The following report on the Temporary Barriers Project is for your information and action, as appropriate.  This report will be transmitted whenever changes occur to the operation of the barriers, and as a result of modeling and/or field monitoring of water levels in the south Delta.

STATUS AS OF:  September 19, 2008


Head of Old River Barrier (HORB):

The spring HOR barrier work will not be installed this year due to a court decision by US District Court Judge Wanger that prohibited the installation of the spring barrier to increase protections for delta smelt.  This is an interim decision that effects the 2008 season only.  The fall HORB is not effected.  The fall HORB generally is installed late in September upon the request of the CA Department of Fish and Game and depends upon the current and projected dissolved oxygen levels in the San Joaquin River near Stockton.  DFG is working on the formal request and we expect it next week.

Agricultural Barriers (Old River near Tracy [ORT], Middle River [MR], Grant Line Canal [GLC]):

The six culverts that have been tied open on the ORT barrier for water quality purposes have been untied as of September 17 and now all the barriers are fully operating tidally.  Lowering flows on the San Joaquin River and a less stringent water quality objective, along with continued south Delta demand for irrigation, were reasons for this action.  We expect that the barriers will be fully operating for the remainder of the season through mid-November when we begin removing them.  


Modeling results are attached and include forecasts though 9/26/08. Modeling shows that actuals and forecasts are good for water levels with six culverts tied open at the ORT barrier.  Water levels have been well above the trigger levels (0.0 feet MSL at both ORT and GLC barriers, 0.3 feet MSL at the MR barrier) and should remain above these levels through next week.

Click here to see modeling outputs


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Mark A. Holderman, P.E.
Chief, Temporary Barriers Project and Lower San Joaquin
Bay-Delta Office

California Department of Water Resources
1416 9th St., P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Phone: (916) 653-7429  FAX: (916) 653-6077
Cell/Pager: (916) 601-6036 E-Mail: