FRESNO–The Bureau of Reclamation released final environmental documents for the proposed annual transfers of up to 7,500 acre-feet of Firebaugh Canal Water District’s Central Valley Project water to the Pacheco, Panoche, San Luis, and Westlands water districts over a period of five years.
The proposed transfers would occur from April through December of each year water is transferred. In order to make FCWD’s CVP water supplies available for the transfers, common landowners in FCWD and Pacheco, Panoche, SLWD, and WWD would pump a like-amount of groundwater for use in FCWD in lieu of receiving the CVP supplies.
The actions are in response to drought conditions in the San Joaquin Valley. The U.S. Drought Monitor, a multi-agency federal hydrology report, shows that conditions in the San Joaquin Valley have intensified from “severe” drought in May 2013 to “exceptional” drought in May 2014. “Exceptional” is the worst of the five stages of the Drought Monitor Classification. Other locations in the United States that are classified “exceptional” are in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada.
The Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Findings of No Significant Impact were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy