de- 
crease 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. 

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 depending on reliability and availability of supplies. 
For example, during the 1987-92 drought, many water purveyors adopted higher rates 



146 Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




to encourage water conservation. Several even implemented drought penalty rates de- 
signed 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 conserva- 
tion programs. To remain solvent, many water agencies had to increase rates several 
times during the drought. 

The following two subsections discuss urban retail water costs and urban ground 
water costs. They are presented to illustrate the complexities of urban water pricing 
and the 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 production costs and pricing policies throughout the State. Each agency 
is likely to have different pricing policies 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 1991 single-family residential monthly use and retail wa- 

3 ter 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 



Urban Water Use 



147 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



of the lower bills are found in the cities in the Central Valley (such as Sacramento and 
Fresno). Many of these 1991 water costs are higher than they were prior to the 
1987-92 drought. 

Table 6-5 summarizes 1991 commercial and industrial water use and cost in- 
formation for selected cities. Unlike Table 6-4, Table 6-5 does not identify summer and 
winter uses and costs. Instead, it displays an average monthly use. Single-family resi- 
dential 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 commer- 
cial 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 



Table 6-4. 1991 Single Family Residential Monthly Water Uses and Costs for Selected Cities'^' 



Region/City 


Average 
Summer 


Average 
Winter 


Typical 
Summer 


Typical 
Winter 


$per 
Acre-foot 


Effective 
Date of 




Montf)ly 

U5e(ccf)'°> 


Monthly 

U5e(ccf)'°> 


Monthly 

Bill($)i^> 


Monthly 

Bill($)i^' 


Co5ti^> 


Rate 


North Coast 














Crescent City 


10 


8 


8 


7 


369 


Jan 1991 


San Francisco Bay 














Son Francisco 


6 


^^■"81 


HHHBH 






July 1991 


Corte Madera 


9 


7 


34 


28 


1,688 


May 1991 


Son Jose 


23 


18 


35 


28 


664 


July 1991 


Central Coast 


Santa Barbara 


7 


6 


22 


18 


1,364 


May 1991 


Goleta 


15 


9 


47 


30 


1,381 


June 1991 


Monterey 


n ^"^ 


V 8 


31 


24 


1,160 


Jan 1991 


South Coast 


Los Angeles 


20 


10 


20 


12 


462 


Jan 1991 


Beverly Hills 


24 


20 


28 


24 


525 


Apr 1991 


Oceanside 


14 


n 


28 


22 


875 


July 1991 


Hemet 


15 


12 


17 


15 


515 


June 1 991 


Sacramento River 














Sacramento 


34 


18 


10 


10 


165 


July 1991 


Chico 


17 


9 


15 


15 


518 


June 1991 


Grass Valley 


26 


13 


26 


17 




Jan 1991 


San Joaquin River 














Stockton 


22 


13 


14 


11 


311 


May 1 990 


Tulare Lake 














Fresno 


28 


12 


9 


9 


193 


July 1991 


North Lohontan 














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 



(1 ) Costs shown do not include additional costs, such as property or od valorem taxes, which increase the real cost of water 

(a) Hundred cubic feet (750 gallons) 

(b) Includes service charge 



148 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



73 


441 


64 


379 


1,079 


8 


97 


282 


49 


22,133 


53 


471 


253 


144 


208 


358 


26 


2,300 


111 


1,858 


272 


65 


1,021 


1,635 


30 


112,472 


40 


582 


703 


7,437 


104 


441 


67 


1,794 


77 


503 


23 


359 


39 


742 


62 


2,684 


46 


324 


122 


41 


68 


244 


48 


4,000 


35 


316 


1,479 


104 


673 


198 


70 


75 


29 


183 


251 


7 


78 


136 


36 


204 


55 


667 


434 


14 


349 


350 


27 


8,273 


42 


672 


2,017 


6 


1,196 


258 



Table 6-5. 1991 Commercial and Industrial Monthly Water Uses and Retail Costs for Selected Cities 

Region/City Average Commercial $ per Average Industrial $ per 

Monthly Number of Typical Acre-foot Monthly Number of Typical Acre-foot 

Use(ccf)i°> Accounts Monthly Cosf''' Use (ccf)'"' Accounts Montf)ly Cosf^> 

Bill($)i^> Bill {$) 1^1 



North Coast 

Crescent City 
San Francisco Bay 

San Francisco 
Central Coast 

Santa Barbara 
South Coast 

Los Angeles 

Hemet 
Sacramento River 

Chico 
San Joaquin River 

Stockton 
Tulare Lake 

Fresno 
North Lahontan 

Susanville 
South Lahontan 

Barstow 



(a) Hundred cubic feet (750 gallons) 

(b) Includes service charge 

in the Central Valley. Again, the drought may be have increased these 1991 water 
I costs. 

Definitive conclusions concerning water uses and costs among cities cannot be 
' derived solely from these two tables because of the many complex factors influencing 
j water prices, including proximity to supply and the level of treatment required. 

i Urban Ground Water Prices 

Local water agencies provide supplies to most residential and commercial cus- 

i tomers 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 manufacturers) have developed 

j their own ground water supplies. 

I 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. Another factor was the prolonged drought, which resulted in 
j lower ground water levels and higher pumping costs. 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 treat- 

Iment costs. 
. Per Capita Water Use 

From the beginning of this century to 1 970, urban per capita water use increased 
steadily, as illustrated by Figure 6-4, which charts increases in per capita water use in 



Urban Water Use 



149 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 6-4. 

Urban Per Capita 

Water Use 

San Francisco Bay 

Area 

1920-1990 



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



Hydrologk Regi 



North Gxist 
San Francisco 
Central Coast 
South Coast 

Sacramento River 
Son Jooquin River 
Tubre Lake 
North Lahontan 
South Lahontan 
Colorado Rhrer 



Ground Water Costs 


($/acre-foot) 


» 


75 


— 


85 


85 


— 


330 


200 


— 


300 


45 


— 


190 


50 


— 


80 


70 


— 


270 


80 


— 


175 


120 


— 


190 


85 


— 


90 


115 


— 


275 



*Th«e cosh are higher than pumping row vvater (or agricuhurai use because capifcJ, operation, maintenance, replacement, and heabnent 
cosb ore greater. 

the San Francisco Bay area. Since 1970, however, the per capita use has been fluctuat- 
ing but no longer shows a steady increase in most areas of the State, as shown in 
Figure 6-5, Urban Per Capita Water Use, 1940-1990. Large reductions in per capita 
water use are pronounced during drought years when aggressive short-term conserva- 
tion and rationing programs are in effect. In the long term, permanent water 
conservation programs and other factors have begun to reduce overall per capita water 
use in some areas. 

Other factors tend to raise per capita unit use rates, thus making it difficult to 
analyze trends. Climatic variations affect water use significantfy 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 f)er capita water use downward. 
Figure 6-6 compares the gross average per capita water use in selected California com- 
munities from 1980 to 1990. Gross per capita use rates are higher in many hydrologic 




150 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Urban Applied Water Use 
(gallons per-capila daily) 



Figure 6-5. 
Urban 
Per Capita 
Water Use 
1940-1990 



i 



State Average 
Central Valley 



South Coast 



Central Coast 



North Coast 



San Francisco Bay 



regions because of large industrial or commercial enterprises combined with low resi- 
dent populations. For example, there are high per capita water use rates in the 
, Colorado River Region because of tourist populations and a predominance of golf 
courses. 

' Even with effective drought emergency measures, drier winters tend to cause an 

increase in water use for landscape irrigation (to replace effective precipitation) during 
j the winter. The average per capita monthly water use, statewide, during the 1987-92 
I drought, in relation to the rest of the 1980s, illustrates this fact (Figure 6-7). 



Figure 6-6. 
Comparison of 
Per Capita Water 
Use by Selected 
Communities 




'lUons per capita daily of total urban applied water use — does not include self-supplied water. 



Urban Water Use 



151 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 6-7. 

Average Monthly 

Urban Per Capita 

Water Use 

Statewide 

Does not include 
self-supplied uxtter. 




The population in the 
Sacramento River Re- 
gion is expected to 
double by 2020. New 
housing construction in 
the region wiR continue. 
With the help of Best 
Management Practices, 
such as instaUir^ low- 
Jlow shower heads and 
low-Jlush toilets, the in- 
creases in urban water 
use can be moderated. 



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. Percent- 
ages of total urban water use have been estimated for these four sectors for 1990 and 
compared with 1980 in Figure 6-8. The biggest difference is in industrial water use. 
The decline in industrial water use results from conservation and water reuse under- 
taken 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 the costty water treatment required for dis- 
charge. 

Residential water 
use averages about 120 
gallons per capita per 
day in California. CK'er- 
all interior water use has 
remained near 80 gal- 
lons per capita per day 
on the average during 
the 1980s. However, 
these per capita figures 
can vary significant^ 
due to household in- 
come and single-famity 
or multifamily house- 
holds. Table 6-7 shows 
the breakdown of in- 
door water use into its 
components. Exterior 
water use is extremety 




152 



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The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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



Component 



Average Use, Percentage 



Toilet 

Bath/Shower 

Faucets 

Laundry 

Dishwashing 



36 
28 
13 
20 
3 



TOTAL 



100 



variable, ranging from 30 percent of residential use in coastal areas up to 60 j)ercent 
in hot inland areas. 

Urban Water Use Forecasts 

The 1990 level was normalized using per capita water use values based on an 
average of 1980 to 1987 per capita use of more than 130 California communities. This 
"normalization" for the 1 990 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 deliv- 
ered by water purveyors) ground and surface water. These values were then weighted 
by population to yield the gallons per capita daily use by region as displayed in Table 
6-8. Incorporated in these values are reductions in per capita use, caused by conserva- 
tion, 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 on-going 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. 

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 imple- 



Figure 6-8. 

Urban Applied Water Use 

by Sector 



Governmentaf 

8% 

\ 



Commercial 
14% 



Industrial 

14% 



Unaccounted 

10% 



Governmentaf 
6% 
\ 



Unaccounted 
10% 



J 



Commercial 
18% 



Industrial 
9% 



J 



Residential 

54% 



Residential 

57% 



(1) Includes irrigation of golf courses, park sites, etc. 



Urban Water Use 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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

(gallons per capita daily) 



Region 





1990 


2000* 


2010* 


2020* 


All 


Residential 


All Residential 


All Residential 


All Residential 


Uses 




Uses 


Uses 


Uses 





North Coast 


263 


137 


242 


126 


230 


120 


224 


118 


San Francisco 


193 


106 


186 


102 


184 


100 


181 


98 


Central Coast 


189 


112 


185 


110 


185 


110 


185 


110 


South Coast 


211 


124 


209 


123 


209 


123 


209 


123 


Sacramento River 


301 


169 


283 


161 


277 


156 


270 


151 


Son Joaquin River 


309 


216 


300 


210 


293 


206 


285 


202 


Tulare Lake 


301 


202 


295 


180 


287 


175 


284 


173 


North Lohonton 


421 


160 


397 


171 


387 


166 


380 


163 


South Lohontan 


278 


175 


260 


165 


255 


163 


255 


163 


Colorado River 


579 


336 


557 


323 


557 


323 


553 


321 



'Forecasted values including unit use reduction due to BMPs. 



mentation 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 reduced landscape evapotranspiration or reduced outflow to the 
ocean because of reduced interior water use. 

The reductions in depletion are greater for coastal cities where waste water is dis- 
charged to the ocean and serves no further beneficial use. Applied water reductions in 
the San Francisco Bay area are all considered 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 
depletion. For example, the depletion resulting from net water demand in Sacramento 
versus that of Walnut Creek is 146 gallons per capita daily versus 184 gallons per 
capita daily, respectively. 



Region 



Table 6-9. 1 990 Percentage of Urban Water Use by Sector 

Residential Commercial Industrial Governmental 



Unaccounted 



North Coast 


52 


15 


14 


5 


14 




San Francisco 


54 


22 


9 


7 


8 




Central Coast 


60 1 




^1B8 


6 


10 


' J 


South Coast 


59 


18 


8 


6 


9 




Sacramento River 


56 


^7 mm 




^ 12 


9 




San Joaquin River 


70 


8 


10 


6 


6 




Tulare Lake 


67 


10 


10 


«^^^HH» 


9 


i 


North Lohonton 


38 


19 


26 


10 


7 




South Lohonton 


63 


13 


1 


13 


10 




Colorado River 


59 


22 


2 


3 


14 




Statewide 


58 


17 


8 


7 


10 







154 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

(thousands of acre-feet) 

Region Applied Water Reductions Depletion Reductions 

San Francisco ^ 250 250 

South Coast 610 490 

San Joaquin River 60 20 

Tulare Lake iHHHHHHHHT ^^ ^ 

North Lahontan 5 

South Lahontan fBHHHHHHHIB ^ ^^ 

Colorado River 40 35 

TOTAL 1,285 935 

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 

I expected in drought years because of less rainfall recharging soil moisture in urban 

landscapes. Table 6-11 presents the estimated increases in statewide urban water 

demand from 1990 to 2020. 

When the potential BMPs summarized in Table 6-12 are approved by the 
California Urban Water Conservation Council, they will be analyzed and are expected 
to provide some additional urban water demand reduction. For this report, the reduc- 
tion 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 
I exterior water use where the largest potential for future urban water savings exists. 

i 
Recommendations 

Urban water agencies recognize the need for better demand forecasting methods 
to estimate water use. Some water agencies are moving toward a more disaggregated 
approach, similar to that of energy utilities. DWR and the University of California at 
LxDs Angeles have evaluated forecasting methods and developed procedures to estimate 
conservation from BMPs. 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 aggregated together to forecast overall water use. At a minimum, water use 

^ information must be known about the following categories: single-family residential; 

I multi-family residential; commercial/institutional; industrial; and public/unac- 
counted. Other information on household population density, household 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 conservation is then esti- 
mated for each BMP. The median value of each range can be used to estimate a 

i percentage reduction in the forecasted demand without conservation for each BMP. 

I For many BMPs, particularly those affecting exterior water use, there are widely diver- 
gent appraisals of water savings that will need further study to improve the quality of 

, such estimates. Specific recommendations are as follows: 

1. Urban water use forecasts require annual reporting of data to accurately 
estimate urban water use for residential, industrial, commercial, and 



i 



Urban Water Use 155 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Idble 6-1 1. Urban Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 
(thousands of acre- feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



1990 2000 20W 2020 

average drought average c/roug/if average drought average drought 



Norlh Coast 


Apphed wcrier demanci 


168 


177 


186 


195 


204 


214 


219 


230 


N^ water demand 


168 


177 


186 


195 


204 


214 


219 


230 


Oepieiion 


110 


112 


119 


122 


127 


132 


136 


m 


San Frandsco Bay 


Appfied %valer demand 


1,186 


1,287 


1,298 


1,390 


1,365 


1,486 


1,406 


1.53^ 


N^ water demand 


1,186 


1,287 


1,298 


1,390 


1,365 


1,486 


1,406 


1,530 


DepwhOKk 


1,079 


1,175 


1,185 


1,271 


1,247 


1,362 


1,287 


1,403 1 


Central Coast 


Applied wcder demond 


273 


277 


315 


321 


365 


373 


420 


429 j 


N^ water demand 


229 


233 


263 


268 


304 


311 


349 


357 


Deplelion 


203 


206 


235 


239 


272 


278 


315 


JM 


SouthCoast f 


Af^ied waier demoid 


3,851 


3,997 


4,446 


4,617 


5,180 


5,381 


6,008 


6,Z4H 


N^ water demand 


3,511 


3,641 


4,010 


4,161 


4,623 


4,799 


5,309 


5,514 


Depletion 


3,341 


3/463 


3,536 


3,677 


3,993 


4,158 


4,596 


478i 


Sacramento Rivef 


Applied woler demand 


744 


807 


911 


989 


1,076 


1,167 


1,231 


l,33f 


Net water demand 


744 


807 


911 


989 


1,076 


1,167 


1,231 


1,335 


Deple^^'on 


236 


257 


293 


318 


349 


378 


400 


^ 


San Jooquin River 


Applied warier demand 


495 


507 


663 


684 


839 


867 


1,029 


1,06|| 


Net water demand 


353 


366 


468 


490 


587 


616 


717 


752 


Depletion 


192 


194 


258 


265 


332 


340 


_jafi» 


^420 


lilareLake 


Applkid ^woler demand 


523 


523 


716 


716 


892 


892 


~TT!T™'T,ii<^ 


Net water demand 


214 


214 


292 


292 


364* 


364 


454 


454 


Depletion 


214 


214 


292 


292 


364 


364 


454 


454 


North Lahontan 


Af^pKed woier demand 


37 


38 


43 


44 


46 


48 


51 


52 


N^ water demand 


37 


38 


43 


44 


46 


48 


51 


^ 


Depletion 


14 


15 


17 


18 


19 


20 


21 


'""""^jl 


South Lahontan 


Applied worier demand 


187 


193 


292 


302 


409 


423 


550 


«• 


Net water demand 


123 


125 


191 


198 


269 


277 


360 


372 


Deplelion 


123 


125 


191 


198 


269 


277 


360 


m. 


Colorado River 


















AppTied vtfoier demand 


301 


301 


399 


399 


512 


512 


621 


-^1^ 


Net water demand 


204 


204 


272 


272 


349 


349 


424 


424 


Dq)leHon 


204 


204 


272 


272 


349 


349 


424 


424 





TOMI 

AppSed walef demand 
Net water deman d 
Depletion 



7,800 


8,100 


9,300 


9,700 


10,900 


11/400 


12,700 


13,200 


6,800 


7,100 


7,900 


8,300 


9,200 


9,600 


10,500 


11,000 


5/00 


6,000 


6,400 


6,700 


7,300 


7,700 


8,400 


8,800 



156 



Urban Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 6-12. Potential Best Management Practices 



1 . . Rate structures and other economic incentives and disincentives to encourage water conservation. 

2. Efficiency standards for v/oter using appliances and irrigation devices. 

3. Replacement of existing v/ater using appliances (except toilets and sfiowerheods wfiose replacements are incorporated as Best Management 
Practices) and irrigation devices. 

4. Retrofit of existing car washes. 

5. Graywater use. 

6. Distribution system pressure regulation. 

7. 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. 

1 0. Point-of-use water heaters, recirculating hot water systems, and hot water pipe insulation. 

1 1 . Efficiency standards for new industrial and commercial processes. 

governmental sectors. Water use data reported to the State Controller's Office 
and the Department of Health Services, Office of Drinking Water, are currently 
insufficient to meet increasingly more complex forecasting needs. DWR 
should implement new reporting mechanisms for urban water use data. 

2. Lx)cal land use planning and resulting General Plans should be coordinated 
with water resources planning agencies to insure compatibility between land 
use plans and water supply plans to make optimum use of the State's water 
resources. 

3. DWR, in cooperation with the Urban Water Conservation Council, should de- 
termine cost-effectiveness and water savings (reduced depletions) resulting 
from the various urban Best Management Practices and identify additional ur- 
ban practices for use in statewide and regional planning. 

4. Urban "water price" effects and their relationship to conservation practices are 
not well understood and require further data collection and analysis to ascer- 
tain the effect on demand. It is recommended that efforts of the Urban Water 
Conservation Council and others be combined with an expanded program in 
DWR to address the issue. 



Urban Water Use 157 



BuUeUn 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Salinas Valley lettuce; California gmwn lettuce accounted for 75 percent of the lettuce 
produced in the U.S. in 1990. 



^mfr- 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 7 




Agricultural water use is generally determined by the extent of irrigated acreage, 
the relative proportions of types of crops grown, climatic conditions, and irrigation effi- 
ciency. Up until the early 1980s, irrigated crop lands in California were expanding. 
Today, however, economic uncertainties are more pronounced, and views differ widely 
over the magnitude and direction of major forces that will shape crop markets in the 
coming decades. Furthermore, uncertain and often more costly water supplies are cif- 
fecting the continuous economic viability of some irrigated lands, primarily on the west 
I side of the San Joaquin Valley and in the South Coast Region. Figure 7- 1 compares 
j 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 agricul- 
tural 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 popula- 
tion 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 1 1 percent of the total U.S. agricultural value. California 
agriculture is considered one of the most diversified in the world with over 250 differ- 
ent crops and livestock commodities, with no one crop dominating the State's farm 
economy. This modern and highly technological $20-billion-a-year industry not only 



Agricultural 
Water Use 




Figure 7-1. 

Comparison of 

Irrigated 

Acreage 

Projections 

Bulletin 160 

Series 



Agricultural Water Use 



159 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



provides many of the State's jobs but also provides Califomians with relativety low-cost 
food and fiber while serving as the backbone of California's rural econon^. 

But times are changing. The 1987-92 drought, the Central Valley Project Im- 
provement 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 dramaticalty. The fi^equency and severity of shortages wiU become increasing- 
ty difficult to mana^. Furthermore, over 300.000 acres of irrigated agricultural land 
may be urbanized by a population growing finom 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 efQcient, and produce higher yields per acre. California's out- 
put of some crops, such as alfalfa, lags substantial^ behind the nation's growing need 
for these crops. 

This water plan update forecasts a net decline of neai^ 400.000 irrigated acres. 
For the first time, international crop market competition, increasing yields on existing 
land, and water suppty cost and availability are e^)ected to be constraints to putting 
new land into irrigated agriculture. Most irrigated acrea^ being lost to urbanization or 
lying fallow because of drainage problems will not be replaced. Some crops, primarify 
field crops, are expected to drop in terms of planted acres; others will increase in acres 
but will decline substantially in marieet share as the international maricet grows. Be- 
tween now and 2010. the balance between worid population and level of international 
crop production is not expected to raise the world prices of grains or fiber to the extent 
that this trend would be reversed. Because of competitive advanta^s. most of 
California's high-return crops, which include fiiilts. nuts, and v^etables. are expected 
to be able to take advanta^ of increased worid afQuence and. consequent^, increased 
demand for these types of crops. 



Table 7-1. Crop Yields in California 
(average yiMs in tons per acre) 



Crop 



1960^2 1969-71 1980-82 ' 1989^1 Percenf Increase 

1960/62-1989/9] 



Cotton 
Rice 
Com, grain 

Wheat 



Processed tomatoes 
Lettuce 
Oranges 
Awocxdos 

Prunes (dried) 

Abnonck{sheM 

Wine grapes 




SIMFlf AVERAGE 



70.9 



(a) Nfeiue b kx 1 991 — -wkfespfBod dhiiig^«4nduced (odure of dir^^ 

wheat ofaobeoane mom prewolert in iie197Qs and 198Qs. 
lU For 1989 Old 1990 aiJr-1991 di*i uncMilafaieL 
M E 3l d u^ ^^ *lefcBeze^fcl^logedyeor of 1991, wt>Me yields were only ch^ 
(d)Oianging avocado >wielies. plus iie recent freeze tnic^ougib.lKMawiediie 1989-91 cNeroge yieU to be even lower ioiiie 1960^2 average. Ihefeiore.iiepenxnl change is far Ac 

1960^2 to 1980^ pviodL 
M For 196S«7-Hhe eoifeed data avodoUe. 



160 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Californians pro- 
cess or directly consume 
less than 50 percent of 
the State's farm product. 

' Foreign and domestic ex- 
ports of California farm 
products are over three 
times the value of foreign 

I and domestic farm prod- 
ucts imported into 

1 California. 

This bulletin does 
! not address such public 
' policy issues as govern- 
' ment intervention in 

agriculture to manage 

wa-ter availability and 

■ cost with the objective of 
maintaining or enhanc- 

■ ing market competitiveness for California crops. Such action could benefit the pro- 
; ducers of crops declining in acres or market share, as well as associated agricultural 
'businesses, and could also benefit consumers who face higher food prices for some of 

the affected crops. However, such intervention would likely impose higher costs on 
\ other sectors of the California economy. 

In any case, California agriculture will remain a major business in the State, 
helping provide food and fiber for growing populations and helping meet the increasing 
demand for fruit, nut, and vegetable crops within the U.S. as well as in nations with 
increasingly affluent citizens. Indeed, because of increasing yields and the expected 
shift to higher-return crops, as international demand for specialty crops increases, the 
size of California's farm revenues can be expected to grow substantially. 

I High yields are achieved in California largely because of efficient management 

Ipractices, a 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 ten years, the 71 -percent simple average yield in- 
crease shown in Table 7- 1 is impressive testimony to the productivity of California 
fermers. 

In recent years, 22 California crops, covering about 2,760,000 Irrigated acres, 
influenced or dominated the U.S. market and produced an average yearly gross reve- 
nue 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 compet- 
ing 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, California Department of Food and Agriculture). 

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 
our of those crops are exported. In recent years, an average of slightly more than 2 
Tiilllon acres were used to grow those 23 crops for export. 



Apple harvesting in 
the Central Valley. 
California's 
Mediterranean 
climate, long, dry 
growing season, 
available irr^ation 
water, and 
productive soils 
allow farmers to 
produce high-value 
fruits, nuts, and 
vegetables. 



Agricultural Water Use 



161 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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

(California Share of U.S. Population in 1 990 =12.0 Percent 
All Figures are 1989-91 Averages) 



Crop 



CA Share of U.S. 
Production 

(Percent) 



Acres 

(Tliousands) 



Gross Value 

($ Millions) 



1 



Asparagus 

Broccoli 

Carrots 

Celery 

Lettuce 

Cantaloupes* 

Processed tomatoes 

Almonds 

Avocados 

Grapes 

Lemons 

Nectarines 

Olives 

Peaches 

Pistachios 

Plums 

Prunes 

Strav/berries 

Walnuts 

Oranges* 

Alfalfa seed 

Safflower* 




TOTALS 



•Average for 1 989 and 1 990 only; 1 991 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. 



No statistics on consumption of imported agricultural products by CaliforniJ 
are available. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does compile statistics 
[1991 Agricultural Statistics) 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 any oj 
these crops do not maintain their share of production to meet rising domestic demand, 
either because of market incentives or resource constraints, the shortfall likely will be 
made up with additional imports as well as increases in production in other states, 
possibly at increased market prices for some crops. 



Factors Affecting Agricultural Water Use 

The primary factor in California's robust agricultural production has been the 
abundance of natural resources. Production of irrigated crops depends on carbon 
dioxide (found naturally in the atmosphere), sunshine, water, nutrients, 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. 



162 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Crop 



Table 7-3. 1 990 California Agricultural Export Data 



Value of CA 
Exports 

($ millions) 



Acres Needed to 
Produce CA Exports 

(ri^ousands) 



Exported Share 
of CA Production 

(percent) 



Cnitnn lint ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ 


755 


858 


81 


Dry beans 


27 


48 


29 


Hay (alfalfa & suclanf^^^^^^^^^H 






N/A 



Rice 

Safflower 

Wheat 

Almonds 

Grapes (fresh, raisins, & processed) 

Lemons 

Oranges 

Pistachios 

Plums 

Prunes 

Walnuts 

Broccoli 

Cauliflower 

Lettuce 

Onions 

Strawberries 

Nursery products 

Cattle & calves 

Dairy products 

Chicken & eggs 




TOTALS 



2,560 



2,083 



* Notes: The value is equivalent farm gate value. Ttie acres figures assume average yields. 

Definition of Crop Consumptive Use 

The consumptive use of water by crops is S5monymous with the term evapotran- 
spiration. It is expressed as a volume of water per unit area, usually acre-feet per acre, 
and is a measure of the water transpired by plants, retained in plant tissue, and evapo- 
rated from adjacent soil surfaces over a specific period of time. ET varies throughout 
the year depending on solar radiation, humidity, temperature, Avlnd, and stage of plant 
growth. For example, as a crop grows, ET increases until the crop reaches maximum 
cover. 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 transpi- 
ration is a dynamic one. When evaporation increases, transpiration decreases. ET is 

Table 7-4. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Quantity Index of Agricultural Imports 

(excludes fruits, nuts, and vegetables) 



Index Values for. 


1980 


1985 


7990 


Percent Change 

1980-1990 


Total agricultural imports into U.S. 
Competitive agricultural imports 


107 
100 


122 
118 


136 
123 


27 A 
23.0 



Agricultural Water Use 



163 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 7-5. Agricultural imports by Country of Origin 

(in $ millions) 



Country of Origin 



J988 



1990 



Percent Change 



Canada 

Mexico 

Australia 

Brazil 

New Zealand 



Crop 



2,256 

1,540 

1,114 

925 

749 



2,927 
2,116 
1,161 
1,016 
786 



29.7 

37.4 

1.5 

9.8 

4.9 



the largest element in California's hydrologic budget, including the ET in forests, natu- 
ral 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 KT to determine the evapotran- 
spiration of applied water (that portion of the crop ET provided by irrigation). Crop 
ETAW represents about 15 percent of the total evapotranspiration and associated 
evaporation in the State. Table 7-6 indicates the EHAW range of the major crop groups 
in the hydrologic regions of California. 

Agricultural Water Use E^fficiency. Agricultural water use efficiency has nor- 
mally 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 3aelds of lint per harvested 

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

(acre- feet/ acre per year) 



NC 



SF 



CC 



SC 



SR 



SJ 



71 



NL 



5L 



CR 



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 


2.0-2.0i 


Rice 


— 


— 


— 


— 


3.0-3.4 


3.3-3.6 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Cotton 


— 


— 


*mm^^^^^ 


— 


2.3-2.5 


2.5-2.5 


— 


— 


3.3-3.2^ 


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 


— 


— 


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 


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 


3.8-5.0 


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 


3.8-5.0 


4.3-6.6 


ToniKitoes 


— 


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 


Otfier 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 


Almonds/pistachios 


— 


— 


— 


— 


1.6-2.7 


1 .7-2.3 


2.0-2.5 


— 


— 


— 


Other deciduous orchard 


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 


Subtropical orchard 


— 


— 


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 



No»e; 



Ttie Mortti Coast Region encompasses numerous climate zones, reflected by a large range of ETAW values for certain crops. 

The Subtropical category includes olives, citrus, avocados, and dates, wfiich hove varying water requirements. Ranges of ETAW for tfils category reflect tfie relative acreages of eacti crop 

witfiin a region. 

Tfie cooler Delta climate reduces ETAW in some San Joaquin Region units for certain crops. 

Some variation in values is caused by similar crops (or ffie same crop) grown at different times of the year. 



164 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Figure 7-2. 
Yield of 
Cotton Lint, 
Rice, and 
Alfalfa per 
Acre 
1920-1990 

OSHcial California 
Agricultural Statistic 
Service Data 



acre for cotton since 1910. However, cotton is also valuable for the cotton seed as well 
as the lint. The historical increase in jaelds of alfalfa and rice are also displayed in 
Figure 7-2. In all cases, the production per acre-foot of EHAW has increased substan- 
tially. 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 charac- 
' tens tics. 

Historical Unit Water Use 

To estimate agricultural water use, unit applied water and unit ETTAW 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 in Table 7-7. Agriculture's annual applied 
water decreased over 4 maf during the 1980s. This decrease was due to urbanization 

Table 7-7. Ranges of Unit Applied Water for Agriculture by Hydrologic Region 

(acre feet/acre per year) 



Crop 



NC 



SF 



cc 



5C 



5R 



SJ 



71 



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 


2.0-3.6 


Rice 


3.2-3.7 


— 


— 


— 


4.0-7.9 


6.7-7.9 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Cottor^^"^HHHi 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


3.1-3.3 


3.0-3.3 


—mm^mr- 


4.1-5.5 


Sugar beets 


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 


Com ^jjUJI^^^^^ 


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 field 


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 


Alfalfa '^a^^^ 


2.0-3.5 


2.6-3.3 


2.6-4.0 


4.2-4.5 


2.6-4.9 


3.8-4.9 


3.7-4.8 


3.2-3.4 


5.5-8.0 


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 


3.7-4.8 


2.9-2.9 


5.5-8.0 


7.9-9.4 


Tomatoes ^^^^^^^B 


— 


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 truck 


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 


Almonds/pistachios 


— 


— 


— 


— 


2.6-3.6 


2.6-3.4 


2.7-3.3 


— 


— 


— 


Other deciduous orchard 


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 


Subtropical orchard 


— 


— 


1.0-2.5 


2.1-2.3 


2.4-2.9 


2.4-2.5 


1.7-2.2 


WKKM 


3.5-3.5 


4.2-5.9 


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 


Note: Truck crops moy reach higher annual unit appliec 


water values 


when double or 


triple cropping 


occurs. 













Agricultural Water Use 



165 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 7-3. On-Farm 

Average Seasonal 

■ * Application 

Efficiency of Various 

Irrigation Methods 

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 fiirmland in San 
Diego, Riverside. Ventura, Kern. Kings, 
and Merced counties and cannot be con- 
sidered 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. Irrigation effiicien- 
cies are related to the distribution unifor- 
mity of a given irrigation method. The DU 
of border and furrow systems is deter- 
mined by a different method than that 
used for sprinklers. Drip systems are 
evaluated by measuring their emission 
uniformity. 




of irrigated land, changes in irrigation practices, and increased emphasis on water con- 1 
servation since the 1976-77 drought and during the 1987-92 drought. 

Irrigation Management and Mettiods 

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 usu- ( 
ally perceived by the general public. During the 1980s irrigation efficiencies rose about I 
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 indicate that all methods of | 
irrigation can be efficient if properly managed, 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 evapora- 
tion 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 \ 
microirrigation are primarily being adopted for yield increases and other management 
benefits rather than solely to improve water application. The University of California, i 
Davis, estimated the acreage irrigated by various methods recently. The results of the [ 
current survey are found in Table 7-8. A comparison with the earlier studies showed 
that surface-irrigated acreage has declined 13.3 percent since 1972, sprinkler-irri- ! 
gated acreage has increased over five percent, and drip-irrigated acreage has increased ' 
from almost nothing to 8.7 percent at present. 

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 



166 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 flexibil- 
ity is accomplished by allowing a farmer to give shorter notice to the district before 
receiving water and giving the farmer 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 salin- 
ity 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 with poor internal drainage, need tile drains 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 prob- 
lems. 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 ground water aquifers 
where they concentrate due to poor subsurface drainage disposal. Other regions in 
California having soils with better 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 paysubstantlally less forwateronaperacre-footbasls than theirurban counter- 
parts , their overall water costs for Irrigation are a much higher percentage of their budget 
than that of the average home owner. 

Table 7-8. Crop Acreage Irrigated by Various Methods 

(percentages in T991} 



i 



Crop 



Surface 



Sprinkler 



Drip 



Subsurface 



Grain, 

Cotton 

Sugar 

Corn 

Other field 

Alfalfa 

Pasture 

Tomatoes 

Other truck 

Deciduous orchard 

Subtropical orchard 

Grapes 







Percentage of Acreage* 



66.9 



23.8 



8.7 



0.6 



* Rice ocreoge not included 



Agricultural Water Use 



167 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




Water Price and Agricultural Production 

The effect of increases ffi ttie cost of irrigotion water on crop production Is a com- 
plex issue. Some schools of thought precfict the imjDerKJing water price effects of the 1 992 
Central Valley Project Improvement Act arxl the Reclamation Reform Act will encourage 
farmers to take substantial announts of acreage out of production. Others say ttKJt the 
water price increases wiB cause ttKwe irrigatrig pasture or growing field crops to shift to 
twgher-income crops. Ttiis discussion shotdd reveal why neittier (xecfiction may be the 
case. 

The decision by a fcnmer to bring a particular pxece of land into pxoduction de- 
perxjs on a number of factors: the size of the capital investment needed (eqi^Dment, 
land. arKl larKi improvement costs); ttie farmer's skM. experience, and firKjncial re- 
sources; the risk of crop or yield toss due to disease or clrought; the expected Income 
from crop sales; ttie Hcely variation in ttxit income due to mcwket price fluctuations; arKJ 
ttie costs of production Onduding any t>auling or processing costs pakJ by the farmer). 
The compHance require^^e'^^s and irxiome effects of government farm programs must 
also be consklered. A primary factor, of course, is ttie avaHatjiity of the resources need- 
ed to produce a particukar crop: sustable soils arxj climate, tatxx. and water of sufficient 
quantity and quaTity. 

yNcA& price affects these factors both dfrecfly and ffKlirectly; it affects the cost of 
production dIrecWy and ttie investment cost irKJirectiy . Ttie incSrect Ink exists because the 
water cost affects the expected future net return from crop production on the kand in 
question: the hlghier the water cost, the tower this rettwn is expected to be. The rTK»ket 
value of ttie kirxj for crop production (askje from any speciJative value for norKigricul- 
tural uses) is. in turn, based on the present wortti of ttiis expected net income. 

