DWR Director Mark Cowin and USBR Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo respond to storm flow questions at a recent California State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting.
The California Department of Water Resources, which operates the State Water Project, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the Central Valley Project, do not act by themselves. They coordinate closely with partner agencies to exercise flexibility to help protect multiple interests. Decisions about when to release water and when to pump are influenced in great measure by the State Water Resources Control Board, which imposes certain flow and salinity standards in its water rights permits. In addition, the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service require certain actions to protect the federally listed Delta smelt and Chinook salmon. These include curtailment of pumping when either species is discovered near the pumping plants.