Roughly 480cfs.

NMFS and USFWS might have an easier time keeping the Sacramento river cool for salmon if Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District weren’t losing 170,000 acre-feet of water every summer from their unlined canals and over-irrigation. (Slide 13).

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Roughly 480cfs.

  1. “…and applied surface water.” Does that mean irrigated fields?

  2. OPR: could you please explain the relationship that you imply exists between the unlined irrigation ditches of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, which are well downstream of Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon spawning and egg incubation river habitat, and the need to maintain cool water on that very habitat, the subject of the Sacramento Bee article of which you’re apparently keying off?

    • onthepublicrecord

      So much as the habitat is upstream of Glenn-Colusa, you’re right, there is no connection. I was assuming that the river downstream of Glenn-Colusa is also habitat impacted by river temperature. They mention RD 108, which is downstream of Glenn-Colusa.

      If the Sacramento were fuller by 170,000af over the summer, smelt habitat managers wouldn’t need as much from Folsom.

  3. LFarwell

    If the 170,000 AF goes to groundwater then legally it can only be used by GCID customers. If the 170,000 AF returns to the river the quality and temperature are negatively impacted. Groundwater recharge should not be random or dependent on convenience. Planned recharge means using excess water that is not required for other purposes. GCID’s recharge does not meet the standards for a purposeful recharge program.

  4. calvin smith

    If we also stop sending water to Contra Costa, Santa Clara and LA the fish would have more water as well.
    Your claim that they’re “losing” the water is incorrect, unless it is vanishing from the earth.
    This is a new low for your hatred of irrigated agriculture. Sad.

  5. Not to belabor the point, but as recently as the late 1970s there was a wide difference – 600,000 acre-ft per year on average — in the estimate of the State Department of Water Resources and that of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as to how much of Shasta Reservoir’s releases applied to lands in the Sacramento Valley made it downstream to the Delta. This was back in the day when Bur Rec still claimed it did not have an explicit responsibility to meet State-established water quality standards if doing so would hinder its ability to meet responsibilities like delivering irrigation water explicitly assigned the Central Valley Project by Congress. [This quibbling between the State and Bur Rec – actually, between the State and Bur Rec’s CVP constituents, right? – over the CVP’s Clean Water Act responsibility was settled, finally, in favor of the State in California v. U.S in 1978].

    Whatever the amount of water, whether Bur Rec’s 600k afa or something less, the fact is that a good deal of the Shasta Reservoir water applied to irrigation in the Sacramento Valley returns to the Sacramento River. Some, hopefully, finds its way into the Sacramento Valley’s groundwater basins as it does the region’s several wildlife management areas, some of which rely on this irrigation ‘tail-water’.

    Water lost from irrigation systems upstream of the Delta benefits fish, wildlife and groundwater resources of the Valley as well as the Bay-Delta Estuary. The last thing I would wish is for the canals and ditches of GCID and other Sacramento Valley recipients of Shasta Reservoir water to be concrete-lined. Tail-water return to the river might be swifter – and a tad cooler, as OPR suggests – but all the other indirect benefits to Sacramento Valley fish, wildlife and groundwater resources would be lost.

  6. Anonymous

    Perhaps a related data point…
    Here’s a link to recent panel at JPL where panelist described California 2016 precipitation, snowpack, groundwater water and ground subsidence http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/88414265. Presenters include: Tom Painter, Tom Farr, Jay Famiglietti, and Duane Waliser.