Options may be avctfctole, tx>wever. to recKx:e the adverse impacts of a water 
price ricrease. Alterrxative water sources or water marKjgement practices may be avaB- 
able at a justitiat>le cost. Practices to reduce cppfied water in response to a price ir>- 
crease can t)e effective if ttie cost of their implementation is substcwitiaHy less ttxan ttie 
cost of ttie water ttiey reptace. (Such applied water reductions can also have "hkJden' 
costs if they reduce deep percokation to a ground water basin ttiat is used for a drought 
supply, for example.) Abo, because of tradHfon. a present kack of appropriate skBs and 
experience, or an unwflfri^iess to accept risk or make a needed— but substantic*— capi- 
tal Investment, a farmer may not be producing the crop ttiot can provkie the greatest 
netincorne. 

Ttie option to shift to another crop must be corekJered witti respect to ttie farmer's 
finonckd resources, ttie suitabflity of cSmate and soils for ttie specific crop, and crop mcs- 
keting corxftions. (For many tigh-vakjed crops, the necessary maricet conditions ffidude 
obtcHTMng a contract witti a food processor.) Because of such corBtrcwits. tand pknted 
to tower-vcrtued crops Bee pasture or cdfcdfa may not be a sign of opportunity being ig- 
nored. 

Even with a tow-cost water sjppHy. it is stM in the farmer's economfc nterest to pkant 
ttie crop ttiat provkjes Vne greatest net fficome; a tow-cost water supply just alows this 
crop to provide a greater net income than wotrid ottierwise be the case. However, in 
cases where cttemative crops produce crixxjt ttie same gross income per acre but re- 
qiire much different quafity and quantities of water, ttie dHTerent degree of ffT^xx;t on 
production cost can ctiange the refcative attractiveness of a crop in terms of net ricome. 

If Itie irripoct of a substantial water prfce iTKrrease carviot t)e sufficiently rrioderated 
by ariy optkxis avcSabte to the farrrier. that fcmner rnay not have ttie firiaricrcN resources 
or economte incentive to contriue farmkig. for any extended period, the land affected 
by ttie water price increase. In tt« case, ttie tend wi be ptaced on the maricet. eitiier 
vohjntariiy or rivoluntarily. and its price reduced, reflecting ttie water price increase. Un- 
der ttiese conditions, the final effect is ikely to t)e a change in the financral status of the 
person wtio owris the kMid arid pertiaps also the person wtio f amis ttie kjrid rattier than 

the type of crop grown. 



168 Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Water Price and Agricultural Production (continued) 

Price increases due to intermittent surface water shortages, whien farmers have 
to use more costly ground water, for example, can be "absorbed" more or less suc- 
cessfully by farmers with sufficient financial resources to weather short-term reduc- 
tions in net income. When these shortages become more frequent or where the un- 
available surface water has a high fixed cost attached, the necessary financial re- 
sources to absorb even short-term water price increases are less likely to be avail- 
able. 

The prices received for different crops, the viability of the irrigated acres, the 
availability of alternative sources 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 may not be substantially affected. 

However, expanding markets for high-income crops will probably increase the 
demand for land that is currently economically uncompetitive for producing these 
types of crops. Although rising water prices will tend to lower production, increased 
demand for high income crops should more than offset this effect. 



i 



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 7-4 shows the increase in irrigated agricultural acreage since the late 
1800s, although certain field crops and irrigated pasture have decreased in recent 
years. 

Since 1950, DWR has sur- 
veyed agricultural land 
use. Since 1967, inten- 
sively cropped counties 
have been mapped about 
every sevenyears to assess 
the locations and amounts 
of irrigated crops. The 
acreages of crops grown 
each year are also es- 
timated using the annual 
crop reports produced by 
county Agricultural 

Commissioners and the 
California Department of 
Food and Agriculture Live- 
stock and Crop Reporting 




High-altitude 
photography reveals 
cropping patterns 
that are mapped, 
digitized, and stored 
in data banks. The 
red patterns shown 
here are irrigated 
crops grown in the 
region. 



Agricultural Water Use 



169 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



Land Use Survey Program 

Since 1950, DWR has coriducreo aeTOneo lana use surveys as part of its Land 
Resource and Use Program. Every rrKJjor water-using county is resurveyed about ev- 
ery seven years. The surveys use low- and t^igtvelevation aerial photography to de- 
termine land use arKJ bourKlcmes, otkI the information is mapped on U.S. 
Geological Survey 7^/2-miinu\e quadrangle maps, scale 1 :24X)00 acres. Tt>e surveys 
are Ihen used in arKilyses of urtxn and agricultural water needs. 

During each survey, ttie mafx are taken to thie field to mal<e positive land use 
identification arxJ to verify those interpreted from ttie photograptis. In addition, 
crop acreage information from county agricultural commissioners and farm advi- 
sors is used to help detemirie the extent of double cropping. Jlrte acreage of each 
crop type (and ottier land uses) are deterrrwied and summarized by quad, county, 
irrigation cBstrict. arxj hydrologic area. The present mettxxi used to generate tt>e 
mops and process the resulting data is computer cfi^tizing of land use boundaries 
and subsequent data arKilysts usrig a geographic information system. Below is a 
map of the Socramento-San Joaquin River Delta resulting from ttie 1991 rKlepth 
survey and updated using information from DWR's 1993 reconrKiissance suvey. 




n no data 

■ Agnojtture - Trees and Vines 
O Agrioibjre • Other Crops 

■I Agiicuiure- Uncropped 

■ Urban 

■ Native Land 
H Water Surface 



170 



Agricultuial Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




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 govern- 
ment programs, agricultural markets, and climate (floods and droughts) significantly 
affected crop plantings. Irrigated agricultural acreage reached its peak in 1981. with 
9.7 million acres, dropped 900.000 acres in 1983 due, in large part, to the Payment- 
in-Kind Program, but then rose again by 800,000 acres in 1984. During the latter part 
of the 1987-92 drought, lands were fallowed due to shortages in surface water sup- 
plies. Therefore, data from the 1980s did not show reductions or increases in irrigated 
acreage that could be used to forecast future water service needs. 

Water Supply and Water Price 

I 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 ob- 
tain 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. 

In 1991. at least 78 agencies each provided over 50.000 af to their service areas. 
As with urban agencies, a number of factors influence these agencies' water prices, 
including water sources, transportation, pricing policies, agency size, and weather. 

I 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. Many 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. Generally, all the prices for individual crops are 



Figure 7-4. 
Irrigated 
Acreage in 
California 
1870-1990 



Agricultural Water Use 



171 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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

(weighted average) 



Hydrologk 
Region 



Number of Districts 


District Water 


Weighted 


Responding to 


Sources 


Average Cost 


Survey 




($/acre-footj 


2 


Oher* 


3 
44t 


1 


CVP,CHher 


14 


6 


SWP, Colorado River, 
MWDSC, Other 


252 


14 


CVP, SVy/P, Other 


12 


10 


CVP, Other 


19 


11 


CVP, SWP, Other 


86 


2 


Other 


7 


1 
3 


SWP, Other 


150 
12 



North Coast 
Son Francisco Bay 
Central Gxist 
South Coast 

Sacramento River 
San Joaquin 
Tulare Lake 
North Lahonton 
South Lahontan 
Colorado River 



Cosh ore estimated at the torm heodgote and exdude (onnen' costs lo distrftxite water to their fields. 
* Locol surface orground vvoler supplies, 
t Source: Santa dara Voliex Water District 

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 farms in California. Almost all of the 
responses were from medium- or large-sized agricultural water purveyors. There were 
33 responses from the Central Valley. 

Table 7-9 summarizes 1991 agricultural retail rates by hydrologic region. TTie 
most expensive agricultural water sold by districts is' found in the South Lahontan. 
South Coast, and Tulare Lake regions. The least expensive irrigation water is found in 
the North Coast, northeast California (North Lahontan), Colorado Desert, and the Sac- 
ramento 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. Transportation costs include 
the capital, operation, and maintenance costs of facilities (such as aqueducts, pipe- 
lines, and pumping plants) plus the energy cost of moving the water. In addition. 
conveyance losses are usually incurred, which increases the cost of water delivered to 
the final users. Because of the recent prolonged and severe drought, many of these 
1991 water costs may be higher than what would have been expected for a non- 
drought year. 

Agricultural Ground Wafer Production Costs 

As with urban areas, agricultural ground water costs vary considerably through- 
out California. Many factors influence these costs, including depth to ground water, 
pump efficiencies, and electricity rates. Another factor was the drought which lowered 
ground water levels and increased pumping costs. Table 7-10 presents a range of aver- 
ages for agricultural ground water costs for the hydrologic regions. The costs include 
capital, operation (including pumping energy costs), maintenance, and replacement 
costs. Costs were determined from a survey of well drillers in the hydrologic regions 
and frx)m DWR district flies. 

172 Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. Depart- 
ment 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. Ir- 
rigation 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 
1 980s. using the existing technical assistance programs mentioned above, agricultural 
water agencies now fill an active role paralleling that of urban water agencies in con- 
servation efforts. Two pieces of legislation that accelerated this effort are the California 
Agricultural Water Management Planning Act of 1986 (AB 1658) and the federal Recla- 
mation Reform Act of 1982. 

AB 1 658 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 af- 
fected 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 pre- 
pare 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 

Table 7-10. Typical Agricultural Ground Water Production Costs in 1992 

by Hydrologic Region 

Region Ground Water Costs 

($/acre-foot)^ 

North Coast 10-70 

San Francisco Bay 60-130 

Central Coast 80 

South Coast 80-120 

Sacramento River 30-60 

San Joaquin 30-40 

Tulare Lake 40-80 

North Lahontan 60 

South Lahontan 20 

Colorado River 90 

T The range represents tfie average cost at specific locations within a region, and includes capital, operation, mointenance, and replacement 
costs. 



i 



Agricultural Water Use 173 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Mid-Pacific Region were prepared and DWR is providing assistance to USBR contrac- 
tors to develop, update, and implement water conservation plans. The Central Valley 
■f Project 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 im- 
proving the use and management of the nation's water resources. 

Enactment of AB 36 16 in 1990 charged DWR to establish an Advisory Committee 
consisting of members of the agricultural community. University of California, Califor- 
nia 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 29 practices are under consideration. 

The AB 36 16 advisory committee is working to develop a process for agricultural 
water management plans for implementation of EWMPs Avithin the framework of rights 
and duties imposed by existing law. Water management plans will identify water con- 
servation opportunities and set a schedule for implementation. It is difficult to assess 
the specific benefits of E^WMPs at the present time. Calculation of water savings result- 
ing from EWMP implementation will require a detailed planning process by each 
individual district, including analysis of technical feasibility, social and district eco- 
nomic 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 suney are 
also displayed as percentages in Table 7-1 1. It is expected that the AB 3616 process 
will replace that contained in AB 1658. Currently, the advisory committee has drafted 
a Memorandum of Understanding that will commit signatories to the development of 
water management plans. 

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 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 evapotranspiration or a saline water body such as 
the Pacific Ocean. In the agricultural sector, this condition applies to a few specific 
areas, primarify 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 Riv- 
er bcisins, excess applied irrigation water is either reused, ultimately percolates to 
ground water, or drains back into rivers that flow to the Delta. Reducing applied water 
in these basins reduces return flows, which must be made up by increasing resen^oir 
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. Tlie west side of the 

174 Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

^ Practice Currently in Place* 

(percentage) 

Irrigation Management 

1 . Improve water measurement and accounting 70 

2. Conduct irrigation efficiency studies 43 

3. Provide farmers witfi "normal-year" and "real time" irrigation, scheduling, and crop evopctronspiration ET information 52 

4. Monitor surface water qualities and quantities 52 & 100 respectively 

5. Monitor soil moisture 1 3 

6. Promote efficient pre-irrigation techniques 17 

7. Monitor soil salinity 26 

8. Provide on-farm irrigation system evaluations 35 

9. Monitor quantity and qualify 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 

1 2. Designate a water conservation coordinator 48 

Physical Improvement 

13. Improve the condition and type of flow measuring devices 61 

14. Automate canal structures 35 

1 5. Line or pipe ditches and canals 22 

16. Modify distribution facilities to increase the flexibility of water deliveries 43 
: 1 7. Construct or line regulatory reservoirs 26 

1 8. Construct District taiiwater reuse systems 39 

1 9. Develop recharge basins for systems 35 

20. Improve on-farm irrigation and drainage systems 43 

21 . Evaluate efficiencies of District pumps 57 

22. Provide educational seminars 57 

Institutional Adjustments 

23. Improve communication and cooperative work among district, farmers, and other agencies 65 

24. Change the water fee structure in order to provide incentives for more efficient use of water and drainage reduction 43 

25. Increase flexibility in water ordering and delivery 65 

26. Conduct public information programs 48 

27. Facilitate financing capital improvements for District and on-farm irrigation systems 43 

28. Increase conjunctive use of ground water and surface water 22 

29. Facilitate, where appropriate, alternative land uses 4 

' Based on a 1 992 U.C. Davis survey of 23 agriculturol water suppliers delivering over 50,000 AF of irrigation water. 

San Joaquin Valley contains hundreds of thousands of acres 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. In addition, some of the drain water contains toxic elements 
in sufficient quantities to impact waterfowl habitat. 

Since the 1950s, three major State and federal interagency studies have been 
conducted regarding agricultural drainage disposal. Before 1983, study recommenda- 
tions 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. 

Agricultural Water Use 175 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



The federal CVP constructed part of the San Luis Drain, the first phase of the San Joa- 
quin 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 1983, deformities and deaths of aquatic birds at Kesterson Reser- 
voir were observed and determined to be caused by selenium toxicity. The presence of 
high concentrations 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 study and resulting plan focused on in-valley management of drainage and 
drainage-related problems. 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 imple- 
mentation; (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 man- 
age 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; the elements 
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 rec- 
ommended by the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program in A Management Plan for 
Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related Problems on the Westside San Joaquin 
Valley, September 1990. That report identified the need for 75,000 acres of land retire- 
ment by 2040. Assuming that land retirement will occur uniformly over time, about 
45,000 acres of land retirement could occur by 2020. 

The importance of a solution to drainage problems on the west side of the San 
Joaquin Valley cannot be overstated. Without adequate drainage management, soil sal- 
inization will occur and potentially cause almost 500,000 acres of land to be 
abandoned by 2040, according to the SJVDP report. 

Irrigation Efficiency 

Another consideration of agricultural water use projections is irrigation efficien- 
cy, which as previously stated is the EHAW 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 Proceed- 
ings formalized an average target on-farm efficiency for the San Joaquin Valley; the 
average was 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 follow- 
ing formula: 

SAE = ETAW + LR 
AW 



176 Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



where SAE is seasonal application efficiency; ETAW is the evapotranspiration minus ef- 
fective precipitation; LR is leaching requirement; and AW is applied water. The limiting 
factor leading to the 73 percent target irrigation efficiencies was the assumption that a 
distribution uniformity of 80 percent was the maximum attainable in the field. This tar- 
get assumes that full production 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. Overall 
district efficiencies of irrigation water suppliers sometimes exceed 95 percent. 

When this target efficiency was used for an aneilysis of the water conservation 
potential in the San Joaquin Valley, only an additional 1 4.000 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. Most experts agree that a precise number would be diffi- 
cult to attain. In any case, the estimates of the remaining agricultural water 
conservation potential are extremely small compared to the total amount of water ap- 
plied in agriculture for two reasons. The most important is that improvements in 
irrigation efficiency do not necessarily result in reductions in depletions in most hydro- 
logic 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 the San Joa- 
quin Valley Drainage Program was considered to be implemented for the purposes of 
this bulletin. As the SJVDP report mentioned, many practices were already occurring. 
Adopting the source control element results in 1 13,000 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, 1990. This base acreage normally differs from the ac- 
tual acreage irrigated in the base year. This is particularly evident in this bulletin 
because the base year of 1990 was a drought year. 

Agricultural acreage data for the 1980s were developed from DWR land use sur- 
veys and crop statistics developed by the Department of Food and Agriculture. Actual 
acreage values for 1990 were adjusted, based on averages of the 1980s, to reflect aver- 
age year water supply and normal market conditions; the resulting base-year values 
are termed 1990 normalized. The normalized acreage is shown in Figure 7-5, cind 
I Table 7-12 shows irrigated acreage by hydrologic region. 

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 opin- 

j ion of land use trends and land capabilities, population projections, and local planning 

I information obtained by DWR Land and Water Use Analysts: (2) DWR's Crop Market 

Outlook; and (3) DWR's Central Valley Production Model. 



The CMO is based on the collective opinions of bankers, farm advisors, commod- 
ty marketing specicdists. and others. The CMO is grounded on three primary factors: 



Agricultural Water Use 177 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 7-5. 

Various 

Estimates of 

Irrigated 

Crop Acreage in 

California 




(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 are 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. 

Much of the bulk foodstuffs and fiber consumed in California is grown outside 
the State. This dependence will broaden in the future as population grows. 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, modem 
transportation systems and food storage technology combine with trade and a market 
economy to allow California to benefit greatly from specialization in agricultural pro- 
duction. 

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 affordable alternatives 



178 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Q the availability of an affordable water supply 

Q emergence of agricultural export capability in other countries 

Q labor and labor overhead 

Q 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 as trade 
barriers and tariffs change. These will, in turn, affect our shares of domestic and in- 
ternational 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 vegeta- 
bles. A significant amount of our vegetable crops are exported, but some growers of 
certain vegetables face increasing competition from imports. All vegetables are irri- 
gated and many are double-cropped. California vegetable acres have increased 
substantially in the past 20 years due to increasing comparative advantages in produc- 
tion and rising per capita consumption. Some observers expect this trend to continue 
at a faster rate than any other crop group. Figure 7-6 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 U.S. market for most of 
the major crops in this category, often with over 80 percent of U.S. 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. 

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

I (normalized, in thousands of acres) 



Irrigated Crop 



NC 



SF 



CC 



SC 



SR 



SJ 



TL 



NL 



SL 



CR 



Total 



Grain 




82 


2 


28 


n 


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 :iHiH!^l 


m 


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 


256 


1,135 


Pasture 




121 


5 


20 


20 


357 


228 


44 


110 


19 


32 


956 


''°'^°^°es '^^^■■i 








14 


9 


120 


89 


107 








13 


352 


Other truck 




21 


10 


321 


87 


55 


133 


204 


1 


2 


187 


1,021 


Almonds/pistachios 


,— ■ 




ikO 








101 


245 


164 











510 


Other deciduous 




7 


6 


20 


3 


205 


147 


177 





4 


1 


570 


Citrus/olives 


^fliip 





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 


749 


9,570 


Double Crop 










98 


30 


44 


53 


65 








102 


392 


Irrigated Land Area 




326 


61 


430 


289 


2,101 


1,955 


3,147 


161 


61 


647 


9,178 


(l)Total crop area is the Ian 


d area plus 


(tie amount 


of land double 


cropped. 



















Agricultursd Water Use 



179 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 7-6. 
Irrigated 

Vegetable 
Acreage in 

California 
1920-1990 




Information on the relationship between the production 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 Cen- 
tral Valley. 

The CVPM and a review of crop acreage trends by DWR experts were used in con- 
junction with the CMO forecasts to determine overall crop acreage projections to 2020. 
All forecasting methods indicate a continuing decline in irrigated pasture as is illus- 
trated in Figure 7-7. Agricultural acreage and applied water are expected to decrease 



Mgure 7-7. 

Irrigated 

Pasture 

Acreage in 

California 

1950-2020 




180 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 7-13. California Crop and Irrigated Acreage by Hydrologic Region 2020 (Forecasted) 

(thousands of acres) 



Irrigated Crop 



NC 



SF 



CC 



X 



SR 



SJ 



71 



NL 



SL 



CR Total 



Grain 

Rice 

Cotton 

Sugar beets 

Com 

Other field 

Alfalfa 

Pasture 

Tomatoes 

Otfier truck 

Almonds/pistacfiios 

Otfier deciduous 

Citrus/olives 

Vineyard 




1 




2 

6 
6 
4 
43 

3 
116 
3 



295 

482 


72 
115 
158 
152 
320 
132 

65 
125 
217 

29 

24 



179 

15 
178 

45 
183 
122 
156 
171 

88 
201 
263 
151 

11 
189 



258 



949 

25 

98 

130 

240 

22 

85 

350 

173 

178 

190 

363 



9 

1 




1 


52 
104 

2 













26 
19 

1 


2 





70 


67 

40 

3 

26 

226 

30 

14 

203 



2 

30 

15 



909 

498 
1,194 
197 
409 
455 
947 
813 
339 
1,250 
561 
585 
392 
753 



TOTAL Crop Area 
Double Crop 
Irrigated Land Area 



346 



346 



64 



64 



566 
137 
429 



184 

12 

172 



2,186 
72 

2,114 



1,952 
68 

1,884 



3,061 
90 

2,971 



169 



169 



over the next 30 years. Figures 7-8 and Table 7-13 Indicate the projected acreage for 
crops In the major hydrologic regions of the State for the year 2020. 

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. 



48 



48 



726 
123 

603 



9,302 

502 

8,800 



Acres 
(millions) 



8 

I. 






A 




O 









Figure 7-8. 
Irrigated 
Acreage in 
California 
1870-2020 



Note: The decline in 1983 
was caused primarily by wet 
conditions and the federal 
agricultural payment in kind 
(PIK) program. The decline in 
1987-90 was due to drought. 



Forecasted 



NOTE: The decline in 1983 was coused primarily by widespread flooding and 
the Federal Agricultural Payment in Kind (PIK) Program. 



Agricultural Water Use 



181 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 Efficiency 

Improvement 

(Level 1 Programs) 


North Coast 


68 


45 







San Francisco Bay 


2 


2 







Central Coast 


49 


27 







South Coast 


-345 


-278 




-10 


Sacramento River 


-290 


-40 







San Joaquin River 


-633 


-316 




-20 


Tulare Lake 


-780 


-464 




-90 


North Lahontan 


14 


21 







South Lahontan 


-64 


-49 




-10 


Colorado River 


-342 


-58 




-200 


Net Change 


-2,321 


-1,070 




-330 



'Applied water changes result from acreage reductions, crop shifts, and irrigation efficiency improvement. 



Urbanization of Agricultural Lands 

A primary consideration in projections of decreased agricultural acreage was the 
continued development of irrigated agricultural lands for urban use. In most cases, the 
conversion of agricultural lands to urban uses does not reduce water demands. Often 
prime agricultural lands are also prime lands for urban development as cities sur- 
rounded by agriculture continue to grow. Currently, agriculture moves onto less 
desirable lands as urban acreage expands. This trend could affect the trend of in- 
creased 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. Farmlands must be irrigated to be consid- 
ered prime in California. Conservation's 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 re- 
ductions 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 agri- 
cultural 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 (for 
example, pesticide movement) and detrimental in others (for example, wildlife habi- 
tat). 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 



182 



Agriculturcd Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. 

Recommendations 

Gathering high-quality data to estimate applied water in agriculture and irriga- 
tion efficiencies entails a lot of cost and labor. A source of high-quality data about 
agricultural water use and conservation could be made available from local agricultur- 
al 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. Spe- 
cific recommendations are as follows: 

1 . State agencies should encourage and provide technical assistance to agricultural 
water suppliers in preparation and implementation of water management plans. 

2. DWR needs to develop additional, more precise, on-farm applied-water data by 
crop to more accurately estimate agricultural applied water use efficiency in cer- 
tain areas. 

3. The State needs to determine the effect of increasing population on overall food 
production needs, in California and the nation, and its relationship to California's 
agricultural industry. 9^ 



i 



Agricultural Water Use 183 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



Table 7-15. Agricuhural Water Demand by Hydrologic Region 
(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologk Region 



1990 2000 20W 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



North Coast 


Applied wcrier demcmd 


839 


915 


868 


948 


891 


972 


907 


989 


■| 


Net water demand 


744 


760 


748 


764 


761 


776 


771 


787 




Depletion 


592 


647 


611 


669 


627 


686 


637 


698 




San Francisco Bay 


Applied water demand 


92 


103 


94 


loH 


HHH 




p 94 


103 




Net water demond 


88 


99 


90 


100 


90 


100 


90 


99 




Depletion 


80 


89 


82 


9* 


HHHIl 


■■■ 


1 82 


89 




Central Coast 


Applied wafer demcHid 


1,140 


1,178 


1,166 


1,206 


1,182 


1,220 


1,189 


1,233 




Net water demand 


893 


961 


910 


982 


920 


991 


921 


1,003 




Depl^ion 




950 


901 






^^^ 


■■11^^92 


..m 


South Coast 


Applied water demand 


727 


753 


632 


655 


499 


518 


382 


396 


,1 


Net water demand 


644 


668 


569 


592 


458 


474 


356 


370 




Depl^ion 


644 


668 


m- 569 


592 


458 


474 


356 


370 


1 


Sacramento River 


Applied water demand 


7,848 


8,645 


7,698 


8,517 


7,592 


8,475 


7,558 


8,333 


1 


Net water demand 


6,788 


7,394 


6,602 


7,222 


6,506 


7,184 


6,497 


7,049 




DepldKon 


5/477 


6,123 


5,426 


6,149 


5,439 


6,151 


5,437 


6,151 


1 


San Joaquin iUver 


Applied water demcHid 


6,298 


6,757 


6,052 


6,500 


5,817 


6,227 


5,665 


6,080 


1 


Net water demand 


5,778 


6,217 


5,561 


5,967 


5,346 


5,695 


5,215 


5,572 




Depletion 


4,719 


5,064 


4,605 


4,909 


4,490 


4,/// 


4,383 


4,678 


1 


likire Lake 










' 










Applied water demcmd 


9,613 


9,849 


9,306 


9,518 


9,075 


9,281 


8,833 


9,038 


1 


Net water demand 


7,723 


7,895 


7,518 


7,685 


7,347 


7,505 


7,169 


7320 




Depldi<m 


7704 


7,876 


7,499 


7,666 


7,328 


7,486 


7,150 


7,301 


1 


North Lahontan 


Applied water demand 


522 


587 


523 


589 


525 


591 


536 


:^^^Q2 


1 


Net water demand 


460 


511 


458 


510 


457 


508 


469 


521 




Depletion 


378 


426 


385 


433 


393 


442 


399 


449 


1 


South Lahontan 


Applied wai^- demand 


317 


321 


266 


270 


258 


262 


253^ 


___257 


1 


Net water demand 


290 


293 


242 


245 


235 


238 


231 


234 




Def^eiion 


290 


293 


242 


245 


235 


238 


^ 


^m* 


n 


Colorado River 


Applied water demand 


3,705 


3,705 


3,598 


3,598 


3,453 


3,453 


3,363 


3,363 


1 


Net water demand 


3,439 


3,439 


3,362 


3,362 


3,262 


3,262 


3,181 


3,181 




Defection 


3,439 


3,439 


3,362 


3,362 


3,262 


3,262 


3,181 


3,181 


1 





TOTAL 


















AppSed Yfoler demand 


31,100 


32,800 


30,200 


31,900 


29,400 


31,100 


28,800 


30,400 


Net Yfuler demand 


26,800 


28,200 


26,100 


27,400 


25,400 


26,700 


24,900 


26,100 


Oepfefion 


24,200 


25,600 


23,700 


25,100 


23,200 


24,600 


22,800 


24,100 



184 



Agricultural Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Agricultural Water Use 185 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



A stretch of the Trinity Rtuer. The river basin encompasses a watershed of almost 
3,000 square miles in Trinity and Humboldt counties, and most of the river is 
protected under the federal WHd and Scenic Rtuers Act A U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service study is under way to establish the optunumflow schedule for fisheries in the 
Trinity Riuer. The study is to be completed in 1996. 





The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 8 



California has long led the nation in environmental awareness. Bulletin 3 (1957), Environmental 
California's first comprehensive water plan, noted what were then thought to be mini- Wnter Us© 
mum 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 wet- 
land areas require a more dependable water supply. This will be the first water plan 
update to present environmental water needs along with urban and agricultural water 
demand. 

Many of the State's biological resources are at low levels due to natural and hu- 
man factors. Three runs (or races) of chinook salmon in the Central Valley and 
Klamath-Trinity river 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 are now 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 ongoing hearings to help determine if addition- 
al 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 ap- 
proach 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 areas. Bioregions, 
including watersheds, transcend traditional jurisdictional lines and instead concen- 
trate environmental planning and management on large, contiguous geographic areas 
with similar biological and physical components. Eleven bioregions were designated 
under a recent agreement signed by 10 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 pro- 
vided. 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 con- 
siderable 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 1 to 3 maf for proposed additional environmental 
water needs is presented. 

Environmental Water Use 



187 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Under the E^A biological opinions and proposed EPA Bay-Delta Standards, 
annual reductions in total water supply for urban and agricultural use could be in the 
range of 750,000 af to 1.3 maf in average years and 1 .8 maf to 3.2 maf in critically dry 
years. As proposed in December 1993, EPA's estuarine standard would be met only 50 
percent of the time at the 1.8-maf impact level. Unless the form of the standard is 
changed to an appropriate outflow regime, or to specify a suitable averaging period (for 
example, monthly), the analysis of impacts must include a buffer to move the com- 
pliance rate to 95 percent. A compliance rate of 95 percent would result in an impact 
of 3.2 maf in critically dry years. While these impacts do not consider the potential 
reductions in Delta exports due to take limits under the biological opinions, they basi- 
cally fall within the 1- to 3-maf range for proposed additional environmental demands 
for protection and enhancement of aquatic species. Such uncertainty of water supply 
delivery and reliability will continue until issues involving the Delta and other long- 
term environmental water management concerns are resolved. 

This chapter will not speculate on the outcome of proposed modifications to allo- 
cate 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 is provided as well as proposals developed 
by DFG. The proposed additional requirements are included in a hypothetical range of 
1 to 3 maf appearing in the water supply /water demand budget (Chapter 12), from 
which individuals can compare existing and proposed environmental 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 pro- 
cesses as well as negotiations among affected parties. 

This report only partially addresses the implementation of the federal CVP Im- 
provement 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 con- 
tain 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 op- 
erations. It is 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 

ILis_ impossible to consider California's environmental water needs without dis- 
<:€ussing the Bay-Delta Estuary. Lying near the confluence of the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin rivers, this system of waterways comprises a Delta and a series of embay- 
ments leading to the Pacific Ocean at the Golden Gate (see 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 10, 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 



188 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



! Sierra Nevada. Today, the Bay-Delta Estuary and its surrounding shorelines are home 
i to about one-third of California's population. Water from the Delta provides part of the 
i water supply for about two-thirds of the State's population. 

j During the mid- 1800s. the rapid influx of new settlers and their activities re- 

I suited 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 Del- 
'< ta were converted to farmable islands by building levees. Central Valley streams were 
I 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 
; fistuary. Finally^ jjiitr eated mun icipaLancLiridustrial waste was discharged directly_ 

into the estuary. 



Criteria for Summary of Present and Proposed 
Environmental Water Flows 

The 1990-level instream fishery flows are based or^ existing water right permits, 
court decisions, congressional directives, laws or agreements between gov- 
ernment agencies and project operators. 

[2. The 1990-level instream fishery flows for major streams (that is, rim stations for 
Central Valley streams), wild and scenic river flows, and required Delta outflow 
are presented in this report. Instream flows upstream of the major reservoirs are 
not listed. 

Instream flow proposals are based on information provided by the Depart- 
ment of Fish and Game as part of the Department of Water Resources' State 
plan coordination. DFG supports proposed instream flows with biological stud- 
ies showing the need for modification of current flows to protect or restore fish 
and wildlife. 

Only flows specifically listed for instream fishery ,wild and scenic rivers, and Del- 
ta outflow are considered in this chapter. Flows specifically designated for oth- 
er instream use such as power generation and recreation are not evaluated 
under instream flow needs. Existing and proposed fish flows also include tem- 
perature 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. 

Present instream flows, combined with wetlands water demands, are listed as 
environmental water needs and accounted for in the water balance. 

Proposed instream flows are evaluated and presented as a "range of instream 
needs." The impacts of proposed flows on water supplies and water balance 
are noted and discussed in Chapter 12. 

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. 

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. 

For Central Valley streams, net water demands for each region are determined 
by examining controls at downstream locations and working back upstream. 
Depletion is computed as the portion of environmental water that enters a sa- 
line sink. 



Environmental Water Use 



189 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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



San Rafael 



Suisun Resource 
ConservatJon District 




SCALE IN MILES 



190 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 ex- 
' ports from the Delta through the Contra Costa Canal and the Delta-Mendota Canal, 
i The State Water Project constructed Oroville Dam on the Feather River and Delta diver- 
j slon facilities for the California and North Bay aqueducts. These developments, along 
' with numerous local water developments on Central Valley tributary streams, cause 
1 changes in the timing^nd amount of Delta inflows and outflows during most years. 
i Also.^a Jmon run s wereblocked from some of their traditional spawning areas and be- 
gan spawning In streams made habitable by the cold water releases below the new^^_^ 
constructed dams and into fish hatcheries constructed to mitigate such impacts. Oth- 
ler races of salmon that spawned in the foothill elevations in some cases did not spawn 
! successfully below these dams. For example, spring run 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 all spawning and rearing habitat was lost. 

Intensive efforts to reduce the effects of wastes discharged into the system accel- 
erated 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) 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 ancTinvefrebrate 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 bi- 
valves 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, because manyjactqrs^qccur simultaneously. For discus- 
sion, the Bay-Delta Estuary system can be divided into three aspects: the physical 
system, water development, and bifilogical resources and^ocesses.. 



TTie Physical System 

The physical system consists of the rivers, the Delta, the downstresmi embay- 
ments, and the Pacific Ocean. They all play important roles in determining the 
abundance and distribution of plants, fish, and wildlife in the estuary and must be 
:onsidered as a whole. 

The rivers flowing into and through the Delta play a multiple role in the estuary. 
n a simple sense, these rivers provide conduits for migratory fish, such as salmon, to 
Tiove to and from the ocean; for other fish species, they provide spawning and nursery 
labitat. 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 
o create areas in the estuary where animals with varying salt tolerances can exist. Fi- 
lally high fresh-water flow moves small life forms such as larval flsh into the Suisun 
Bay. 

Environmental Water Use 191 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



The Delta contains about 700 miles of channels that provide habitat for numer- 
ous 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 devel- 
opment, 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 na- 
ture of Delta islands and annual sediment inflow. Often, light can only penetrate 2 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 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 pat- 
terns cause a concentra- 
tion of small plants, 
larval fish, and other an- 
imals within this zone. 
This area of concen- 
tration, a feature of all 
estuaries which receive 
significant amounts of 
fresh water, is called the 
entrapment zone, or 
zone of maximum tur- 
bidity. The location of the 
entrapment zone in the 
Suisun Bay and adj acent 
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. 



Twice a day. Pacific 

Ocean tides move tn 

and out of the 

Bay-Delta, bringing 

saltier water into the 

Suiswi Marsh. Scdtnity 

control gates on 

Montezwna Slough 

Control Structure help 

maintain salinity 

standards set by the 

State Water Resources 

Control Board to protect 

habitat and water 

quality in this brackish 

water marsh 




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 
C£ilifornia. This managed marsh, and the other tidal wetlands around the Bay-Delta 
Estuary, provide valuable habitat for a variety of plants and animals, especially water- 
fowl. They also contribute significant amounts of nutrients to the estuarine system. 
(See the 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 embayments can become quite fresh, especially at the surface. During these high 
flows, the entrapment zone can be temporarily relocated in San Pablo Bay. These em- 
bajonents are quite saline at low fresh -water 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 



192 



Environmental Water Use 



r 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 quali- 
ty. 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 that 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, hori- 
zontal 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 af- 
fect 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. Fac- 
tors having the greatest infiuence are: 

O Delta inflow 

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 on species can vary depending on the 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 suffi- 
cient 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 thus 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 enters the lower San Joa- 
quin 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 oceain 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 toward the SWP/CVP pumps rather than toward the ocean. 



i 



Environmental Water Use 193 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 up to 6,400 cfs through the 

*< Banks Pumping Plant and 150 cfs through the North Bay Aqueduct. Intakes at the 

Banks and Tracy pumping plcints 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 predation in Clifton Court Forebay. Losses at all faci- 
lities 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 loca- 
tion 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 residence for others. The di- 
versions can 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 con- 
trols 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 in- 
fluences the distribution of many estuarine fishes and invertebrates. 

