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DWR Archived News -- 2017 News Announcements

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Public Affairs Office
1416 9th Street, Room 204
Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 653-6192
Fax:  (916) 653-4684
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NOTE: This information may have been superseded by later news releases. These items are listed here for archive purposes, only.

Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 24 AM
The Department of Water Resources reduced the outflow from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway to 50,000 cfs, in an effort to support debris removal from the diversion pool, located near the spillway. This rate of flow remains consistent with DWR’s established plan to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. Lake levels have decreased to 849 feet, 52 feet below the maximum level of the reservoir. Outflows are once again exceeding inflows. (02/24/2017)
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DWR to Continue Outflow Reduction
Oroville, Ca. At 12:00 PM, the Department of Water Resources will again initiate the reduction of outflow from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway, incrementally from 60,000 cfs to 50,000 cfs, in an effort to support debris removal from the diversion pool, located near the spillway.
Once flows have been reduced, DWR will hold, monitor, and evaluate whether to reduce outflows further to support construction efforts.
The continued success of lowering reservoir levels has provided room to accommodate incoming water and lake levels will continue to fall. (02/23/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 23 AM
The Department of Water Resources continues to discharge 60,000cfs of water from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway. This rate of flow remains consistent with DWR’s established plan to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. Lake levels have decreased to 851 feet, 50 feet below the maximum level of the reservoir. Outflows are once again exceeding inflows.
Work continues on the area below the spillway, the monoliths, access roads, and various eroded areas created by emergency spillway runoff. Rock, aggregate, and cement slur (02/23/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 22 PM
The Department of Water Resources continues to discharge 60,000cfs of water from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway. Lake levels rose slightly to 852 feet, 49 feet below the maximum level ofthe reservoir. Inflows exceeded outflows during the current storm system but are forecasted to be below outflows in the next 24 hours.
This rate of flow remains consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continuallymanage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/22/2017)
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Manual Snow Survey at Phillips Scheduled for March 1
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will host the news media on March 1 for this winter’s third manual snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, will begin the survey at 11 a.m. just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, about 90 miles east of Sacramento. The survey will determine the water content of the snow at Phillips. (02/22/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 22 AM
The Department of Water Resources continues to discharge 60,000cfs of water from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway. Lake levels rose slightly to 853 feet, 48 feet below the maximum level of the reservoir. Inflows exceeded outflows during the current storm system but are forecasted to be below outflows in the next 24 hours. (02/22/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 21 PM
The Department of Water Resources will maintain outflow, from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway, at 60,000cfs. This rate of flow is consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/22/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 21 AM
The Department of Water Resources will maintain outflow, from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway, at 60,000cfs throughout the day. This rate of flow is consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/22/2017)
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DWR Picks Board of Experts on Oroville Spillway Situation
DWR has chosen five experts to form an Independent Board of Consultants to assess operations, conditions, and risk reduction actions being taken at Lake Oroville in response to erosion damage to Oroville Dam’s main spillway that began February 7. DWR also asks two national dam associations to empanel an independent team to investigate the possible causes of the spillway damage. These actions are described in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (02/21/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 20 PM
The Department of Water Resources maintained outflow, from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway, at 60,000cfs throughout the day. This rate of flow is consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/20/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 20 AM
The Department of Water Resources increased outflow from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway yesterday, from 55,000cfs to 60,000cfs, in anticipation of the expected increase in inflows.
This proactive measure is typical of normal flood control operations and is in anticipation of forecasted weather conditions. The increase is temporary and is expected to better balance water flow in and out of the reservoir.
These measures are consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/20/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 19 PM
This afternoon, the Department of Water Resources increased outflow from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway, from 55,000cfs to 60,000cfs.
This proactive measure is typical of normal flood control operations and is in anticipation of forecasted weather conditions. The increase is temporary and is expected to better balance water flow in and out of the reservoir.
These measures are consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities. (02/19/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 19 AM
Today, flow from the Oroville Dam Flood Control Spillway will remain at 55,000 cfs and continue to outpace the inflow encountered. The reduction in flow has allowed assessment teams to view debris buildup and dredge debris piles below the flood control spillway. (02/19/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 18 PM
Today flows were reduced to 55,000 cfs and continued to outpace the inflow encountered. The reduction in flow allowed assessment teams to view debris buildup and dredge debris piles below the flood control spillway. (02/19/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 18 AM
Lake elevations continue trending downward and have fallen more than 45 feet from the height of the emergency spillway. Outflows continue to outpace flow into the reservoir and the goal of achieving a reservoir depth of 850 feet remains a priority. As runoff flows into the reservoir, water levels will likely fluctuate but will remain within acceptable and typical depths during times of storm activity. (02/18/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 17 PM
As of this evening, 70,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water is being released from the flood control spillway and inflows into the reservoir are 30,000 cfs. Currently, the elevation of the lake is slightly more than 858 feet; over 40 feet below the height of the emergency spillway.
