Who are the project sponsors?
The United States Bureau of Reclamation (Department
of Interior) and the California Department of Water
Resources are the lead Federal and State agencies, respectively,
actions are proposed under the South Delta Improvements
The South Delta Improvements Program (SDIP)
is a series of interrelated actions to manage water
levels and water quality, protect fish and provide increased
flexibility for operations of the Central Valley Project
(CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP).
The specific actions include the following:
(1) Replace a seasonal rock gate installed to protect
fish with a permanent operable gate at the Head of Old
River, (2) replace three seasonal rock gates with permanent
operable flow gates on Middle River, Grantline Canal
and Old River (near the city of Tracy),,(3) improve
flow conditions in south Delta channels with limited
dredging in Middle River, Old River and West Canal,
(4) extend 24 existing local agricultural diversions
in the south Delta to deeper water to limit the necessity
for more frequent gate operations and 5) increase the
permitted diversion capacity at the SWP Clifton Court
Forebay to allow more operational flexibility to increase
diversion rates when the increase will not harm the
Delta’s fisheries or local agricultural users.
Why is SDIP
The SDIP is proposed in response to three important
water management needs:
1. The operations of the SWP and CVP export facilities
in the south Delta can change flow patterns in the local
channels. This can cause migrating San Joaquin River
fall- /late fall-run Chinook salmon, a candidate for
listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, to
move into the south Delta, primarily through Old River
where fish mortality increases due to predators and
higher levels of exposure to export facilities and agricultural
diversions. Keeping fall- and late fall-run Chinook
salmon in the main channel of the San Joaquin River
until they reach the central Delta may increase their
2. Local South Delta water users downstream
of the head of Old River are affected by water quality
and water levels at each intake location. These conditions
are influenced by many factors, one of which is diversions
in the south Delta by the SWP and CVP.
3. There are unmet water supply needs,
with respect to quantity and reliability, south of the
Delta for agriculture, municipal and industrial, and
What is the purpose of the SDIP?
The purpose of the SDIP consists of three objectives:
1. reduce the movement of San Joaquin River watershed
Central Valley fall-/late fall–run juvenile Chinook
salmon into the south Delta via Old River;
2. maintain adequate water levels and water quality
available for agricultural diversions in the south Delta,
downstream of the head of Old River; and
3. increase water deliveries and delivery reliability
for SWP and CVP water contractors south of the Delta
and provide opportunities to convey water for fish and
wildlife purposes by increasing the maximum diversion
through the existing intake gates at CCF to 8,500 cfs.
Meeting these objectives by implementing the SDIP will
provide increased operational flexibility and the ability
to respond to real-time fish conditions while improving
water supply reliability.
The four permanent, operable gates
proposed through SDIP will replace the current, cumbersome,
seasonable rock gates that have been installed by DWR
since 1990. The operable gates provide operational flexibility
that the seasonable rock gates do not have. This flexibility
will allow the gates to be operated on a “real-time”
basis in response to unanticipated, changing conditions
in the south Delta region.
the proposed permanent gates be operated?
The flow control gates would be operated from
April through November on an as-needed basis to protect
water levels and water quality for local agricultural
diversions. The gate at the Head of Old River would
normally be closed from mid-April through mid-May during
the outmigration period for San Joaquin River salmon
smelts and from September through October, as needed,
to improve dissolved oxygen content on the stretch of
the San Joaquin River from Old River to the Stockton
Deep Water Ship Channel for inmigrating adult salmon
during the pre-spawning period. Operation of the gates
outside of these “pre-set” periods would
only be on an as-needed basis subject to prior approval
by State and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
How would the plan to increase the maximum diversion
rate into Clifton Court Forebay to 8500 cfs be implemented?
DWR and Reclamation plan to implement the proposed
actions under SDIP in two separate and distinct stages.
