Kaweah Water Rights Settlement by Purchase

by Stanley M. Barnes,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 1, Pg. 55-76

Document Type: Journal Paper


The water users on Kaweah River in the San Joaquin Valley of California have negotiated a water rights settlement, based on engineering analyses, whereby the surface water rights of the users within the Downstream Service Area have been purchased by the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District (KDWCD) for $60,000 per yr. The water purchase will be used in the district for both irrigation and groundwater recharge, and will reduce the present overdraft of ground-water supplies by approximately 26,000 acre-ft per yr. The settlement was made desirable by the construction of Terminus Dam, completed in 1961 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and irrigation. The dam provides irrigation storage capacity within the flood control criteria so that most of the Kaweah River water that formerly flowed to the Downstream Service Area in Tulare Lake can now be used beneficially in upstream areas within the KDWCD. The water rights settlement allows more efficient use of federal, state, and local supplies, and distribution facilities, and achieves substantial operational benefits.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Rivers and streams | Water rights | Groundwater recharge | Dams | Floods | Water storage | Surface water | United States | California

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