Department of Water Resources Home

System Reoperation Program


Sean Sou,
Program Manager

Dept. of Water Resources
901 P St., Room 213-A

Sacramento, Ca 95814


Tel: (916) 651-9269

Fax: (916) 651-9292

Media Contact

Ted Thomas,
Media and Public Information Office

Dept. of Water Resources
1416 9th St., Room 252-20

Sacramento, Ca 95814


Tel: (916) 653-9712

System Reoperation Program

Map of California Waterways Groundwater Aerial of Harvey Banks Pumping Plant Aerial of Lake Oroville Delta Sandbags chinook salmon California Aqueduct

Senate Bill X2 1 (Water Quality, Flood Control, Water Storage, and Wildlife Preservation) authorized funding from Proposition 84 (Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act 2006) to the Department of Water Resources to work on the System Reoperation Program. SB X2 1 directed the Department of Water Resources to conduct feasibility studies to identify potential options for reoperation of the state's flood protection and water supply systems that will optimize the use of existing facilities and groundwater storage capacity. The studies will incorporate appropriate climate change scenarios and be designed to determine the potential to achieve the following objectives:



  • Integration of flood protection and water supply systems to increase water supply reliability and flood protection, improve water quality, and provide for ecosystem protection and restoration.
  • Reoperation of existing reservoirs, flood facilities, and other water facilities in conjunction with groundwater storage to improve water supply reliability, flood control, and ecosystem protection, and to reduce groundwater overdraft.
  • Promotion of more effective groundwater management and protection and greater integration of groundwater and surface water resource uses.
  • Improvement of existing water conveyance systems to increase water supply reliability, improve water quality, expand flood protection, and protect and restore ecosystems.



System reoperation means changing existing operation and management procedures for existing reservoirs and conveyance facilities to increase water related benefits from these facilities or to adapt to changing climate and hydrologic condition. System reoperation may improve the efficiency of existing water uses (e.g., irrigation) or it may increase the emphasis of one use over another. Although reoperation is generally regarded as an alternative to construction of major new water facilities, physical modifications to existing facilities may be needed in some cases to expand the reoperation capability. Legal changes also may be needed. The following diagram shows the relationship between hydrology, operations, planning and system reoperation.


  • DWR is developing a Study Plan for the System Reoperation Program and conducting feasibility studies of potential operations strategies to achieve the study objectives.
General Schedule
  • Complete a feasibility report by the end of 2013.