The Final EIR/S for SDIP (scheduled for release in Spring
2006) will identify a preferred alternative for gate
construction and operation, channel dredging and agricultural
diversion relocation (Stage 1 actions). The Final EIR/S
will include a range of alternatives for increasing
the maximum diversion limit for CCF up to 8500 cfs (Stage
2 action) but will not identify a preferred alternative.
After the Stage 1 decision documents are completed (Record
of Decision and Notice of Determination), various public
workshops and forums will be held around the State to
gather further public input before identifying a preferred
alternative for increasing the diversion limit to 8500
cfs. Once the preferred 8500 alternative has been identified,
it will be submitted to the public for further review/comment
and a final decision will be made by DWR and Reclamation
in a subsequent ROD/NOD. The preferred 8500 alternative
would be implemented after the completion of construction
of the Stage 1 actions.
the project be implemented?
There is currently no implementation schedule
How much will SDIP cost?
The total estimated cost of the project is $111.6 million dollars in 2005, and a new estimate has not been prepared.
How will SDIP be financed?
Various sources of funding are available to fund SDIP, including monies from voter-approved Propositions 204 (approved in 1995), 13 (approved in 2000), 50 (approved in 2002), the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act, CVP, SWP and local funds. The specific cost-sharing to meet the total project cost has not been determined.
How would SDIP affect Bay-Delta fisheries?
If the four gate configuration is approved, the permanent gates on Middle River, Old River near Tracy and Grantline Canal will improve circulation in local south Delta channels. The improvement in circulation will benefit water quality and dissolved oxygen levels beyond the current conditions with rock gates. Also, the gate at the Head of Old River will impede fish from migrating from the San Joaquin River into the interior south Delta, where they could be exposed to further loss from the effects of local agricultural diversions and the operation of CVP and SWP export facilities.
In the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service Operations Criteria and Plan Biological Opinion the SDIP was determined to impact endangered migratory fish and their critical habitat.
DWR and Reclamation will utilize specific protective measures during times when permanent south Delta gates are constructed and dredging/diversion relocations are conducted to ensure no harm is caused to Delta fisheries.
would SDIP affect Delta recreation and boating?
The permanent gates (except the Middle River gate) will
feature boat locks to avoid any potential adverse effects
to Delta boaters. This will be a net improvement to
the existing rock gates, which have seasonal boat ramps
at gate sites. No adverse effects to boating or recreation
are expected from SDIP.
SDIP affect Bay-Delta water quality?
Detailed hydrodynamic and water quality studies of SDIP
have concluded that there will not be any significant
adverse effects to Bay-Delta water quality from SDIP
implementation. In addition, DWR and Reclamation will
work to identify and implement additional actions that
may be needed to provide for the continuous improvement
in water quality called for in the CALFED Program.
is the relation or connection of SDIP to the CALFED
The August 28, 2000 CALFED Record of Decision
specified that: (1) permanent gate installation, (2)
selective channel dredging and, (3) agricultural diversion
modifications, be carried out to improve conditions
for local agricultural diverters (Pages 50-52, Volume
1). In addition, maximum diversion capability at SWP’s
Clifton Court Forebay was to be increased to 8500 cfs
and subsequently 10,300 cfs provided that new fish screens
were installed at CCF (page 49, Volume 1).
After two years of study, the cost
of new fish screens at CCF was estimated to be $1 to
2 billion dollars. Due to the enormity of the cost,
CALFED decided that SDIP should only propose an 8500
cfs increase, with the 10,300 cfs increase and new CCF
fish screens requiring further detailed studies.
SDIP’s actions are also included
in the August 12, 2004 Delta Improvements Package Implementation
Plan adopted by CALFED. The DIP clarifies the roles,
responsibilities and commitments of State and Federal
agencies to implement programs, projects, evaluations
and other undertakings focused on the Delta region that
advance CALFED’s goals.
I contact if I want more information?
Contact Mr. Bob Pedlar of DWR at (916) 653-5085.