California Department of Water Resources

02/16/2024 | Press release | Archived content

California Department of Water Resources Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for the Pulse Flows Component of the Water Storage Investment Program Groundwater[...]

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY

California Department of Water Resources Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact

for the Report Pulse Flows Component of the Water Storage Investment Program Groundwater Projects Now Available for Public Review and Comment

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is making available to the public the Draft Supplemental Impact Report(Draft SEIR) for the Pulse Flows Component of the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) Groundwater Projects (Pulse Flows Component) for a 45-day review period beginning February 16, 2024 and closing April 1, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.

Introduction: The Draft SEIR is a supplement to three certified environmental impact reports (EIRs) prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for three independent WSIP projects (referred to herein as the "WSIP Groundwater Projects"): (1) the Chino Basin Program, (2) the Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project (Kern Fan), and (3) the Willow Springs Water Bank Project (Willow Springs). The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), the Authority for the Groundwater Banking Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and the Rosamond Community Services District (CSD) are the lead agencies pursuant to CEQA for these WSIP Groundwater Projects, respectively. DWR, as a responsible agency pursuant to CEQA, has prepared this Draft SEIR to supplement the three WSIP Groundwater Projects' EIRs and to provide CEQA coverage for DWR's actions.

Project Description and Purpose:The Pulse Flows Component is defined by the following DWR actions: (1) Release of the pulse flows from Lake Oroville into the Low Flow Channel of the Feather River, with the goal of improving habitat conditions for listed salmonids, as well as improving spawning and migration conditions for other listed and non-listed native fish species. (2) Implementation of the WSIP Operational Exchange Process that develops water used for pulse flow releases. (3) Diversion and conveyance of water to Kern Fan and Willow Springs that would be stored, in part, for ecosystem benefit. Implementation of the Pulse Flows Component would not require construction of any new facilities in addition to those previously analyzed in the three WSIP Groundwater Projects' EIRs. Existing facilities would be used, with operations modified to support the pulse flow releases.

The Pulse Flows Component study area analyzed in this Draft SEIR extends approximately 575 miles from Lake Oroville in Northern California to the WSIP Groundwater Projects in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

Where to Review:The Draft Supplemental EIR is available for public review via the following ways:

How to Comment:During the public review period, written comments on the Draft Supplemental EIR may be submitted via:

  • Mail to:Marianne Kirkland, California Department of Water Resources, Pulse Flows Component, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Virtual Public Meeting:March 19, 2024, 4:00 p.m.

Zoom Meeting Registration:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yvnN3OOxTEqM_EIY1_ilJg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Registration will be open until the start of the meeting on March 19, 2024.

The public meeting will begin with a brief presentation and an opportunity for clarifying questions, followed by a public comment session. Comments should be focused on the analysis in the Draft SEIR. All substantive oral comments received during the meeting will be recorded as official public comments and responded to in the Final SEIR. Spanish language interpretation will be available. The meeting will be recorded, and the transcription will become part of the project's administrative record.

Anticipated Impacts:The Draft SEIR identifies less-than-significant impacts on hydrology and water quality, aquatic biological resources, terrestrial biological resources, cultural resources, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, recreation, geology and soils, and agriculture and forestry resources. The Draft SEIR identifies significant impacts on tribal cultural resources that would be reduced to a less-than-significant level with implementation of mitigation measures.