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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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 Clifton Court Forebay Diversions/8500 cfs

Clifton Court Forebay Diversions/8500 cfs

State Water Project Operations at Clifton Court Forebay and Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant
The discussion below provides a background on the SWP and CVP operations, including a description of how the SWP’s CCF and SWP Banks currently work, as well as annual, weekly, and daily operations, and information on DWR’s Corps permit and joint point of diversion (JPOD).

Annual Operations Planning
DWR and Reclamation estimate the amount of water that will be provided to their respective contractors each year, existing and forecasted, based on rainfall, existing storage, available data export and conveyance capacity, and beginning snowpack measurements of each year. This amount is usually a percentage of the contractors’ full contractual amount. As the year progresses and forecasted data is replaced with actual data, those allocations may be revised.

Weekly Operations Planning
To plan weekly project operations, Bay-Delta tides are estimated using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) forecasted tides and regression relationships with flow and salinity at various Delta locations. Based on the best estimates of weather conditions and past experience, a target Delta outflow is determined that is expected to meet the controlling water quality standard as well as other standards. DWR and Reclamation coordinate reservoir releases to meet the target outflows (California Department of Water Resources and Bureau of Reclamation 1996a).

Daily Operations
During actual daily project operations, data are transmitted hourly to DWR and Reclamation hydrometeorological systems in their water management control centers in Sacramento. These data consist of river flows, tides, salinity, and wind speed/direction at various Delta locations. If the data indicate a significant deviation from the planned conditions, one or more of the three following operational changes can be implemented: (1) adjust project reservoir releases; (2) adjust Delta export levels; and (3) close or open the Delta Cross Channel gates. Reservoir releases are most effective for meeting Sacramento River salinity criteria (most frequently at Emmaton) or Delta outflow criteria. San Joaquin River salinity criteria (most frequently at Jersey Point) are most effectively met by adjusting the amount of export pumping.

Rivers and Harbors Act
CCF and SWP Banks operate under a nationwide permit issued by the Corps under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act for construction and operation of facilities prior to 1968. Since 1968, four pumps were added to SWP Banks. DWR subsequently requested that the Corps provide a new permit under the Rivers and Harbors Act. In 1981, in Public Notice 5820A, Amended (Public Notice), dated October 13, 1981, the Corps determined that

operation of the expanded facility such that future diversions into the forebay do not exceed the historical maximum one-day and three-day diversion rates would have no increased effect on navigable capacity of the Delta waterways. Therefore, no additional permit will be required under Section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of 1899 provided that the historical maximum diversion rates are not exceeded.

The Public Notice notes that those maximum diversion rates into CCF are 13,870 acre-feet (af) daily (and 13,250 acre-feet over a 3-day average). DWR also presented the Corps with plans to increase diversions by one-third of the San Joaquin River flow at Vernalis during the period from mid-December to mid-March, provided that flows at Vernalis exceed 1,000 cfs. The Corps’ Public Notice states that

analysis of this proposed operation indicated that there would be no additional reduction in water levels at Clifton Court Ferry because any increased drawdown would be off-set by higher stages caused by increased San Joaquin River flows.

The Corps concluded that “diverting one-third of the flow at Vernalis during the timeframe proposed would have no effect on navigable capacity, and no Section 10 permit is required for this operation.” Under all the SDIP proposed operational scenarios, the maximum diversion capacity would be higher than the currently permitted 6,680 cfs. Therefore, increased diversions would require a new Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10 permit from the Corps.

Joint Point of Diversion
The CVP and SWP historically have shared Delta export pumping facilities to assist with project deliveries and to aid each project during times of facility outages. The sharing of these facilities is referred to as JPOD. In 1978, DWR agreed to, and the State Water Board permitted, the CVP to use the SWP Banks facility to export up to 195,000 acre-feet annually to replace pumping capacity lost at the CVP Tracy facility because of striped bass pumping restrictions in D-1485. In 1986, Reclamation and DWR formally agreed that “either party may make use of its facilities available to the other party for pumping and conveyance of water by written agreement” and that the SWP would pump CVP water to make up for striped bass protection measures (California Department of Water Resources 2003a). Per D-1641, use of JPOD is subject to an operations plan that protects fish and wildlife and other legal users of water. Thus, such joint point pumping essentially occurs only under conditions acceptable to NOAA Fisheries, DFG, USFWS, and the State Water Board, among other considerations. Although JPOD would continue to be implemented as it is currently, the operational scenarios under SDIP provide additional JPOD opportunities in the winter and summer periods. However, it could not be assumed that JPOD could provide the CVP with increased certainty and allow for increased water allocations to CVP contractors south of the Delta earlier in the year.



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