December 17, 1997
The Colorado River Board of California (CRB) agencies recognize and agree that the components of this Plan are an inseparable package and none of the components can be implemented until the final agreement is approved by all of the agencies and the Secretary of the Interior. All of the agencies agree to cooperate fully with each other, and with other agencies or governments as necessary, to secure the prompt and effective implementation of all aspects of this Plan, and to achieve as far as practicable the acceptance and implementation of the Plan within the Colorado River Basin.
Establish the State's plan for California living within its apportionment of Colorado River water during two phases of implementation. The Plan:
There have been long-standing disagreements among the agencies within California on certain issues. Some of these issues need to be resolved by further negotiation, administrative action, litigation or legislation. Recognizing the mutual benefits of proceeding with implementation of the Plan, the agencies hope definitive resolution of these legal issues will be resolved by agreement or deferred, making resolution by other methods unnecessary. These issues include, without limitation, the following: legality of transfers; reasonable and beneficial use; wheeling arrangements; banking in Lake Mead; subordination/priorities; administration of Present Perfected Rights not included in California's Seven Party Agreement; forfeiture/abandonment based on historical average use. approval of this Plan by any party is not intended and shall not be construed as a waiver of its position on any deferred legal issue.
Phases of 4.4 Plan
The Plan will be implemented in two phases. During the first phase, which is between now and the year (2010 or 2015), programs will be implemented to reduce California's annual use of Colorado River water from about 5.2 MAF to approximately 4.6 to 4.7 MAF per year through firm and non-firm transfers. Also during the first phase, programs will be identified and staged for implementation during the second phase. the second phase will commence in the year 2011 or 2016. During the second phase, programs will be implemented to allow California to meet its Colorado River water needs from within its annual apportionment of Colorado River water, which is 4.4 MAF when neither surplus water nor apportioned but unused water are available for apportionment among the states.
Components of 4.4 Plan
First Phase - During the first phase the objective of the Plan is to continue to meet southern California's water supply needs and to keep the Colorado River Aqueduct full while programs are implemented to reduce California's demand for Colorado River water through firm water transfers, non-firm water transfers, enhanced water supply programs, and reservoir operations. Also during the first phase, additional program will be identified, investigated, and be ready for implementation during the second phase to allow California to continue to meet its Colorado River water supply needs and to keep the Colorado River Aqueduct full form within its annual apportionment, which would be 4.4 MAF in those years that conditions on the River so dictate.
Identified in the first phase of the Plan are firm water transfers, which include core transfers and recovery of seepage from the All-American and Coachella canals that provide for about 400,000 acre-feet of water being transferred from the agricultural areas to the coastal plain of southern California. In years that withdrawal of surplus water from reservoir storage begins to place undue risk on the other water users within the Colorado River Basin, California will implement non-firm water transfers such as land fallowing in Palo Verde Irrigation District (PVID), and call upon stored water made available through enhanced water supply programs to supplement the firm water transfers to meet M81 demands and assist in keeping the Colorado River Aqueduct full.
The Plan recognizes the need for California to enhance its water supply through conjunctive water use programs. Opportunities to conjunctively use ground and surface water will be explored using the Arizona Water Bank, the Coachella groundwater basin, as well as other groundwater basins near the Colorado River Aqueduct.
Furthermore the Plan recognizes the request of the Secretary of the Interior to annually provide 16,000 acre-feet of water as part of the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement in northern San Diego County. An option to obtain the needed water for this settlement is through the All-American Canal seepage recovery program.
Several programs to administer the use of water and water entitlements must also be implemented by California and the Secretary of the Interior during the first phase. Such programs deal with accounting for transfer agreements, administration of agricultural entitlements, overrun accounting, and credit for unmeasured return-flows.
