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Bay-Delta Office
Department of Water Resources

1416 9th Street,
Sacramento, Ca 95814

Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 942836,
Sacramento, Ca 94236-0001

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 South Delta Branch Home
South Delta Improvements Program
Temporary Barriers Project
SDWSC Aeration Facility
Proposition 84

Welcome to the South Delta Branch Website.

The purpose of this website is to provide background and information on the purpose, goals and status of the South Delta Branch Programs.

The Branch’s primary functions is to plan and implement projects and actions in the South Delta as part of the CALFED Conveyance Program. The Branch conducts engineering and environmental studies to improve the operation of existing facilities, and plans new facilities to improve water supply reliability and quality for local uses and State Water Project/Central Valley Project exports. The Branch also analyzes related actions to develop and improve aquatic habitat.

The South Delta Branch has five key programs listed below. Other select program actions, when applicable, are listed in the right-hand sidebar.

South Delta Improvements Program (SDIP): The SDIP is a series of proposed actions to improve water quality and protect salmon in the southern part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while allowing the State Water Project to operate more effectively to meet California's existing and future water needs. The SDIP has a two-stage decision-making process: a) Stage 1 addresses the physical/structural improvements proposed in the SDIP. This includes the new operable gates, dredging and agricultural diversion modifications. b) Stage 2 addresses the proposed operational component to increase water deliveries south of the Delta, and any Stage 2 decisions are being deferred until after the Stage 1 decision is made.


Temporary Barriers Project (TBP): The TBP prepares environmental documents, obtains regulatory permits, and administers the annual construction, operation, and monitoring of the Temporary Barriers Project.  The purpose of the project is: to protect San Joaquin salmon migrating through the Delta and provide an adequate agricultural water supply in terms of quantity, quality, and channel water levels to meet the reasonable and beneficial needs of water users in the south Delta area.  The TBP also takes actions to protect agricultural diversions that do not benefit from the operations of the barriers, from the adverse effects of the barriers.


Aeration Facilty: The Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel (DWSC) Demonstration Dissolved Oxygen project is a multiple-year study of the effectiveness of elevating dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in the channel. DO concentrations in the channel drop as low as 2 to 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) during warmer and lower water flow periods in the San Joaquin River. The low DO levels can adversely affect aquatic life including the health and migration of andromonous fish (e.g., salmon). The objective of the study is to maintain DO levels above the minimum recommended levels specified in the State of California Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins. The Basin Plan water quality objectives for DO are 6.0 mg/l in the San Joaquin River (between Turner Cut and Stockton, 1 September through 30 November) and 5.0 mg/l the remainder of the year.

The project comprises a full-scale aeration system including two – two hundred foot deep u-tube aeration tubes; two vertical turbine pumps capable of pumping over 11,000 gallons of water each; a liquid-to-gas oxygen supply system; and numerous ancillary equipment and control systems. The system has been sized to deliver approximately 10,000 pounds of oxygen per day into the DWSC. The aeration system is anticipated to only be operated when DWSC DO levels are below the Basin Plan DO water quality objectives (approximately 100 days per year). The project study includes an on-going assessment of DO levels in the DWSC and vicinity and a study of potential adverse effects of oxygen on salmon.


Proposition 84: In Chapter 2, Section 75029, the sum of $130 million shall be available to the department for grants to implement Delta water quality improvement projects that protect drinking water supplies. Eligible projects are: a) Projects that reduce or eliminate discharges of salt, dissolved organic carbon, pesticides, pathogens and other pollutants to the San Joaquin River; b) Projects that reduce or eliminate discharges of bromide, dissolved organic carbon, salt, pesticides and pathogens from discharges to the Sacramento River; c) Projects at Franks Tract and other locations in the Delta that will reduce salinity or other pollutants at agricultural and drinking water intakes; and d) Projects identified in the June 2005 Delta Region Drinking Water Quality Management Plan, with a priority for design and construction of the relocation of drinking water intake facilities for in-delta water users.

Georgiana Slough Non-Physical Barrier Pilot Study Under the federal Endangered Species Act the National Marine Fisheries Service issued the 2009 Biological and Conference Opinion for the Long-Term Operations of the SWP and CVP, for Winter-run Chinook salmon and other listed anadromous fish. Reasonable and Prudent Alternative Action IV.1.3 of this BO requires that California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the United States Bureau of Reclamation consider engineering solutions to reduce the diversion of juvenile salmonids from the Sacramento River into the interior and southern Delta. DWR has implemented the 2011 and 2012 Georgiana Slough Non-Physical Barrier Studies and the Georgiana Slough Floating Fish Guidance Structure Study in order to test the effectiveness of utilizing these technologies to reduce the probability of out-migrating juvenile Chinook salmon from entering Georgiana Slough.

Please check back often as we will be updating this site to give you the most up-to-date information on our proposed plan and important dates.


Mark Holderman
South Delta Branch Chief
Bay-Delta Office
California Department of Water Resources
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

e-mail: markho@water.ca.gov
Telephone: (916) 653-7247 
FAX: (916) 653-6077

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