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 14, 2015

Head of Old River (HOR) Barrier:

As a result of low flows in the San Joaquin River, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has requested DWR install the Fall Head of Old River Barrier to maximize the effects of the attraction flows to support the returning adult salmonids into the tributaries and their respective spawning habitats.  Construction of barrier started on Thursday September 3, 2015 and closure was achieved today September 14, 2015.

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

The Middle River and Old River near Tracy barriers were notched on Thursday September 08, 2015 to allow passage for migratory fish.  The Grantline Canal Barrier flash board structure is already in a maximum wide open position.
The Emergency Drought Barrier [EDB]:

Removal of the Emergency Drought Barrier is scheduled to start on September 8, 2015, breaching is scheduled for October 1, 2015; and complete removal is scheduled to take place by November 15, 2015.

Environmental Permits Compliance Reporting:

Environmental staff has conducted pre-construction surveys as required by State and Federal permits and Biological Opinions.  An Environmental Tailgate Session was held at the Head of Old River Barrier site to inform construction staff of the permit requirements, to give a general overview of sensitive species found at or near the construction site and to instruct personnel on proper procedures to follow when sensitive species are encountered on the construction site.  Additionally, an Environmental Compliance Monitor is on-site for all construction work.  A water quality monitoring and sampling for settleable solids and turbidity is being conducted during the installation of the barrier and will continue for the reminder of the construction period. 


Water Levels and Water Quality Notifications:

DWR will continue to monitor the water quality and water levels before, during and after the installation of the Fall Head of Old River Barrier.  DWR will also continue to monitor water level and water quality at all agricultural barriers sites.


Computer modeling for water level was performed by Reza of the Delta Compliance and Modeling Section, the modeling period spanned from 9/08/2015 through 9/28/15.  Forecasted water levels are above the specified threshold in Middle River, Old River near Tracy and in Doughty Cut.  Please note that the drought barrier was taken into consideration and it was part of the modeling assumptions. A copy of the modeling results is attached.

Real-time south Delta water level data is available on CDEC at the URL below: 

These weekly updates are also available for your information on our website:

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Thank you!
Jacob McQuirk, P.E.
DWR|Bay-Delta Office
Temporary Barriers and Lower San Joaquin
1416 9th St., Room 215-23
Sacramento, CA 95814
office:   916-653-9883
Fax:      916-653-6077


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