Also during the first phase in consideration for implementing California's Plan to reduce its use of Colorado River water, the Secretary of the Interior would agree to reservoir operating criteria that make surplus water available, except under severely dry hydrologic conditions, to keep the Colorado River Aqueduct full. The description of how the operation of the Colorado River reservoirs is proposed to be implemented is discussed later in this document. under the section titled "Reservoir Operations." A Conceptual Water Budget for Phase 1 of the Plan is contained in Attachment 1.
Attachment 1. CONCEPTUAL WATER BUDGET FOR THE FIRST PHASE OF CALIFORNIA 4.4 PLAN
Water Use by California
Agenciesa Agricultural Agencies Basic Entitlement 3, 850 000 3,850,000 Firm Transfers -106,000 -400,000 Subtotal 7,744,000b 3,450,000b Metropolitan Water District Basic Entitlement 550,000 550,000 Firm Transfers 106,000c 400,000d Non-Firm Transfers 0 up to 100,000 Surplus Water (when available) 594,000 200,000 to 300,000 Subtotal 1,250,000 1,250,000 Miscellaneous PPRs and Indian Federal Rights Subtotal 32,000 50,000 TOTAL 5,026,000 4,650,000 TO
4,750,000a Sources of Additional
Water Surplus Water (When available) 274,000 25,000+ Enhanced Water Supply Programs 0 25,000+ Return Flow Credits -100,000 0e =========== ========== Subtotal 174,000 50,000+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - TOTAL Demand 5,200,000 TOTAL Demand -- less than a CVWD's current
estimated ground water overdratft is about 170,000
acre-feet/year; the Plan will offset this through various
agreements and programs
4,600,000 to 4,700,000
b Does not include priority 6 surplus water when available for use by the agricultural agencies.
c Includes the 1988 MWD/IID Conservation Agreement.
d Includes the 1988 MWD/IID Conservation Agreement, SDCWA/IID proposed conservation program, seepage recovery along the All-American and Coachella Canals.
e Included in the above Phase 1 consumptive use values
Water Use by California Agenciesa
3, 850 000
Metropolitan Water District
up to 100,000
Surplus Water (when available)
200,000 to 300,000
Miscellaneous PPRs and Indian Federal Rights
4,650,000 TO 4,750,000a
Sources of Additional Water
Surplus Water (When available)
Enhanced Water Supply Programs
Return Flow Credits
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL Demand -- less than
a CVWD's current
estimated ground water overdratft is about 170,000
acre-feet/year; the Plan will offset this through various
agreements and programs
- IID/SDCWA Agreement (200,000 acre-feet/year)
The water conservation measures associated with the IID/MWD 1988 Agreement will be fully implemented by 1998 and will annually conserve 106,1 10 acre-feet of water per year.
The IID/SDCWA proposed conservation program will take about 18 months to two years to complete the environmental documentation required by the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. An Agreement between the two agencies was related for public review on December 11, 1997. When this Agreement becomes effective, it is assumed that conservation measures would be implemented to make 20,000 acre-feet of conserved water available the first year and that measures would be implemented in each subsequent year to annually conserve an additional 20,000 acre-feed. Thus, once implementation begins, there would be a 10-year build-up to achieve the objective of conserving 200,000 acre-feet of water per year.
The Coachella Canal Lining Project was documented in the Bureau of Reclamation's December 1993 Draft Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Impact Report for the Coachella Canal Lining Project X (EIS/EIR). The water savings of this project, estimated at 26,000 acre-feet per year, are based upon the 1982-1990 observed conveyance loss in the earthen reach of the Coachella Canal (Siphon 7 to Siphon 32). As over three years have passed since issuance of the Draft EIS/EIR, Reclamation has indicated that should the project be pursued, a revised Draft EIS/EIR would have to be issued. Therefore, implementation is estimated to consist of 1 year for environmental documentation, followed by 4 years of design and construction.
The proposed schedule for implementation of the firm transfers to be implemented during Phase 1 of the Plan is discussed labor in this document.