GeneraUy, the greater the outflow, the further downstream estuarine fish and in- 
vertebrates occur. The relationship between Delta outflow and abundance of fish and 
invertebrates is not nearly as general. However, 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 phyto- 
plankton concentration is the highest when the entrapment zone is next to productive 
shaUow areas. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a consistent and largely unex- 
plained 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 con- 
tribution 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 materisd 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 accidentally introduced 
zoopl£mkton and a species of clam [Potamocorbida amurensis] 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 100 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 

194 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 and even less of the total population of fish. 

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 Sacramento splittail. These species are discussed be- 
cause 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 centu- 
ry. However, since the early 1960s, the adult population has declined from an 
estimated 3 million to less than 1 million. (Figure 8-2 Illustrates the decline of one of 
the striped bass life stages, the stage when they are about 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-Run Chinook Salmon. One of four runs of chinook salmon inhabiting 
Central Valley streams Is the winter-run 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 



i 




Figure 8-2. 
Striped Bass 
Abundance 
Sacramento- 
San Joaquin 
Estuary 



Environmental Water Use 



195 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 flsh to reestablish themselves in the reach of 
the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam to as far downstream as Red Bluff. 

DFG first estimated populations of adult winter-run spawners in 1966, after the 
Red Bluff Diversion Dam was constructed. The dam forced upstream migrating adults 
to go past counting windows installed in fish ladders at both ends of the dam. The 
population has exhibited a decline over the past 25 years, with the low point of 200 
estimated spawners in 1991 (see 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 as threatened by the National Marine Fisheries Service under the federal Endan- 
gered Species Act in November 1 990, reclassified as endangered in 1 994 by the NMFS, 
and classified as endangered by the Department of Fish and Game under the Califor- 
nia Endangered Species Act in October 1989. 

The USBR is taking steps to permanently improve Shasta Dam's cold water re- 
lease 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 de- 
crease the amount of water that would need to be dedicated for protection of the 
winter -run. 

In 1991, the USBR 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 pru- 
dent alternative that, 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's and SWP's incidental taking of winter-run 
were also provided to the USBR and DWR. 

The reasonable and prudent alternatives and the reasonable and prudent mea- 
sures included modifying CVP operations to provide cold water in spawning and 
nursery grounds, controlling flows in the Sacramento River, closing the Delta Cross- 
Channel, cind stopping operation of the Montezuma Slough Salinity Control Gates. 

Table 8-1. Estimated Winter Run Chinook Salmon at Red Bluff Diversion Dam 



Year 


Number 


Year 


Number 


Year 


Number 




of Fish 




offish 




of 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 


1990 


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 



196 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



; Measures were also taken at the Tracy and Banks pumping facilities to reduce losses 
I 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 been anticipated in the Opinion. 
I NMFS set specific limits on allowable take from April 9-30. To comply with the take 
! limitations, pumping was curtailed by both projects. 

In September 1992, NMFS convened a Recovery Team to develop a Federal Re- 
covery Plan for the winter-run chinook salmon. The team consists of academicians 
(population biologists and geneticists) and representatives of the State and federal fish- 
ery agencies. 

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 stan- 
dards 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 re- 
store the winter-run chinook salmon. These include restricting in-river and ocean 
harvest, reducing losses to diversions along the Sacramento River (for example, in- 
takes 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. 

Fall-Run Chinook Salmon. Both the Sacramento and San Joaquin river sys- 
tems 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 incu- 
bate 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 com- 
mercial harvest of 
salmon are the basis of a 
multi-million-dollar 
industry. Commercial 
harvest is regulated by 
the Pacific Fisheries 
Management Council, 
and sportharvestisregu- 
lated by the Fish emd 
Game Commission. Reg- 
ulations are set eachyear 
to meet the salmon 
spawning stock escape- 
mentgoals. Recently, the 
targetescapementforthe 




i 



Salmon trawlers in 
Crescent City's marina. 
Commercial and sport 
Jishing are an integral part 
of the area's economy. 



Environmental Water Use 



197 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Sacramento system has been 120,000 to 180.000 salmon. The number of salmon tak- 
en by sport and commercial harvest for the period 1971 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 1 988 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. i 
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 8-4 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 riv- 
ers 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 migrate 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 pic- 
ture. F£dl 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 (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. 



Figure 8-3. 

Estimated Annual 

Ocean Harvest of 

Chinook Salmon 

1971-1991 

(thousands) 

Estimated totals in- 
clude harvest from 
ocean commercial 
(tTxAl) and sport (char- 
ter boat and skiff) 
fishing. 




198 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Figure 8-4. 
Fall-Chinook Salmon 
Runs on the 
Sacramento River 
and Tributaries 



i 



There are other factors affecting the general abundance of chinook salmon in 
California's rivers and streams. Droughts reduce stream flow and thus habitat re- 
quired 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 from 1971 through 1991. 

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



Year 


Number 


year 


Number 


Year 


Number 




offish 




of Fish 




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 



Environmental Water Use 



199 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 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 es- 
tuary 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 loca- 
tion 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 abun- 
dance, shows a consistent increase from 1988 through 1991. In 1992, the fall delta 
smelt index again declined to lower levels but returned to higher levels in 1993. 

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 an- 
nounced its decision to list delta smelt as threatened on March 4, 1993 (effective on 
April 5, 1993) and issued a formal biological opinion for SWP and CVP operations on 
May 27, 1993. USFWS issued another biological opinion for SWP and CVP operations 
on February 4, 1994. ja 

Longfin Smelt and Sa€:ram.ento Splittail. The status of several other fish spe- 
cies may soon be affecting water project planning and operation. In November 1992, a 
coalition of environmental groups 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 Pablo 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 Environmental 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 re- 
served 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 per- 
mitted 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. m 

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 dedl- 

M 

200 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



cated 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 rec- 
ommendations which could substantially increase the amount of water allocated to 
protect the Bay-Delta's environmental resources. In light of the many factors influenc- 
ing water availability in the Delta, a range of environmental water needs was estimated 
at 1 to 3 maf annually. The potential environmental water needs are included in the 
California water budget discussed 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 was a multi- 
agency effort to develop a management plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary. The project 
was authorized under Section 320 of the federal Clean Water Act and resulted in a 
comprehensive conservation and management plan for the estuary. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering promulgating Bay-Del- 
ta 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 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 proj- 
ect yield substantially while increasing protection for aquatic species. 

The Governor created the Bay-Delta Oversight Council as part of his 1992 water 
policy. The council, consisting of representatives from urban, agricultural, and envi- 
ronmental water user groups. Is to investigate facilities, operations, and other 
measures that can provide a stable water supply and protect the Bay-Delta environ- 
mental 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 de- 
signed 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 envi- 
ronmental impacts may be minimal. Chapter 10 discusses options for fbdng 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 in- 
stream 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 floodplain riparian zones and provides aquatic food resources (e.g., fish, inverte- 
brates, 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 be- 
cause 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 ojqrgen levels and 
serves to remove natural sediment and agricultural, municipal, or industrial wastes 
that could otherwise accumulate in the system. 

Environmental Water Use 201 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



*« 



River 
Location 



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



Status 



Water Year 
Type 



Minimum Streamfhw (ch) 



oa 

1-14 



oa 

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 




Dry-Wet 


3250 


3250 


3250 


3250 


3250 


3250 


3250 


Keswick Dam/ 


PresenF 


CriHcal 


2800 


2800 


2800 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


Red Bluff/Keswick 


Proposed^ 


Dry-We» 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 


4500 






Critical 


3500 


3500 


3500 


3500 


3500 


3500 


3500 


Yuba 




















Smortville 


Present* 


Runoff > 50% 





600 


600 


600 


600 


800 


600 


Daguerre 


Present 


Runoff > 50% 


400 


400 


400 


400 


400 


245 


245 


Marysville 


Proposed' 


Full local supply 


700 


700 


700 


700 


700 


700 


700 



Feather 


Present* 


Runoff > 


55% 


1700 


1700 


1700 


1700 


1700 


1700 


1700 


Below Tliermalilo 




Runoff > 


55% 


1200 


1200 


1200 


1200 


1200 


1200 


1000 


Afterbay 


Proposed* 


All 




1000 


1700 


1700 


1700 


1700 


2000 


2000 


American 


PresenP 


All 




500 


500 


500 


500 


500 


250 


250 


Lower Anfwricon 


Proposed* 


All 




1750 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


Sacramento 


Present' 


Critical 




1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1500 


1000 


Rio Vista 




Wet 




5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


2500 


3000 



AAokelumne Comanche 


Present 5 


All 










50 


66 


66 


40 


30 


Woodbridge 




Proposed'° 


Wet 




300 


350 


350 


350 


350 


350 


350 








Normal 




250 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 


300 








Dry 




20 


20 


200 


200 


200 


200 


200 


Stoniskius 




Present" 


Nonnal 




200 


200 


200 


200 


200 


125 


125 


Goodwin Dam 






Dry 




150 


150 


150 


150 


150 


100 


100 






Proposed 


Critical - 


Wet 


200-300 


250-400 


250-400 


250-400 


250-400 


200-400 


200-400 


Tuolumne 




Present'2'3 


Dry-Wet 


150-200 


200-300 


200-300 


150-250 


150-250 


150-250 


250 


New Don Pedro 


Dam 




Critical 




50 


200 


200 


200 


135 


135 


135 






Proposed" 


Critical - 


Wet 


80-300 


80-300 


80-300 


80-300 


80-300 


80-300 


80-300 



Merced 


Present'* 


Normal 


25 


75 


180-220 


180-220 


180-220 


180-220 


180-220 


Shaffer Bridge 




Dry 


15 


60 


180-220 


180-220 


180-220 


180-220 


1 80-220 




Proposed'* 


Critical -Wet 


200-300 


250-350 


250-350 


250-350 


250-350 


200-350 


200-350 


Son Joaquin River 


Present" 


All 























Friant'8 


Present 


All 























Vemolis 


Proposed" 


























1. Ilie uses and USFWS agreement requires 340.0C)0 ocre^ket per yew of flow from 1991 

2. AdcfaionaJ peoiung inHows required Dec. I - May I (or fisti spcnxning, egg inculxi<ion, outmigroHon, and temperature maintenance. StreomHow reduction criteria ako exist, as wel os the 
temperature requ ire men ts set in SWRCB Oder 90-5. 

3. Preliminary flouvs bosed on Department of Fish ond Gone skifF recommendations. New re c ommendatior» s may lolow implemenkdion of instream Row study. 

A. SlreanA>w reduction criteria recommended at 800- 1 500 cfs from Oct. 1 5 - Feb 1 and oJI flows in May and June. Additional sireamHow may be required to mointoin temperature standards. 

5. Sireamflow reduction standards exist in ol montfis. 

6. PrelimiiKvy flows bosed on Deparfcnenl of Fish and Game stcff recommendations. Hei re c oniinendations may lolow c ompletion of instream Bow study. 

7 SWRCB Decision 893 In better hydrologic conditions. USBR tries to operate on modified Decision 1 400, resuking m considerably higher Hows 

8. Based on EBMUD Gxirt Decision. Re c ommendation may be altered (olowing completion of imtreom flow study, latere are numerous other potential i nsl i eu wi flaw scenarios (or iie Lower 
American River. 

9 Standards from SWRCB D^ 1485 

' A 1 993 FERC order lor PG&E operation of Narrows 1 Power Plant cri Englefari^ Reser>iair prmides lor flow rates at Smartvle up to lie monMy oinunts proposed in 1991 byDFGlor 
Morysvile limited to a maximum inoementol storage reteose of 45,000 of annualy. 



202 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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



Minimum Streamflow (ch) 



MAR MAR APR APR MAY MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEP SEP Source 

1-15 16-31 1-15 16-30 1-15 16-21 1-14 15-30 



1300 1300 1300 1300 1000 1000 710 710 1000 1300 1300 DWR 1982 

300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 USDOI 1991 

2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 3250 3250 SWRCB 1 990 

2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2300 2800 2800 1960 

4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 4500 DFG 1 992 

3500 3500 3500 3500 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 4000 

600 DFG 1 962 

245 245 245 245 245 245 245 70 70 70 70 DFG 1 965 

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/DFG1983 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


DFG 1 983 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


3000 


4000 


4000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


1000 


DFG 1 992 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


250 


500 


500 


SWRCB 1958 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


3000 


1750 


1750 


1750 


1750 


Judge Hodge 


1000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


2000 


1000 


1000 


1500 


1500 


SWRCB 1 978 


3000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


5000 


3000 


1000 


5000 


5000 





30 30 000000000 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 DFGetall987 

200-350 200-350 300-500 300-500 300-500 300-500 200-350 200-350 200-350 200-350 200-350 DFG 1 992 

300-350 300-350 250-550 250-550 1 00-200 1 00-200 3 3 3 3 3 FERC 1 986 

200 200 85 85 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 FERC 1 964 

80-300 80-300 80-550 80-3000 80-3000 80-3000 50-200 50-200 50-200 50-200 50-200 DFG 1992 

1 80-220 1 80-220 75 75 75 75 25 25 25 25 25 DWR/MID 1 968 

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 1 991 

00000000000 SWRCB 1978 
00000000000 SWRCB 1 959 
2K-10K 2K-10K DFG 1 992 

1 0. Spawning attraction, outmigration, and streamflow reduction criteria recommended for Oct. 1 - Nov 1 5, April 1 - June 30, and Oct. 1 - Feb 29, respectively Shoft-lerm reduction criterio 
also recommended Proposed fishery flows for tfie Lower Mokelumne River would, at times, exceed tfie available supplies Ttiere are also alternative flow schedules proposed by the City of 
San Francisco and by the USFWS 

1 1 Instream flow is also influenced by water quality standards in the San Joaquin River Streamflow is renegotioted annually for a 7-year fisheries study ond includes a minimum 98,000 AF 
fisheries allocation from Public Law 87-874 

1 2. Preseason flushing flow standards also exist. 

1 3. Additional flow is required for fisheries studies. 

1 i Tfiese ranges summarize ten possible flow schedules for a 1 0-year fisheries study Tfie exoct schedule is determined by tfie projected inflow Flows will be oltered foHoMnng compwion or 
fisheries study. There are also alternative flow schedules proposed by EBMUD and by FERC 

1 5. Criteria also exist to minimize streamflow fluctuation. 

16. Flows developed for planning purposes for Montgomery/New Exchequer Reservoir operation Additional recommendations to follow completion of instreom flow study 
1 7 Additional flow required to meet water quality standards in SWRCB Decision 1 422. 

18. Decision 935 
Note K = 1 ,000 



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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 flsh is often difficult because its habitat needs may vary seasonally for 
different life stages. Prior to 1970, 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 In- 
stream 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 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, sub- 
strate, 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-docu- 
mented 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 
when 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 popula- 
tion will not necessarily increase with increased habitat. Nonetheless, the IFIM is the 
most widely accepted tool to help determine instream flow requirements and is fre- 
quently used for decision making and negotiation. 

Recognizing the necessity for adequate instreamTlow 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 rec- 
ommendations 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 recommenda- 
tions 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 il- 
lustrate the diversity of instream flow issues and progress made in resolving them. 

Sacramento River Regior) 

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 

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Chinook salmon; steel- 
head trout; and American 
shad. Fall run salmon 
constitute the largest 
fishery resource in the re- 
gion, but winter-run 
salmon are particularly 
Important because they 
are listed as endangered 
species under both the 
federal and State Endan- 
gered Species acts. 

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. 

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 stud- 
ies 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 spe- 
cies 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. 



Riparian habitat along 
the Sacramento River 
The Sacramento River 
Region supports the most 
productive salmon Jishery 
in California. 



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 En- 

glebright 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 minl- 
mum fish flows below Englebright and Daguerre Point dsmis 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. 

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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 com- 
plaint 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 maxi- 
mum 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. 

Lower Feather River. The Feather River is the largest tributary of the Sacramen- 
to 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; cind to review the status of recreation and ; 
water diversions. 

American River. The American River is the first major tributary above the Delta 
in the Sacramento River system. Flows in the lower river are regulated by Folsom Dam. ; 
operated by the USBR. The current flow requirements were set in Decision 893 by the \ 
SWRCB in 1958. In 1972, the SWRCB issued Decision 1400 which set higher i 
minimum flows for the lower American River, based on the assumption that Auburn 



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The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



i 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 

i 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 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. 

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 USBR, essen- 
tially 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 efflu- 
ent. In recent years, water quality and fisheries releases from New Melones have 
benefited the Stanislaus River and the mainstem San Joaquin River. 

There are several efforts under way 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), 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 
I 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 Del- 
ta, and decreased pumping during April. 

Other efforts are underway for improved San Joaquin River management. The 
USBR has a San Joaquin River management effort which includes fisheries improve- 
ments. The DWR Delta pumps mitigation agreement provides funding for projects on 
I the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers. Finally, DFG and USFWS are conduct- 
ing 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. Lake Lloyd (Cherry Valley) and Lake Eleanor, also have a strong influence on 
.operations. 

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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



One of the main environmental issues related to instream flow is the severe de- 
cline 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 200 in 1992, compared to a historical maximum of 
130.000 in 1944. Although lower populations of returning salmon can be expected in 
drought years, especiailly toward the end of a prolonged drought (for example, 
1987-92), increases in populations normally appear as increased natural flow returns 
which increases habitat and thus future returning salmon p>opulations. Evidence sug- 
gests 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 California. Probably the most successful product of 
this request is the 1992 draft 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 Don Pedro 
Reservoir. The proposal to modiiy flows for fisheries studies is still awaiting approval 
by FERC. 

The new agreement for the Tuolumne River has a complex flow schedule based 
on ten 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 inno- 
vative 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 juve- 
nile 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 avaflability for instream flow. Flow condi- 
tions 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 down- 
stream 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. 

EBMUD and DFG entered into a series of one-year MOU's regarding minimum j 
flows for the protection of fisheries during the recent drought while the district was 
preparing its Lower Mokelumne River Management Plan. However, the district is cur- 
rently operating voluntarily, consistent with LMRMP. which provides considerably 
more instream water for the Mokelumne River and the Delta than required by the 1961 
agreement with DFG. 

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 op- 

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The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



oration cause the heavy metals to accumulate downstream in the sediments of 
Camanche Reservoir. There have been reports of fish kills from heavy metal pollution 
and other water quality problems 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 Chi- 
nook 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 in 1994. In addition, FERC 
is considering revisions to EBMUD's license. A draft EIS was issued, and a decision by 
FERC is also expected in 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 MlD'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 be- 
tween MID and DWR. 

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 down- 
stream 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 198 1 . Flows for the Stanis- 
laus 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 be- 
gan operations 

This study plan was revised In 1 987 and for the Interim the minimum water sup- 
ply 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 
land 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 immedi- 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



ately 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 USBR 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 Improve- 
ment Act also calls for developing a reasonable plan to address fish and wildlife 
concerns on the San Joaquin River, including re-establishing streamflows below Friant 
D£im. The plan must be submitted to Congress before it is implemented and the Secre- 
tary 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, the Mono Basin, and the Truckee River, were 
selected to typify environmental water use in the eastern Sierra Nevada. In these sys- 
tems, 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. 

Owens River. The Owens River originates in the mountains south of the Mono 
Basin and historically terminated in Owens Lake. Local irrigators began diverting wa- 
ter from the Owens River before the turn of the century. Most of these local diverters 
were bought out by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to firm up its water 
rights to divert the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. This diversion gradual- 
ly dried up Owens Lake. LADWP began the diversions from the Mono Basin into the j 
Owens River in 1 94 1 . It also constructed a series of hydroelectric facilities which dried i 
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 hydro- 
electric 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 ongoing litigation between Inyo County and LADWP over 
LADWP's ground water pumping in the Owens Valley. As part of a settlement agree- 
ment, 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 dis- 
cussions about releasing water into the Owens River below the intake for the aqueduct 
to mitigate impacts discussed in the EIR. However, this issue is stiU 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 Yose- 
mite 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 sce- 
nic, recreational, wildlife, and scientific resource. The area is famous for its distinctive 

210 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 V2 
times saltier than sea water. It supports brine shrimp and brine flies that are major 
i food supplies for California gulls. 

j The lake receives most of its water from precipitation on its surface and contribu- 

' tlons 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 LADWP. 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, to- 
gether with the Owens River diversions, it is transported to Los Angeles via the 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, result- 
ing 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 impor- 
tant 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 1 979 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 
Hows 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 injunc- 

j tion 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 

I 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 wiU benefit the environment. A portion of this 
total was reserved exclusively for projects that would enhance the Mono Lake environ- 
ment 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 thein a century, creating a complex set of issues that influ- 



i 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



ence 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 Conner Lake. 

Flows in the Truckee River are largely governed by water right decrees and settle- 
ments among downstream water users in Nevada. Instream flows 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 sus- 
tain threatened and endangered fish in Pjn^amid Lake. Fisheries flows are designated 
on the tributaries to prevent habitat dewatering; however, new instream flow require- 
ments are being negotiated by 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, USER, and several other entities are 
preparing a joint draft EIR/EIS to address the major issues. Some of the environmen- 
tal 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 Pyra- 
mid by 194 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 impor- 
tance 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 op- 
erations of Truckee River reservoirs in an attempt to change or maintain project 
purposes. A lawsuit filed by the Carson-Truckee Wat»r Conservancy District and Sier- 
ra 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 it 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 indus- 
trial uses, and new instream flow requirements. Existing litigation would then be 
dismissed or otherwise finally resolved. 

Although Lahontan cutthroat trout no longer exist in the upper Truckee River 
system except for a small population in Independence Lake and its tributary Indepen- 
dence Creek, rainbow and brown trout provide important sport fisheries in the 
mainstem Truckee River, thus 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 

212 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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, Inventory oflnstream Flow Requirements Related 
I to Stream Diversions, December 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 under way 
I since 1980 to increase spawning and rearing areas for salmon and steelhead. Biologi- 
cal 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 
j Included in the State and federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Systems, including the mains- 
tern 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 ar- 
l mored (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. Ex- 
treme, unnatural short-term flow fluctuations resulted in the loss of millions of 
i salmon and steelhead each year. Beginning in 1961, Iron Gate Dam operation im- 
j proved 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 reevalu- 
ate 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 

I 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 block- 

;age 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 
f flow needs of the tributaries to determine what improvements can be made for environ- 
mental 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 

Environmental Water Use 213 



BuUeUn 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



streamflows, sedimentation, cind 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 120,000 af per year. In the late 1970s, the USER increased the releases 

to vary between 270,000 and 340,000 af per year. In 199 1 , the Secretary of the Interior 

responded to a request for increased flows from the Hoopa Valley and Yurok tribes and 

increased the minimum flows to 340,000 af per year. The tribes rely on the harvest of 

salmonids for subsistence and ceremonial and commercial needs. 

A major USFWS study is under way 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 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 Ccdifomia 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 Recre- 
ation Area in 1990 cind a part of the Six Rivers National Forest. A USFS Management 
Plan was prepared to direct recreation, fisheries, forestry, fire control, habitat restora- 
tion, and other activities for the region. 

Lagunitas Creek. Lagunitas Creek is a good illustration of the difficulty in satis- 
fying 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 Ta- 
malpais 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 approxi- 
mately 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 popu- 
lation 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 fac- 
tors 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 mainte- 
nance of the Tomales Bay Estuary. 

214 Envirormiental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. How- 
ever, 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 hear- 
ings 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 re- 
quirements of Tomales Bay. and the present and anticipated future status of 
agricultural and municipal water needs. 

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 re- 
main 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 Manage- 
ment 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 desa- 
lination 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 diver- 
sions 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, provid- 
ing habitat for game and nongame species. Species of special concern include the 
southwestern pond turtle and red-legged frog. Although fisheries resources in the low- 
er 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 en- 
hanced throughout the system. Resident-strain, nonmigratory rainbow trout also 
occur in the stream. An instream flow study has been completed for the reach below 

Environmental Water Use 215 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



the wastewater treatment plant and an Environmental Impact Report is being pre- 
pared for the reclamation project. 

Santa Ynez River. The Santa Ynez River system historically supported the larg- 
est 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, 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 Dcim 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 pro- 
posed 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 particu- 
larly 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 8-4. 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 fish- 
eries within a 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 are the por- 
tion of the applied water which flows throughout th^ 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 in- 
stream fishery flow. 

The North Coast wild and scenic river flows were determined by estimating aver- 
age 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. In the 
Central Valley and other areas with wild and scenic rivers, instream flows are exten- 
sively reused downstream of the designated reaches. 

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 CVPLA), an increase in the Yuba River 
fishery flow (required by a recent FERC action), and increased Delta carriage water re- 
quirements (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 USBR. A proactive approach to identify- 
ing fishery needs — such as a better temperature control for spawning conditions, 
better screening of diversions to reduce incidental take, and better timing of reservoir 

216 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 8-4. Instream Environmental Wafer Needs by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre- feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



1990 

average drought 



2000 

average drought 



2010 

average drought 



2020 

average drought 



Norrti Coast 


Applied water demand'" 


18,850 


8,950 


18,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


Net water demand'" 


18,850 


8,950 


1 8,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


Depletion'" 


18,850 


8,950 


18,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


18,973 


9,073 


Son Francisco Boy 


Applied water demand 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


Net water demand 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


Depletion 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


4,615 


3,085 


Central Coast 


Applied water demand 


4 


2 


4 


2 


4 


2 


4 


2 


Net water demand 


1 





1 





1 





1 





Depletion 


1 





1 





1 





1 





South Coast 


Applied water demand 


























Net water demand 


























Depletion 


























Sacramento River 


Applied water demand 


3,443 


3,009 


3,488 


3,009 


3,488 


3,009 


3,488 


3,009 


Net water demand 


3,323 


2,905 


3,323 


2,905 


3,323 


2,905 


3,323 


2,905 


Depletion 


























San Joaquin River 


Applied water demand 


331 


243 


331 


243 


331 


243 


331 


243 


Net water demand 


331 


243 


331 


243 


331 


243 


331 


243 


Depletion g(|||gg^H|||P; 























Tulare Lake 


Applied water demand 


41 


41 


68 


68 


68 


68 


68 


68 


Net water demand 


34 


34 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


Depletion 


34 


34 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


North Lahontan 


Applied water demand ^| 


■i 























Net water demand 


























Depletion 























_ 


South Lahontan 


Applied water demand 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 ^ 


Net water demand 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 


Depletion 


73 


67 


73 


67 


73 


67 


73 


67 


Colorado River 


Applied water demand 


























Net water demand 


























Depletion 





























TOTAL 

Applied wafer demand 27,400 15,500 27,600 15,600 27,600 15,600 27,600 15,600 

Net water demand 27,300 15,300 27,400 15,500 27,400 15,500 27,400 15,500 

Depletion 23,600 12,100 23,700 12,300 23,700 12,300 23,700 12,300 

(1 ) Includes 1 7.8 MAP and 7.9 MAP flaws for Norlti Coost Wild ond Scenic Rivers for overoge and drought yeors, respectively. 



Environmental Water Use 



217 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 8-5. Examples of Applied Water, Net Water Use, and 
Depletion for Instream Fishery Flows 

Example of Central Valley Streams— 1990 Average Year 



Stream 



SACRAMENTO RIVER REGION 

(Thousands of Acre -Feet) 

Applied Net 

Water Water 



Depletion 



Whi skej^town 
Reser voi r 



Shasta 
Reser voi r 



Sacramento 


1,903 


1,903 





Feath^HI 




HHIH 


■ •> 


Yuba 


280 


174 





American 


234 


234 





Others* 


49 


35 






TOTAL 3,443 3,323 

^Others include Clear Creek, Bear River, Putah Creek and Cache Creek 



Lake 
Oroville 



Eng 1 ebrigh t 
Reservoir 



Camp Far West 
Reservoir 



Stream 



SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION 

(Thousands of Acre -Feet) 

Applied Net 

Water Water 



D1485 
Outflow 



4615 



4615 



Stream 




CamancJie 
UoKA-Mruiit^^HiS^ ^ Reservoir 



Depletion 



New Meiones 
Reservoir 



New Don Pedro 
Reservoir 



Lake 
McCiure 



SAN JOAQUIN RIVER REGION 

(Thousands of Acre-Feet) 

Applied Net 

Water Water 



Depletion 



Merced 


84 


84 







Tuolumne 


123 


123 







Stanislaus 


110 


110 










TOTAL 



331 



331 



218 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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. 

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 15 years, actions taken by State and federal governments dem- 
onstrate 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 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 demcmids 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. 
Figure 8-6 shows publicly managed fresh-water wetlands. 

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: 

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; and 

O Freshwater forested and scrub wetlands, which £ire 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 1800s gave 65 million acres of wetlands to 15 states, includ- 
ing California, for reclamation. As recently as the 1960s and 1970s, the federal 
Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) promoted drainage of wet- 
lands through cost-sharing programs with farmers. 

As a result of these and other activities, many of California's wetlands were con- 
verted 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 re- 
duction — the greatest percentage loss in the nation. 

Wetlands are now seen as very important ecosystems with the following multiple 

values and functions: 

J Biological Diversity. Wetlands provide important habitat for diverse 
communities 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. 

Environmental Water Use 219 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 8-6. Publicly Managed Fresh-Water Wetlands 



MOCX3C 

•6 



Shasta Valley W.A. 
Butte Valley W.A. 
Lower Klamath N.W.R. 
Tule Lake N.W.R. 
Clear Lake N.W.R. 
Modoc N.W.R. 
Ash Creek W.A. 
Willow Creek W.A. 
Honey Lake W.A. 
Upper Butte Basin W.A. 

11. Sacramento N.W.R. 

12. Delevan N.W.R. 



SAN FRANCISC. 




Gray Lodge W.A. 
Butte Sink N.W.R. 
Colusa N.W.R. 
Sutter N.W.R. 
Yolo Bypass W.A. 
Stone Lakes N.W.R. 
Suisun Marsh W.A. 
North Grassland W.A. 
Kesterson N.W.R. 
Arena Plains N.W.R. 
San Luis N.W.R. 
Merced N.W.R. 
Volta W.A. 
Los Banos N.W.R. 
Mendota W.A. 
Pixley N.W.R. 
Kern N.W.R. 
San Jacinto W.A. 
Imperial W.A. 
Salton Sea N.W.R. 



N.W.R. = National Wildlife 

Refuge 
W.A. = State Wildlife & 

Ecological Reserve 



220 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Gray Lodge Wildlife Area 
is a managed wetland 
area near Gridleg, 
California. The Butte 
and Sutter basins 
contain large areas of 
wetlands that serve as 
critical habitat for 
migratory waterfowl in 
the Pacific Flyway. 



I Q Fisheries. Wetlands provide direct spawning and rearing habitats and food supply 
that supports both freshwater and marine fisheries. 

Q Flood Control. Wetlands detain flood flows, reducing the size and destructlveness 
of floods. 

^ Water Quality. Wetlands absorb and filter pollutants that could otherwise 
degrade ground water or the water quality of rivers, lakes, and estuaries. 

Q 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 nonti- 
dal salt and brackish 
marshes as well as large 
areas of reclaimed farm- 
land 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 12 percent of the 
State's total wetlands 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 flooding pattern no longer 
exists. These artificially managed wetlands are under either public or private owner- 
ship and are maintained by intentional flooding and water level manipulation. 

Wetlands receive water from several sources including ground water, local sur- 
face 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 detafl 
below. In most cases, both public and private wetlcinds receive water through informal 
farrangements. The availability of water for wetlands was reduced in the 1980s for sev- 
eral reasons. The biggest reasons were the 1987-92 drought and water quality 
problems, such as selenium-contaminated agricultural return flows. Agricultural 



Environmental Water Use 



221 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 man- 
agement 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 im- 
portant 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 na- 
tional wetlands goal that would improve the consistency among 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." 

USER Refuge Water Supply Report. The USER 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, which evaluates the water and power needs, surface wa- 
ter delivery systems, ground water availability, recreation and wildlife resources, and 
habitat management objectives for 1 5 refuges in the Central Valley. The 1 5 refuges in- 
clude 10 National Wildlife Refuges, 4 State Wildlife Areas, and the Grasslands 
Resource Conservation District, covering a privately owned wetland area. 

For each of the 15 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 yesir) 

Level 4 — Supply for optimum habitat management (526,200 af per year) 

Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1 992 (PL 1 02-575). This act was 
signed by the president in October 1992. Title 34, Section 3406 (d) requires the Secre- 
tary 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 oth- 
er parties. Specifically, water is to go to 15 existing wildlife refuges identified in the 
USBR Refuge Water Supply Report and to the 5 habitat areas identified in the USBR/ 
DFG 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 1 5 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 and about 200,000 af over the 1990 water supply of these refuges. 

222 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



For the 5 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 63,200 af per year will be needed for full habitat development of the Ave 
areas. This amount, however, does not include transportation losses which the USBR 
estimates at approximately 2 1 percent, or 1 3,600 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 discus- 
sion briefly outlines several of the most significant State wetland policies. 

California Wetlands Conservation Policy. In August 1993, the Governor cin- 
nounced 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. 

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 im- 
plementation 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 that the wetland acreage and quality could 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 Man- 
agement Plan. In 1986, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan was signed 
by the United States and Canada. The NAWMP provides a broad framework for water- 
fowl management in North America through the year 2000; it also includes 
recommendations for wetland and upland habitat protection, restoration, and en- 
hancement. 

Implementing the NAWMP is the responsibility of designated joint ventures, in 
which agencies and private organizations collectively pool their resources to solve wa- 
terfowl 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) 
i protect 80,000 acres of existing wetlands through fee acquisition or conservation ease- 
Environmental Water Use 223 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



ment; (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 recog- 
nized 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 ID-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 pubhshed the Plan of Protection for the Suisun Marsh Inclwiing 
Environmental Impact Report. DWR, DFG, the Suisun Resource Conservation District 
and the USBR prepared this report in response to D-1485. The USFWS also provided 
significant input. The Plan of Protection proposes staged implementation of several ac- 
tivities such as monitoring, a wetlands management program for marsh landowners, i 
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 hjis = 
been spent on studies and facility construction. | 

i 
Inlcuid Wetitmds Conservatix>n Program. In 1990, the Legislature passed leg- ; 

islation authorizing the Inland Wetlands Conservation Program within the Wildlife ' 

Conservation Board. This program carries out some o/the Central Valley Habitat Joint \ 

Venture objectives by administering a $2-million-per-year program to acquire, im- \ 

prove, buy, sell, or lease wetland habitat. i 

\ 
Wetland Water Supply and Demands 

i 
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 esti- j 

mate 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 I 

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 Califor- ; 
nia 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 1 
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. I 
approximately 75 percent (335,000 acres) are managed. 
— -^ ! 

224 Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Managed wetlands are owned and operated as State and federal refuges, private 
wetland preserves owned by nonprofit organizations, or private duck clubs. Agricultur- 
al lands flooded to create waterfowl habitat are mostly rice fields in the Sacramento 
Valley and corn or other small grain crops in the Delta. The flooded agricultural lands 
In California provide very important winter feeding habitat for many migratory water- 
fowl. 

A brief description of the wetland habitat and water needs for each hydrologic 

i basin is provided in this section. Table 8-5 summarizes the 1990 and projected wet- 

I land water needs statewide for each hydrologic region. Eight of the ten 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. 

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 pri- 

\ately managed wetlands were identified in this region. The total flooded acreage is 

I 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. 

i 

San Francisco Region. The Suisun Marsh is the only identifled managed wet- 
land 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 ID-1485 
, salinity standards adopted by the SWRCB. The SWP and the CVP are required to re- 
lease 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 
j the State, approximately 1 75,000 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. 

Agricultural field crops, such as rice, corn, and grain, provide habitat for a variety 
of wildlife species. Rice fields augment natural wetlands and refuges with valuable win- 
tering habitat for migratory waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley. Rice growers in the 
Sacramento Valley, in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, 
and the California Waterfowl Association, initiated a partnership plan to experiment 
with ways to decompose rice straw while enhancing waterfowl habitat. Under this plan, 
, rice fields are flooded from November through February, providing wetland habitat for 
migratory birds while decomposing rice straw. The effects on water supply and flsh 
need further study. 