Despite current inclement weather, DWR construction crews continue to repair erosion and remove debris from below the emergency spillway. Rock, aggregate and cement slurry continue to be placed into areas affected by erosion after use of the emergency spillway. (02/18/2017)
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DWR To Continue Outflow Reduction - Feb. 17 PM
Oroville, Ca.-At 1:00 PM this afternoon, the Department of Water Resources will once more begin reducing outflow from the Oroville Dam flood control spillway incrementally from 80,000 cfs to 70,000 cfs to support the removal of debris from the diversion pool located near the spillway. (02/17/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 17 AM
Despite current inclement weather, DWR construction crews continue to repair erosion below the emergency spillway. Rock, aggregate and cement slurry are being used to repair and backfill the affected areas. (02/17/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 16 PM
DWR construction crews continue work to remediate emergency spillway erosion. Water flow from the flood control spillway was reduced incrementally from 100,000 to 80,000 cfs today. This reduction allowed crews to begin removing debris from the diversion pool below the spillway. The level of the reservoir has been reduced by 36 feet to accommodate inflow from upcoming storms. Inflows from forecasted inclement weather are not expected to exceed current outflows. (02/17/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 16 AM
This morning, the lake level sits at 32 feet below the emergency spillway height. Despite weather conditions, crews continue to work around the clock and are making progress with emergency repairs.
Barges and cranes have been mobilized to remove debris and sediment from the diversion pool. These efforts are designed to restore the normal flow of water into the diversion pool and through the Hyatt power plant.
100,000 cfs of water continues to flow through the flood control spillway in an effort to accommodate anticipated inflow from upcoming storms. These storms are forecasted to bring colder temperatures and inflows are anticipated to increase to 45,000 cfs. However, lake levels will continue to decrease. (02/17/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 15 pm
Today, lake levels fell an additional five feet, and are now 26 feet below the emergency spillway. Crews continue to work around the clock, regardless of weather conditions, to make emergency repairs. Barges and cranes are being mobilized to remove debris and sediment from the diversion pool.
100,000 cfs of water continues to flow through the flood control spillway in an effort to accommodate anticipated inflow from upcoming storms. These storms are forecasted to bring colder temperatures and inflows are anticipated to increase to 45,000 cfs. However, lake levels will continue to decrease throughout the storm activity. (02/17/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 15 AM
The Department of Water Resources continues to reinforce the emergency spillway. More than 125 construction crews are working around the clock, and are placing 1,200 tons of material on the spillway per hour, using helicopters and heavy construction equipment. Forecasted winds may force workers to temporarily suspend the use of aircraft however, the bulk of the transportation and placement of aggregate is being accomplished with the use of heavy trucks. The construction area is being continually monitored by engineers from the state and federal governments from the ground and with the use of drones. (02/15/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 14 PM
The Department of Water Resources continues to reinforce the emergency spillway. More than 125 construction crews are working around the clock, and are placing 1,200 tons of material on the spillway per hour using helicopters and heavy construction equipment. The area is being continually monitored from the ground and by the use of drones. (02/14/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 14 AM
The Department of Water Resources continues to reinforce the emergency spillway. Crews worked through the night, adding rock and material to areas of erosion. These activities are being undertaken 24 hours a day and are supported by helicopters and heavy construction equipment. There is no water flowing over the emergency spillway. (02/14/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 13 PM
The Department of Water Resources advises that the primary spillway continues to flow at 100,000 cfs and lake levels have dropped to 894’ feet. After evaluating the erosion on the emergency spillway, a plan was put in place to prevent further erosion. Utilizing trucks and helicopters, crews moved large rocks and gravel to fill erosion on the emergency spillway. DWR staff continues to inspect and evaluate the emergency and primary spillways for further erosion. (02/13/2017)
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Oroville Spillway Incident Update - Feb. 13 AM
The Department of Water Resources advises that at 10pm last night, the reservoir receded to below 901 feet and flows over the emergency spillway halted. Outflow from the primary spillway remains at 100,000 cfs. DWR staff continues to insect and evaluate the emergency and primary spillways for further erosion. Crews are actively removing debris and sediment from waterways, in an effort to reactivate the Hyatt power plant. (02/13/2017)
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CONCERN AT OROVILLE SPILLWAY TRIGGERS EVACUATION ORDERS
Oroville, Ca — Based on information received from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the incident command team managing Lake Oroville, counties and cities near Lake Oroville and the surrounding area issued evacuation orders for residents. The concern is that erosion at the head of the auxiliary spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville. Those potential flows could exceed the capacity of downstream channels. (02/12/2017)
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Spillway Press Briefing at Noon in Oroville
What: Press conference to provide updates on the Lake Oroville main and auxiliary spillways and related conditions.