Non-firm Transfers - The Plan includes prearranged measures to periodically move water from agricultural areas to the coastal plain to help fill the Colorado River Aqueduct (e.g., land fallowing in PVID by MWD).
Enhanced Water Supply Programs
A pilot demonstration recharge facility has been constructed on the west side of the lower Coachella Valley and recharge water has been recovered. CVWD is in the process of obtaining environmental and other clearances to expand the pilot recharge facility to increase the amount of recharge.
In addition, CVWD is in the process of organizing a groundwater replenishment district to address current overdraft conditions. It will have authority to:
- Levy replenishment assessments; and
- Require well production reports from pumpers.
Conjunctive use of ground and surface water in other basins near the Colorado River Aqueduct will also be explored. One such potential area for conjunctive Up of ground and surface water is the Cadiz/Fenner Basin. The Cadiz Land Company Inc. has proposed to MWD that water from the Colorado River Aqueduct be delivered to the Cadiz/Fenner project area, about 37 miles north of the Colorado River Aqueduct in eastern San Bernardino County, during periods of excess water supplies. The imported water would be stored in the aquifers underlying Cadiz's landholdings and would be extracted during periods of deficit supplies. It would involve the construction of groundwater spreading and recovery facilities, a pumping plant, electrical power facilities, and a pipeline that would convey the water to the project site from the Colorado River Aqueduct in the vicinity of MWD's Iron Mountain Pumping Plant.
San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement
Priority 1 -- PVID
Priority 2 --Yuma Project Reservation Division
Priority 3 - IID, CVWD and PVID's lower mesa lands
Repayment for exceeding the 3.85 MAF limit (as reduced to reflect any transfers) occurs as follows:
Overrun Accounting - The Plan proposes a process for reconciling actual use with allotted use on an annual basis, with Lake Mead storage being used temporarily. An annual overrun by any enticement holder will be repaid by "wet water" reductions approved and scheduled by the Secretary of the Interior over the following _____ year(s). The maximum allowable accrual of an overrun is limited to percent of the entity's entitlement. Repay nent will not be required if flood control or level 1 releases occur from Lake Mead during the repayment period.
Credit for Unmeasured Retum Flows - The Plan assumes that the Secretary of the Interior will give credit for all unmeasured return flows.
Reasonable and Beneficial Use - The California agencies will cooperate with the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water
Resources in their activities to evaluate water use practices with respect to reasonable and beneficiai use. As one facet of this accord, the California agencies will defer to the judgment of the State and federal agencies with respect to reasonable and beneficial use by other agencies and will not challenge the use by the other agencies.
The Plan proposes a reservoir operating strategy that is coupled with firm and non-firm water transfers, enhanced water supply programs, and administrative programs. The resulting reservoir operating strategy for Lake Mead is based upon: 1 ) the avoidance of future hydrologic spills; 2) the high probability that, with firm and non-firm water transfers being implemented by California, the Colorado River Aqueduct can be kept full from within California's basic entitlement and its use of surplus water; and 3) implementation of the proposed three levels of release from Lake Mead, which would defer the need for Metropolitan to seek to bank conserved water in the mainstream reservoirs during the Phase I period. As such, the Plan proposes three levels for which surplus water would be made available for use by Colorado River mainstream users in the United States. All three levels provide surplus water deliveries to Colorado River mainstream users in the United States. A detailed description of the reservoir operations for Lake Mead is contained in Attachment 2.
Impacts to be Addressed
During the second phase, the programs implemented during the first phase, except any interim reservoir operating criteria, will continue to be in full force. In addition, those firm and non-firm water transfer programs that were identified, investigated, and selected during the first phase to allow California's use of Colorado River water to move clear to its "basic" annual apportionment of 4.4 MAF will be implemented.
The implementation schedule for the various elements of the Plan is being developed. The implementation schedule for the firm transfers to be implemented during Phase 1 is contained in Attachment 3.