San Joaquin Region. Approximately 1 10,000 acres of managed wetlands are in 
j 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 his- 
torically 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, 

Environmental Water Use 226 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 8-5. Weriands Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic Region 



1990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



North Coast 


Applied water demand 


349 


349 


353 


353 


353 


353 


353 


353 1 ; 


Net water demand 


237 


237 


239 


239 


239 


239 


239 


239 


Depletion 


235 


235 


237 


237 


237 


237 


237 


237 1 


San Francisco Bay 


Applied water demand 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 "H i 


Net water demand 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


Depletion 4HHHi 


HHHH! 


i 160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 


160 1 i 


Central Coast I 


Applied water demand 























oMi 


Net water demand 























° «' 


Depletion 























ol 


South Coast 


Applied water demand 


2 


2 


6 


6 


6 


^ 


HB^ 


6 jl i 


Net water demand 


2 


2 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 1 


Depletion 


2 


2 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 m 1 


Sacramento River _ 


Applied water demand 


484 


484 


629 


629 


629 


629 


629 


629 t 1 


Net water demand 


394 


394 


537 


537 


537 


537 


537 


538 


Depletion 


168 


168 


207 


207 


207 


207 


207 


208 |. 


San Joaquin River 


Applied water demand 


268 


268 


413 


413 


413 


413 


413 


413 || 


Net water demand 


223 


223 


339 


339 


339 


339 


339 


339 


Depletion 


190 


190 


306 


306 


306 


306 


306 


306 1 ! 


Tulare Lake 


Applied water demand 


41 


41 


68 


68 


68 


68| 


HHHIHI 


mmm 


Net water demand 


























Depletion 























ofl 


North Lahontan 


Applied water demand 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17« 


Net water demand 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


Depletion 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


i7(BB>^ 


17 a 


South Lahontan 
















1 


Applied water demand 

















oflHo 


Net water demand 


























Depletion 

















0^ 





0^ 


Colorado River j 


Applied water deniKind 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


44 1 


■»4 


44 Ji 


Net water demand 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


44 


44 


44 ] 


Depletion 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


44imp4 





TOTAL 


















Applied water demand 


1,400 


1,400 


1,700 


1,700 


1,700 


1,700 


1,700 


1,700 


Net water demand 


1,100 


1,100 


1,300 


1,300 


1,300 


1,300 


1,300 


1,300 


Depletion 


800 


800 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 


1,000 



226 



Environniental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



I there will be approximately 150,000 af of additional water supplied to the public ref- 
j uges and the Grasslands Resource Conservation District. 

North Lahontan Region. Two public wetlands were identified in this region: 

I 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 

I water to restore and maintain wetlcmds in the Lahontan Valley in Nevada. 

j 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 Califor- 
nia, 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 and along the Colorado River. 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, wet- 
lands that have been recently acquired, and the water supply increases required by the 
I 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 
S 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 
I acquisition and restoration funding as well as private incentive programs. 



One goal established for the Central Valley by the Central Valley Habitat Joint 
Venture is to restore 120,000 acres of former wetlands. Another goal stated by the Re- 
sources Agency is an increase of 30 to 50 percent by 2010. This could be an increase 
of approximately 225,000 acres statewide. Enhancing existing wetlands could also re- 
sult in an increase in water needs for wetlands. The CVHJV goal for the Central Valley 
is to enhance 29 1 ,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 Caiifomia's Environmental Water Needs 

Analyses 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 proce- 
dures for calculating applied water, net water, and depletion as those for agricultural 
and urban water demand. Table 8-6 summarizes the environmental water needs for 
each hydrologic region, as computed in the previous sections for the Bay-Delta, envi- 
ronmental instream flows, and water needs for wetlands. 

Environmental Water Use 227 



BulleUn 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 8-6. Environmental Water Needs by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 

1990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



Hydrologic Region 



North Coast 


Applied wcjter ciemand''" 


19,199 


9,299 


19,326 


9,426 


19,326 


9,426 


19,326 


9,426 


Net water demand'" 


1 9,087 


9,187 


19,212 


9,312 


19,212 


9,312 


19,212 


9,312 


DepietionO) 


19,085 


9,185 


19,210 


9,310 


19,210 


9,310 


19,210 


9,310 


San Francisco Bay 


Applied wafer demand 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


Net water demand 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


Deletion 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


4,775 


3,245 


Central Ccxist 


Applied water demand 


4 


2 


4 


2 


4 


2 


4 


2« 


Net water demand 


1 





1 





1 





1 





DepleticHi IHSHI 




i 




H 


1 





1 


0] 


South Ccxist 


Applied water demand ^H 










HHH 




HlHI 


iB« 


Net water demand 


2 


2 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


6 


Depletion » 


WSf 2 


2 


6 


6 


6 


^ 


■HnpB 


H>«^ 


Sacramento River 


Applied water cjemand 


3,927 


3,493 


4,117 


3,638 


4,117 


3,638 


4,117 


3,638 1 


Net water demand 


3,717 


3,299 


3,860 


3,442 


3,860 


3,442 


3,860 


3,443 


Depletion 4Bii 




i 168 


207 


207 


207 


207 


207 


208 f 


San Joaquin River 


Applied wafer denwand » 


IMP 599 


511 


744 


656 


744 


656 


744 


656 1 


Net water demand 


554 


466 


670 


582 


670 


582 


670 


582 


Depletion ilHHHHH! 




1 190 


306 


306 


306 


306 


306 


306 1 


Tulare Lake 


Applied wafer demand ^H 




1 82 


136 


136 


136 


136 


136 


136 1 


Net water demand 


34 


34 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


Depleticxi ■'w^mmm 




r 34 


56 


56 


56 


56 


56 


»l 


North Lahontan 


Applied water demandj|||| 




1 17 


17 


17 


17 


171 


HBi7 


17 1 


Net water demand 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


17 


Depletion ^jjl 








■ 17 


17 


17i 


HHH 


i^lH 


South Lahontan 


Applied water demand " 




a"™™^2 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122^ 


Net water demand 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 


128 


122 


Depletion 


73 


67 


73 


67 


73 


671 


HH-3 


^7 9 


Colorado River 


Applied water ckmand 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


"^1 


HHMi 


■Mi 


Net water demand 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


44 


44 


44 


Depletion 


39 


39 


44 


44 


44 


44 


44 


im 





TOTAL 

Applied water demand 28,800 16,800 29,300 17,300 29,300 
Net water demand 28,400 16,400 28,800 16,800 28,800 
Depletion 24,400 12,900 24,700 13,300 24,700 


17,300 

16,800 
13,300 


29,300 
28,800 
24,700 


17,300 
16,800 
13,300 


( 1 ) Indudes 1 7.8 MAF and 7.9 MAF lk>ws k]r Norlh Coast Wild otkJ S^k Riv«n lor average a^ 



228 



Environmental Water Use 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Recommendations 

1 . 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. 

2 . DWR Bulletin 216, Inventory Oflnstream Flow Requirements Related to Stream 
I Diversions, was last updated in 1 982 . An up-to-date inventory of flow require- 

I ments should be completed and maintained. 

I 

3. Water resources management for protection offish and wildlife species should 

be planned and performed under a multi-species approach. 




Environmental Water Use 229 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Wind surfers at Lake Perris. California's many lakes, reservoirs, bays, and rivers offer 
plenty of opportunities for recreation. Wind surfing is popular at many lakes and 
reservoirs in the inland areas. 








j^iof^m 



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lm,-^ 



■i^'^^-iT'; 






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^ -r11 '*^'"li Till ill- " ^-^^ '- '-^ -**^ 









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• rv'il^rt' 






The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 9 




Lakes and rivers have always been a primary focus for outdoor recreation activi- 
ties. 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 recre- 
ational 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 Califor- 
nians. 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 recre- 
ational 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 al- 
ways 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 rec- 
reational and other contingent activities. 

Reservoir operations for water supply are usually adequate to support estab- 
lished recreation activities, particularly when surface runoff from precipitation is near 



Water-Based 
Recreation 



Water-Based Recreation 



231 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



normal. Changes in operations, because of drought or demand exceeding supply, have 
reduced both available recreational opportunities and per capita benefits and will con- 
tinue to do so. In general, reservoir recreation benefits decrease as receding water 
levels reduce water surface areas, make boat ramps less accessible, and leave recre- 
ation 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. 

The California Fish and Game Code requires maintenance of stream habitat be- 
low dams, and in some cases, even artificially created instream resources, but recently 
the requirements for sensitive species preservation have become more critical. For ex- 
ample, increased releases from Shasta Reservoir to control temperature will benefit 
salmon habitat on the Sacramento River, but also will reduce recreational opportuni- 
ties within the Shasta Lake area. On the other hand, minimum storage 
recommendations at Shasta, invoked for sensitive species protection, also could ulti- 
mately benefit recreation in the river downstream of Shasta Dam . A table summarizing 
minimum instream flow requirements at selected sites is presented in Chapter 8, Envi- 
ronmental 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 effects 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 add temporary facilities to 
augment facilities previously adequate at these sites. 

Shifts in use, as those described above, can create potential water quality prob- 
lems. 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 prod- 
ucts 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 im- 
portance 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 frorrl 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 

232 Water-Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




and Scenic Rivers Acts, see 
Chapter 2.) Most of the wild 
and scenic rivers are in 
northern California and in- 
clude all or parts of the 
Smith, Trinity, Klamath, 
Van Duzen, Eel, Feather, 
American, and Tuolumne 
rivers. Maps showing re 
gional wild and scenic rivers 
are in Volume II. 

Other streams, such 
as those controlled by res- 
ervoir releases, offer 
opportunities to enhance 
downstream flows that can 
benefit recreation values. 
Streams that would natu- 
rally run only intermittent- 
tently, for example, can have year-round flows following reservoir construction and 
operation. 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 con- 
version. 

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 1 2 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 few 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. 



Rugged natural beauty 
and some of the most 
renowned Jishtng 
streams in North 
America attract over 
1 million people 
annually to the North 
Coast Region. A 
national park and over 
40 State beaches, 
parks, and recreation 
areas are in the region. 



i 



Wildland Recreation 

Many designated wildlife refuges in California owe their existence to imported 
water which supports large populations of migratory waterfowl. Seasonal wetlsind 
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. Historically, recreation values associated with such wildlife have focused primarily 
on hunting. More recently, DFG has cited birding (bird watching) as the fastest-grow- 
ing recreation activity in the nation. 



Water-Based Recreation 



233 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 9-1. Recreation Use and Minimum Rafting Flows on Some Popular California Rivers 



Stream 


Minimum 


Annual 


Comments 


m 




Rafting Flow 

(cfs) 


Rafting Use 

(visitor days) 




m 


South Fork American River 


1,200 


100,000 


Depends on Chili Bor Dam releases 




Lower American River 


1,500 


460,000 


Below Nimbus Dam 




East Fork Corson River 


400 


7,000 


Often low in summer 




Kem River 


450 


20,000 


Below Lake Isabella 




Kings River 


800 


18,000 


Below Pine Fiat Reservoir 




Kkimoth 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 





I 



In 1988, the California Wildlands Program became law. Broadly supported and 
lauded by many, the program directed DFG to provide and charge for nonconsumptive 
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 nonconsumptive use by individuals and 
groups averaged more than 260,000 visitor days annually, 1 5 percent higher than use 
attributed to hunters and anglers. In 1993 DFG, in cooperation with USER, 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 flrst 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 wa- 
ter 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 forhealtfty 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 re- 
spective water projects, and today recreation planning is an important part of any 
Environmental Impact Report or Statement. 

Ttie Davis-Dolwig Act 

The Davis-Dolwig Act was passed by the State Legislature in 1961. It is the pri- 
mary 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. 



234 



Water-Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



The Davis-Dolwig Act declcires that recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement 
I Jare^aHwmg Ihe purposes j)f 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 recre- 
ation 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 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 

- risoiesponsible for acquiring any needed lands. The Department of Paries and Recre- 
ation is responsible for desigit^ construction, operation, and maintenancex)fthe^t;tiial 

.rgcreatlon featu res at thesesites. DPR must consider arrangements in whichiederal 
o yjoral a^e xicies could become participants, if appropriate. The Department of Fish 
and Ga me 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 d evelopme nt proje cts^ 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. Consider- 
1 ation of recreational development must be made in conjunction with any navigation, 
j ^ood 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 pro- 
vide 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 regu- 
lation of projects in most cases. There have been instances where holders of FPA 
licenses have claimed exemption from state safety of dams requirements, minimum 
I 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 £ind recreation 
» areas. Visitation has grown at a rate even faster than that of California's population. 
Increased leisure time, economical transportation, and changing demographics con- 
tribute 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. 



i 



Water-Based Recreation 235 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Although increased recreation area fees may be partly to blame, and the latest 
recession may have curbed discretionary income expenditures for recreation, the re- 
cent 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 main- 
tained relativefy fiiU. and the level of Los Banos Reservoir only dropped a few feet. 



Trout fishing near 

KybuTZ, California. 

Cold water releases 

fifxmi upstream 

reservoirs help 

maintain fiow and 

temperatures that 

benefit downstream 

fisheries. 




Perhaps another 
index of drought impacts 
to water -based recrea- 
tion is evidenced by 
declining California 
sport fishing license 
sales. Sales were down 
over a quarter -million 
(13 percent) during the 
recent drought. Al- 
though a pre-existing 
trend of decline may be 
attributable to changing 
demographics, and large 
price increases for li- 
censes, there can be little 
argument that drought 
impacted outdoor recre- 
ation. 



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 watef 
developments were designed and constructed primarity to provide recreation, most 
recreational facility developments are on streams, lakes, or reservoirs operated for oth- 
er 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 fi:x)m a larger -than-normal water surface area. The amount of water con- 
sumed through reservoir operations is usually very small compared to other 
consumptive uses: reservoir operations also benefit fish, wildlife, and other environ- 
mental A^ues. 

Water for drinking and sanitation is also a factor at every recreation site. Land- 
scaping adds appreciabfy to overall water use at these sites; however, consumptimi 
associated with recreational development is still exceedingfy small when compared to 
urban, agricultural, and other uses. 

A planning standard for intensefy used recreation 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 daity visitor use averages 10 to 14 
gallons throughout the diverse State Park System. Recreation facilities provided ty 
federal. State, and local governments support about 1 billion recreation days in 
California per year. Therefore, using the DPR average and the average recreation day 
use, annucd recreationsil-related water consumption at public facilities is probabty 



236 



Water -Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



less than 50,000 acre-feet. In 1978. the California State Park System (over 200 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 restrooms with chemical toilets; (7) in- 
creased efficiency of all water systems by correcting leaks and improving intake 
structures and storage facilities; (8) providing information to park visitors on water 
shortages; (9) stressing water conservation in interpretive 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 recreation opportunities provided by reservoirs generate enormous benefits 
to California's economy. In 1985, an estimated $500 million was spent on water-re- 
; lated activities in the Delta and at major reservoirs. The estimated 7 million visitors to 
j the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta generated an estimated $ 1 25 million; the 6.6 mil- 
lion visitors to the 12 SWP reservoirs and the California Aqueduct brought in an 
estimated $170 million; and benefits of the 1 1.6 million visitors to 10 of the 22 CVP 
I 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 

5 streams, statewide. 

1 

j 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 recre- 
ation connected with water supply development. 

i 
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 

!ln Riverside County. More than 6 million recreation days of use were generated by 
SWP facilities during 1990. 

As designed, the SWP includes the physical and operational capacity to deliver 
I 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 exclusive- 

Ily 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, 

i Bethany Reservoir, San Luis Reservoir, O'Neill Forebay, Los Banos Reservoir, pyramid 



i 



Water-Based Recreation 237 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 

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-ori- 
ented 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, wa- 
ter-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 Oroville is part of a multipurpose proj- 

Table 9-2. Estimated Current Annual and Cumulative Attendance 
(through 1990) at State Water Project Reservoirs 

Facility Cumulative Current 

Total Visitation Annual Use 

AntebpeLake 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 Voile 6,793,000 475,000 

Bethany Reservoir 586,000 85,000 

Son Luis/O'Neill Complex 11,785,000 700,000 

Los Bonos Reservoir 1,119,000 100,000 

Pyramid Lake 4,950,000 350,000 

Castaic Lake 1 8,82 1 ,000 1 ,000,000 

Silverwood Lake 10,150,000 750,000 

Lake Perris 23,354,000 1,500,000 

* Including wildlife area 

238 Water -Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



act that includes water storage, power generation, flood control, recreation, and fish 
and wildlife enhancement. Lake OrovlUe 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 per- 
mitted 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 
Uvermore 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, wind surfing, boating, and fishing. Total visitor use between 
1970 and 1990 was 6,793,000. 

Bethany Reservoir is located 1 ^ /2 miles down the California Aqueduct from Har- 
vey 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 
Bancs. San Luis Reservoir is part of the San Luis Joint-Use Facilities, which serve 
SWP and the federal CVP. It was completed in 1967 and provides storage for 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 water- 
fowl hunting. Total visitor use of San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay from 1967 
through 1990 was 11.785.000. 

Los Bancs Reservoir and Detention Dam are on Los Bancs Creek, about 7 miles 
southwest of the City of Los Bancs. The dam provides ficod protection for San Luis 
Canal. Delta-Mendota Canal. City of Los Bancs, and other downstream developments. 
Los Bancs Reservoir offers camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, and hiking. Total 
visitor use of Los Bancs Reservoir from 1973 to 1990 was 1,1 19,000. 

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. 

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 stor- 
age facility for water deliveries, to provide emergency storage, and to furnish 
recreational development and fish and wildlife enhancement. Castaic Lagoon, down- 
Water-Based Recreation 239 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



stream 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. Tlie 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 firom 1972 to 1990 was 18,821,000. 

Silverwood Lake and Cedar Springs £>am 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 regulat- 
ing facility cind 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 visi- 
tor 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 13 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 
multipurpose facility providing water suppfy, recreation, and fish and wildlife en- 
hancement. Lake Perris State Recreation Area is operated by DPR and offers camping, 
picnicking, horseback riding, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing. SAvim- 
ming. hiking, bicycling, hunting, and rock climbing. A marina and water slide are 
operated by a concessionaire. Total visitor use fix)m 1974 to 1990 was 23.354.000. 

Future SWP recreational facilities are tied closefy to future projects. The Los 
Banos Grandes Facilities could provide an estimated 465.000 recreation days at the 
Los Banos Grandes Reservoir, if constructed. 

California Aqueduct Recreation, DWR's focus in developing recreation along 
the California Aqueduct Includes bicycling, fishing, and aqueduct safety. The Califor- 
nia 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 CaUfomia. 

The San Joaquin VaUey section extends 67 miles down the west side of the vaDqf, 
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 Recre- 
ation Trail by the Secretary of the Interior. 

The Southern California section extends 107 miles through the Antelope Valley, 
from Quail Lake to a pwint 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 aU work on 
the enlargement is completed and some safety improvements have been made. 

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 facili- 
ties. 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 OT^eill Forebay. Visits at the fish- 
ing access sites between 1971 and 1990 totaled 469,000. and total walk-in fishing 
between 1973 and 1990 was 893,000. 

240 Water-Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 Wa- 
ter Project and California Aqueduct Fishing Safety are published in several languages. 
DWR personnel also visit local communities nceir 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 (Sep- 

I tember 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 
I 
i years; Goose Lake, which almost dried up; and lower levels in Eagle Lake and Clear 

I Lake. 

I 

I Reservoir Recreation Impacts 

The lower lake levels during droughts have had a variety of impacts on recre- 
: ation. These impacts at lakes and reservoirs included the water surface receding far 
from developed recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, and swim- 
j ming 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 and federal reser- 
voirs in California was reduced about 30 percent, with some reservoirs experiencing 
declines of 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 

I 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 re- 

, cent, 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 mismanagement would have the potential to exceed 

I 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 

|i types of craft that can be used. Commercial outfitters experience considerable finan- 

' clal loss in years with greatly reduced flow levels. On the other hand, many populsir 

boating runs are on streams sustained by water releases from reservoirs. 

Water-Based Recreation 241 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



E>en during normal water years, the cold water firaction of reservoir storage is 
especicilly 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 sum- 
mer cmd fall may limit flows available earlier in the year for rafting and other activities. 
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. 

¥/inter 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 short periods of time. During the 1976-77 drought, attendance at ski resorts fell by 
nearly 50 percent fi"om pre-drought levels. The impact of reduced attendance also ex- 
tends to businesses 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 accvirate figures are available to describe the Impact of 
the 1987-92 drought on winter sports. However, a similar pattern of shortened sea- 
sons and reduced attendance, even though many areas installed artificial 
snow-making equipment, continued over a longer period of time and the total econom- 
ic 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 quantities of water consider- 
ing that resorts typically operate se\'eral units at a time and for many hours a day 
(assuming sufficientty 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. Over a season, a typical report may apply several hundred 
acre-feet per year for snow-making during drought periods. Much of this water is not 
actually consumed since it normally creates runoff and is avcdlable for future con- 
sumption in the spring. 



242 Water-Based Recreation 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Water-Based Recreation 243 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Channels wind around Delta islands providing habitat for hundreds of 
species, water for agricultural and industrial production, drinking water for two- 
thirds of the State's population, and waterways for fishing and boating. Runoff 
from 40 percent of California's land area flows into the Delta. 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 10 



For decades, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been 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 popu- 
lation and millions of acres of agricultural land receive part or all of their supplies. The 
Delta provides habitat for many species offish, 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 re- 
ceive water from the Delta and the State's two largest export systems, the State Water 
Project and Central Valley Project. 

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. Com- 
mander 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 north- 
ern 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 rec- 
lamation 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 large volumes of alluvial soils from the river channels; the alluvial soils were 
needed to construct the large levees we see today. These dredges were capable of mov- 



The 

Sacramento- 
San Joaquin 
Delta 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



245 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



ing 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 re- 
claimed. 

Today the Delta is comprised of about 500,000 acres of rich farmland, much of 
which is now below sea level (see Figure 10-1), is interlaced with hundreds of miles of 
waterways, and relies on more than 1,000 miles of levees for protection against flood- 
ing. The interiors of some of the islands are as much as 25 feet below sea level because 
of the continuing loss of peat soil. Soil loss comes primarily from oxidation, compac- 
tion, and wind erosion (see Figure 10-2). 

Water exports from the Delta began in 1940 after the Contra Costa Canal, a unit 
of the CVP, was completed. Beginning 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). The SWP then continued deliveries by pumping from the South 
Delta in 1967 (supplying the California Aqueduct) and from the North Delta beginning 
in late 1987 (suppl)ang 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 
1951 . This channel connects the Sacramento River to Snodgrass Slough and the Mo- 
kelumne 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 Mokel- 
umne 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 con- 
text 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 (see 
Figure 10-3). The average incoming and outgoing Delta tidal flow is about 170.000 
cubic feet p>er second. This is in contrast to the currently 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 2 1 maf per year. The 
magnitude of this flow depends on Delta inflow, export, and depletions of channel wa- 
ter within the Delta. During the summer months of critically dry years. Delta outflow 
can be as low as 3,000 cfs. Fresh water moves into the Delta from three major sources: 
the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and eastside stresmis. The Sacramento 
River (including the Yolo Bypass) contributes about 77 percent of the fresh water 
flows, the San Joaquin River contributes roughly 15 percent, and streams on the east 
side and 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 

246 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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




The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



247 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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










/ / 


r^'Nr 


ift tm 


^5? 


— vv 


1 1 


Abov* Sea Level 




A PUMPINO PLAMT( 


/thacv ^V 

fpUUPINO PUAN^ 


<_ 


/T 


•^ 


^ 


1 1 


Sea Level to -10 feet 




\^!SSS-oy^fc 


( 


*^^ 


4 




Si 








^ SOUTH BAY ^% 


\ 








1 1 


-10 feet to -15 feet 




T PUUPINa PLANT 


liV. 








1 1 


-15 feet and deeper 










TRA 

• 


cy 



248 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 10-3. Tidal Flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



(in cubic feet per second) 




340.000 



Typical maximum flows over a 25-tx)ur cycle in summer corxttions 
(values in culiic feet per second) 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



249 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Delta Precipitation 
0.9 MAF 



Contra Costa P.P. 
0.1 MAF 



Consumptive Use & 

Channel Depletion 

1.7 MAF 




Average Annual 

Inflows to the Delta 

27.8 MAF 



Average Annual 

Outflows and Diversions 

27.8 MAF 



Figure 10-4. 

Delta Flow 

Components 

and 

Comparisons 



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 (see Figure 10-4). 

Today, minimum fresh water Delta outflow is maintained by releases from up- 
stream 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 munic- 
ipal 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. 

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 (see 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, facili- 
tated 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 de- 
mand 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 freshwater 
outflow is relatively low, water in the western Delta is brackish because fresh water 
from the Sacramento River mixes with saltier ocean water entering as tidal inflow from 
the San Francisco Bay. 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 



250 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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



INFLOW 



INFLOW 



OUTFLOW REQUIRED 
TO MEET D-1485 
STANDARDS 



• LODI 

GOOD WATER 
QUALITY 




OUTFLOW REQUIRED 
TO MEET D-1485 
STANDARDS 



•STOCKTON 



Flow Distribution 
With Reverse Flow 




GOOD WATER 
QUALITY 



•STOCKTON 



Flow Distribution 
Witliout Reverse Flow 



complicates the reverse flow issue. Prolonged reverse flow can deteriorate water quali- 
I ty 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 wa- 
i ter is a function of Delta export. South Delta inflow, tidal cycle, and operation of the 
I 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 re- 
leased to repel salinity intrusion. 

I Key Delta Issues 
Fish and Wildlife Issues 

Summarized here are Bay/Delta fish and wildlife issues that are discussed in 

; more detail in Chapter 8, Environmental Water Use. Chapter 12. Water Supply and 

I' Demand Balance, 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. Water diver- 
sions and their relationship to fish in the Delta are discussed here. 

Delta fish are affected by a number of physical and biological problems includ- 
ping: inflow that is reduced by upstream uses, upstream diversions that bypass the 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



251 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



Delta, direct diversions from the Delta itself, and 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 northern Bay area; 
the Contra Costa Canal, serving the eastern San Francisco Bay Region; and the south- 
em 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 cur- 
tailed during certain months to protect fish and that flows be maintained for 
protecting the Delta environment. Concern about entrainment losses due to Delta 
agricultural diversions has also resulted in fish screening requirements being estab- 
lished in the Fish and Game Code. In April 1992, DWR implemented a three-year 
Delta Agricultural Diversion Evaluation Program, with the objectives of developing re- 
liable data about entrainment, determining the susceptibility of various fish species, 
and testing the effectiveness of experimental fish screens. (See the Agricultural Diver- 
sion Screening section later in this chapter.) 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 un- 
derstanding of the aquatic environment and more protection is evident, because some 
Delta fish are continuing to decline. 

The general decline of several fish, the Delta smelt and winter-run salmon in par- 
ticular, 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 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 agricilltural 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. Tliere have been 1 7 levee breaks since 1980 throughout 
the Delta. Both the limited channel capacities and the inadequate, deteriorating non- 
project, 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 cfrculation, 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 volimie of water available for export 
pumping. Recently, DWR entered into an agreement with the South Delta Water 
Agency and the USBR to develop long-term solutions for the SDWA's water problems. 

DWR negotiated several long-term agreements with various local entities to pro- 
tect thefr use of water fix)m adverse project impacts. To protect agricultural uses. 



252 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 Con- 
tra 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 
j 1992 for management of land resources within the Delta. The commission is to devel- 
op 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 acknowl- 
edges 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 agricul- 
tural 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 impor- 
. tant of the State's 1 6 water quality basin plans funded under California's Clean Water 
P 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 corre- 
sponding water right Decision 1485, subsequent to D-1379 (1971). Both documents 
amended water quality standards relating to salinity control and fish and wildlife 
ll 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 exten- 
sive 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 USBR to develop a plan for the marsh that would ensure meet- 
ing long-term standards for full protection by October 1984 (later extended to October 
1988). 

Recognizing that the complexities of project operations and water quality condi- 
tions 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, Institutvoncd Framework. These issues 



i 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 253 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



The State Water 

Resources Control 

Board's Water Right 

Decision 1485 

recognized the Suisun 

Marsh as an important 

brackish marsh. 

D-1485 required that a 

plan for protecting the 

marsh be implemented 

by October 1984. 

The plan is being 

implemented in 

phases, and Phases I 

and II have been 

completed. 




are vitally important to 
the Delta and have 
institutional implica- 
tions. 

Racanelli Decision 

Lawsuits by vari- 
ous interests challenged 
Decision 1485, and the 
decisionwasoverturned 
by the trial court in 
1984. Unlike its prede- 
cessor, D-1379, whose 
standards had been ju- 
dicially stayed, D-1485 
remained in effect. 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 look to all water rights holders 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. 

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, in- 
cluding DWR, public interest groups, and agricultural and urban water purveyors 
provided many expert witnesses to testify on a variety of issues pertaining to the rea- 
sonable and beneficial uses of the estuary's water. This phase took place over six 
months, and generated volumes of transcripts and exhibits. 

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

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 



254 



The Sacramento-Scm Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 September 1991. 

With the adoption of the Water Quality Control Plan, the SWRCB began the EIR 
scoping phase and held several workshops during 1 99 1 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 de- 
cided to proceed with a process to establish interim Bay-Delta standards to provide 
immediate protection for fish and wildlife. Water right hearings were conducted from 
July through August 1992, and draft interim standards (proposed Water Right Deci- 
sion 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 SWF for the protection of the threatened winter-run chinook salmon. 
In February 1993, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a long-term biological 
opinion governing operations of the CVP and SWP with Delta environmental regula- 
tions 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 indicated that further restrictions of CVP 
and SWP operations would be required. 

In April 1 993, the Governor asked the SWRCB to withdraw its proposed Decision 
1630 and instead focus efforts on establishing permanent standards for protection of 
the Delta since recent federal actions had effectively preempted State interim stan- 
dards and provided interim protection for the Bay-Delta environment. On December 
15, 1993, EPA announced its proposed standards for the estuary in place of SWRCB 
water quality standards EPA had rejected in 199 1 ; USFWS proposed to list the Sacra- 
mento splittail as a threatened species; and NMFS announced its decision to change 
the status of winter-run salmon from threatened to endangered. 

In April 1994, the SWRCB began a series of workshops to review Delta protection 
standards adopted in its 1991 Water Quality Control Plan for Salinity and to examine 
proposed federal EPA standards issued in December 1993. These processes seek to 
involve both SWRCB and EPA and are intended to establish a mutually acceptable 
draft SWRCB Delta regulatory plan scheduled for release in December 1994. The plan 
will be developed in accordance with the Triennial Review requirements of the Clean 
Water Act. 

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 fed- 
eral standards for trihalomethanes and new standards for other disinfection 
byproducts. More stringent standards could force msiny water purveyors to spend bil- 
lions of dollars for additional treatment. 

Precursors of trihalomethane (THMs) formation include naturally occurring dis- 
solved 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 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 256 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 THMs can potentially cause cancer, the EPA in 1979 set the standard 
for trihalomethanes in treated drinking water at 0. 10 milligram per liter or 100 parts 
per billion. One ppb would be the equivalent to two drops in a large bacl^ard swim- 
ming 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 wa- 
ter, 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 suit- 
able 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 
£iffected by levee failures caused by poor levee maintenance, levee instability, high 
water, or earthquakes. Protection of certain islands in the western Delta is 
particularly importcint because water quality can be degraded by intrusion of brack- 
ish 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 



A levee on Tyler 

Iskmd in the north 

Delta breaches during 

the 1986Jloods. In 

all, six Delta islands 

and tracts Jlooded, as 

did Interstate 5 and 

numerous local 

roads. The flooding 

forced 1,600 people 

to evacuate and cost 

$20 million in direct 

damage. 




outflow to repel the salt and 
maintain water quality in 
the Delta and at the 
pumps. 

Stability of Deita Levees 

The levees act as the 
only barriers between low- 
lying land and water in the 
Delta. Behind these earth- 
en walls lie about half a 
million acres of agricultu- 
ral land and wildlife 
habitat; many small com- 
munities; 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 about 4 feet and founded on the soft, organic Delta soils. Due 
to continued subsidence of the levees and island interiors, it is necessary to continual- 
ly 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 15 
and 25 feet high. The increasing levee height has meant an increased threat of failure 
which requires increasing maintenance and repair costs just to prevent further 



256 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



deterioration of levee conditions. The Delta Flood Protection Act enacted in 1988 (see 
below) has provided the impetus toward levee improvement rather thanjust maintain- 
ing 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 

I 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 land- 
owners or local reclamation districts. Most of these levees have not been brought up to 

j federal standards and are less stable, thereby increasing the chances of flooding. 

The Delta Levee Subventions Program, originally known as the "Way Bill" pro- 
; gram, began in 1973. The bill authorized funding for levee maintenance and 
I rehabilitation costs, with up to 50-percent reimbursement to local agencies. The fund- 
I tag 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 dis- 
tricts. 

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 smd al- 
lowed up to 75-percent reimbursement to the local agencies for their levee work. 
Another $6 million is directed toward implementing special flood control projects. Re- 
cent activities include planning and designing major levee rehabilitation projects for 
Twitchell Island and New Hope Tract; repair of threatened levee sites on Sherman Is- 
land, Twitchell Island, Bethel Island, and Webb Tract; and other special projects and 

. studies to determine the causes of Delta land subsidence. 

I 

t 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 heavy 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 sys- 
tem has not really been tested by substantial earthquake shaking. Several studies 
indicate there will probably be levee damage or failure induced by earthquake shaking 

i within the next 30 years. Further investigations will better define the expected perfor- 

I mance of the levees during earthquakes. 

Delta Water Resource Management and Planning 

Because of its importance to the state- wide water supply, the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta is the most studied body of water in the State. No one in California dis- 
putes the need to improve water transfer efficiency, min-imize land subsidence and 
flooding, and im-prove conditions for fish and wildlife. The issue is not whether the Delta 
I should be fixed, but rather how the Delta problems should be resolved. 

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. Plan- 
ning 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 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 257 




Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



* 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 im- 
proving the water resources management of the Delta for the benefit of all Californians. 

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 adja- 
cent 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 ship- 
ping 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 wa- 
ter releases from upstream reservoirs to control salinity by outflow from the Delta. 
This was the basis of the proposals adopted for current SWP and CVP operations. 

Through-Delta facilities were first studied in the late 1950s and were pro- 
posed 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 
Sacramento River water to pumps in the South Delta. A similar concept was formu- 
lated 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 ca- 
pacity 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 ac- 
complished 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. 

258 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 reg- 
ulations. Consequently, Delta planning programs usually provide forums for many 
diverse interests and often generate much controversy. The challenge of Delta plan- 
ning 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 resolu- 
tion of Delta problems a divided and sometimes disjointed process. Thus far, no 
consensus has been reached. Lx)cal, regional. State, and federal agencies, as well as 
environmental and economic concerns, all play a role in the Delta planning and deci- 
sion-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 riv- 
er system are: 

State Water Resources Control Board U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service 
California Department of Fish and Game U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

These agencies exercise regulatory control 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 in- 
volved are discussed here. 

Virtually anything that can be done to resolve Delta problems will require per- 
mits 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 en- 
dangered 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-mak- 
ing process. 

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 partici- 
pation 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 plan- 
ning 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 pre- 
pared and released for public review and comments. The draft document includes a 
comprehensive evaluation of alternatives and their impacts along with potential miti- 
gation measures. Successful completion of the environmental documentation process 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 259 



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BuUetiii 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



"Ibble 10-1. Major PennHs Required for Implementation of Delta Water ^klnagelnent Programs 
Agency PeaaiiDesaipltkm PennkCoridiHons 



Corps of Engineers (in coordination 
with U.S. Rsh and Wildlife Service 
arxJ Environmental Protection 
Agency) 



Dredging Permit 
(Section 404, dean 
V/derAa) 



Required for any proposal to iocorie a structure, excavode, or d bc haitf e 
diedyed or fiH materials into w u t us of tfie United Stales or to transport 
dredged material for the purpose of dumping it ir4o ocean waters. 



Navigation Permit 
(Section 10, Rivers and 
Harbors Ad) 



Required for any proposal to cfivert or alter navigable waters in the Umted 
States, irxkiding wetlands. 



NatioTKil Marine Rsheries Service 



Incidental lake Permit 



Required for any action that may result in the take of listed onadromous 
species. Permit is issued under authority of ESA. 



U.S. Rsh and Wildife Service 



biddentai lake Permit 



Required for any action that may result in the take of listed species. Permit 
is issued under tfie authority of ESA. 



Department of Rsh and Game 



Navigation Dredging 
Permit 

Stream or Lakeside 
Alteration Agreement 

Permit or MOU 



Required for any proposal to use suction or vacuum dredging equipment in 
any river, stream, or bke designaled as open. 