When: Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 12:00 p.m.
Where: State Parks Headquarters, 400 Glen Drive Oroville, CA 95966.
Conference call line: (866) 508-9046
Passcode: 5743919
Live Periscope will be offered through DWR’s Facebook and Twitter pages. (02/12/2017)
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Water Continues Down Oroville Auxiliary Spillway
Oroville, Calif. – The relatively light flow of water that began washing into Lake Oroville’s auxiliary spillway Saturday morning is expected to continue flowing for the next few days. Total releases from the reservoir do not threaten the dam or downstream communities and fall well within the capacity of the Feather River and other downstream channels. (02/11/2017)
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Oroville Dam’s Auxiliary Spillway Begins Flowing
Oroville, California – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) said the auxiliary spillway at Lake Oroville started spilling water at 8:00 am today. This occurred when the lake level exceeded 901 feet elevation above sea level. DWR officials said the flow over the auxiliary spillway will range between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). This will combine with the flow from the primary spillway, which is currently at 55,000 cfs, and this will result in a total flow to the Feather River between 60,000 to 70,000 cfs. (02/11/2017)
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Water Expected to Flow into Lake Oroville Emergency Spillway Soon
Oroville, Calif. -- Lake Oroville is expected to rise this morning to the level that allows water to flow down an emergency spillway and into the Feather River, according to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The volume of water is expected to pose no flood threat downstream and should remain well within the capacity of the Feather River and other channels to handle. Oroville Dam itself remains safe, and there is no imminent threat to the public. (02/11/2017)
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Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Expected to Be Used as Soon as Early Saturday 
SACRAMENTO – As it manages storm inflow to Lake Oroville with a main spillway damaged by erosion, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced late Thursday that the reservoir’s emergency spillway likely will be used, perhaps as soon as the early hours of Saturday. (02/10/2017)
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Lake Oroville Releases Slowed to Avoid Erosion
SACRAMENTO – Reservoir operators at Lake Oroville plan to make a slight reduction of releases from a damaged spillway in order to prevent erosion along the north side of the spillway from compromising nearby power line towers.  The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will slow the releases down the gated spillway from 65,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 55,000 cfs. (02/10/2017)
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Lake Oroville Releases Increase
SACRAMENTO – While there is still a chance the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville may be used this weekend, reservoir operators say that if current releases from the nearly full reservoir can be maintained, it is less likely the lake will rise to the point where water flows into the emergency spillway channel. Whether the emergency spillway is used or not, Oroville Dam itself is sound and there is no imminent threat to the public, said California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Acting Director William Croyle. (02/10/2017)
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46 of 48 Gates Now Opened on Sacramento Weir
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) opened additional gates on the Sacramento River, bringing the total up to 46 of 48 gates opened. This will accommodate flows coming down the Sacramento River into the Yolo Bypass, allowing additional flows from the American River as releases from Folsom Lake are increased. Opening additional gates allows DWR to maintain a consistent level on the Sacramento River at the I Street gauge. Each gate allows 1,500 cubic feet per second of water to enter the Yolo Bypass from the Sacramento and American rivers. These flood releases relieve pressure on the Sacramento River and reduce the risk of urban flooding in Sacramento. (02/10/2017)
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Sacramento Weir to Be Opened at 11 p.m.