Attachment 2. PROPOSED LAKE MEAD RESERVOIR OPERATIONS
Phase 1 Criteria
Water is annually released from Lake Mead in accordance with: 1) Article II of the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court Decree in Arizona v. California; 2) the 1970 Criteria for the Coordinated Long-Range Operation of the Colorado River Reservoirs promulgated pursuant to the 1968 Colorado River Basin Project Act; 3) the 1984 Field Agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation for flood control operation of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, based upon the Army's 1978 flood control regulations (33 CRF Part 208,11); 4) the 1944 Mexican Water Treaty; and 5) water service contracts between Colorado River mainstream water users and the Secretary in accordance with the Boulder Canyon Project Act. Such releases from Lake Mead, except for flood control purposes, are to meet the downstream water delivery requirements under a surplus, normal, or shortage condition annually determined by the Secretary. The surplus, normal, and shortage condition being that more than 7.5 MAF of water, 7.5 MAF of water, or less than 7.5 MAF of water is available for apportionment among the Lower Division states, respectively.
In recent years, the Secretary has carried out his determination of the quantity of water available for apportionment among the Lower Division states on a year-to-year basis, generally, attempting to meet all beneficial Colorado River mainstream water demands within the United States as reasonably required. Present circumstances have now changed and it is important, as a component of California's Plan, to have a set of criteria which govern the operation of Lake Mead during the Phase I implementation period. The proposed release levels set forth below specifically address the surplus criteria that would be utilized by the Secretary during this period. The Secretaries compliance with other aspects of Lake Mead's operations would remain unaffected.. California will work with the Secretary and the other Basin States as these other operational matters are addressed.
A description of the proposed surplus operating criteria for the operation of Lake Mead during Phase I follows.
Proposed Lake Mead Operation - Phase I Criteria
In consideration of California's implementation of its 4.4 Plan, including the firm and non-firm transfers from the agricultural areas to the coastal plain of Southern California via the Colorado River Aqueduct pursuant to the implementation schedule identified in the Plan, the operating criteria for the Colorado River reservoirs for the Phase 1 period would provide for the following three levels of surplus water releases:
Level1 Surplus Release - A level 1 release is based upon a multiple-year spill avoidance criterion. California proposes that the level 1 release be based upon a 5-year look-ahead spill avoidance criterion. Thereby, a portion of the volume of water that would be expected to be released for flood control purposes during the succeeding five years would be made available for apportionment among the Lower Division stags.
For the level 1 surplus release, the demand for water within the Lower Basin does not govern the volume of water to be made available; rather the volume of water expected to be released for flood control purposes over the defined period of years would dictate the volume of the release. This is characterized as a limited spill avoidance strategy, when, in some years, the quantity of water made available would not necessarily be sufficient to satisfy all of the water demands of the water users within the United Stags. Under a level 1 release any apportioned, but unused water in one or two of the states, would be made available to the other states.
Level 2 Surplus Release - A level 2 surplus release would be associated with the quantity of water that is needed to keep the Colorado River Aqueduct full. No level 2 water would be made available for off-stream storage or agricultural uses that are above the agricultural entities Basic" entitlements, which would reflect a corresponding reduction in the net diversion of water available out of the 3.85 MAF limit by the amount of firm transfers.
Level 3 Surplus Release - A level 3 release would be based upon a specific set of criteria which would reflect that reservoir levels have been drawn down further than expected, but not to the extent of justifying a normal or shortage condition. A level 3 release would be associated with the quantity of water needed to keep the Colorado River Aqueduct full. No level 3 water would be made available for off stream storage or agricultural uses that are above the agricultural entities "basic" entitlements, which would reflect a corresponding reduction in the net diversion of water available out of the 3.85 MAF limit by the amount of firm and non-firm transfers. Stored water from enhanced water supply programs could be used during level 3 releases.
The above proposed reservoir operating criteria for surplus releases would be applicable during Phase I of California's 4.4 Plan.
Attachment 3. IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE (PHASE 1)