Required for any activity that wil change the natural state of any river, 
stream, or lake in California. 

Required for any action that may result in the take of a Stale Ested spedes. 



Cohrons 



ErKToachment Permit 



Utility Encroachment 



Required for any proposal to do work or place an encroachment on or near 
a Stole highway or proposal to develop and mrantain access to or from any 
Stale highway. 

Required for vi^ork done by public utility companies provisioning services, 
such as gas, eledridty, telephone, for most work within the right of vray of 
a State highway. 



State Lands Commission 



Notice of Proposed Use 
of Slate Lands 



Notice is sent to the Slate Lands Commission for any proposed SWP or CVP 
projects in the Delta for review and concurrence. 



The Redamalion Board 



Encroachment Permit 



Required for any activity along or near the bonks of the Sacramento and 
Son Joaquin rivers or their tributaries. The Redamalion Board also issues 
erKTOochment permits for activity on any 'designated flooAua/' or fkxxJ 
conlrol plan adopted by tfie Legislature or the Board within the Central 
Vdie/. 



Slate Water Resources Control Board Permit to Appropriate 

V^^rier 



Required for any proposd to (fivert water from a surface stream or other 
bod^ of water for use on nonriparian hnd or any proposal to store 
unappropriated surface water seasonoly. 



Deportment 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 mere in 
h e ight or impounding a reservoir witfi a capa ci ty of more tfion 50 AF. 



RegioncJ Water Qualily Conlrol 
Board 



Waste Disdnrge Required for any actions that may resuil in the discharge or potenbal 

Requirement dbchargeof waste to Deba water. 



depends on an agency's aihihty to adequately evaluate and address public comments 
and to build consensus and support for the action. Environmental interests, water us- 
ers, and local entities in the Delta all have a great interest in any xaaqor decisions made 
for the Delta. For any Delta water planning decision to be acceptable, it should protect 



260 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 10-6. Delta Decision-Making Process 



ndangered Species 
Acts (ESA & CESA) 



Section 10 
J| Process 



Biological Assessment 



Habitat 
Conservarii 
Plan 



m 



Biological Opinion 



Jeopardy 
Opinion 



Non-Jeopardy ^ 
Opinion i 



Action Plan 
Stopped 



Action Plan for 
Delta 




Action Plan 
Stopped 



Permits Are Issued 



Reasonable & Prudent 
Alternative 



Action Plan Completed 




i 



Section 404 
Xiean Water Act 



—^04(b)(l) Analysis 






K 



Other Permii 



1 



Action Not Least 
Damaging Alternative 



Action Plan 
Stopped 



Mitigation Plan 



Plnalysis Satisfies 
Corps of Engineers 
PA Requirement!^ 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



261 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 dis- 
charge 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 per- 
mitted 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 com- 
ply with these guidelines by going through a comprehensive alternative analysis to 
determine the "least environmentally damaging practicable alternative." The alterna- 
tive analysis along with environmental impacts analyses of the proposed action can be 
formulated within the framework of environmental documentation required by NEPA. 

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 Del- 
ta smelt, were listed under the federal and State acts. These listings have changed the 
decision-making process for the Delta. In accordance with the ESA, a biological as- 
sessment should be prepared for any federal actions or permit applications in the 
Delta which may have impacts on listed and proposed species. The assessment con- 
tains 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 af- 
fecting 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 exis- 
tence of listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat. If the action would jeopardize the continued existence of the species, the opin- 
ion contains a reasonable and prudent alternative to avoid jeopardy. An 
incidental-take statement is issued when there may be a taking of a listed species inci- 
dental to the action that does not jeopardize the listed species' continued existence or 
critical habitat. 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) incidental-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 partici- 
pates 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 M 

The U.S. EPA role in the Delta is as follows: ^ 



262 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Q 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. 

Q 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.) 

O The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act directed the EPA to set national standards for 
drinking water quality. EPA is currently reviewing the standards forTHMs 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 in- 
cludes wetlands and valuable anadromous fisheries. Any physical 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 £uid 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, consulta- 
tion, negotiation, and consensus between federal. State, and local entities. Building 
consensus for an action plan that would balance those interests and concerns of local 
entitles requires extensive negotiations among agencies. The interrelationships be- 
tween the environmental documentation process, permitting process, and endangered 
species actions are 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 cur- 
rently being evaluated or could be evaluated in the future. Protection of fish 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 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 263 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



'* 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 developing mutually acceptable, 
long-term solutions to the water supply problems of local water users within SDWA. 

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 
(particularly 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 corner 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 oper- 
ated 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 Old River north of the forebay. 

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 contrib- 
uted to two major problems: reverse flow in the San Joaquin River, 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 safe- 
ly, 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 effi- 
cient means of transferring water through the north and central Delta, thus providing 

264 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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




i 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



265 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



additional water suppty for SWP users. Another benefit to increased channel capacity 
and reduced reverse flow is better water quality. 

The winter-run 1993 biological opinion requires that the Delta Cross Channel be 
closed firom 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 devel- 
oped through DWR's contribution will be available for use as mitigation for impacts 
associated with ongoing DWR Delta water management programs. 

This plan would significant^ reduce subsidence by minimizing oxidation and 
erosion of the peat soils on the islands. This would be accomplished by replacing pres- 
ent agricultural cultivation practices with land use management practices designed to 
stabilize the soil. Such practices range firom tninimizlng tillage to establishing wetland 
habitat. 

Altering land use practices on Sherman and T^vitchell islands could provide up 
to 13,600 acres of managed wildlife and waterfowl habitat and responds directfy to the 
underlying need for additional wetlands in the Delta, as expressed in national and 
State policies for wetlands enhancement and expansion. 

J^riadtiUXLl Diversion Screening. EntrainmeAt losses due to agricultural di- 
versions in the Delta may be a substantial source of mortality for the eai^ life stages 
of some Delta fish species. However, little is known about the extent of these losses or 
the factors afiecting them. Due to concerns about water diversions and impacts oo 
fishery resources. DWR implemented a three-year Delta Agricultural Diversion Evalu- 
ation Program in April 1992. The objectives of the program are to develop reliable data 
about entrainment of various fish species, determine the effects of entrainment on the 
species' life stages, describe the species susceptibility to agricultural diversions during 
the irrigation season, and compare the obtained data with information about abun- 
dance and life stages of the same species living in adjacent channels. The 1992 pilot 
study focused on refining sampling techniques and assessing the suitability of four 
diversion sites fTwitchell Island. Bacon Island. McDonald Tract and Naglee Bulk 
Tract). The McDonald Tract tested the effectiveness of an experimental fish screen 
installed on the siphon intake for the Central Delta Water Agency Fish Screen Test 
Project. The screen was effective in reducing entrainment of larvae 4 to 5 millimeters 
and larger. However, the effects of the screen impingement on the larvae are not 
known. Generalty. larval fish are usually more abundant than juveniles or older fish 
due simply to the natural mortality rate of a population before they reach these later 
stages. 

Long-Term Delta Planning Programs 

Recognizing the complexity of the Delta decision-snaking process, the Governor 
provided specific direction and guidance to correct the current "broken" condition oS 
the Delta in his 1992 statewide water policy speech. He established the Bay-Delta 

266 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Oversight Council to help guide the planning and decision- making process. BDOC is 
to define objectives, 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, scientifi- 
cally 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 investi- 
gated for a long-term solution to Delta problems. 

Isolated Facility. The isolated facility consists of constructing an 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 (see 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 Del- 
ta 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 agricul- 
tural drainage impacts on water delivered to urban water purveyors. Possible 
collateral measures to improve water quality at the intake gate would be to divert ma- 
jor 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 that would be smaller. This facility would provide bet- 
ter 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 wa- 
ter 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 deliv- 
ering water directly to Clifton Court Forebay and the federal export facilities in the 
South Delta. This option would reduce THM precursors, provide high quality water for 
export, and 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 1 1 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 wa- 
ter. Drainage water collection and disposal could be a major undertaking that may be 

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 267 



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Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 10-8. Proposed Isolated Facilities (1982) 




SCALE IN MILEB 



268 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




costly for the benefit 
gained from the pro- 
gram. 

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 
1 980s to evaluate the fea- 
sibility of augmenting 
SWP supplies with the 
construction of a 1-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 11 for a more detailed 
description. 

In the late 1980s, a unique wetlands management and water storage project for 
j the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was proposed by a land development company. 
I The proposed project. Delta Wetlands, would convert land use on Bouldin, Webb, Hol- 
land, and Bacon islands from agricultural use to water storage and managed 
wetlands. Two islands. Bacon Island and Webb Tract, would be managed primarily for 
, water storage. The stored water would be pumped from the islands to the Delta chan- 
I nels for sale to participating water purveyors. The other two islands, Bouldin Island 
and Holland Tract, would be operated primarily for wildlife benefits, which would pro- 
j vide an opportunity to develop new habitat for endangered species. Because the 
I wetlands would be in a wet or semi-moist condition year-round, invertebrate food for 
wildlife would be more abundant. Also, nesting opportunities on Bouldin Island and 
Holland Tract would be greatly enhanced. 

The Delta Wetlands project proposes to convert surplus wet year Delta flows to a 
new source of central Delta water, which would be used later in the year when demand 
exists (see Figure 10-9). The proposed water supply storage capacity of the project is 
about 230,000 af. Water rights applications have been filed for this project. The lead 
agencies are the SWRCB for California and the Corps of Engineers for the federal 
government. A Draft EIR/EIS was released on December 26, 1990. A redraft of the 
document is anticipated to be available In 1994. 

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 smelt, 
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 the year 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 



Because most agricul- 
tural land in the Delta 
is near or below sea 
level, drainage water 
from these areas must 
be pumped over levees 
into nearby channels or 
rivers. These pipes 
carry agricultural 
drainage Jlows from 
Twitchell Island, lifring 
the water about 20 feet 
and releasing it into the 
San Joaquin River 



i 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



269 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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




SCALE IN MILES 



270 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 prob- 
lems. State and federal agencies must work together to resolve these complex issues 
and move toward long-term solutions. 



i 



The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 271 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Orange (Doimty Water District's Factory 21 has been recycling water for 16 years. The 
water recycling industry has made important advances in technology, allowing more 
efficient and less expensive reuse oj water. Some of the direct uses include landscape 
and agricultural irrigation, industrial cooling, toilet flushing in commercial buUdings, 
and sea water intrusion barriers. 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 1 1 



i 



The reliability of water supplies in each of California's ten major hydrologic re- 
gions depends on the climate, geography, patterns of water use specific to each region, 
the abundance of local supplies, and in some cases the availability of imported sup- 
plies. 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 man- 
agement 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, water recycling, and 
conventional supply augmentation projects are all options that can be employed indi- 
vidually 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 re- 
gion'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 in- 
crease supplies, and to improve water service reliability are local decisions. These 
decisions must weigh the cost of increased reliability with the economic, environmen- 
tal, and social costs 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 exist- 
ing supplies, more stringent regulatory requirements, environmental consequences of 
developing new sources of supply, and the increasing costs of implementing new pro- 
grams or projects. To plan for long-term water supply reliability, these planners must 
examine an increasingly wide array of supply augmentation and demand reduction op- 
tions 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 also summarizes 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 benefit/cost 
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 



Options for 
Balancing 
Water Supply 
and Demand 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



273 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



those that go beyond the actions included in urban Best Management Practices or agri- 
'•- cultural Efficient Water Management Practices. (See Chapters 6 and 7 for a discussion 

of BMPs and EWMPs.) These long-term options also go beyond retiring unproductive 
agricultural land. The costs of demand management or supply augmentation options 
to reduce the frequency and severity of shortages are now high enough that planners 
must 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 plan- 
ning." Reliability is a measure of a water service system's expected success in 
managing drought shortages. 

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 wheth- 
er 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 ex- 
pected 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 short- 
ages 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. In some systems, instream flow requirements, based on fish or 
habitat protection, can further complicate estimation of available annual supplies. 

O The larger the demand, relative to supply, the more likely a shortage will occur 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. 

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 be- 
tween the costs of increasing reliability and the benefits of reducing the frequency and 
severity of shortages. 

274 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 forecasted use in future years. Use in previous years is a function of de- 
mand 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 man- 
agement and supply augmentation options into their planning process in the most 
productive and justifiable manner. The use of this planning process to evaluate alter- 
native water management plans for enhancing an existing system's reliability involves 
the following steps: 



Least-Cost Planning Process for Evaluating 
Water Management Plans 

6The least-cost planning process gives all available options an equal chance in 
the selection process. If any options, demand management or supply augmenta- 
tion, are arbitrarily excluded, 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 in- 
corporated into evaluations that rely on relative rankings of social and environmen- 
tal impacts as long as the units of measurement used are consistent and the criteria 
for assigning values are clear. However, when social and environmental conse- 
quences of alternatives can be reasonably expressed in dollars, identifying the pre- 
ferred plan will be less subjective. 

With LCP, the water manager's objective becomes one of meeting all water-re- 
lated needs of customers, not one restricted to looking for ways of providing addi- 
tional supply. For example, 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, then the retrofit 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 care- 
fully evaluated as any other. (Plans which would result in extreme shortages jeopar- 
dizing life or health would, of course, be unreasonable.) Expressing this valuation in o 
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), others, such as 
the loss of aesthetics, environmental cooling, and inconvenience, are difficult to 
measure. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 275 




i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



I 



1 . Estimating the shortage-related costs and losses for alternative water 
management plcins; 

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; and 

5. Interpreting results. 

Water management programs for the SWP. the E^ast Bay Municipal Water Dis- 
trict, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California cire examples of 
programs based on this planning process. (See the SWP and Local Water Management 
Programs sections under Level I Reliability Enhancement Options.) 

Figure 11-1 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 pro- 
cess 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 Plcin 8 would ex- 
pose the local area to higher shortage-related costs and losses than would be 
necessary. Water mancigement expenditures higher than those of Plan 8 do not "pay for 
themselves" in terms of reduced shortage-related costs and losses. 

Options for Enhancing Water Supply Reliability 

California's increasing urban cind environmental water needs require that exist- 
ing 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 mea- 
sures, or both. Long-term measures reduce the expected frequency and severity of 
shortages, and contingency measures reduce the impacts of shortages when they oc- 
cur. TTiree pieces of legislation were enacted to encourage agencies to develop plans 



Figure 11-1. 

Least-Cost 

Reliability Piannir^ 

Total Costs of 

Alternative Plans 




276 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



based on all available water management options: the Urban Water Management Plan- 
ning Act of 1983; the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act of 1986; and the 
Water Shortage Contingency Planning Act of 1 99 1 . (See Chapter 2. Institutional FYame- 
work.) Under the auspices of these acts. DWR is working with local agencies in 
developing those plans. 

Demand management and water supply augmentation options for meeting 
California's water needs to 2020 are summarized below. They are 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 op- 
tions. The future water management programs are presented in two levels to better 
reflect the status of investigations required to implement them. 

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

O Level 11 options are those programs 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. 

The following sections describe Level I options in detail; Level 11 options are 
described in general conceptual terms. 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, 



Water Conservation Bond Laws 

[ To assist local agencies in obtaining tinancing for their water management pro- 

grams, California voters passed three bond laws, between 1 984 and 1 988, that autho- 
rized DWR to provide low-interest loans to fund project feasibility studies or construc- 
tion activities. The Clean Water Bond Law of 1 984 (Proposition 25) authorized $ 1 0.5 mil- 
lion for water conservation projects; the Water Conservation and Water Quality Bond 
Law of 1 986 (Proposition 44) authorized $75 million for water conservation and ground 
water recharge projects; and the Water Conser\/ation Bond Law of 1 988 (Proposition 
82) authorized $60 million for water conservation, ground water recharge, and new 
local water supply improvements. Although most funds for Propositions 25 and 44 
have been obligated for projects throughout the State, funds are still available under 
Proposition 82. 

Water conservation projects with loan applications certified or on file with the 
DWR could save an estimated 68,000 of per year. Typical water conservation projects 
often involve concrete lining of irrigation canals or replacing leaking water mains. 

Ground water recharge projects with applications certified or on file with DWR 
could recharge an estimated 266,000 af per year. A Proposition 82 ground water re- 
charge project by the Mojave Water Agency will oversize the first reach of the Moron- 
go Basin Pipeline and use the extra capacity to provide water for recharging the 
aquifer beneath the Mojave River, thereby reducing the overdraft condition in the ba- 
sin. 

Local water supply projects with loan applications technically certified or on file 
with the DWR will provide 18,900 af per year. One Proposition 82 local water supply 
project would desalinate brackish ground water In the City of Oceanside and blend 
it with existing imported supplies. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 277 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 11-1. Level I Demand Management Options 



Program 


Applied Water 


Net Water Demand 


Economic 


Comments 




Reduction 


Reduction 


Unit Cost 






(1000 AF) 


(1000 AF) 


(S/AF)"" 








average 


drought 






Long-term Demand Management: 












Urban Water Conservation 


1,300 


900 


900 


315-390"'' 


Urban BMPs 


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 west 
San Joaquin Valley; cost is at 
the Delta. 


All American Canal Lining 


68 


68 


68 




Water conservation project; 
increases supply to South 
Coast Region 


ShorMerm Demand Monagement: 












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. 



(a) Economic costs include capital and OMP&R costs discounted over a 50-year period at 6 percent discount role. These costs do not include applicable transportation and treatment costs. 

(b) Costs are for tfie ultra-low-flush tailet retrofit and residential water audit programs. 



Level I — Reliability Enhancement Options 

Long-Term Demand Management Options 

Demand management options discussed here are water management actions de- 
signed to permanently reduce demand for water fwater conservation and land 
retirement). Table 11-1 shows demand reductions possible from Level 1 demand man- 
agement programs. 

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 encour- 
age more efficient use of water. The latest of such programs are: Best Management 
Practices, as adopted by over 100 major urban water agencies and environmental 
groups, and Efficient Water Management Practices under consideration for agricultur- 
al water conservation and management. (See Chapter 6, Urban Water Use, or Chapter 
7, Agricultural Water Use.) The widespread acceptance of BMPs virtually assures that 
they will become the industry standard for water conservation programs. As urban wa- 
ter costs increase, urban users will have a strong incentive to accelerate 
implementation of BMPs. Accepted future BMPs (measures that are accepted by urbcin 
agencies for future implementation) are expected to reduce future urbcin water de- 
mands 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. These 
amounts are in addition to an estimated 0.4 maf annual savings resulting from con- 
servation measures put in place between 1980 and 1990. 

Increases in agricultural water use efficiency and other EWMPs will reduce future 
agricultural applied water demands. These measures could result in an annual 
agricultural applied water reduction of about 0.7 maf by 2020 (from 1990 level), which 



278 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



v**»?**** 






^^^J 


%' 


"'. < 


• # ■ 






'■■'••- 


>'r*., 


i*iT, 


..-^i^-f-- 






«*"*-♦« . 


». => 












4 % 





would result in an 
annual depletion re- 
duction of roughly 0.3 
maf. However. it 
should be noted that 
where both surface and 
ground water are used, 
increased agricultural 
water use efficiency 
may decrease ground 
water recharge and 
thus reduce sustain- 
able yield. 

Water savings 
from conservation have 
been accounted for in 
projections of agricul- 
tural and urban water 
demand. New water 
conservationmeasures 

will undoubtedly be suggested and evaluated in the future. (See Level II options.) How- 
ever, 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 pcirts of the San Joaquin 
Valley where drainage disposal has been a problem and where continued cultivation of 
some marginal lands will not be feasible. A Management Plan for Agricultural Subsur- 
face Drainage and Related Problems on the Westside San Joaquin Valley, September 
1990. evaluated the drainage problems in the 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 (water 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 sug- 
gests 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. These amounts are accounted 
for in agricultural acreage projections. The net water demand reduction resulting from 
land retirement could be about 0. 13 maf. To facilitate this option, the Central Valley 
Project 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 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 water needs by augmenting long-tenn 
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 take place by either long-term or spot market agreements.) Howev- 
er, areas looking to the water trguisfer market for long-term supplies need an element 



Xeriscaping is a 
creative way of 
conserving water 
used for landscape 
irrigation. 
DroL^ht-tolerant 
plants provide shade, 
prevent soil erosion, 
and corr^xjse 
aesthetic designs in 
this xeriscape. 



i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



279 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



of predictability. Uncertainties of Delta transfer capabilities now and in the foreseeable 
* future make it difficult to predict transfer capability of the system. 

The State Drought Water Bank experience was a good indication that obstacles to 
market-based water transfers can be overcome. However, as more and more willing 
buyers and sellers got together, problems in completing such deals became more ap- 
parent. 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 water transfers are 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, in- 
cluding 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 12,700 af of 
State Water Proj ect 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 de- 
velopment to be considered a Level I option. This transfer would be made possible by 
an agreement recently negotiated between the Metropolitan Water District of Southern 
California and the Imperial Irrigation District. In 1988, Public Law 100-675 was en- 
acted authorizing the lining of a portion of the Ail-American Canal and its Coachella 
branch. The act allowed the California water agencies-with Colorado River water deliv- 
ery contracts to fund the project in exchange for the water conserved in accordance 
with the provisions contained in their water delivery contracts and P.L. 100-675. 
USBR, Imperial Irrigation District, and MWDSC have been investigating possible alter- 
natives for recovery of an estimated 68,000 af of seepage water through preparation of 
environmental documentation. In August 1993, the IID and Coachella Valley Water 
District boards of directors entered into an agreement with MWDSC relating to the 
concrete lining of 23 miles of the Ail-American Canal. The agreement is being nego- 
tiated among the parties. When the Secretary of the Interior issues a record of decision 
upon review of the final EIS/EIR, and when 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 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 California water budget 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 

280 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



defined as a water year when statewide water supplies equal the average supplies of 
1990 and 1991 . Drought management options (mandatory conservation and land fal- 
lowing) 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 per- 
manent 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, reflecting 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, landscapers, and landscape-related businesses.) 
However, from a statewide perspective, a shortage of 1 5 percent, based on the 1990-9 1 
drought experience, is considered 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 be- 
cause 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 further reduce or eliminate water use (for example, 
putting displacement bags in more toilet tanks or installing more low-flow shower 
heads), for the most part, will have been exhausted. Consequently, smaller water sup- 
ply shortages can result in greater adverse impacts. By 2020, the 1990 level of 15 



Figure 11-2. 
Relationship 
Between Drought 
Contingency 
Measures and 
BMPs. 




Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



percent would be reduced to a 10-percent voluntary or mandatory shortage criterion 
* for urban applied water use. while implementing urban BMPs would reduce water de- 

mand by 10 percent for a total demand reduction of 20 percent in 2020 during drought 
years. Potential future measures, such as urban rationing programs and changing wa- 
ter price rate structures, while not mandated by the State, are assumed to be 
implemented during drought periods to attain the overall 10-percent cutback. 

This demand management option is considered a Level 1 program because it gen- 
erally doesn't require extensive investigations to implement. However, many water 
agencies object to this being a Level 1 option because prudent planning already re- 
quires that agencies thoroughly investigate the costs of shortages and reduce or 
eliminate such shortages based on their water conservation plans, supply availability, 
and other relevant factors. Figure 11-2 shows the relationship between drought con- 
tingency measures and BMPs. Urban demand reductions firom 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 firequently occurring and more severe droughts (that is. an event 
that occurs once every 100 years), much greater shortages could occur, causing sub- 
stantial 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 generalty reallocate existing suppty and can enhance water service reliability 
in the areas receiving transfers. 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 can 
be implemented to improve water service reliability. The following sections describe 
short-term water transfers and potential land fallowing and water bank operations. 

Table 11-2 shows major short-term transfers between water purveyors in recent 
years. Transfers between water projects for operational reasons are not included. 
Much of the transferred water was fi-om reserve suppUes or was replaced by alternative 
soiu-ces (such as ground water), and had little, if any, adverse economic effect on the 
source areas. 

Some water transfers benefit fish and wildlife. Refiige managers can use water 
transfers to augment their supplies. Table 11-3 shows major water transfers for envi- 
ronmental uses in recent years. 

MWDSC is looking to water conservation and land fallowing programs through 
long-term agreements for short-term drought transfers to increase Colorado River sup- 
plies. Through a variety of irrigation management measures, there is a potential for 
conservation and transfer of 0.2 maf firom the Colorado River Region to the South 
Coast R^on. 

In recent years. MWDSC and other water agencies have been actively n^otiating 
to secure additional supplies through short-term water transfer agreements to en- 
hance reliability of their water supplies. Following are some examples of such 
transfers: 

O MWDSC implemented a two-year test land fallowing program with Palo Verde 
Irrigation District b^irming 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 Vall^ who voluntarily 

282 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 USER to 
MWDSC when needed prior to the year 2000. 

Q MWDSC also negotiated an agreement with Areias Dairy Farms in Merced County 
for transfer of 35.000 af to Southern California over the next 1 5 years. Areias Dairy 
Farms would receive $175/af for water. The transfer is the first transfer under 
provisions of the CVPIA and requires review and approval by the Secretary of the 
Interior. 

Q MWDSC and Semitropic Water Storage District have agreed to an exchange 
program that basically encompasses the Semitropic local element of the Kern 
Water Bank. 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 45,000 af of MWDSC's 1992 SWP carryover water 
was stored. MWDSC and Semitropic are currently preparing environmental 
documentation and completing negotiations for a long-term storage program. 

O Short-term water transfers have become an increasingly significant part of water 
supplies for Westlands Water District. As CVP supplies to the district have 
decreased in recent years (primarily beginning with the 1987-92 drought and 
followed by reduced allocations due to operations criteria under the biological 
opinions for winter-run salmon and Delta smelt), the district, and water users 
within the district, have been looking to water transfers to augment supplies. For 
example, in 1993 (a wet year) when CVP supplies to the district were reduced by 
50 percent, the district purchased about 129,000 af of water from a number of 
water agencies in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition, about 157,000 af was 
transferred by individual users within the district for a total of 286,700 af in 1993. 

Westlands Water District is concerned about the reliability of water available for fu- 
ture transfers. Generally, the district has transferred water that was surplus to the 
needs of the transferor (as determined by the transferor) based on water supply 
conditions at the time. Such transfers cannot be counted on from year to ye£ir with 
any degree of certainty . However, reliability can be improved to some extent by pur- 
chasing water which has a greater likelihood of being available in a dry year, such 
as water transferred among agencies within the San Joaquin Valley, and by long- 
term contracts for dry year supplies. If the district can secure a combination of 
long-term and temporary transfer agreements, water transfers can augment the 
district's supplies by as much as 100,000 af per year. 

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 
i the water came from land fallowing (420.000 af), followed by ground water exchange 
i (258,000 af) and stored water reserves (142,000 af). Operations were short-term (one- 
|i year drought supply) for areas with critical needs as determined by State Drought Wa- 
ter Bank criteria. Since overall statewide water supply £md water service reliability was 
not improved for the long-term, the drought water bank is considered a contingency or 
drought management supply option. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 283 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Yecur 



Table 11-2. Short-Term Water Transfers 1982 Through 1992* 
Transferred From Transferred To 



Contracted Amount, 

(acre-feet) i 



1982 
1984 
1985 

1986 

1987 

1988 



1989 



1990 



1991 



Yuba County WA 


Newhall 


5,000 


Yuba County WA 


Newhall 


2,266 


East Bay MUD 


Contra Costa WD 


5,000 


USBR 


DWR 


12,800 


USBR 


Grasslands 


22,000 


East Bay MUD 


Contra Costa WD 


5,000 


Arvin-Edison WSD 


Dudley Ridge WD 


8,000 


Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 


Kern County Water Agency 


6,171 


Kern County WA 


Misc. Kern 


83,000 


CVP 


Cawelo WD 


10,000 


CVP 


Lakeside IWD 


10,000 


CVP 


Kings County WD 


10,000 


Tulare Lake BWSD 


Westlands WD 


1,600 


USBR 


DWR 


100,000 


Yuba County WA 


DWR/SWP 


110,000 


Yuba County WA 


DWR/SWP 


1 2,000 


Payne 


Heidrick 


1,450 


Dudley Ridge WD 


San Luis WD 


1,600 


USBR 


DWR 


10,000 


Dudley Ridge WD 


Tulare Lake BWSD 


2,400 


Yuba County WA 


East Bay MUD 


66,000 


Yuba County WA 


Napa 


7,000 


Yuba County WA 


DWR/SWP 


200,000 


Kern County WA 


Westlands WD 


55,000 


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 


Westlands 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/SWP 


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 


Mojave Water Agency 


Antelope Valley-East Kern WA 


1,391 


Antelope Valley-East Kern WA 


Kern County Water Agency 


1,000 


Placer County Water Agency 


Santa Clara Valley WD 


14,000 


Modesto Irrigation District 


City of San Francisco 


4,808 


Oroville-Wyandote ID 


Westlands WD 


8,500 


North Marin Water District 


Marin Municipal WD 


2,500 



284 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 11-2. ShorMerm Water Transfers 1982 Through 1992* (Continued) 



Year 



Transferred From 



Transferred To 


Contracted Amount 




(acre- feet) 


various 


390,945 


Bella Vista Water District 


1,400 


Napa 


7,500 


City of San Francisco 


40,000 


various 


134,250 



i 



1992 



State of California Drought Water Bank 

City of Redding 

Yuba County WA 

Placer County Water Agency 

State of California Drought Water Bank 



'Water transferred for environmenhal uses and transfers less ttran 1 ,000 AF are not included. Amounts shown ore contracted amounts and actual transferred water may be less. 



The Department of Water Resources is considering making the State Drought 
Water Bank a permanent water transfer program available for future drought manage- 
ment. A draft program EIR was published in January 1993, and after public review, a 
final EIR was released in November 1993. The EIR reports DWR's experiences in run- 
ning the 1991 and 1992 drought water banks and evaluates potential environmental 
impacts associated with different categories of transfers. Figure 11-3 shows the cate- 
gories ofsources and allocations under the 1991 and 1992 drought water banks. Table 
1 1-4 shows 1991 and 1992 drought water bank purchases and allocations. The pro- 



I 



Table 1 1 -3. Recent Major Water Transfers for Environmental Uses 

(acre-feet) 



^ar 


Supplier 


Purchaser 


Facilities Used 
or Facilitator 


Use 


Contracted 
Amount 


1985 


USBR 


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 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern Notional Wildlife Refuge 


6,100 


1987 


USBR 


DFG 


DWR 


Winter Run Salmon 


9,300 


1988 


USBR 


DFG 


DWR 


Winter Run Salmon 


125,000 


1988 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


8,200 


1988 


USBR 


DFG 


DWR 


Stanislaus Salmon Spawning 


45,000 


1989 


EBMUD 


DFG 


DWR 


Grasslands Refuge 


39,000 


1989 


YCWA 


DFG 


DWR 


Sacramento- San Joaquin River 
Salmon Spawning and Migration 


30,000 


1989 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


7,200 


1990 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern National Wildlife Refuge 


6,200 


1990 


WCWD 


DWR 


USBR 


San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge 


3,500 


1991 


USBR 


USFWS 


DWR 


Kern Notional 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 


BWD 


DFG 


DWR 


Gray Lodge Wildlife Area 


5,000 


1992 


BVID 


DFG 


DWR 


Gray Lodge Wildlife Area 


5,000 


1992 


MID 


DFG 




Fish and Wildlife on Merced River, Volto, 
Los Bonos, and Mendota Areas 


15,000 



BVID: Browns Valley irrigation District 

BWD: Butte Water District 

DWR: California Department of Water Resources 

EBMUD: East Bay Municipol Utility District 



MID: Merced Irrigation District 
SFWD: San Francisco Water Department 
USBR: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 
WCWD: Western Conol Water District 




Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



285 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




Figure 11-3. 

Water Sources and 

Allocations of the 

1991 and 1992 State 

Drought Water Banks 

(thousands of 

acrefeet) 



gram EIR only discusses a State-run drought water bank involving short-term 
transfers during supply shortages or drought periods over the next five to ten years. 
Judging from the 199 1 and 1992 experience, the operation of a drought water bank in 
the future could probably reallocate 600,000 af of supplies during droughts. 

In October 1993, the State Water Contractors negotiated a Short-Term Water ; 
Purchase Agreement with DWR to purchase options to buy 9,000 to 14,000 af of water . 
from the San Joaquin Valley area in 1994. To minimize environmental impacts in the ' 
Delta, no water was to be purchased from sources north of the Delta. The agreement ! 
was primarily to test a process for buying and exercising options in the new climate of j 
regulations and requirements to protect threatened aquatic species in the Delta. Due 
to the onset of a dry spring in 1994, the SWC requested that a direct water purchase 
of 73,000 af be implemented, most of it from north of the Delta. The 1994 Drought 
Water Bank would allow DWR to purchase water on behalf of outside agencies and 
SWP contractors. On June 10, 1994, DWR opened the drought water bank with those 
agencies as well as with SWP contractors that will have a need for 93,000 af or more. 

Water Supply Management Options 

Water supply management options discussed here are those actions designed to 
augment supply in water-short areas of California. Table 11-5 shows the capacity and 
annual supply for statewide and local water supply management programs possible 
under Level I programs. 



286 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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

1991 Drought Water Bank 



Area Where Water 
Was Purchased 



Amount Purchased Agency Water Was 
(acre-feet) Allocated To 



Allocation 

(acre-feet) 



Above Shasta Reservoir 

Sacramento River 

Yolo Bypass 

Delta 

Yuba, Feather Rivers 



6,707 


American Canyon WD 


73,981 


City of San Francisco 


61,950 


Contra Costa WD 


341,819 


Alameda CWC 


336,208 


Alameda CFC&WCD 




Santa Clara VWD 




Oak Flat WD 




WesHands WD 




Dudley Ridge WD 




Kern County WA 




MWDSC 




Crestline-Lake Arrowhead 




SWP (in storage) 



370 

50,000 

6,717 

14,800 

500 

19,750 

975 

13,820 

13,805 

53,997 

215,000 

236 

265,000 



TOTAL 



820,665 



1 992 Drought Water Bank 



654,970 



Area Where Water 
Was Purchased 



Amount Purchased Agency Water Was 
(acre-feet) Allocated To 



JUIocation 

(acre-feet) 



Sacramento River 

Yolo Bypass 

Yuba, Feather Rivers 

American River 

Delta 

Stanislaus, Merced Rivers 



1 2,302 


City of San Francisco 


42,372 


Contra Costa WD 


64,419 


Westside Son Joaquin Valley 


10,000 


Department of Fish and Game 


2,500 


Wesrionds WD 


61,705 


Tulare Lake Basin WD 




Kern County WA 




MWDSC 



19,000 
10,000 

4,530 
24,465 
51,000 
31,550 

8,170 
10,000 



TOTAL 



1 93,298 



158,715 



SWP Water Supply Augmentation. Presented below, in addition to a discus- 
sion about SWP reliability, are several statewide programs designed to augment SWP 
.supplies. A water conveyance project, the Coastal Branch, Phase II. is also described. 
iThe water supply benefits of these programs are included in the Level 1 future supplies 
lof the SWP presented in Chapter 12. However, it must be noted that fixing the Sacra- 
■mento-San Joaquin Delta is integral to any statewide water management program. 
'More information about the Delta and available options for solving complex Delta 
oroblems are presented in Chapter 10. 

SWP supply reliability under D- 1485 depends on demand for water in SWP ser- 
Hice areas and delivery capability of the project. Delivery capability of the SWP varies 
)ased on water year tj^je. o 

Figure 1 1-4 shows the SWP delivery capability for year 2020 with existing and 
^el 1 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 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



287 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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



Program 



Type 



Capacity Annual Economic 

(1,000 AF) Supply Unit Cost 

(1000 AF) ($/AF)''> 
average drought 



Comments 



Statewide Water Management: 

Long-term Delta Delta Water 

Solution Management Program 



Interim South Delta 
Water Management 
Program 

Los Bonos Grandes 
ReservolH^*^ 

Kern Water Bank'^ 
Kern Fan Element 
Local Elements 

Coastal Branch- 
Phase II (Santa Ynez 
Extension) 

American River 
Flood Control''" 



Local Water Management: 

Water Recycling 



South Delta 
Improvement 

Offstream Storage 



Ground Water Storage 
Ground Water Storage 



SWP Conveyance 
Facility 



Flood Control Storage 



Reclamation 



1 ,730<3i 



1,000 
2,000 

57 



545'=" 



1,321 



Ground Water 
Reclamation 


Reclamation 


200 


El Dorado County 
Water Agency 
Water Program 


Diversion from South 
Fork American River 




Los Vaqueros 

Reservoir-Con tra-Costra 
Water District 


Offstream Storage 

Emergency Supply 

Water Quality 


100 


EBMUD 


Conjunctive Use and 
Other Options 




New Los Padres 
Reservoir-MPWMD 


Enlarging existing 
reservoir 


24 


Domenigoni Valley 
Reservoir-MWDSC 


Offstream storage of 

SWP and Colorado 

River water, drought year 

supply 


800 


Inland Feeder-MWDSC 


Conveyance Facilities 


— 


San Felipe Extension- 
PVWA 


CVP Conveyance 
Facility 




City of San Luis 
Obispo- Salinas Reservoir 


Enlarging existing 
reservoir 


18 



200 

60 

250-300 

90 
90 

N/A 



923 
100 

24 



N/A 

N/A 
22 


N/A 



400 



60 



260 



Not 
Available 



60 



260 



Under study by Bay/Delta 
Oversight Council; water supply 
benefit is elimination of carriage 
water under D- 1 485. 