SACRAMENTO – Due to forecast conditions, the California Department of Water Resources will begin opening gates on the Sacramento Weir as early as late evening on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 to manage downstream flows in the Sacramento River. (02/09/2017)
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DWR Increases Oroville Spillway Flows
Oroville, Calif. – California Department of Water Resources (DWR) personnel and a host of collaborating agencies continued to monitor Lake Oroville spillway flows through the night. As expected, the overnight flow rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) caused additional lower spillway erosion. Spillway flow was stopped again for a few hours this morning to allow engineers to evaluate the integrity of the structure. (02/09/2017)
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NASA Report: San Joaquin Valley Land Continues to Sink
SACRAMENTO – New NASA radar satellite maps prepared for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) show that land continues to sink rapidly in certain areas of the San Joaquin Valley, putting state and federal aqueducts and flood control structures at risk of damage. (02/08/2017)
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DWR Conducts Test To Assess Spillway
Oroville – To help determine an appropriate level of flow down the damaged spillway at Oroville Dam, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will release up to 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) this afternoon, then ramp down the flows and assess any further damage to the eroded spillway. The test flow will run for two hours, perhaps as soon as late this afternoon. (02/08/2017)
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DWR Halts Flows Down Oroville Dam Spillway
Oroville – The Department of Water Resources has temporarily suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway to investigate concrete erosion on the bottom half of the spillway. There is no anticipated threat to the dam or the public.
Approximately 20 percent of Lake Oroville remains empty, and DWR officials say there is sufficient storage room to capture the inflow of the rain showers expected through the rest of the week. The reservoir, 3.5 million acre-feet at full capacity, now holds 2.8 million acre-feet, as prescribed by flood control operations. (02/07/2017)
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Draft Environmental Document for Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have released for public review the draft Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for the proposed Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, located in the northern portion of the Yolo Bypass, approximately 8 miles northeast of Woodland in Yolo County. (02/03/2017)
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Snowpack Shows Big One-Month Gain
SACRAMENTO – Today’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) manual snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada range found a snow water equivalence of 28.1 inches, a significant increase since the January 3 survey, when just 6 inches was found there. The average as measured at Phillips since 1964 is 11.3 inches. (02/02/2017)
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The Year’s Second Snow Survey on February 2
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will host the news media on February 2 for the second manual snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, will begin the survey at 11 a.m. just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road about 90 miles east of Sacramento. The survey will determine the water content of the snow at Phillips. (01/26/2017)
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State Water Project Allocation Increased
SACRAMENTO – As winter storms continue to fill reservoirs and boost the snowpack, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its estimate of this year’s State Water Project (SWP) supply from 45 to 60 percent of most requests. (01/18/2017)
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DWR Increasing Flows to Feather River
SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is increasing flows to the Feather River in hourly increments between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. today. Total Lake Oroville outflow will increase from 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 13,300 cfs. All flow will be routed through Hyatt Powerplant, so no Oroville Dam Spillway flows will occur. (01/13/2017)
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DWR Increasing Flows to Feather River
SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is increasing flows to the Feather River in hourly increments between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today. Total Lake Oroville outflow will increase from 13,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 20,000 cfs. Flow will be routed through Hyatt Powerplant and also through the Oroville Dam Spillway. Spillway flows will reach 10,000 cfs. (01/13/2017)
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Water Scarce to Recharge Groundwater Basins,
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A first-of-its-kind analysis of California’s water resources shows that bringing local groundwater basins into sustainable balance -- as state law demands – will require investments and innovations in integrated water management including conservation, storm water capture, recycling, desalination, water transfers, diversion, conveyance and storage. (01/12/2017)
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More Gates to Be Opened on Sacramento Weir
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will open up to 6 additional gates on the Sacramento Weir this afternoon. This will provide more outlets onto the Yolo Bypass for flows coming down the American river as releases from Folsom Lake are increased. (01/10/2017)
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Draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update Released
SACRAMENTO -- The Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB) has released a draft update to the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (Plan) for public review. The public is invited to submit comments on the update, as well as an accompanying draft Supplemental Program Environmental Impact Report (SPEIR), through March 31, 2017. Consistent with Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s California Water Action Plan, the update emphasizes the need for long-term multi-benefit projects rather than single-purpose flood management projects. For example, both the Plan and draft update include strategies to integrate and improve ecosystem functions with flood risk reduction projects. (01/05/2017)
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DWR Publishes Best Management Practices for the Sustainable Management of Groundwater
SACRAMENTO – Local agencies and Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) can now reference DWR’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) as they develop their plans to sustainably manage California’s groundwater basins. DWR today published the BMPs, a series of five documents that provide regulatory clarification, technical guidance, and general examples to assist GSAs and inform local agencies and stakeholders. DWR was required to publish BMPs on its website by January 1, 2017, as required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). (01/03/2017)
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Snowpack’s Statewide Water Content Is below Average
SACRAMENTO – Today’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) manual snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada range found a snow water equivalence of 6 inches, which is 5.3 inches less than the average early-January snow water equivalence of 11.3 inches as measured at Phillips since 1964. (01/03/2017)
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