Central Valley Project Operations

by Michael Jackson, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


The Federal Central Valley Project (CVP) utilizes the water supply and storage regulated by the CVP's four major northern California reservoirs, Clair Engle, Whiskeytown, Shasta, and Folsom Lakes, to meet the majority of the CVP's needs and obligations. These northern reservoirs have a combined storage capacity of 8.25 million acre-feet. This storage is primarily regulated by making releases through the 6 powerplants and 2 power tunnels that are inter-related with the operation of these northern reservoirs. Water transfers from these northern facilities to the San Joaquin Valley are accomplished by providing sufficient flows to meet the instream needs of water rights holders, fishery, water quality standards in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, and Delta exports. Energy generated by these northern facilities is used to help meet the power needs of the CVP's export and pumping facilities south of the Delta. The major southern facilities of the CVP include the Delta Mendota Canal, San Luis Canal, and the Federal portion of San Luis Reservoir in central California. These southern facilities are operated to transfer the water south of the Delta. All of the CVP's needs and obligations are met throughout the year while the CVP operators do their best to balance the refill potentials of the major northern California storage reservoirs.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Water rights | Water resources | Water supply systems | Federal government | Light rail transit | Canals | Water storage | California | United States

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