Final draft is scheduled to 
be released in late 1 994 



Schedule now coincides with 
BDOC process 



140 


105-155 


Evaluation under way 


290 


180-460 


Schedule now coincides with 
BDOC process 



N/A 630- 1,110 Notice of Determination was 

filed in July 1 992; construction 
began in late 1993. 

— — Feasibility report and 

environmental documentation 
completed in 1991 . 



923 1 25-840 New water supply 

1 00 350-900 Primarily in South Coast 

23151 280 Certified final Programmatic 

EIR identifying preferred 
■• alternative; water rights hearings, 

new CVP contract following 
EIR/EIS preparation 

N/A 320-950 EIR certified in October 1 993, 

404 permit issued in April 1 994. 

43 370 Final EIR certified in October 

1993 

18 410 T&E species, steelhead resources, 

cultural resources in Carmel River 

264 410 Final EIR certified 



N/A'^ 1 40 Capitol costs only; convey 

1 8,000 AF annually 

1 .6 — Final EIR is expected to be 

certified in 1 994. 



(1 ) Economic costs include capital and OMP&R costs discounted over a 50-year period of 6 percent discount rote. Ttiese costs do not include applicable transportation and treolnnent costs. 

(2) Annual supply and unit cost figures are based on Delta water supply availability under D-1485 with an interim Sootti Delta Water Management Program in place. 

(3) Reservoir capacity. 

(4) Folsom Lake flood control reservation would return to original 0.4 MAP. 

(5) Yield of this project is in part or fully comes from ttie CVP. 

(6) N/A: Not Applicable 

(7) These programs are only feasible if a Delta Water Management Program is implemented. 



288 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




Figure 1 1 -4. 
2020 Delivery 
CapabUity ofSWP 
with Existing 
Facilities and 
Level I Programs 
Based on D- 1485 



maf 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 11-6 shows SWP 
supplies for 1990 to 2020 with and without additional Level I programs. 

To illustrate the impact of drought periods on SWP deliveries to agricultural and 
urban users, frequency diagrams are presented showing deliveries based on a 3.2-maf 
level of demand for 1990 and on a 4.2-maf level of demand for 2020 (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-1485 standards and show that, with planned Level I water management programs. 

Table 11-6. State Water Project Supplies 

(millions of acre-feef) 



Level of 
Development 



SWP Delivery Capability' 



SEP Delta 
Export Demand 



With Existing 
Facilities 



average 



drought 



With Level I Additional 
Programs '^' 



average 



drought 



1990 
2000 
2010 
2020 



2.8131 


2.1 






3.0 


3.2 


2.0 


3.4 


2.1 


3.7 


3.3 


2.0 


3.9 


3.0 


4.2 


3.3 


2.0 


4.0 


3.0 


4.2 



(1 ) Assumes D-1 485. SWP capability is uncertain until solutions to complex Delta problems ore implemented and future actions to protect aquatic species are identified. Includes SWP 
conveyance losses. 

(2) Level I programs include Soutfi Deha Water Management Program, long-term Delta water monogement programs, tfie Kern Water Bonk and Local Elements, end Los Bonos Grondes Facilities. 

(3) 1 990 level SWP deliveries do not reflect additional supplies needed to offset tfie reduction of Mono ond Owens basins to tfie Soutfi Coast Region. Reduction of Mono-Owens supplies in 1 990 
were offset by additional exports from tfie Delta to the Soutfi Coast Region. 

Note: Feattier River Service Area supplies ore not included. FRSA average and drougfit supplies ore 927,000 and 729,000 AF respectively. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



289 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 11-5. 

SWP Urban and 

Agricultural 

Deliveries with 

Existing 

Facilities and 

Level I Programs 

Based on 

D-1485 1990 

and 2020 Levels 

of Demand 




Percent Time At or Above 



1990 Existing SWP M & I 
2020 Existing SWP M & I 
2020 Level I' SWP M & I 



1990 Existing SWP Agriculture 
2020 Existing SWP Agriculture 
2020 Level I* SWP Agriculture 



*SWP Level I Water Management Programs: 



Interim South Delta Water Management Program 
Kern Water Bank - Kern Fan Elements 
Kern Water Bank - Local Elements 



Los Bonos Grandes Facilities 

Long-term Delta Water Management Program 



the SWP could provide full service delivery to urban contractors about 80 percent of j 
the time. Figure 11-6 compares future delivery capability of the SWP (with Level 1 pro- 1 
grams) with EBMUD and MWDSC reliability objectives. 1 

Various restrictions imposed on Delta exports limit the delivery capability of the ! 
SWP. Recent Endangered Species Act biological opinions for winter -run salmon and i 
Delta smelt and the proposed federal EPA Bay- Delta standards place further opera- , 
tional constraints on Delta exports. Figure 11-7 illustrates CVP and SWP Delta- 
capabilities under various Delta export restrictions for average and drought years. Ex- 
port capabilities were computed for the 1990 level of development for: (1) pre-D-1485; 
SWRCB Bay-Delta Standards; (2) D-1485; (3) D-1485 with winter-run and Delta smelt 
biological opinions; and (4) D-1485 with winter-run and Delta smelt biological opin-| 
ions and EPA- proposed Bay- Delta standards. Restrictions imposed by biological i 
opinions for winter-run salmon and Delta smelt, and by the EPA's proposed Bay-Delta , 
standards, could reduce delivery capabilities of SWP and CVP by about 1.1 and 1.6 j 
maf for average and drought years respectively. The reduction of SWP and CVP delivery! 
capabilities do not reflect reductions in exports that may result from take limits re-( 
quired by winter-run salmon and Delta smelt biological opinions. Delta exportj 
capabilities shown in Figure 11-7 are based on monthly operation studies and do notj 
reflect additional outflow that may be required to provide substantial buffers so as not! 
to violate the proposed EPA salinity standards (to provide for 95 percent compliancei 
with EPA standards). If required, such buffers could potentially double water supplyi 
impacts. j 

Los Banos Grandes Facilities. In 1983, DWR initiated a comprehensive investiga-j 
tion of alternative offstream storage reservoirs south of the Delta. In 1984, after arij 
initial examination of 18 sites, a DWR study recommended that Los Banos Grandes be 



290 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 




The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Percent of Deliveries 
inn . ... 


J\ 


^^^^^^^^^^^H 






^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^1 




^^^^^^^^H 




^^^^^^^^H 




/ 

•>ft 


^^^^^^^^^1 




iSJ 








100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 
Percent Time At or Above 

EBMUD' Urban Retail — — SWP" AgrkuHure — -^— 

MWDSC Objective — — — SWP" Urban ^— 

* from EBMUD EIR 

"SWP Level 1 Water Management Programs: 

Interim South Delta Water Management Program Los Bonos Grandes Facilities 

Kem Water Bank - Kern Fan Elements Long-term Delta Water Management Program 

Kern Water Bonk - Local Elements 



Figure 11-6. 
Future Delivery 
Capability Objectives 
of Various Projects 



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 (see Figure 11-8). 

Based on the feasibility investigation, a 1 .73-maf reservoir was selected as a tech- 
nically 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 re- 
cent 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 

I and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others, to address potential impacts on 

blologlcal 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). Fi- 
nancing of LBG has also been a continuing concern for several of the SWP water 
, contractors, primarily agricultural users, who are concerned that the cost may be too 
Ithigh for them to pay. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



291 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Figure 11-7. 
CVP and SWP 

Delta Export 

Capabilities 
Under Various 

Delta Elxport 
Restrictions 



Total Exports 
Imillion acre-feel) 




' m-WH^^^^^ 




■fc-l 


6 

4 




n,m 


t J 


P^^^H 


3 


Ih^ -fll 




2 






1 


i 1 1 -i L.,.,...i ..,1... J L. — i. — i.,..,.,.J. L... 


.1 1 1 


1975 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^1 

^v^^^ ^ " 

D-1370 D-1485 

(1} D- 1485 + Winfer Run Sdmon + Deha Smdt. 
mD-148S + Winter Run Sainton + DehaSmeh+ EPA. 

NOTE: Figures A> no! nlkclreduclion in exports ihatnxiyfesuk from 'take Smils' 
letfuireo by winter fun sobnon ono oeho stnatbtoioQHAM opuuons, 

<h no! refkcl€i(UilioniJouHhw required to praifide a subslattlial buffer so as nol to 
violate the proposed EPA daily stAnhy standards. 


1995 



The Kern Water Bank, established under an agreement between DWR and the 
Kem County Water Agency, would take advantage of available opportunities to store 
and extract SWP water in the Kem County ground water basin. There are eight poten- 
tial elements, or separate comf)onents, to the Kern Water Bank; seven will be 
sponsored by local water districts and the eighth element is DWR's Kem 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 progremi is focused on completion of a Habi- 
tat 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 KFE will be reassessed, 
final environmental documentation will be issued, and a program for further evalua- 
tion of local elements will be considered. 

The Kem Fan Element Programmatic EIR was completed in 1986. The EIR pro- 
posed acquiring up to 46,000 acres for recharging, extracting, and storing SWP water 
in the Kem River Fan area. DWR acquired 20,000 acres for the bank in 1988. Initial 
studies indicate that the Kem 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 loccd elements are in various stages of investigation. A feasibility study 
and a negative declaration for local project impacts are essentially complete for a local 



292 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 11-8. Los Banos Grandes Facilities Location 




LOS BANOS GRANDES 
RESEEVOIE 






PROJECT AREA 




Legend 

EXISTING 

PLANNED 



12 3 4 5 

SCALE IN MILES 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demcind 



293 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



element sponsored by the Semitropic Water Storage District. Reconnaissance-level in- 
vestigations 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 (jointly) 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 pro- 
posed annual recharge capacity of about 1 14,000 af, the Semitropic Lxjcal Element is 
the largest of the local elements. Cawelo Water District has the smallest element pro- 
posed to date, with a ground water storage capacity of about 1 10,000 af and an annual 
recharge capacity of about 20,000 af. Taken together, the local elements have the po- 



SWP Reliability Planning Process 

DWR has done substantial planning to improve the water supply reliability of the 
SWP. Since the mid-1980s, DWR has employed the water service reliability planning 
approach in the economic analyses of SWP supply augmentation programs. For this 
purpose, the Economic Risk Model, an urban water management simulation model, 
was used to identify least-cost plans by combining 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 shortages. 

For a proposed addition to the SWP, 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 strategy were then compared to the strate- 
gy identified as 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 
an 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 model produced "snapshots" of reli- 
ability-related costs and losses for selected future years over the planning horizon. 

Using this approach, the potential contributions of all feasible local urban de- 
mand 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 true 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 reli- 
ability. 

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 
50 percent in any one year or a total of 100 hundred percent in any series of seven ^ 
consecutive years. " The reductions in deliveries 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 pro- 
grams are implemented to augment SWP supplies. 



I 



294 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



tential to provide over 2 maf of ground water storage and a capability to store and 
extract about 370.000 af annually (under D-1485). When the Delta issues and their 
Impacts on the water available for the local elements are better defined, planning inves- 
tigations 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 water to be delivered to SWP con- 
tractors. 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 is similar to the Semitropic element of the Kern 
Water Bank. This program would allow MWDSC to temporarily store a portion of its 
SWP entitlements for later withdrawal and delivery to MWDSC's service area, as de- 
scribed earlier in this chapter under Short-Term Demand Management Options. If 
MWDSC and Semitropic WSD decide to carry out a permanent and long-term water 
banking program. KWB local elements storage will shift from the SWP to a local 
MWDSC project. 

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 



i 



SWP Drought Year Suppi 




For this water plan update, the drought year scenario is defined as a water 
year when statewide water supplies equal the average supplies of 1990 and 1991 . 
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 examining past hydrology and SWP delivery ca- 
pabilities. 

The Sacramento River Index runoff for water years 1990 and 1991 totaled 1 7.7 
mat. A review of the index from 1906 through 1992 indicates that there have been 
four two-year drought periods with a two-year total runoff of 1 7. 7 maf or less (includ- 
ing 1990 and 1991). 

Sacramento River Index Summary of Two- Year Drought Periods 



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 two-year period will exceed 
the 1990-91 runoff about 95 percent of the time. 

The drought year delivery capability of a project is determined by a combina- 
tion of demand, hydrology, and carryover storage in the reservoirs. For the SWP, 
71 -year operation studies (1922-1992) showed that the lowest two-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 pattern indicates that the 1990-91 delivery would recur about once every 
18 years. 





(in millions of acre-feet) 


Years 


: Two- Year Total Ru 


1976-77 


13.2 


1991-92 


17.3 


1933-34 


17.6 


1990-91 


17.7 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



295 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



districts, construction of Coastal Branch, Phase 11, and delivery of SWP water was def- 
^ erred several times until 1986, when S1X)CFX:WCD and SBCFXZWCD asked DWR to 

begin planning for Coastal Branch completion. 

Water demand during the 1980s exceeded dependable water supplies by an aver- 
age 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 Barbcira counties, the lower- 
ing 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 n, is planned as a 102-mile buried pipeline which will 
complete the Coastal Branch of the SWP (see Figure 1 1-9). The existing Phase I, a 
15-mile canal finom the California Aqueduct to Devils Den in northwestern Kern 
County, was completed in 1968. Under current plans. Phase n wiU start at De\ils Den, 
traverse San Luis Obispo County, extend 14 miles into Santa Barbara County, and 
terminate on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Three pimaping plants will lift the water 
approximatety 1 ,500 feet to Polonio Pass where the water wiU be treated at a regional 
treatment plant, 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 pimiping plant near 
Casmalia will lift the water approximatefy 400 feet over the Casmalia Hills to Tank 5, 
the terminus of Phase n. From there, local facilities will convey the water 42 miles to 
Lake Cachuma, which serves the south cocistal area of Santa Barbara County. 

Potential benefits of SWP water for the area include improved municif»al and in- 
dustrial water quality, improved ground water quality, reduced ground water 
overdraflU and increased reliability of urban water supplies. While this project in- 
creases supplies in the Central Coast R^on, it only reallocates existing SWP suppfy 
capabilities of the California Aqueduct. 

In June 1990, the Draft EIR for the Coastal Branch, Phase 11, and the Mission 
Hills Ebctension (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 b^an in late 1993 and is scheduled to be completed in earfy 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 Vall^ 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. 

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 Con- 
gress by late 1 995 for increasing the yield of the CVP by the amount of water dedicated 
for environmental purposes imder the act. 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 n op- 
tions). The act further directs the secretary to develop and implement a plan for 
obtaining supplemental water supplies for fish and wildlife. 

AmerUxm River Flood Control (Auburn Dami. In 1991, the Army Corps of Engi- 
neers completed a Feasibility Report and environmental documentation for a 

296 Options for Balancing Water Suppty and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 11-9. Proposed Coastal Branch Phase II and 
Central Coast Water Authority Extension 



KINGS 




CENTRAL COAST 

WATER AUTHORITY 

EXTENSION 



SCALE IN MILES 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



297 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



545,000-af flood detention dam at the Auburn Dam site which would provide 
l-in-200-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 pro- 
posed 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 fu- 
ture 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 con- 
trol 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. Implementing this option could increase CVP supplies to the 
extent that Folsom Reservoir could be operated based on its original flood control crite- 
ria. 

Local Water Supply Augmentation. Existing local surface water projects were 
among the first projects developed to meet regional water needs. Currently, in an aver- 
age year local agencies provide about 11.1 maf of annual supply, including 1 .0 maf of 
imported water supply. Future local water projects and demand management pro- 
grams will also play a major role in providing water supply reliability out to 2020. Local 
water development programs are expected to add an additional 0.2 maf to average year 
supplies and 0.6 maf to drought year supplies by 2020. The following is a brief descrip- 
tion of some local projects currently under investigation. More detailed discussions of 
the local projects are presented in the regional chapters of Volume II. 

Water Recycling. Water recycling for the 1990 level is based on evaluation of data 
presented in Water Recycling 2000, a September 1991 report by the State Water Con- 
servation Coalition Reclamation/Reuse Task Force, a work group of the SWRCB's 
Bay-Delta proceedings, and information provided by local water and sanitation dis- 
tricts. Projected water recycling is based on the July 1993 survey. Future Water 
Recycling Potential, by the WateReuse Association of California and input from local 
water and sanitation districts. 

The 1 993 survey indicates that there is potential for accelerating the pace of wa- 
ter 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." 

Additional water supply would be generated by water recycling where the outflow 
of water treatment plants would otherwise enter a salt sink or the Pacific Ocean. In the 
Central Valley, the outflow from waste water treatment plants is put into streams and 
ground water basins and is generally reused. Recycling of such outflow would not gen- 
erate any new supply but would be a change in the waste water treatment and use 
process. In coastal regions recycled water would generally be considered as new water 
supply. In the areas where water supply contains high total dissolved solids, such as 
Colorado River water, the TDS of recycled water would be too high for direct use. Re- 
cycled water with high TDS could be used if desalination techniques were employed to 
improve it or by blending it with high-quality water. In the South Coast Region local 
water agencies are concerned that the lack of future adequate high-quality water for 

298 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



blending supplies or the cost of desalination of recycled water could affect the timing 
of future water recycling facilities by delaying their cost effective implementation until 
adequate good quality source water is available. 

To estimate how much additional supply would be generated by Level I and Level 
II water recycling, a set of criteria was established. Total annual Level I water recycling 
for 2020 is projected to be about 1,321,000 af. This would contribute about 923,000 
af of new water to the State Water Project supply. Table 11-7 shows 1990 and projec- 
tions of total water recycling and new water supply by hydrologic region. 

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 wa- 
ter 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 
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 Re- 
gion's ground water supply. 

£1 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, EDC- 



Criteria for Determining Level i and Level II Water Reclamation 
and Available Supplies for Bulletin 160-93 

1 . Additional water supplies resulting from recycled water occur where the exist- 
ing outflow from a waste water treatment plant is directly discharged to a salt 
sink or the Pacific Ocean. These supplies were counted as new water supplies. 
In other areas, reuse of existing agricultural drainage and waste water treat- 
ment outflow already occurs and thus recycling of this water will not add to the 
State's overall water supplies. For example, outflow from waste water treat- 
ment plants in the Central Valley is generally put into streams or ground water 
basins and is reused. Recycling of such outflow does not generate new supply 
but would be a change in the waste water treatment and use process. There- 
fore, recycling in this area of the State will not contribute additional supplies for 
the State. An exception is in the westside of the Tulare Lake Region where out- 
flow from treatment plants could be lost to a salt sink (such as unusable ground 
water) without any reuse. 

2. Recycled water added to a coastal stream for environmental enhancement 
was counted as both a supply and an environmental demand. 

3. Recycled water used for ground water recharge for ocean salinity barriers in 
coastal basins was not counted as a supply because, in general, it prevents fur- 
ther degradation of the existing ground water supply rather than adding new 
supply. Recycled water used within the treatment plants was not counted as a 
supply. 

4. Future water recycling: for Bulletin 160-93, the total future water recycling was 
based on the WateReuse Association's 1993 survey and is divided into Level I 
and Level II facilities as follows; Level I water recycling projects are projects that 
are moving forward after having undergone extensive investigation and have 
a 75 percent or greater likelihood of being implemented; Level II water recycl- 
ing projects are the remaining projects. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 299 



BuUeUn 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Table 1 1 -7. Total Water Recycling and Resulting New Water Supply by Hydrologic Region 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Hydrologic 
Region 



Level I 
Level II 
Central Coast 

Existing 

Level I 

Level II 
South Coast 

Existing 

Level I 

Levelii 
Sacramento River 

Existing 

Level I 

Level N 
Joaquii 

Existin 

Level I 

Level II 
Tulare Lake 

Existing 

Level I 

Level II 
North Lahontan 

Existing 

Level I 

Levelll 
South Lahontan 

Existing 

Level I 

Level II 
Colorado River 



1990 2000 2010 2020 

Total New Total New Total New Total New 

Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water 

Recycling Supply Recycling Supply Recycling Supply Recycling Supply 



North Coast 


Existing ^^^^^^H 


■ u 


11 


— 


— 


— 


— 




.^^s 


Level! 


— 


— 


23 


14 


23 


17 


23 


20 


Levelll 


— 


— 


2 


2 


4 


4 


T 




San Francisco Boy 


Existing ^^^^^H 


^H 36 


36 1 


■■■■ 


■■■1 


■■■■ 




m- 


-^^ 



40 




15 



82 



74 
20 



74 




632 
110 



74 
20 



59 




481 
110 



111 
40 



87 




814 
246 




73 




m 

40 



70 




580 

246 



119 
59 



87 




888 

302 



80 




119 
59j 



70 



679 

3021 



Level 1 


— 


— 


10 





11 





11 





Level H^^HI^^^^H 


m - 


— 

















m 


Joaquin River 


Existing jm^^^^ 


^B 24 





— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


^^1 


Level 1 


— 


— 


30 





35 . 





48 





Level II IMI^^H 


■H^^^K 


— 


fli 


IHHH 


■ 








m 



Existing 


^ 13 


13 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


^H 


Level 1 


— 


— 


13 


13 


14 


14 


14 


14 


Level II 




BHH 










V 2 


m 



Existing 




^V^^ 




w/m^— 


— 


— 


— 


^H 


Level 1 


— 


— 


26 


9 


37 


12 


43 


13 


Levelll 




— 

















(5~ 




TOTAL 


Existing 


354 


172 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


Level 1 


— 


— 


958 


658 


1,213 


812 


1,321 


923 


Levelll 


— 


— 


134 


134 


292 


292 


370 


37^1 





300 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



WA 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 sup- 
ply to the EID service area by implementing a water management program that 
involves use of various combinations of water rights, water storage, and water convey- 
ance 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 mu- 
nicipal 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 involve the construction of new dams and reser- 
voirs. 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 Environ- 
mental Impact Report for this $450-million project was certified in October 1993, and 
, in April 1994, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the project under Sec- 
! tlon 404 of the Clean Water Act. 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 
I 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 
I rare and endangered species in the canyon. The Los Vaqueros Project would improve 
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 
jtBay Municipal Utility District is a multipurpose regional agency with water supply as 
a major function, serving an estimated 1.2 million people and industrial, commercial, 
I 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 in- 
jpreased use of Mokelumne River water by senior water rights holders will decrease 
availability of Mokelumne River supply for EBMUD. With increases in customer de- 
Tiand and the projected increased use by senior water rights holders, and possible 



i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 301 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



EBMUD Reliability Planning Process 

The source for 95 percer^t of EBMUD's supply is the Mokelumne River in the Sierro Nevo- 
do, with o diversion point at Pardee Reservoir in the foothills. This reservoir is used in conjunc- 
tion Vi/ith Comanche Reservoir, immediately downstream of Pardee, and with five smallerj 
terminal reservoirs in the East Boy Service Area. 

Reservoir storage is used to meet EBMUD's needs for service area water supply reliabil- 
ity and downstream obligations, including releases for irrigation, streomflow regulation J 
flood control, fishery needs, and the senior water rights of riparian and other appropriativel 
entitlements. The existing storage capacity is vital to the district's ability to meet its obliga-j 
tions, to provide reliable service to its customers, and to provide water for instreom uses in] 
dry years. 

In wet years, any portion of the district's water right entitlement that is not directly di- 
verted for current use in the district's service area, or diverted to storage in Pardee or 
Comanche reservoirs, continues to flow downstream and is no longer available to the dis-l 
trict. 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 onj 
the Mokelumne River is not sufficient to supply all consumptive and instreom needs. 

Approach Used to Analyze Water Service Reliability. The analysis of water supply be- 
gins by defining each of the supply, demand, and operational factors affecting EBMUD's 
need for water (see Figure E-1). The specific conditions, or assumptions, associated with 
each factor affecting the need for water ore then defined. 

The combined effects of each of the factors affecting the need for woter and the re-^ 
lated assumptions were analyzed using the district's water supply planning computer ^' 
model. The water balance model of Mokelumne River operations allows for the simulta- 
neous consideration of many interrelated factors. The model is used as a water supply 
planning tool by estimating reservoir storage levels, river flow rotes, 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 
planning sequence. It assumes the historical 1 976-77 sequence plus o 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 o drought persists while continuing to meet its current and subse- 
quent year fish-release requirements and obligations to downstream agencies. 

The deficiency rules ore used to achieve the system-wide annualized demand reduc- 
tion target of no more than 25 percent. The limit of 25 percent was adopted by the EBMUD 
Board of Directors as a reasonable planning criterion in 1989. Although the impacts of 
shortage were not evaluated in terms of overall economic costs and losses, general im- 
pact studies by user type for various levels of shortage hove been done by EBMUD. If the 
decision is mode to do the additional work necessary to balance the total costs of reliabil- 
ity 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 esti- 
mated 31 -percent reduction to residential users, a 25-percent reduction to commercial 
and institutional users, and a 10-percent reduction to most industrial users. The higher re- 
duction experienced by the residential users is the result of on exemption process during 
shortage events which has as o major goal the protection of the economic well-being of 
commercial and industrial firms and the area's economic health. 



302 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



^, Figure E - 1 . Factors Used by EBMUD in Projecting the Need for Water 

Factor 2020 

Assumptions 




(OMUD'S 

and for Water in Normal Years 



280 TAF/yr 
(250 MGD) 



EBMUD's Deficiency Rules ^ 



25% Limit on 

Rationing 



I Future Mokelumne River 
I Runoff/Pardee Inflow 3'* 

[^■■■(p— T — -smmm 



130 -1,595 TAF/yr 



\t 



Drought Planning Sequence 
& Related Minimum Storage 
Criteria ^ 



1976, 1977, 185 TAF 
40 TAF (Dead Storage) 



Operations and Diversions of 
Other Water Agencies ^ '^ 
Upstream Agencies 
Downstream Agencies 



32 TAF/yr 
59 -104 TAF/yr 



Annual Mokelumne River Releases 
for Fisheries 



19- 114 TAF/yr 



Future Amount of Mokelumne It is assumed that river 

River Water Needed to Meet releases for Mokelumne 

New Boy/Delta Standards ' fisheries addresses this factor. 




i 



Notes: 

1 Conditions odding to tfie District's need for water 

2 Conditions reducing the District's need for water 

3 Conditions wfiich could add to or reduce the District's need for water 

4 Conditions largely outside District's control 



TAF/yr = thousand acre-feet per year 
MGD = million gallons per day 



Source: EDAW, Inc., and EBMUD 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



303 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



■< EBMUD Reliability Planning Process (continued) ** 

Long-Term Management Options and Reliability. In February 1 990, EBMUD began for- 
mal 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 con- 
servation and reclamation (the use of recycled v\/ater) and augmenting supplies through 
ground v^ater 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 categories based on evaluation using the district's planning objectives and 
related screening criteria. The district's planning objectives and screening criteria ore very 
comprehensive and cover a brood array of issues. These are organized into the the follow- 
ing categories: operational, engineering, legal, and institutional; economic; public 
health, public safety, and socioculturol; and biological. 

The surviving component alternatives were then used to develop alternative Com- 
posite Programs, or groups of demand-reduction and supply components that together 
would provide EBMUD with an adequate water supply based on the water supply reliabil- 
ity analysis described earlier in this chapter. Six Composite Programs were identified to 
represent a reasonable range of alternatives. (See table 1 .) 

Assumptions, including EBMUD'S demand and physical system characteristics, oper- 
ating practices and criteria, water supply demands of the agencies, fishery releases, flood 
control requirements, and releases for channel losses were evaluated in operation studies 
and included in updated water supply management programs. WSMP is discussed in de- 
tail under Level 1— Reliability Enhancement Options. Any short-term or long-term need for 
additional water is determined by using water system mode! 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 Composite Programs for EBMUD 


\. Components 
Primary \. 
Composite \. 
Programs \. 


DMP 


Conservation 
(Savings)' 


Reclamation 
(Savings)' 


Groundwater 


Reservoir 


Supplemental 
Supply 


Aqueduct 
Security 


IMRMP 


Composite 

Program 

Screening 

Designation^ 


Maximum 
Deficiency' 


II 
(13 MGD) 


IV 
135 MGD) 


A1 
(8 MGD) 


A2 
(21 MGD) 


A6 
(8 MGD) 


Agricultural 
Exchange 


River 
Substitution 


Direct to 
Aqueducts 


Raise 

Pardee 

+150 

TAP 


Delta 


Folsom 

South 

Connection 


I 


Demand-Side 
Management 


35% 




• 




• 


• 


















X 


n 


Groundwater 


25% 


• 




• 






• 


• 


• 




• 








A' 


m 


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 ore in addition to savings from existing and adopted conservation and reclamation programs. 
Combining conservation and reclamation is not necessarily additive due to overlapping. 

2 Drought Management Programs (DMP) are short-term rationing or demand deficiencies imposed on customers 
during droughts. A DMP is used in addition to some level of conservation. 

3 During screening of alternative composite programs, the alternatives v/ere identified by these letters. 


Source: EDAW, Inc. 


^^ Components included in 
^P Primary Composite Programs 



304 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure E - 2. Projected EBMUD Customer Deficiencies 



Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 1 990 Existing Conditions 



Percent of 
1990 demand 

70 



60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




1 1 1 1 iBL I 1 1 iM 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ■ 1 1 ■ 1 1 ■ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ■ 
1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 



I I I 



1970 



1980 



1990 



For period of hydrologic record (1921 - 1990), 185 TAF substituted for 1978 runoff. 

Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 2020 No Action Conditions 



1 I Percent of 
2020 demand 



70 
60 
50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




I I I I I iWi I 1 i-i-i^ iWi 



^ 



■ ■■■■■■'■■'■■'■'■■■ ^^^" I I 1 I 1 I I 
1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

For period of hydroiogic record (1921 - 1990), 185 TAF substituted for 1978 runoff. 



■L JB -B 



1980 



1990 



Annualized EBMUD Customer Deficiencies Under 2020 Proposed LMRMP Conditions 



Percent of 
2020 demand 



60 
50 
40 
30 



UH 



JU 



jH 



1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 

For period of hydrologic record (1921 - 1990), 185 TAF substituted for 1978 runoff. 



1980 



1990 



Source: EBMUD 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



305 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



additional Mokelunme River fishery flow requirements. EBMUD projects a drought 
year shortage of 130,000 af per year by 2020. To address this deficiency. EBMUD has 
been studying a wide range of potential water management options to help meet its 
future water demands. Tliese include: several additional conservation programs, water 
recycling programs, conjunctive use options on the lower Mokelumne River, use of its 
CVP contract for Folsom-South Canal water, and raising the height of Pardee Dam. 

After several hearings and extensive evaluation. EBMUD's Board of Directors 
designated two of the six composite programs as preferred alternatives. The main ele- 
ment 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 ba- 
sin during wet years. During dry years, this water would either be: (1) used for 
agricultural irrigation in the lower Mokelumne River basin; or (2) pumped into aque- , 
ducts for use by EBMUD's customers. The conjunctive use element of this program j 
would require cooperation of San Joaquin County where ground water storage is lo- 
cated. The other preferred alternative (Alternative IV) includes the same components 
mentioned above, plus a supplemental water suppfy fix>m the American River. Rights 
to use of this suppfy are regulated by court order. American River water could be deliv- 
ered to the Mokelumne aqueduct by a 16-mile pipeline tapping into the existing 
Folsom South Canal. EBMUD's proposed new water supply program specifies in- 
stream 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. In October 1993. EBMUDs Board 
of Directors certified the WSMP final EIR and voted to focus planning efforts on the use 
of ground water storage in San Joaquin County. The Board directed EBMUD staff to 
continue working with San Joaquin County water interests regarding development of 
a joint conjunctive use project, with the option of using the District's contract with 
USBR for 150,000 af jjer year of American River water. 

The District's need for water could change, depending on the outcome of various 
actions by federal agencies and the SWRCB Mokelumne River water rights hearing. 
Should any of these actions result in a significant increase in the District's water 
needs, the District would reexamine aU the alternatives contained in the WSMP EIR for 
meeting the demand. 

Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project To improve the reliability of water 

supplies in the Monterey Bay area, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District I 

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 

I 
as for environmental water needs of the area. Current suppfy is inadequate during 

drought years when shortages develop due to lack of adequate carryover storage facili- 
ties. The district has investigated 32 alternatives. The current preferred alternative is 
enlarging a dam and reservoir on the Carmel River. Enlarging Los Padres Resen'oir to 
approximatefy 24,000 af could provide an average annual water suppfy of 22.000 af 
and a drought year suppfy of about 1 8,000 af to the Monterey Peninsula's water supply' 
system. 

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern Caltfomia Water Management Pro- 
grams. MWDSC supplies about 60 percent of the water delivered by its member j 
agencies. These agencies, which cover cdl or part of six of California's most highty pop- 
ulated counties, serve over 1 5 million residents. MWDSC's major sources of suppfy are , 
the SWP and the Colorado River. Ninety percent of the demand on MWDSC's supplies j 



306 Options for Balancing Water Suppfy and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



is from municipal and industrial users; the remaining demand is from agricultural us- 
ers. 

Population in MWDSC's service area is expected to increase from 14.8 million in 
1990 to more than 22.7 million by 2020. In 1988, MWDSC began a preliminary effort 
to expand reservoir 




storage capacity to 
meet the projected wa- 
ter demands in its 
service area. Reservoir 
storage requirements 
were evaluated in a 
two-step process de- 
signed to establish the 
combined ground and 
surface storage needs 

j and to determine the 

1 minimum surface 

j storage needed. Three 

I alternative sites for 

I surface storage were 
selected, including the 

i preferred alternative 

! Domenigonl Valley In western Riverside County, based on the minimum reservoir stor- 

! age need and a comparison of several sites. 

i The Domenigonl Valley Reservoir involves constructing two main embankments 

as well as a large roller -compacted concrete saddle dam as shown on Figure 1 1-10. 
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 

i a capacity of 800,000 af. 

The reservoir would provide emergency storage, drought year storage, 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. The remainder would be used for seasonal regulation and to aug- 

[iment MWDSC supplies by 264,000 af per year during drought years. In October 1991, 

;MWDSC certified the final Environmental Impact Report for the Domenigonl Valley 
Reservoir Project. The current MWDSC schedule Indicates that the project would be 
operational by the end of this decade. However, it could take five or more years to fill 
the reservoir, so the full benefit of the reservoir may not be realized until after the year 

12004. 

Arvin-Edlson — MWDSC Conjunctive Use Program is another supply augmenta- 
tion 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 
jfrom SWP supply in wet years. As originally envisioned, the project would have pro- 
jWded 93,000 af of drought year supply. However, recent actions to protect aquatic 



An artist's 
photocomposite of 
proposed 
Domenigoni Valley 
Reservoir. The 
reservoir would 
make MWDSC's 
supplies more 
reliable by 
providing 
drought-year and 
emergency 
storage. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



307 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




MWDSC Reliability Planning Process 

MWDSC concentrates on the development and management of sufficient and higl- 
quality water to meet the needs of its service area in an innovative and cost-effective man- 
ner that will sustain the economy and qualit/ of life in Southern California. MWDSC's water 
supply reliability objective is as follows: 

Even under the most severe hydrologic event, MWDSC will never provide less than 80 
percent of full service to its customers; full sen/ice meaning wholesale demand for imported 
water, after accounting for the implementation of water management programs and con- 
servation best management practices, within its service area. 

