Archive for the 'San Jacinto River' Category

Jan 06 2011

CA: Scoping the north-south transfers

The Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority have scheduled public scoping meetings for a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report on the effects of proposed water transfers from willing sellers in northern California to buyers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The EIS/EIR will address transfers of Central Valley Project water through CVP or State Water Project facilities, and transfers of non-CVP water supplies that require the use of CVP facilities. Individual and multi-year water transfers could occur through various methods, including groundwater substitution and cropland idling, from 2012 through 2022. Currently, the only available document for review is the Notice of Intent. This document is published in the Federal Register.

Meetings to solicit comment on topics to be addressed in the EIS/EIR have been scheduled for:

• Chico: Tuesday, January 11, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 1110 W. East Avenue, Chico Masonic Family Center

• Sacramento: Wednesday, January 12, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., 1413 Howe Avenue, Best Western Expo Inn

• Los Banos: Thursday, January 13, 6 p.m-8 p.m., 842 Sixth Street, Los Banos, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority

Written scoping comments should be received by close of business Monday, February 28, 2011, and should be sent to Brad Hubbard, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-410, Sacramento CA 95825, via e-mail to, or faxed to 916-978-5290.

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Oct 13 2008

CA: Soboba bank wins rights agreement

From the Soboba Band of tribes:

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne signed the final documentation, completing the historic settlement agreement with the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians and resolving decades of litigation over the water rights of the Southern California tribe.

The agreement, which was authorized through an Act of Congress in late August, bolsters regional efforts to achieve sustainable water management and habitat restoration in the over-drafted San Jacinto River Basin.

“This agreement not only corrects an historic wrong that drastically depleted the Tribe’s surface and ground water supplies, but also provides a future roadmap for sustainable water management in the over-drafted San Jacinto River Basin,” Kempthorne said. “The settlement illustrates how negotiated agreements among Indian Tribes, States, local parties, and the Federal Government can resolve reserved water right claims, provide assured water supplies for present and future tribal generations, and wisely manage an increasingly scarce resource.”

Kempthorne commended Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) and tribal leaders for their support and commitment to the process. Bono Mack championed the negotiated approach and was the chief sponsor of the legislation (H.R. 4841) in the House of Representatives. The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Settlement Act (Public Law 110-297) on July 31, 2008.

Under this settlement, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will deliver 7,500 acre-feet of water a year for the next 30 years to Eastern and Lake Hemet. This will enable the water agencies to recharge the San Jacinto groundwater basin to help fulfill the Soboba Band’s water rights and terminate chronic groundwater overdrafts.

The plan will eventually put pumping from the basin on a safe-yield basis, where no more water is taken out of the aquifer than is restored through natural and artificial recharge.

The settlement provisions for recharge and restoration of the San Jacinto Basin aquifer also restore local groundwater for the non-Indian community and enable the development of several communities and thousands of acres of residential and commercial land.

The Soboba’s forbearance has a monetary value of more than $58 million, which helped to make the value of the non-federal contribution to this settlement more than $80 million, Kempthorne pointed out. “That’s about four times the federal cost share of $21 million,” he said. “This contribution, combined with the federal financial support, was key to convincing the three water districts to agree to their significant contributions.”

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Aug 22 2008

CA: Expanded Valley Recharge Facilities

Ground was broken August 22 at Coachella Valley Water District’s newest full-scale groundwater recharge facility, which will replenish 40,000 acre-feet annually into the eastern Coachella Valley’s aquifer. This amount of water is equal to what is used each year by about 85,000 residents and will alleviate the overdraft of groundwater supplies throughout the eastern valley.
Representatives from all levels of government, other water agencies, agriculture and business were among those who attended the brief ceremony at the facility, located west of Monroe Street, between Avenues 60 and 62 in La Quinta.
The Dike 4 Groundwater Recharge Facility is named due to its proximity to the Dike 4 flood control berm. The facility takes advantage of existing pipes currently used to deliver Colorado River water from Lake Cahuilla, at the terminus of the Coachella Canal, to farmland. Thirty-nine recharge basins are being built at the facility and will cover nearly half of the project’s 163 acres.
Replenishment is among the most effective methods available for preserving local groundwater supplies, reversing aquifer overdraft and meeting demand by domestic and commercial water consumers.
CVWD and Desert Water Agency have been cooperatively recharging the upper Coachella Valley at Windy Point, west of Palm Springs, with their entitlements to State Water Project water for 35 years. Additional replenishment began at Mission Creek about five years ago. Since 1973, the aquifer has been replenished with more than 2 million acre-feet of imported water. Overdraft in the valley amounts to approximately 5.1 million acre-feet annually.
CVWD launched two pilot projects to ensure that meaningful replenishment was possible in the eastern valley. Replenishment at Dike 4 began in 1997, and through last year nearly 25,000 acre-feet had been recharged there; at Martinez Canyon, recharge began in 2005, with replenishment exceeding 4,150 acre-feet in 2007.
Scientific studies concluded these were suitable locations in the eastern valley for effective aquifer recharge. A clay aquitard allows for the drilling of wells in the eastern valley, but thwarts the use of conventional groundwater replenishment techniques on the valley floor. Water cannot percolate directly through the clay layer into the lower aquifer, in which most of the water suitable for domestic and irrigation purposes is located.
Along the edges of the eastern valley, however, the absence of the aquitard and the presence of more permeable materials make replenishment feasible. The aquitard actually enhances the distribution of replenishment water because it creates pressure that pushes recharged water throughout the lower aquifer.
To date, $43 million has been budgeted for the Dike 4 recharge facility; $6 million for the pump plant, $10 million for the recharge basins and $27 million for land acquisitions.
Coachella Valley Water District Contact: Dennis Mahr,, (760) 398-2651 Ext. 2352; Jack Porrelli,, (760) 398-2651 Ext. 2355; Heather Engel,, (760) 398-2651 Ext. 2353

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