New Recharge Project's Environmental Documents Completed

In addition to an 800-acre groundwater recharge basin, the project will install a 4.5-mile pipeline connecting the new recharge basin to the Friant-Kern Canal and 16 groundwater recovery wells within the Pixley Irrigation District.

Environmental documents have been completed for a new groundwater recharge project to bank up to 45,000 acre-feet of water annually in California's San Joaquin Valley. The project is part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and will expand Pixley and Delano-Earlimart irrigation districts' groundwater recharge efforts and improve area groundwater levels, the Bureau of Reclamation noted in its Dec. 27 announcement.

In addition to an 800-acre groundwater recharge basin, the project will install a 4.5-mile pipeline connecting the new recharge basin to the Friant-Kern Canal and 16 groundwater recovery wells within the Pixley Irrigation District. All of these are expected to be operational in 2019. The bureau will provide $7.5 million in partial project construction funding to local agencies within the Central Valley Project for planning, designing, and constructing local facilities to bank and recharge groundwater. The project contributes to the San Joaquin River Restoration Program goal of reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts to Friant Division long-term contractors.

The project's Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is based on analysis of potential impacts as disclosed in the South Valley Water Banking Authority Modified Pixley Groundwater Banking Project Environmental Assessment/Initial Study. The FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the EA/IS was prepared in accordance with NEPA and the California Environmental Quality Act.

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