This water supply reliability objective was developed after balancing the costs of re- 
source expansion, economic impacts of water shortages, and practical levels of implement- 
ing water conservation and other management programs. In order to assess and review the 
water reliability objective, MWDSC follows an on-going systematic procedure to ensure thot 
the objective is effective. 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 Demand 

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 
computer model known as MWDSC-MAIN, a regional version of the national IWRMAIN water 
demand model, calibrated for the South Coast Region. MWDSC-MAIN projects water de- 
mands based on demographic and economic trends such as population, housing, family 
size, personal income, commercial and industrial employment, labor rates, climate, and the 
price of water service. The model also takes into account long-term water conservation, 
such as that anticipated from the implementation of the "best management practices," 
These projected water demands can vary substantially frOm one year to the next. The varia- 
tion in water demands is attributed mainly to weather and economic cycles such as reces- 
sions. 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 operations model to determine the probability of SWP sup- 
plies using 70 years of historic hydrology. The other major supplies available to Southern 
California are: (1) Colorado River water; (2) local ground and surface water; and (3) the Los 
Angeles aqueducts. The probabilities of receiving these water supplies were also estimated 
based on similar hydrologic analyses. 

Estimating Potential Water Management Strategies. MWDSC explores all feasible de- 
mand management and water supply options in meeting the growing water needs of its ser- 
vice area. These options not only include traditional supply sources mentioned previously 
and voluntary water transfers, but also water management programs such as waste water 
reclamation, ground water recovery programs, conjunctive use and storage, and conserva- 
tion. 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 considerations. Projections of supply resulting from water management programs 
are estimated based on existing and potential local and regional projects. 

Comparisons of Water Supply to Demand. After the projections of water supplies are de- 
termined, they are compared to the projections of water demands. Figure M-1 presents the 
minimum supplies available during the record drought and a projection of future supplies. 

mtmmmiiimmmm 



308 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



MWDSC Reliability Planning Process (continued) 

The water demand forecast reflects: (1) \he latest demographiic projections; (2) ttie recent 
effect of ttie 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 aggres- 
sive water conservation and waste water reclamation (which together represent about one- 
half of all new supplies and demand reduction efforts), 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 re- 
gion. 

Comparing all possible water demand and supply projections yields the frequency of 
supply shortages for Metropolitan. Figure M-2 presents the water supply reliability for 
MWDSC's wholesale deliveries. The vertical axis represents the percentage of MWDSC short- 
age in the year 2010. The horizontal axis represents the frequency of the shortage occurring. 
The reliability is presented in four scenarios. 



The first scenario represents "no new investment" for either water management pro- 
grams or water supply expansion. Under the "no new investment" scenario, MWDSC would 
experience a wholesale 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 improve 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 reservoir, implement ground water programs, 
build and improve 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 analysis. 

Estimating Costs and Benefits of Reliability. Estimating the costs and benefits of increas- 
ing supply reliability is difficult because it is impossible to account for and quantify many of 
the true economic costs caused by supply shortages. While some economic impacts of ra- 
tioning can be estimated, other economic and social consequences of severe water short- 
ages are intangible. In addition, 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 phenomenon of demand hardening is critical to the deter- 
mination of shortage costs. 

In order to determine a lower bound estimate of the benefits of increased supply reli- 
ability, MWDSC attempted to quantify as many of the economic impacts due to rationing as 
possible. To estimate the effect that rationing has on the residential sector, a contingent valu- 
ation 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 overage) an 
additional $ 1 to $20 per month every other year to avoid shortages greater than what was 
experienced in 1991 . This willingness to pay for reliability improvement for all residential cus- 
tomers 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 St)ortages (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. 



I 



i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 309 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



Figure M - 1. MWDSC Water Supply and Demand: Critical Drought Year 

Million Acre-Feet 



1.0 



0.0 



Proj iction 



Projected Demands 




Conse' 



^o^onSaV^'^5^^-' 



Capital Improvements, Groundwater, Transfers 
and Other State Water Project Increases 



if 



Colorado River Aqueduct Incr^s 

New Reclamation 



Existing Dependable Supplies i 



1980 



I I I I I 
1985 



Existing Reclamation Projects 
State Water Project 

Colorado River Aqueduct 



Los Angeles Aqueduct 



Local Worler 



t 



1990 1995 2000 2005 

Figure M - 2. MWDSC Supply Reliability in Year 20 1 

Percent 

Shortage 

95 

90 

85 

80 

75 

70 

65 

60 

55 

50 

45 

40 

35 

30 

25 

20 

15 

10 

5 


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 

Probability of Occurrence 

NOTE: Proiections for existing supplies are cun s MwIlve since ihey do no» account for the probability of having surplus w<*er. 



2010 



















\ 




















V 




















X 


s^^ 


















\ 


^^ 


















\ 






^^ 














\ 






/^ 


^^^^ 


NoNewlmfeslmeia 






V ^ 


'\j 




/ 
/ 








\ 






> 








\ 


«^^ 




'***'^ 






! i 

Add ConservaHon BA 

m^ 1 1 




~ — 




N 


/ 




^"^■^ 


*^ 


4P's 














1 -*^ 











/ 




^„^^_^ 




I 1 ^ 


— ' 


— 1 .^ 




4 






^""^ 


^* 








/ 


AddF 


iuct Supplies, Storage 
IP 

1 ' ' 




" *- 


— ^ 






\ 


If' 


Aque< 








^ 


"- — 


X, 


s^ 
















V, 


S^D^- 


bilHyGoa 


I 














^^^ Refia 















310 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 11-10. Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Site and Facilities 




i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



311 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 

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 op- 
erational reliability, optimize use of existing water resources, and meet increasingly 
stringent State and federal water quality standards through blending of supplies. 

Pcyaro Valley Water Authority Water Augmentation Program (San Felipe Exten- 
sion). 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 which could supply a maximum of 19,900 af annually of CVP water for municipal 
and industrial, as well as agricultural, use in the Watsonville area. The San Felipe ex- 
tension 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 Del- 
ta. 

City of San Luis Obispo — Salinas Reservoir. The City of San Luis Obispo has ac- 
tively been pursuing the Salinas Reservoir Expansion Project to supplement its water 
supply. The project involves installation of spillway gates to increase the storage capac- 
ity of the existing reservoir by about 17,950 af— from about 23,840 af to 41,790 
af — and the city's supplies would increase by about 1,650 af. The Environmental Im- 
pact Report for the project is expected to be certified in 1994. 

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 combina- 
tion of actions, could fill the gap between supply and demand shown in the California 
water budget. Chapter 12. Plans for some of these projects are on hold for various rea- 
sons, including the need for a long-term solution to Delta problems, but work could be 
resumed at any time to help meet California's growing water needs. Some others, pro- 
grams 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 11-8 summa- 
rizes Level II water management options. 

Long-Term Demand Management Options 

Increased Agricultural Water Use Efficiency. A 73-percent seasonal applica- 
tion 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. 

SAE = ETAW + LR = 73% 
AW 

where: SAE is the seasonal application efficiency; EH^AW is the evapotranspiration mi- 
nus effective precipitation; LR is leaching requirement; and AW is the applied water. 

312 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 1 1 -8. Level II Water Management Options 



Program 



Type Supply Augmentation 
or Demand Reduction 
(1000 AF) 



Comments, CotKems, 
Problems 



i 



Demand Management: 

Agricultural Water Conservation 

Urban Water Conservation 
Land Retirement 

Water Transfer 



Demand Reduction 300 '"' Increased agricultural water use efficiency 

Demand Reduction 220 '"' Increased urban water use efficiency 

Demand Reduction 477'°' Retirement of land with poor drainage disposal in 

west side San Joaquin Valley 

— 800** Institutional constraints 



Statewide Supply Management: 

Stanislaus-Calaveras River - 
Water Use Program 


Conjunctive Use 


80 w 


Sacramento Valley Conjunctive 
Use Program 


Conjunctive Use 


lOOW 


Red Bank Project 


Storage 


4010 


Shasta Lake Enlargement 


Storage 


1,450'" 


Clair Engle Lake Enlargement 


Storage 


700'" 


Westside Sacramento Valley Project 


Conveyance 


— 


Westside Reservoirs 


Storage 


up to 2,000'= 


Mid-Valley Canal 


Conveyance 


— 


Folsom South Canal Extension 


Conveyance 


— 


American River Water 


Storage 


— 



Resources Investigation 

Local Water Management: 

Use of Gray Water 

Water Recycling 

Water Desalting 

Reuse of Agricultural Brackish Water 

San Diego County Water Authority 
Water Resources Plan 

Santa Clara Valley Water 
Management 

Delta Storage 

Watershed Management 



Reclamation 


IBQW 


Reclamation 


370 w 


Reclamation 


390 '0 


Reclamation 


— 


iety of Programs 


85'=> 



DWR, USBR, and local agencies are conducting 
studies. 

Initial studies under way by DWR and kxal 

agencies. 



Storage 



IGQW 



Requires investment in separate plumbing; health 
concerns. 

Estimated ultimate potential 



High salt accumulation in soil 

Plan includes water recycling, ground water 
development, and desalination of brackish water. 

Studies by district in progress; will need 100,000- 
150,000 AF additional supplies by 2020. 

Water quality, THM concerns 

Increases runoff from the watershed, environmental 



(a) Reduction in applied water. 

(b) Reallocation of supply for short- or long-term transfers. 

(c) Average annual supply. 

Level II agricultural demand reduction is based on a statewide agricultural irriga- 
tion 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 per- 
cent in their service area at an 80-percent distribution uniformity. However. 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



313 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



approximately 12.5 percent of each field is under -irrigated using this formula accord- 
ing 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 a 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 Westlands 
Water District has already reached 75 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. 

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 resulted in 
the following formula used to estimate the maximum applied water allowance in a 
landscape plan: 

MAWA= 0.8(Eto)xLA 



CF 

where: MAWA is the maximum applied water allowance; 0.8 is an ET adjustment factor 
based on an irrigation efficiency of 62 . 5 percent; Eto is the reference evapotranspiration 
of well watered pasture; LA is the landscaped area; and CF is a conversion factor to 
hundreds of cubic feet. 

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 in- 
crease 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 190,000-af reduction in net wa- 
ter use. Other potential Level II options that need further evaluation include: greater 
increases in landscape irrigation efficiencies; evapotranpiration reduction from xeris- 
caping; and horizontal axis washing machines. 

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, 1 990) 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, Agricul- 
tural Water Use, that the source control (irrigation efficiency improvements) and land 
retirement elements of the recommended plan developed by the SJVDP would be im- 
plemented 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 aban- 
donment 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 con- 
trol would occur. 

314 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 vari- 
ous recommendations in the report, resulting in a potential applied water reduction of 
about 477.000 af from land abandonment and source control. This amount would cor- 
respond to a reduction in net water use of 390.000 af. 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. 

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 mar- 
ket 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 ma- 
jor intrastate transfer facilities (described in Chapter 3). and they are indeed the 
backbone of the State's long-existing water delivery system. 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 ca- 
pacity 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. (See Short-Term Water Transfers in the Level I— Reliability Enhancement Op- 
tions section of this chapter.) 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 in- 
creased limitations on the SWF and CVP facilities to convey or wheel transfer water. 
Drought year usable transfer capacity of the SWF and CVP at the 1990 level is esti- 
mated to be about 0.7 maf when projects are operated to comply with Delta smelt and 
winter-run chinook salmon 1993 biological opinion, as discussed in detail below. The 
primary sources of water for transfer have been ground water substitution, unallo- 
cated developed supply, and land fallowing. This section presents the factors affecting 

Table 11-9. 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 '^' 



i 



Water made available by land abandonment'^' 






689,000 







Water made available through land retirement'^' 











119,000 


Water conserved through source control '^' 






20,000 




113,000 


Subtotal 






709,000 




232,000 


Difference (Without-With) 








477,000 




(1) Source: straight-line interpolation from data in "A Management 
Joaquin Valley Drainage Program," September 1 990. 


Plan for Agricultural Subsurface Drainage and Related Problems 


on the Westside San Joaquin Volley, Find Report of the Son 


(2) Recommended plan elements adopted in DWR Bulletin 1 60-93 


projections. 










(3) Land abandonment due to 276,000 acres forced out of production due to no drainage 


plan 


Implemenlotion by 2020. 






(4) Land retirement refers to tfie planned retirement of 45,000 selenium-laden acres. 










(5) Source control is equivalent to applied water reductions to reduce drainage volumes. 























Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



315 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



the feasibility of transferring water along with a general discussion of sources of water 
* for transfer. 

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 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 addi- 
tional immediate percolation to ground water, thus reducing surface water supplies 
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 CVP. 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 improv- 
ing 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 mciintains wild- 
life habitat, the amount of water transferred is usually limited to the average 
consumptive use (evapotranspiration of applied water for specific crops) on the trans- 
ferring farm, plus 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 t)T)e 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 facilita- 
tor 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 deliver- 
ies. 

316 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 ca- 
pability 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 exist- 
ing 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 capa- 
ble 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 crite- 
ria, 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 smelt and winter-run chinook salmon biologi- 
cal opinions. The "take limitations" criteria imposed by the opinions cannot be 
modeled and are not included in the analyses. Another set of studies was conducted to 
evaluate year 2020 usable transfer capacity of the conveyance systems with existing 
facilities 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 re- 
lated 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 capac- 
ity is available in the conveyance systems. In addition, as demands for water in SWP 



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

(millions of acre-feet) 



To the South Coast Region (based on D-1485) 

average drought 



1 990, 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 0.2 0.3 

2020, with Existing Facilities 0.1 0.3 

2020, with Level I Programs 0.1 0.2 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 317 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



service areas Increase and additional facilities are completed to meet contractual de- 
mands, 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, respec- 
tively. 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 com- 
bined usable transfer capacity of the SWP North and South Bay Aqueducts and the 
CVP San Felipe unit (Santa Clara Conduit) for the 1990 level varies from 0.3 to 0.2 maf 
for drought and average years respectively. By year 2020, with Level I water manage- 
ment programs, usable transfer capacity will be reduced slightly to 0.2 and 0. 1 maf for 
drought and average years respectively. 

Transfer capability from the South Delta shown for the San Francisco and South 
Coast regions was computed independently and is not additive. The Delta Pumping 
Plant's unused capacity is not adequate to convey enough water to fill the combined 
unused capacity of the aqueduct systems conveying water to the two regions. SWP and 
CVP usable transfer capability from the Delta to the San Francisco Bay Region is 
shown in Table 11- 10. 

Figure 11-11 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 year usable transfer capacities of the SWP and CVP 
are reduced to about 0.3 and 0.7 maf, respectively, forthe 1990 level when projects are 
operated under endangered species criteria for winter run salmon and Delta smelt, re- 
flecting pumping curtailments resulting from endangered species biological opinions. 
Among the factors limiting Delta exports are reverse-flow criteria and take limitations. 



Figure 11-11. 

Usable Transfer 

Capacity with E^xisting 

SWP/ CVP Facilities 

for Transfers from 

the Delta to the South 

Coast Region 

(thousands of 

acrefeet) 



Transfer Capacity 
(thousand acre-fed) 




D-1485 ESA Operation 

Average 



D-1485 ESA Operation 

Drought 



Usable transfer capacity from ifie Delta under D-1485 conditions. 

Usable transfer capacity from the Delta under historic Delta flow patterns with ESA restrictions. 

Usable transfer capacity including capability to transfer south of the Delta source supplies itiot 
do not add to reverse flow problems thus allowing more water to be pumped than under historic 
Deha flow patterns. 

Based on 1993 Delta Smelt Biological Opinion and Winter Run Salmon Biological Opinion, 
"--'ever, figures do not reflect pumping curtailments due to 'take' limitations. 



318 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 0.2 maf in drought years could be realized as shown in 
Figure 11-11. Therefore, the water transfer capabilities mentioned for through-Delta 
transfers are less than those for source water from south of the Delta. Thus, consider- 
ing 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 av- 
erage 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, respec- 
tively. 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 11-12 shows the monthly variation of unused capacity 
of the SWP and CVP, under D-1485 for the 1990 level, and indicates that unused ca- 
pacity 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 use unused SWP/CVP storage (nonproject contrac- 
tors may have a lower priority for storage) and re-regulation capabilities to facilitate 
transfer of water to agencies without storage capacity. 

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 




Transfer Capacity 
(thousand acre-ket) 



1990 Level 



^^B 






^^ 


■■ 1 


1 j 


g 1 


1 


■ 1 

1 




■ 1 ■ 1 ■ 1 

R 1 IR 


r 


1 




i 


1 


1 




R ■■■■ 


Li 

« 1 1 

R J 





Figure 11-12. 
Monthly Variation of 
Usable Transfer 
Capacity with Existing 
SWP/CVP Facilities for 
Transfers from the 
Delta to the 
South Coast Region 
Based on D-1485 
(thousands of acre-feet) 



Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep 



Average 



Drought L^ 




Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



319 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



make water transfers. Statutes governing California water rights are generally admin- 
istered 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 individu- 
als 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 trans- 
fer 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 speci- 
fied 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 




Water Transfer Costs 

Water transfer costs include more than the amount that prospective sellers would 
be willing to accept for their water. Other associated 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 o 
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 be- 
tween the cost to the sellers of foregoing 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, ini- 
tial quantities probably involve in-lieu ground water pumping or releases of uncom- 
mitted 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. Jhese actions result in substan- 
tial 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 markets 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 plan- 
ning to augment supply reliability. Prices paid by buyers of transferred water reflect the 
cost of conveyance, which depends upon the facilities used. 

The conveyance losses reduce the water delivered compared to the amount pur- 
chased. Alternatively, these losses may be thought of as increasing the unit cost of the 
remaining water 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 woter 
must be dedicated to Delta outflow as a means of meeting Delta salinity standards. 
This is an example of a conveyance loss. Other conveyance losses include evapora- 
tion from reservoirs and canals as well as canal 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 op- 
tions 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 buyers to pay is correspondingly high. 



320 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



with USER'S interim Guidelines for Water Transfers and must eventually comply with 
long-term water transfer rules and regulations when they are promulgated. 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 allow- 
ing use of project facilities to Ccirry out water banking programs, including banking 
programs for fish and wildlife. 

Delta Outflow Requirements are another factor affecting water transfers. Mini- 
mum 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 conveyed through ei- 
ther the SWP or CVP Delta facilities, transfers must conform to existing and future 
Delta outflow requirements. 

Threatened and Endangered Species must £dso be considered when discussing 
water transfers. Potential impacts of transfers on listed species must be evaluated un- 
der 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 rath- 
er than the general availability of supply may be a common occurrence. 

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 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 effect on aquatic resources by using ground water for 
irrigation during dry years, thereby reducing direct pumping from the river which re- 
sults 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 199 1 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 wa- 
ter 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 pump- 
ing took place. Approximately 100 wells, part of DWR's usual semi-annual monitoring 
program in Butte, Colusa, and southern Glenn counties, were monitored monthly dur- 
ing the transfer and subsequent recovery periods. 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 re- 
garding future water transfers will be assessed through expanded ground water 

Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 321 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 economiccilly vulnerable than urban areas. Al- 
though 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 conmiunities 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 lamd fallowing for water transfers, a ripple 
effect happens in the local economy. These supporting businesses will likely see less 
sales income, smd if there is less business income, employees may be terminated or 
asked to work fewer hours, reducing the amount of salaries paid. In turn, the em- 
ployees spend less money in the comanunity, smd another round of adverse impacts 
results. 

Any resulting unemplojrment can be an additional burden on local governmental 
and private agencies that provide services to unemployed and indigent people. Com- 
pounding 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 wa- 
ter, water surcharges, and controls on land fallowing can be used to mitigate these 
impacts. For example, the 1991 State Drought Water Bank experience showed that 
many farmers used water sales income to make improvements to their land, providing 
jobs and income within the local area. Restricting the percentage and frequency of land 
fallowed within any one area can allow affected conununities to avoid much of the po- 
tential permanent economic or social damage. 

Water Supply Management Options 

Level 11 supply management options discussed here are those actions that could 
augment supplies in water-short areas of California. Table 11-8 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. 

Corywictive use of surface and ground water supplies can be an efficient means 
of augmenting supplies to help meet Csdifomia's ftiture water needs. Conjunctive use 
is the operation of a ground water basin in coordination with a surface water supphr 
system to optimize the combined yield. A surface water storage and conveyance system 
is used to recharge a ground water basin, either directly or indirectfy, during wet years 
to provide storage of water that can be used during dry years. Several conjunctive use 
programs are under study in the State today. 

Currently. DWR USBR. and local agencies are conducting planning studies for 
the Stanislaus River Basin and Calaveras River Water Use Program. The Stockton E^t 
Water District and the Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District have con- 
tracted for 155.000 af from New Melones Reservoir, a CVP facility on the Stanislaus 
River. The two districts propose to divert thefr contract water from the Stanislaus River 
during wet. above-average, and average years. During below-average, dry, and critical 

322 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



years the agencies would pump ground water to meet their needs 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 sched- 
uled for release by fall 1994. Currently the effects of proposed Delta water quality and 
flow standards, implementation of the CVPIA, and Delta smelt and winter-run salmon 
biological opinions on this program are being evaluated. 

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 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 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, about 20 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. 

Westside Sacramento Valley Storage and Conveyance Concept. This concept was 
first presented in Bulletin 3, The California Water Plan, published in 1957. The West- 
side storage and conveyance facilities, as envisioned by CH^M Hill Engineering, would 
tie together Shasta, Clair Engle, and Oroville reservoirs and some proposed offstream 
reservoirs on the west side of the Sacramento Valley and would be operated for multi- 
ple uses including flood control, environmental, and water supply. A number of sites 
on the west side of the Sacramento Valley have been investigated for offstream reser- 
voirs, including, among others, various sites on Cottonwood Creek, Stony Creek, Red 
Bank Creek, and Sites Reservoir (west of Maxwell). 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. 

A conveyance facility originating above Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River 
would convey water along the west side of the Sacramento Valley, and could be ex- 
tended to Clifton Court Forebay in the South Delta. Anderson-Cottonwood Canal, 
Tehama-Colusa Canal, Glenn-Colusa Canal, Corning Canal, and a number of smaller 
Sacramento River diverters could be supplied by the Westside Canal. Under this op- 
tion. Red Bluff Diversion Dam and major pumping plants and diversions along the 
Sacramento River could be removed, providing a free-flowing river from Keswick to the 
Delta. A cross-valley conveyance facility could also connect the Oroville complex with 
the Westside facility, to convey SWP water to the Banks Pumping Plant. The facility 
could deliver over 3 maf 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 11-13). 

Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 323 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



This option could greatly reduce the impact of diversions on the Sacramento Riv- 
^ er 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 fi-om the Delta; and would pro- 
vide additional water supply and good quality water for urban users. 

CVP Water Supply Augmentation. The following options summarize the pro- 
grams 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 Pmject Impntvement 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 USBR 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 en- 
largement would also provide instream flows for fish, increased 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 South- 
em 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 11-13). 

As envisioned by Harza Engineering Company, unregulated flood flows fi-om 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 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. 

Mid-VaUey CanaL The USBR investigated options to provide supplemental water 
supplies to the east side of the San Joaquin Valley to improve the ground water over- 
draft problem. A Report on the San Joaquin. Valley Conveyance Inuestigation, released 
in June 1 990, identified the Mid-Valley Canal as the best option to develop a long-term 
solution to the valley overdraft problem. 

The San Joaquin VaU^ 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 rediver- 
sion 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 con- 
tracting program. 

Because these unresolved issues will have an impact on the availability of a sup- 
plemental water supply for the canal, further work has been deferred on the San 
Joaquin Valley Conveyance Investigation. 

324 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Figure 11-13. Westside Sacramento Valley Storage 
and Conveyance Concepts 



CJair Engle Lake 



Lewiston Lake- 



Clair Engle Enlargement 

and 

Clair Engle / Shasta Inter-tie 



Shasta Lake 



Storage 



Storage 



Oroville Inter-tie 



Lake Oro vi 1 le 



Thermali to Afterbay 




N 

i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



325 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Folsom South Canal Elxtension. Folsom South Canal originates at Nimbus Dam 
* on the American River and extends southward toward San Joaquin County. The origi- 

nal 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 199 1 . The study is governed by a memorandum of agreement between USBR 
and the Sacramento Metropolitan Water Authority. Costs are shared on a fifty-fifty ba- 
sis. 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, Sac- 
ramento. 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 sup- 
plying unmet water demands in the study area. Included as alternatives are water 
transfers, conjunctive use. water conservation, cind 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 households 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 gener- 
ally 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. 

Water Recycling. The WateReuse Association of California conducted a Survey for 
Future Water Recycling Potential (final report. July 1993). The survey indicates that 
there is potential for accelerating the pace of water recycling in the future. Statewide 
total water recycling could increase to about 1 .69 1 ,000 af per year and create about 
1.293,000 af of new water supply (see Table 11-7). 

Level 1 total water recycling was estimated to be 1,321,000 af. producing about 
923.000 af of new supply. The remainder would be Level 11 water recycling. Therefore, 
there is a potential for 370.000 af of additional water recycling per year by 2020. which 
should be investigated under Level 11 options. 

Water Desalting. Engineers and scientists have been working on economical ways 
to desalt water for the last fifty years. The major limitation of desalting has been its 

326 Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 1 1-1 1. Annual 1990 and Potential Future Water Desalting 

(thousands of acre-feet) 



Type of Desalting 



1990 



2000 



Recycled Water 
Sea Water 



5.6 
11.4 3 



33.6 
149.4 



TOTAL 



17 



183 



2070 



33.6 
259.4 



293 



2020 



33.6 
369.4 



i 



403 



high cost, much of which is directly related to high energy requirements. A recent, 
principal development is the availability of relatively low cost desalting systems for re- 
claiming brackish (low- salinity) ground water (ground water reclamation) and for 
recycling municipal water. Both ground water reclamation and desalting of recycled 
municipal water are being successfully practiced in California and are projected to 
grow. The cost of desalting using these systems can range from $300 to $500 per acre- 
foot (plus other costs of treatment in the case of water recycling). Ground water 
reclamation is discussed in this chapter under Level I — Reliability Enhancement Op- 
tions. 

Sea water desalting costs from $900 to $2,000 per acre-foot; additional costs are 
required to convey the water to the place of use. With few exceptions, the combined 
costs are greater than obtaining water from most other sources. However, sea water 
desalting can be a feasible option for coastal communities that are relatively far from 
the statewide water distribution system and have limited water supplies. Because of 
such circumstances, sea water desalting plants have been constructed in the City of 
Avalon (Santa Catalina Island) and the Cities of Santa Barbara and Morro Bay in the 
Central Coast Region. Sea water desalting plants can be designed to operate only dur- 
ing droughts to improve water supply reliability. They can also be downsized and 
operated continuously in conjunction with ground water (reducing ground water 
pumping during wet periods and providing more ground water supplies for drought 
periods). The reliability of supply is very high, although at a generally higher cost. 

Future desalting programs depend on several factors including the success of pi- 
lot projects, the determination of environmental requirements for concentrate disposal 
and, most importantly, the availability and cost of other sources of supply. Table 11-11 
shows current and potential desalting volumes by tjrpe of desalting. Because of its rela- 
tively high costs and uncertain future, desalting is considered a Level II option for 
future water supply. Its use is not likely to be widespread and, therefore, is not in- 
cluded in water supply projections and the water budget in this report. The potential 
desalting water supply production shown in Table 11-11 was derived from various fea- 
sibility studies in the last five years, and the amounts represent a potential for Level II 
future supply as other water sources become unavailable or too costly. The increasing 
potential for sea water desalting represents future additions of desalting systems to 
existing power plants during refurbishment and repowering projects. This combina- 
tion of power generation and desalting is generally the most cost-effective form for sea 
water desalting facilities. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and San 
Diego County Water Authority, in conjunction with San Diego Gas and Electric Com- 
pany, are among the utilities considering such projects. 

Reuse ofBrackisti Agricultural Drainage Water. Agricultural drainage is reused 
extensively throughout the State. As drainage water is reused, its salinity can be in- 
creased to a level that prohibits further reuse for most crops. Some salt-tolerant crops 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 



327 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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 agricul- 

tural 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 San Joaquin Valley Drainage Program report, A Mcai- 
agewent Plan for AgricLdtwal Subsurface Drainage and Related Pmblems on the 
Westside San Joaquin VaUey. 

The primary concern in long-term use of brackish drainage water for irrigation is 
the impact of salt 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. 

Local Conjunctive Use Pmgrams. Local agencies are also considering conjunctive 
use of surface and ground water supplies to enhance reliability of their supplies. Calle- 
guas Municipal Water District, through a cooperative agreement with MWDSC. is 
pursuing the development of a large-scale conjunctive use project in the North Las Po- 
sas Basin in Ventura County. This project could provide storage of up to 300,000 af of 
imported water. When available, water would be injected into the ground water basin 
and subsequently recovered as demand dictates. 

San Diego County Water Authority Water Resources Plan and Emergency Water 
Storage Project The San Diego County Water Authority has recently completed a Water 
Resources Plan which identifies future water demands, reviews water supply options, 
and recommends a preferred mix of ftiture supplies. TTiis preferred mix will guide the 
authority in securing adequate water supplies to meet ftiture demands. The plan in- 
cludes the development of an additional 85,000 af of local supplies by 2010. These 
supplies include sources such as water recycling, ground water development, and 
brackish water desalination. Also, an estimated 70,000 af per year of conservation re- 
sulting ft-om implementation of urban BMPs is included in the plan. Currently the 
authority receives less than ten percent of its average water suppfy fi^om local sources. 
or about 60,000 af per year. 

TTie county relies on water imported fi-om MWDSC via the California and the Col- 
orado River aqueducts. 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 popula- 
tion growth projections indicate that the county will need as much as 100.000 af in 
Increased storage capacity by 2030. The SDCWA is also studying 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 up to a six-month 
suppty interruption without severe economic and environmental damage. 

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 composed of any or all of the following elements: construction of 
new or enlargement of existing surface reservoirs, emergency reoperation of existing 
reservoirs, and new pipeline facilities. There are currentty thirteen primary storage sys- 
tems being considered, including expansion and reof)eration of San Vicente Resenoir. 
reoperation of El Capitan Reservoir, and potential construction of Mossa Canyon. 
Geujito VaU^, or Olivenhain reservoirs. The reoperation scenario consists of reconfi- 

328 Options for Balancing Water Suppfy and Demand 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



guring and enlarging the existing distribution system so that pipelines can shift water 
among the existing reservoirs in the county. 

The reservoir sites and reoperation of existing facilities can be combined in many 
different systems to meet the county's emergency storage needs. The study review pro- 
cess is designed to select the least environmentally darhaging, most practicable system 
alternatives. 

Santa Clara Valley Water District Investigation. 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. 

Other Water Management and Supply Alimentation Options. Other options could 
include watershed management, local rainfall collection and storage, and ground water 
recharge with storm water. Potential water supply management benefits from imple- 
menting watershed 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. Small local rainfall collection and storage faci- 
lities are used for water supplies in remote areas, such as Point Reyes Lighthouse, and 
in Southern California to fill fire-fighting water tanks on ridge tops. Supply from this 
option is relatively expensive. 



i 



Options for Balancing Water Supply and Demand 329 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Cracked earth near Naciemiento Reservoir in San Luis Obispo County. During the 
1 987-92 drought, part of the Central Coast Region endured unprecedented water 
shortages; Santa Barbara County fared the worst. The region's population is 
expected to increase about 56 percent, to more than 2 million people by 2020. 



Vtff^i 



.» 



" J^^ 



P^m. 



-M 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Chapter 12 



i 



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 dam- 
aging 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, as used in the day-to-day planning and management of 
California's water resources, is a measure of a water service system's expected success 
in managing 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 
nieet the 1990 level urban, agricultural, and environmental water demands. However, 
he actual 1990 drought experience found many California communities and the envi- 
ronment 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 



California's Water Supply Availability 

Average year supply \s 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 pe- 
riod (1922-91). For a local project without long-term data, it is the annua! aver- 
age deliveries of the project during the 1984-86 period. For dedicated natural 
flow, it is the long-term average natural flow for wild and scenic rivers, or it is envi- 
ronmental flows as required for an average year under specific agreements, wa- 
ter rights, court decisions, and congressional 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 1990 and 1991 . For dedicated natural flow, it is the aver- 
age 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 directives. 



Water Supply and 
Demand Balance 



I 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



331 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 

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 Budget). Future water management options are presented in two lev- 
els to better reflect the status of investigations required to implement them. 

O Level 1 options are those programs that have undergone extensive investigation 
and environmental analyses and are judged to have a higher likelihood of being 
implemented by 2020. 

O Level 11 options are those programs 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 Budget. Implementation of 
these actions must be undertaken as part of a water resource management program to 
restore the health of our rivers and aquatic species while making our water supply 
infrastructure more reliable. A discussion of the economic costs of unreliability ends 
this chapter. 

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 environ- 
ment. Level 1 and Level II demand management and supply augmentation options 
include increased water conservation, expanded conveyance system capabilities, 
additional storage facilities, additional water recycling, more reliance on conjunctive 
use of ground water basins, and increasing the use of water transfers and water bank- 
ing. 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 63.5 million acre-feet (including natural flows 
dedicated for instream use) and could decrease to 63.0 maf by 2020 without ground 
water overdraft or any additional facilities or programs. A possible substantial 
reduction in Colorado River supplies could be offset largely by short-term transfers 
and increased SWP Delta diversions. The 1990 level annual drought year supply is 
about 50.5 maf and could decrease to 49.3 maf by 2020 without additional storage and 
water management options. Note that supplies shown under D- 1 485 for Delta exports 
do not take into account: (1) 800.000 af of CVP water now dedicated to environmental 
needs pursuant to the CVPIA, and (2) recent and proposed actions to protect aquatic 
species in the Delta. As a result of these actions, urban and agricultural water supplies 
are overstated. 

Annual reductions in total water supply for urban and agricultural uses could be 
in the range of 500,000 af to 1 maf in average years and 2 to 3 maf in drought years. 

332 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 12-1. California Water Supplies with Existing Facilities and Programs 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Supplies) 
(millions of acre-feet) 

Supply 1990 2000 2010 2020 

average drought average drought average drought average drought 



Surface 


Local 


10.1 


8.1 


10.1 


8.1 


10.2 


8.3 


10.3 


8.4 


Local imports'^' 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


0.7 


1.0 


0.7 


Colorado River 


5.2 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 f 


CVP 


7.5 


5.0 


7.7 


5.1 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 ' 


SWP") 


2.8 


2.1 


3.2 


2.0 


3.3 


2.0 


3.3 


2.0 


Reclaimed 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


0.2 


Ground water'^' 


7.1 


11.8 


7.1 


12.0 


7.2 


12.1 


7.4 


12.2 


Ground water overdraft<^> 


1.3 

27.2 


1.3 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 1 


Dedicated natural flow 


15.3 


27.4 


15.4 


27.4 


15.4 


27.4 


15.4 


TOTAL 


63.5 


50.4 


62.4 


48.9 


62.7 


49.1 


63.0 


49.4 



i 



(1 ) 1990 SWP supplies are normalized and do not reflect additional supplies delivered to offset the reduction of supplies from the Mono and Owens basins to the South Coast 
hydrologic region. 

(2) Averoge ground water use is prime supply of ground water basins ond does not include use of ground water which is artificially recharged from surface sources into ttfe ground 
water bosins. 

(3) The degree future shortages are met by increased overdraft is unknown. Since overdraft is not sustainable, it is not included as a future supply. 

These reductions result mainly from compliance with the ESA biological opinions and 
proposed EPA Bay-Delta standards. While these impacts do not consider the potential 
reductions in Delta exports due to "take limits" under the biological opinions, they 
basically fall within the l-to-3-maf range for proposed additional environmental de- 
mands included in the California Water Budget. 

The largest single source of water supply in California is ground water. On aver- 
age, ground water provides about 15 maf of applied water annually. However, because 
of deep percolation and extensive reuse of applied surface and ground water, current 
average annual net ground water use is about 8.4 maf, including about 1.3 maf of 
ground water overdraft. In drought years, the net use of ground water increases signifi- 
cantly to 13. 1 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 0.7 maf from the 
1980 level of 2 maf. The reduction is mostly in the San Joaquin Valley and is due pri- 
marily 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. 
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. 

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. 

Water Supply and Demand Balance 333 



Bulletin 160-93 TTie California Water Plan Update 



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 suppfy benefits of Level 1 Water 
Management Programs. The contribution of these programs to future California water 
supplies is included in Table 12-2. Level I options could contribute up to an additional 
1 .6 maf in an average year by the year 2020. The drought year contribution could be 
an additional 4. 1 maf by 2020. Most of the increase would be through new State and 
local facilities and programs as summarized below. 

