California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Bay Delta Region

Studies and Surveys

Other BDR Links

Main Office
  2825 Cordelia Road, Suite 100
  Fairfield, CA 94534
  (707) 428-2002

Stockton Office
  2109 Arch Airport Rd
  Stockton, CA 95206
  (209) 234-3420

Acting Regional Manager:
Scott Wilson

Related Programs

Stanislaus River Report

Return to Report Index

Stanislaus River Basin and Calaveras River Water Use Program
Threatened and Endangered Species Report - March 1995
Bay Delta and Special Water Projects Division, CA. Dept. of Fish and Game



In September 1980, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) issued a report entitled Stanislaus River Basin Alternatives and Water Allocation. This report compared several water allocation alternatives for water from New Melones Reservoir and formed the basis of the April Record of Decision by the Commissioner of Reclamation. This decision outlined the allocation of New Melones water through the year 2020. In addition to quantifying water needs and allocations through the year 2020 for the Stanislaus River Basin, the report further stated that the primary source of water for the basin should come from New Melones Reservoir before considering outside sources. Based on storage capacity of New Melones Reservoir, it was estimated that 49,000 acre feet (TAF) of water was available for users outside the Stanislaus River Basin. Consequently, this water was contracted to the Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District (CSJWCD).

In December 1983, the Stockton East Water District (SEWD) and CSJWCD contracted with the USBR for annual water deliveries of interim supplies of 75 TAF and 31 TAF respectively. With the CSJWCD firm supply of 49 TAF and the interim 31 TAF, and the interim 75 TAF for SEWD, the total amount of the USBR contracts for these two agencies was 155 TAF. In 1986 SEWD and CSJWCD approached the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and USBR with a proposal for conjunctive use of this 155 TAF of contract water; conjunctive use is the coordinated use of ground and surface water. The proposal stated that the agencies would use surface water in wet years; in dry and critical years they would allow surface water to be released down the Stanislaus River and into the San Joaquin River and southern delta channels for use by others. Both SEWD and CSJWCD would resume pumping ground water to meet water demands in dry and critical years.

In January 1988, DWR and USBR entered into a joint planning process and contacted parties with an interested in the water resources of these basins. These entities were invited to take part in the study. In March 1989, the resulting Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the study was signed by the following 17 agencies:

  • U. S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • Department of Water Resources
  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Calaveras County
  • Calaveras County Water District
  • Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District
  • City of Escalon
  • City of Manteca
  • City of Ripon
  • City of Stockton
  • Lathrop County Water District
  • San Joaquin County
  • South Delta Water Agency
  • Stanislaus County
  • Stockton East Water District
  • Tuolumne County
  • Tuolumne Regional Water District