The Bureau of Reclamation and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority are seeking public input on the B.F. Sisk Dam raise and Reservoir expansion project’s draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. This joint proposed project would create an additional 130,000 acre-feet of storage space in San Luis Reservoir.
“California is in critical need of additional water storage,” said Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman. “Growing demands for California’s shared water resources over the last century, combined with insufficient water storage capacity, limits our ability to meet customer needs. Reclamation is working hard to fulfill our goal of increasing water supply reliability and projects like raising B.F. Sisk Dam are a wise investment in achieving that goal.”
A planned seismic retrofit project will raise the crest of the dam by as much as 12 feet. That is designed to reduce the likelihood of over-topping in a seismic event and will not create additional storage in the reservoir, which currently has a capacity of more than two million acre-feet of water.
Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority partnered to investigate adding an additional 10 feet to the crest of B.F. Sisk Dam while implementing the dam safety modifications. The additional space would be used to store water that could be delivered to south-of-Delta water contractors and wildlife refuges. This water would be used to meet existing contractual obligations and not serve any new demands.
“Investigating a raise at B.F. Sisk Dam for water supply during the Safety of Dam modifications is a smart, practical decision- for Reclamation, our contractors, and the American public,” said Regional Director Ernest Conant. “We are pleased to partner with the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority on this sensible project that could produce additional water supply for two million acres of farmland and 200,000 acres of Pacific Flyway wetlands that use water from the reservoir.”
“Increasing water storage is a critical component of building water resilience in the face of a changing climate,” said Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Federico Barajas. “We are glad to partner with Reclamation to investigate expanding San Luis Reservoir - increasing water storage capacity and improving multi-year water management for the urban and rural communities, ecosystems, and agricultural production that are reliant on water stored in San Luis Reservoir.”
A draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act and available for a 45-day public comment period.
View the combined draft SEIS/EIR online at
tinyurl.com/sanluisdam. A virtual public meeting is planned for August 25 at 4 p.m.; click the link to join the meeting at that time https://bit.ly/BFSiskEIRSEISPublicMeeting. Submit comments by close of business Sept. 28 to Casey Arthur, Bureau of Reclamation, Willows Construction Office, 1140 W. Wood Street Willows, CA, 95988, via telephone at 530-892-6202 (TTY 1-800-877-8339), or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.