Demand Mcmagement 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 fal- 
lowing) to ensure water service for critical needs. Critical needs include maintaining 
public health and safety, providing for industrial and commercial uses, preserving 
permanent croj>s 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 Mancigemeni 
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 (primarify 
lands with poor drainage disposal conditions) under Level I could further reduce agri- 
cultural net water demand by 0. 15 maf by 2020. 

Short-term demand management options during periods of drought, such as 
demand reduction through virban rationing programs, could reduce net water de- 
mands by 1 .0 maf. The urban rationing program is illustrative of a 1 0-percent shortage 

Table 12-2. Califomia Water Supplies with Level 1 Water Manogement Programs 

(Decision 1485 Operating Criteria for Delta Supplies) 

(mi/Zfons of oae-feef) 



01 1990 S>^suppfa ore nonmfcedcMid do not reflect od<ilwnol i uppteidefc»WT»d to o*to 

hydrologK region. ^ 

(2) ADewige ground wol ef use is prwu e mppty of ground w uto i boawond does twlindudeiae of ground wc«e r which a uiig kj uly le d K ^ gedfrow 
woter bosins. 

(3) The degree futuro shortages ore met by increosed o w eid i uJt if unbiown. Since tf iiei ihuf tii not »M *lu iii uU i^i if not include 

334 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



Supply 


1990 

average dbrougfrf 


2000 

average drought 


2010 

average dmughf 


2020 
average drought 


Surface 


















Locd 


10.1 


8.1 


10.2 


8.2 


10.2 


8.3 


10.3 


8.4 


Local imporfs''' 


1.0 
5.2 
7.5 


0.7 


1.0 


0.8 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


Gilorado River 


5.1 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


4.4 


CVP 


5.0 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


7.7 


5.2 


Other federal 


1.2 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


0.8 


1.3 


08 


SWP" 


2.8 


2.1 


3.4 


2.1 


3.9 


3.0 


4.0 


3.0 


RedcMmed 


0.2 


0.2 


OJ 


0.7 


0.8 


0.8 


0.9 


o4l 


Ground water"' 


7.1 


11.8 


7.1 


11.9 


7.2 


12.2 


7.3 


12J 




1.3 
27.2 


1.3 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


-• 


Dedicated natural flow 


15.3 


27.5 


15.4 


27.5 


15.4 


273 


15.4 


TOTAL 


63.5 


50.4 


63.3 


49.5 


64.0 


51.2 


64.5 


51.6 

i 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 




for drought events that 
could occur about once 
every 20 years. During 
less frequently occur- 
ring and more severe 
droughts (that is, an 
event that occurs once 
every 100 years), much 
greater shortages would 
occur, causing substan- 
tial economic impacts 
on urban and agri- 
cultural areas and 
environmental impacts 
on fish and wildlife. 

Rationing be- 

comes less effective and 
more costly over time 
because of the imple- 
mentation 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 
1 option. Planning for such drought rationing programs must include evaluation of 
the cost of shortages versus the cost of providing the supply. Further, drought ration- 
ing programs will vary from region to region depending on each region's water service 
reliability needs. See Chapter 1 1 for a full discussion of these Level 1 options. 

Local Agency Programs. Local water management programs are designed to 
augment both average and drought year supplies, with some programs primarily 
providing drought year supplies. Water reclamation (including water recycling and 
ground water reclamation) is expected to increase local average and drought year sup- 
plies by about 0.8 maf per year by 2020 (the 1990 level of water recycling is about 0.2 
maf per year). Other Level I local water management programs under study could im- 
prove 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, City of San 
Luis Obispo's Salinas Reservoir enlargement, and benefits from El Dorado County Wa- 
ter 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 un- 
der existing CVP supplies. 

Offsetting some of the supply improvements to the South Coast Region are 
actions that reduce reliability of existing supplies. The City of Los Angeles has histori- 
cally imported a major portion of its supply from the Mono-Owens basin in the 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 Ba- 



Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, 
in Tuolumne County, 
stores up to 360,000 
acre-feet for customers 
in the San Francisco 
Bay area. The area suf- 
fered significant water 
shortages during the 
1987-92 drought In 
1991, after two years 
of well-below-normal 
supplies, customers 
had to reduce indoor 
water use by 10 per- 
cent and outdoor use 
by 60 percent. 



i 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



335 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



^ sin 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 trib- 

utaries 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. As a result, MWDSC increased its request 
for deliveries of SWP supplies, thus increasing its demand for Delta supplies. 

In addition, California in recent years has received about 5 maf of Colorado River 
water annually, including about 0.8 maf of surplus or unused 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 im- 
ports to the South Coast Region. MWDSC is looking to water conservation and land 
fallowing programs to maintain its Colorado River supplies. (See the following section 
on water marketing and transfers.) 

State Water Project Programs. With existing facilities and SWRCB D-1485 
operating criteria, average annual SWP supplies could increase from the 1990 level of 
2.8 maf to 3.3 maf by 2020 due to increased demand in the SWP service areas. This 
possible increase reflects the ability to maximize the diversion capability of the SWP 
that was possible with existing facilities operated under SWRCB D-1485. SWP 1990 
level drought year annual supplies, without additional facilities, is about 2. 1 maf 
(based on 1990-9 1 drought conditions) and would decrease to about 2.0 maf by 2020. 
However, recent and future actions to protect aquatic species in the Delta will greatly 
limit SWP export capability from the Delta, thus reducing the reliability of existing 
SWP supplies, the feasibility of additional storage facilities, and the ability to transfer 
water until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified and put into place. (See 
Chapter 10 for a review of Delta problems.) 

Average annual SWP delivery capability could increase from the 1990 level of 2.8 
maf to about 4.0 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 (including Local Elements), 
and the Los Banos Grandes Facilities. These projects, which are included as Level I 

Table 1 2-3. State Water Project Supplies 

(millions of acre-feet) 

Level of SWP Delivery Capabiliff> SWP Delta 

Development Export 

With Existing Facilities With Level I Water ^ ^j 

Management Programs^^' 

average drought average drought 



1990 


2.8 


2.1 








3.0 


2000 


3.2 


2.0 


3.4 


2.1 


3.7 


2010 


3.3 


2.0 


3.9 


3.0 


4.2 


2020 


3.3 


2.0 


4.0 


3.0 


4.2 















(1) Assumes D-1485. SWP capability is uncertain until solutions to complex Delta problems are implemented and future actions to protect aquatic species are identified. Includes SWP 
conveyance losses. 

(2) Level I programs include South Delta Water Management Programs, long-term Delta Water Management Programs, the Kern Water Bank (including Local Elements), and Los 
Banos Grandes facilities. 

Note: Feather River Service Area supplies ore not included. FRSA average and drought supplies ore 927,000 and 729,000 AF respectively. 

336 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 con- 
tractor demand on the SWP would be about 4.2 maf. SWP average annual delivery 
capability, with additional facilities, would be about 4.0 maf, just short of meeting con- 
tractor water demands in average years. In drought years, the 2020 supplies would be 
reduced to 3.0 maf, reflecting the severity of the 1990 and 1991 drought event. 

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 sup- 
plies. The CVP Improvement Act of 1992 and recent actions to protect aquatic species 
greatly affect current and future CVP operations and the reliability of its supplies. The 
USER Is preparing a programmatic EIS to implement provisions of the CVPIA. 

The USER 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 aver- 
age and drought years were about 7.5 maf and 5.0 maf respectively, and are expected 
to increase slightly to 7.7 maf and 5.2 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 and put into 
place. 

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 con- 
tribution of such 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 capacity in conveyance 
systems. Based on recent MWDSC actions to secure additional Colorado River sup- 
plies, it is estimated that there is a 0.2-maf potential for Level 1 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 199 1 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, 
^ng-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 
onveyance systems which are normally used at capacity during wet and average 
^ears. Nevertheless, transfer programs such as the IID-MWDSC agreement, which 

Water Supply and Demand Balance 337 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



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. 

Total usable transfer capacity of existing major conveyance facilities firom 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 remciining Level 
II transfer potential of about 0.8 maf. TTie unused capacity of conveysmce 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 through limitations 
placed on operations of SWP amd CVP facilities to convey or wheel water-transfer 
water. The 1990 drought year usable transfer capacity of the SWP and CVP is esti- 
mated to be about 0.7 maf when the projects are operated to compfy with Delta smdt 
and winter-run salmon 1993 biological opinions. 

Level II Water Management Options 

There are a number of Level II water management options requiring more 
extensive investigation and alternative analyses that could either further reduce de- 
mand 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 en\aronmental demands. Chapter 11 
presents a more extensive discussion of Level n options. 

Water Demand 

California's estimated total net demand for water at the 1990 level of develop- 
ment was 63.5 maf for the average year scenario and 53.2 maf for the drought year 
scenario. Urban and agricultural demands cire discussed in detail in Chapters 6 and 7 
respectively. Environmental water demands are existing instream flow requirements, 
wild and scenic river flows. Bay-Delta protection requiliements under SWRCB D- 1 485. 
and supplies for managed fresh water wetlands. Potential increases in environmental 
water demamds are broken down into hjrpothetical Cases I through III (1 to 3 maQ. 
representing the envelope or range of potential and uncertain environmental water de- 
mands that have immediate and future consequences on supplies available fix)m the 
Delta, beginning with actions taken in 1992 and 1993 to protect winter-run salmtm 
and Delta smelt (actions that could also indirectly protect and enhance conditions for 
other aquatic species) and water dedicated to environmental needs in the CVHA. 
Environmental water needs are discussed in Chapter 8. 

Table 12-4 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 within a basin. Factors affecting 
California's water demand are briefly discussed below. 

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 coastal and Colorado River 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. 

338 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 

1 Impacts on downstream reuse such as other farms or wetlands that rely on excess 

applied water for their supplies. 

Average demand for water for the 1990 level of development is normalized. 
I Normalization of agricultural net water demand is based on adjusted irrigated acreages 
1 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 
I urban water demand is based on adjusted per capita use to take into account the im- 
pact of the drought on urban water use (see Chapters 6 and 7). 

Unit water demand during drought years increases because crops and land- 
scapes require more irrigation earlier in the season to replace lost precipitation. 
However, insufficient supplies force demand management measures, such as more in- 
tensive 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 65.7 maf in 
average years and 55.3 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 66.7 to 68.7 maf in average years and 56.3 to 58.3 maf in drought years. 

Table 12-4. California Water Demand 

(millions of acre-feet) 



i 



Category of Use 


1990 

average drought 


2000 

average drought 


2070 

overage drought 


2020 

average drought 


Urban 


Applied water demand 


7.8 


8.1 


9.3 


9.7 


10.9 


11.4 


12.7 


13.2 


Net water demand 


6.8 


7.1 


7.9 


8.3 


9.2 


9.6 


10.5 


11.0 


Depletion 


5.7 


6.0 


6.4 


6.7 


7.3 


7.7 


8.4 


8.8 


Agricultural 


















Applied water demand 


31.1 


32.8 


30.2 


31.9 


29.4 


31.1 


28.8 


30.4 


Net water demand 


26.8 


28.2 


26.1 


27.4 


25.4 


26.7 


24.9 


26.1 


Depletion 


24.2 


25.6 


23.7 


25.1 


23.2 


24.6 


22.8 


24.1 


Environmental 


Applied water demand 


28.8 


16.8 


29.3 


17.3 


29.3 


17.3 


29.3 


17.3 


Net water demand 


28.4 


16.4 


28.8 


16.8 


28.8 


16.8 


28.8 
24.7 


16.8 


Depletion 


24.4 


12.9 


24.7 


13.3 


24.7 


13.3 


13.3 


Other'' 


Applied water demand 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


Net water demand 


1.5 


1.5 


1.5 


1.4 


1.5 


1.4 
1.0 


1.5 
1.0 


1.4 


Depletion 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 


1.0 




TOTAL 














71.1 
65.7 
56.9 




Applied water demand 


68.0 


58.0 

53.2 


69.1 


59.2 


69.9 


60.1 


61.2 


Net water demand 


63.5 


64.3 


53.9 


64.9 


54.5 


55.3 


Depletion 


55.3 


45.5 


55.8 


46.1 


56.2 


46.6 


47.2 
















(1) Includes major conveyance facility losses, recreation 


uses, and energy 


' production. 















Water Supply and Demand Balance 



339 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



i<>- 



These demand projections include the effects of existing 
* agricultural water conservation efforts to reduce applied and 

Urban Water Use 

California's population is projected to increase to 49 milli 
about 30 million in 1990) and even with extensive water cons 
net water demand wiU increase by about 3.7 maf. Nearly half ( 
tion is expected to occur in the South Coast Region, increasi 
urban water demand by 1 .8 maf (see Chapter 6). 

Agricultural Water Use 

Irrigated agricultural acreage is expected to decline b} 
from the 1 990 level of 9.2 million acres to a 2020 level of 8.8 1 
ing a 700,000-acre reduction from the 1980 level. Reductioi 
acreage are due primarity to urban encroachment onto agrici 
tirement in the western San Joaquin VaUey where poor 
conditions exist. Increases in agricultural water use efficienc 
tions in agricultural acreage and shifts to growing lower-wate 
to reduce agricultural annual net water demand by about 1 .£ 
ter 7). 

Environmental Water Use 

The 1 990 level and projections of environmental water needs include water needs 
of managed fresh water wetlands (including increases in supplies for refuges resulting 
from implementation of the CVPI^^, instrccim fishery requirements. Delta outflow, and 
wild and scenic rivers. Average annual net water demand for environmental needs is 
expected to increase by 0.4 msif by 2020. Environmental water needs during drought 
years are considerably lower than average years, reflecting principalty the variability of 
natural flows in the North Coast wild and scenic rivers. Furthermore, regulatory agen- 
cies have proposed a number of changes in instream flow needs for major rivers, 
including the Sacramento and San Joaquin. TTiese proposed flow requirements are not 
additive; however, an increase from 1 to 3 maf is presented to envelop potential envi- 
rormiental 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). 

California Water Balance 

The California Water Budget. Table 12-5, compares total net water demand with 
supplies from 1 990 through 2020. (Delta supplies assume SWRCB's D- 1485 operating 
criteria without endangered species actions.) Average annual suppUes for the 1 990 lev- 
el of development were generalfy adequate to meet average demands. However, during 
drought. 1990 level supplies were 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 
1 992, these shortages were reflected in urban mandatory water conservation, agricul- 
tural land fallowing and crop shifts, reduction of envirormiental flows, and short-term 
water transfers. 

The forecasted 2020 net demand for urban, agricultural, and environmental 
water needs amounts to 65.7 maf in average years and 55.3 maf in drought years, after 
accounting for future reductions of 1 .3 maf in net water demand due to increased wa- 
ter conservation efforts (resulting from implementation of urban BMPs. agricultural 
EWMPs, and increased agricultural irrigation efficiencies (discussed in Chapters 6 and 
7) and another 0. 1-maf reduction due to future land retirement. It should be noted 

340 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



that several pending actions to protect and restore fisheries could require additional 
environmental water in the range of 1 to 3 maf. These actions include: 

J Biological opinions for the winter-run salmon and Delta smelt, which place 
operational constraints on Delta exports and vary yearly. 

J Implementation of the CVPIA: reallocation of 800,000 af of annual CVP supplies 
for environmental use in the Central Valley streams, about 120.000 af of 
additional flow in the Trinity River, and about 200.000 af for wetlands. 

J EPA's proposed Bay-Delta standards: the total impacts on urban and agricultural 
water supplies will not be known until final standards are adopted sometime in 
1994 and later implemented. 

Q SWRCB water quality control plan for the Bay-Delta and subsequent water right 
proceedings: In March 1994, SWRCB began a series of workshops to review Delta 
protection standards and examine proposed EPA standards. The total impacts on 
water supply for urban and agricultural use will not be known until a final plan is 
adopted and the water rights proceedings are completed. 

Considering that much of the hypothetical range for additional environmental 
water has now been mandated or formally proposed by the above actions, California is 
now facing the more frequent and severe water supply shortages forecasted for the year 
2000 and beyond. In 1993, an above-normal year, some CVP contractors had their 
supplies reduced by 50 percent. These unanticipated shortages point to the need for a 
quick resolution of Delta problems, through federal cooperation and participation, 
and the need to move forward with demand management and supply augmentation 
programs at both the State and local levels. 

By 2020, without additional facilities and improved water management, an 
annual shortage of 3.7 to 5.7 maf could occur during average years, again depending 
on the outcome of the various actions listed above. 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 2020, annual 
drought year shortages could amount to 7 to 9 maf under D-1485 criteria, also indi- 
cating 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 1 .8 maf of water each year. Population 
growth and increased demand, combined with a possibility of reduced supplies from 
the Colorado River, mean the South Coast Region's annual shortages for 2020 could 
amount to 0.4 maf for average years and 0.8 maf in drought years; this is before 
consideration of the additional 1 -to-3-maf environmental water needs, which could re- 
duce existing SWP supplies from the Delta. Thus, projected shortages could be larger 
if solutions to complex Delta problems are not found and implemented along with pro- 
posed local water management programs and additional facilities for the SWP. 

Implementation of Level I water management programs could reduce but not 
eliminate forecasted shortages in 2020 by implementing short-term drought manage- 
ment 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 water 
recycling, benefits of a long-term Delta solution, more conjunctive use programs, and 
additional south-of-the-Delta storage facilities). Combined, these Level I programs 



i 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 341 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



Idble 12-5. California Water Budget 
(millions of acre-feetj 



Water Demand/Supply 



1990 



average 



Net Defnand 

Urixm — with 1 990 leveJ of conservaiion 

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

Agriaiiiural— wflh 1990 level of oonservolion 

— reductions due to long-term conservation measures (Level I] 

— land retirement in poor drairxige areas of Son Joaquin VaWey (Level I) 

Efwironmental 

OtfT€f<' > 



Proposed Additional Environmenlal Water Demands'^ 
Case I - Hypothetical 1 AAAF ^^^^^ 

I Casel-HypQAeiia]l2MAF -fSSKBKM 
Cose III - Hypothetical 3 MAP 



fatal Net Demmd 
Case I 
Cosel 
CoselH 



63.5 



^Mer Supplies vy/Exisiing Focilifies Under D-14S5 for Delta Supplies 
Developed Supplies 

piiiii—ff. Surface )MjIui*^ <%gBii|[||| ||||||||||iiM|^^ 

Ground Water 

"^'''*'^' Grourxl Wbtef Ovefdn#>^HHIH 

SubMal 

Deckated ^4aiural Flow 



JOWL Mbter Supplies 



63.5 



Dtiiwwi/Supply Buluitce 
OmI 



0.0 



Casein 



Level 1 Water Management Programs'^ 

Long-term Supply Augmentation 

Ku uu Hiieo mHIHHIHHI 

Local 

Central Vdiey Projecf ^HHH 
State Water Project 

Shor^^e^n Drought Management ^______ 

Pbtenliai Demand ManagementfimH 
Drought Water Transfers 
Su6tofcrf - Level I W u l u Management Programs 

Net Ground Water or Surface Water use Reauciion 

Resulting from Level I Programs 



NET TOTAL Demand Redvction/Suppiy Augmentation 



0.0 



Remaining Demond/Suppty Balonce Requiring Level H Options 
Cose! 

Case II ^,,__,_,_______,_ 

Case III flHHHHHHIl 



0.0 



drought 



6.8 


7.1 








26.8 


28.2 








28.4 


16^ 3 


1.5 


1.5 


63.5 


53^ i 



53^ -i 

- ;l 



7.1 


VL8 


36.3 


1.3 

35.2 


27.2 


15.3 



50.5 



-2.7 



iil 



OA 



0.0 



1.8 



-0.9 



( 1 ) hidudes moior c onveyonc c todfay losses, re o wiion uses, end energy production. 
(2)Plropoaed E iivii U Miiei* u l>A<nterDBnmA Gm Hi erwelop pclwiid orid WKgrtain detnonds ortd ho»e imrnedwte arid K*ye 

omequencm on suppfes trorn #» Deho. begpnra^ wiii odiorB in 1 992 and 1 993 to protect winier rw 

viihich could clso protect otfier fish species). 



342 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Table 1 2-5. California Water Budget 

(millions of acre- feet) 



2000 

average drought 



i 
I 



8.3 

-0.4 
26.4 
-0.2 
-0.1 
28.8 
1.5 
64.3 



-0.4 
27.7 
-0.2 
-0.1 
16.8 
1.4 
53.9 




average 


2010 


drought 




^^.9 




10.3 


-0.7 




-0.7 


25.8 




27.1 


-0.3 
-0.1 




-0.3 

-0.1 


28.8 




16.8 


1.5 




1.4 


64.9 




54.5 



2020 

average drought 



11.4 
-0.9 
25.4 

-0.4 
-0.1 

28.8 
1.5 

65.7 



11.9 
-0.9 
26.6 
-0.4 
-0.1 
16.8 
1.4 
55.3 



i 



1.0 
2.0 
3.0 



1.0 



3.0 



1.0 



1.0 



3.0 



3.0 



1.0 
2.0 
3.0 



1.0 
2.0 

3.0 




55.5 
56.5 

57.5 



66.7 
67.7 
68.7 



56.3 
57.3 

58.3 




62.3 



48.9 



62.7 



49.1 



63.0 



49.3 



-3.0 
-4.0 
-5.0 



-6.0 
-7.0 
-8.0 



-3.2 
-4.2 
-5.2 



-6.4 
-7.4 
-8.4 



-3.7 
-4.7 
-5.7 



-7.0 
-8.0 

-9.0 



0.5 
0.0 
0.0 
0.2 



0.5 
0.1 
0.0 
0.1 




0.6 
0.0 
0.0 
0.6 



0.3 
0.0 
1.0 



0.8 
0.0 
0.0 
0.7 



0.8 
0.3 
0.0 
1.0 



0.1 



1.0 
0.8 
2.5 

0.0 



0.1 



0.8 



0.2 



1.5 
0.1 



1.0 
0.8 
3.9 

0.2 



0.7 



2.5 



1.4 



4.0 



1.6 



4.1 



I -2.3 

-3.3 

i -4.3 




-2.9 
-3.9 
-4.9 



(3) The degree future shortages are met by increosed overdraft is unknown. Since overdraft is not sustainable, it is not included as a future supply. 

(4) 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. 



Water Supply £ind Demand Balance 



343 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



leave a potential shortfall in annual supplies of about 2. 1 maf to 4. 1 mcif in average 
years and 2.9 maf to 4.9 maf in drought years by 2020. The shortfall must be made up 
by Level II water supply augmentation and demand management programs. (Chapter 
1 1 explains these programs.) 

The California Water Budget indicates the potential magnitude of water short- 
ages that can be expected in average and drought years if no actions are taken to 
improve water supply reliability. Figure 12-1 illustrates the water supply benefits of 
short- and long-term water management programs under Level I options and the need 
for further investigating and implementing Level II options. 



Figure 12-1. 

California 

Water Balance 




344 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Recommendations 

The Delta is the hub of California's water supply infrastructure: key problems in 
the Delta must be addressed before several of the Level 1 options in the 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 Im- 
provement 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 be- 
come 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, en- 
vironmental 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 l.Smaf. and net water demand by 0. 9 maf, 
after accounting for reuse. Implementation ofagriculturalEWMPs. 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. 
In addition, lining of the All-American Canal will reduce net water demand by 
68.000 af. 

► Land fallowing and water bank programs during droughts — 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. 
However, such transfers are impaired until solutions to Delta transfer problems 
are identified and implemented. 

► Drought demand management — ^voluntary rationing averaging 10 percent 
statewide during drought could reduce annual drought-year urban applied and 
net water demand by 1.0 maf in 2020. 

► Land retirement — retirement of 45.000 acres with poor subsurface drainage and 
disposal on 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 em additional 1 .2 maf of water recycling and ground 
water reclamation by 2020 could provide annual net water supplies of nearly 0.8 
maf after accounting for reuse. 

► Solutions to Delta water management problems — improved water service 
reliability £md increased protection for aquatic species in the Delta could provide 
0.2 to 0.4 maf annually of net water supplies (under D- 1 485) and make many other 
water management options feasible, including water transfers. 

Water Supply and Demand Balance 345 



i 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



^ Conjunctive use — more efficient use of major ground water basins through 
programs such as the Kern Water Bank could provide 0.4 maf of drought-year net 
water supplies (under D-1485). 

^ Additional storage facilities — projects such as 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 unpredict- 
able outcome of actions being undertaken to protect aquatic species and water quality. 
At the same time, California's water supply infrastructure is severely limited in its 
capacity to transfer marketed water through the Delta due to those same operating 
constraints. Until solutions to complex Delta problems are identified and put in place, 
and demand management and supply augmentation options are implemented, many 
Californians will experience more frequent and severe water supply shortages. For ex- 
ample, 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. Such limitations of surface water deliveries will ex- 
acerbate 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 sup- 
plies. In addition, water transfers within these areas will become more common as 
farmers seek to minimize water supply impacts on their operations. In urban areas, 
water conservation and water recycling programs will be accelerated to help offset 
short-term reliability needs. 

Fincdiy, it is recommended that Level II options be evaluated, expanded to in- 
clude other alternatives, and planned for meeting the potential range of average-year 
shortages of 2. 1 to 4. 1 maf and the potential range of drought-year shortages of 2.9 to 
4.9 maf. Level II options include demand management and supply augmentation mea- 
sures such as additional conservation, land retirement, increased water recycling and 
desalting, and surface water development. Several mixes of State and local Level II op- 
tions should be examined, and their economic feasibility ascertained, to address the 
range of demand and supply uncertainty illustrated in the California Water Budget. 
Such uncertainty will affect the identification and selection of Level II options needed 
to meet California's future water supply needs. 



346 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 sup- 
plies. For example, the economic cost of drought-induced water shortages in 1991 is 
estimated to have been well over $1 billion in business-related costs and losses; this 
does not include the large value of losses to residential users in terms of inconve- 
nience, the aesthetic cost of putting up with stressed and dead landscaping during the 
drought, and the cost of replacing that landscaping after the drought. Substantial envi- 
ronmental damage was also experienced. This loss indicates an immediate need for 
more reliable supplies. The size of these losses is a strong indication that there are 
economically, socially, and environmentally justified water management options, in- 
cluding both demand management and supply augmentation, that should be 
implemented to increase reliability. 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 follow- 
ing 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 under- 
standing 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 produc- 
tion. 

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 sole- 
ly at economic value may not be completely satisfactory, but it is the most practical 
and rational method currently available. Two distinct consequences of unreliability in- 
cur 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 higher costs or 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 
Chapter 5.) 



^ C o 

i 



Contingency Losses 

The size and duration of a shortage will determine the contingency losses suf- 
ed. Some of the major costs incurred during water shortages are: loss of sales, loss 
of market share, costs of landscape replacement, damage to wildlife habitat, loss of 
recreational opportunities or aesthetic values, loss of convenience, and costs of short- 



i 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 347 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




Water Service Reliability 

Reliability is a measure of a water service system's expected success in avoiding detri- 
mental economic, social, and environmental effects related to or caused by stiortoges. The 
long-term effects on economic activity (including business costs), environmental conditions, 
and social well-being, as well as shiortage-related costs and losses, ore important. 

How reliable water service is for a particular agency depends on the size, frequency, 
and duration of shortages; the types of water use affected; the options available to the 
agency and water users for managing shortages; and the costs of contingency water mon- 
agement and losses associated with shortages. As water demand goes up over time due to 
expanding economic activity or a growing population, the size, frequency, and duration of 
shortages all increase, thus reducing reliability. 

Long-term water management measures to increase supply or reduce demand can be 
put in place to reverse or slow the rate of this increase, but not without economic, social, and 
environmental costs. Also, additional contingency measures can be developed to better 
manage shortages and reduce their economic consequences when they occur, but such 
measures have their own costs. 

In general, if the existing level of reliability is inadequate, taking action to increase it will 
cost less than not taking action, when all economic, social, and environmental costs end 
losses are considered for each alternative action. Conversely, if the existing level of reliability 
is adequate, taking action to increase reliability will cost more than not taking action when 
all economic, social, and environmental costs and losses are considered for each alterna- 
tive action. 

When examining the adequacy of the current level of reliability, the long-term conse- 
quences and shortage-related costs and losses must be identified by sector: agricultural, res- 
idential, commercial, and industrial. The secondary impacts of urban and agricultural short- 
ages can also be substantial, a consideration that is particularly important with respect to 
the economic and social consequences of agricultural water service reliability. 

Both the long-term and shortage-related impacts of unreliability are critically 
dependent on the shortage-management options available to local water managers. Con- 
tingency water transfers and emergency measures such as alternate-day landscape water- 
ing and gutter-flooder patrols can be effective in reducing the economic impacts of an ur- 
ban shortage at a relatively minor cost. Beyond that, urban water allocation programs can 
compel users with the least to lose to absorb the major part of shortages. In agricultural 
areas, local intra- and interagency water exchange programs can be used to allocate sur- 
face water shortages to areas which overlie ground water and can substitute this latter sup- 
ply to the extent that it is available and the farmers' finances permit. Agricultural shortages 
can also be allocated to areas with crops which are the least vulnerable in terms of foregone 
income or loss of investment if fields are fallowed, yields are reduced, or the crops are lost. 

In urban areas, the desired shortage allocations to minimize overall economic impacts 
may be accomplished by specific allocations to different types of users, hardship exemption 
programs, punitive water pricing, or some combination of these strategies. The proper ol- 
location varies with the size of the overall shortage and relative economic impact of each 
additional increment of shortage on the different sectors. 

The relative impact of shortages depends on the slack users have at the time shortages 
occur (that is, how many low-cost actions can users take to manage shortages before seri- 
ous consequences result) and the relative rapidity with which costs and losses escalate be- 
yond the manageable point. In some cases, having put long-term measures in place con 
reduce the effectiveness of contingency measures when shortages occur. For example, re- 
ductions in applied water caused by better landscape management can mean that, in the 



348 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



Water Service Reliability (continued) 

future, emergency cutbacks may cause stress sooner, or may not be possible at all, because 
water use is already at maximum efficiency. Similarly, ctionges in technology for industrial 
process water used to increase efficiency may cause reduced production sooner for the 
same reasons. 

In effect, the result of the urban rationing programs is to shift the worst impacts to resi- 
dential exterior and commercial landscaping use and away from industrial use, commercial 
non-landscaping use, and residential interior use. Although this strategy is likely to reduce 
overall economic impacts, it can have serious impacts on businesses that depend on having 
water available for landscaping, such as golf courses, and on businesses dependent on es- 
tablishing and maintaining residential landscaping. Also, to the extent that conservation is 
being practiced for residential exterior use and commercial landscaping use, this strategy 
will be less successful due to the lower level of waste or low-valued uses that are curtailed 
during shortages. 

Two separate studies illustrate the comparative value of water use in industry and in resi- 
dences. The average value foregone by California industries during a shortage of 30 percent 
was an estimated $74,000 per acre-foot (Cost of Industrial Water Shortages. California Urban 
Water Agencies, November 1 991 ). The average value foregone by California residential wa- 
ter users during a shortage of 30 percent would produce a loss of about $2,600 per acre-foot 
(interpolated from the results in Economic Value of Reliable Water Supplies. State Water Con- 
tractors Exhibit 51 , June 1987). 

Because of the strategy of allocating shortages away from non-residential users to pro- 
tect local income and employment, a 30-percent overall shortage can translate to some- 
what greater than a 35-percent shortage for residential users, thus producing, for example, 
on equivalent loss of about $3,400 per acre-foot overall (assuming that the shortage alloca- 
tion process has the effect of spreading the pain evenly among the different urban sectors). 
The actual loss after reallocation will depend on the relative amounts of the different types of 
water use and their relative vulnerability to economic loss. 

In agricultural areas, the residential-user water shortage "buffer" available to cushion 
the impact on businesses in urban areas is usually not significant: employment impacts, busi- 
ness costs increases, and income losses can be more or less immediate. This is an important 
distinction in terms of the consequences for the health of the local economy, particularly in 
small agricultural communities where providing goods and services to farmers and hauling, 
storing, and processing farm products are the major activities. 

As an example of the potential water shortage costs to farmers, costs associated with 
substituting ground water for unavailable surface water during 1 991 resulted in added water 
costs in the San Joaquin Valley ranging from more than $20 per acre-foot of additional 
pumping to almost $60 per acre-foot, depending on the area affected. Farm income losses 
due to reduced acreage, or yield declines due to on overall shortage of about 6 percent to 
the San Joaquin Valley (after accounting for increased ground water pumping), ranged 
from about $45 to $ 1 , 1 00 per acre-foot, depending on the area affected (derived from Eco- 
nomic impacts of the i 99 / California Drought on San Joaquin Valley Agriculture and Related 
Industries, Northwest Economic Associates, IVIarch 1992). 

Continuation of the recent drought, which would have had the effect of forcing ground 
water levels even lower and further straining the financial ability of farmers to substitute 
ground water for unavailable surface supplies, would have had more serious economic 
consequences than were experienced. The extent of the drought's impact on higher-in- 
vestment crops such as truck, tree, and vine crops would likely hove been greater. For exam- 
ple, income lost because vegetable crops were not planted due to water shortages would 
be about $470 per acre-foot of applied water. Form income lost for citrus trees killed due to 



i 



Water Supply and Demand Balance 349 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 




Water Service Reliability (continued) 



water shortage would be $330 per acre-foot of applied water; this amount would be lost 
annually until the trees were replaced at a cost of about $10,500 per acre. The losses 
would then decline until the replacement trees reached full maturity in about ten years 
(derived from Evaluation of the Economic Impacts of 1991 Drought Alternatives for Kern 
County Surface Water Districts. Northwest Economic Associates, January 1991). 

These examples of urban and agricultural impacts are related to the economic 
consequences of water shortages. The long-term economic consequences of unreliabil- 
ity are related to business decisions to make long-term investments in water use technol- 
ogies (for example, emergency reuse systems) or alternative sources of supply (for exam- 
ple, wells) to better cope with shortages when they occur. Business decisions to locate in 
an area, move from an area, add or drop product lines, or expand or reduce overall 
production are also affected by water service reliability. 

Long-term consequences of unreliability also show up in the value of land. Agricul- 
tural land in areas with more reliable supplies has a higher value than land in areas with 
less reliable supplies, all other factors being equal. Lower reliability con mean lower pro- 
ductivity because of higher losses caused by shortages. Unreliability can also limit the 
productivity of land by making farmers (or their lenders) unwilling to expose themselves 
to the higher degree of risk of investment loss when growing tree or vine crops, for exam- 
ple, although the soil and climate may be suitable and market conditions favorable. 

In a similar fashion, property values for residential users and their quality of life may 
be lower in on area with less reliable water service if the expected cost of shortage-re- 
Idted landscaping replacement is high enough to discourage planting of preferred, 
high-investment landscaping. The secondary benefits to the local economy of expendi- 
tures on services needed to maintain high-investment landscaping can be another loss, 
if this type of landscaping is discouraged because of unreliable water supplies. 



age management programs. Although not classifiable as regional economic losses. 
reduced water sales can place severe financial stress on water agencies with large fixed 
costs to meet. 

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 \1tal 
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 short- 
ages 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 produc- 
tion 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 

350 Water Supply and Demand Balance 



The California Water Plan Update Bulletin 160-93 



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 percep- 
tions 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 pop- 
ulations reduce income and employment in commercial fishing. Municipalities 
experiencing water shortages can lose revenues from public parks and golf courses. 
Water agencies can also experience loss of revenues due to reduced water sales during 
a drought. 

Increased Costs for Agricultural, Commercial, or Industrial Users. The var- 
ious 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 im- 
posed by a water shortage. Reusing cooling water, while allowing continued production 
during a shortage, may result in costly mineral-scale removal to restore cooling effi- 
ciency 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 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 instal- 
ling 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 sur- 
face water delivery system, whether or not any water has been delivered. Similarly, 
urban water agencies can be financially stressed by the obligation to meet large fixed 
delivery system costs with reduced water sales revenues, while being required to pay 
for costly supplemental supplies. A farmer can also Institute more intensive (and more 
costly) Irrigation management practices. 

Cost of Landscaping Replacement. Replacing dead landscaping or invigorat- 
ing 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. 
Furthermore, while the landscaping is stressed, or until dead landscaping can be re- 
placed, 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 popula- 

Water Supply and Demand Balance 351 



Bulletin 160-93 The California Water Plan Update 



tions 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 fre- 
quently 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 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 Ek:onomic 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, proxi