Letter From Congressman Jeff Denham and Congressman Tom McClintock to US Fish & Wildlife, US Bureau of Reclamation and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, addressing New Melones operations and flows.
This is a follow up summary of the meeting held on March 7, 2015 at the Black Creek meeting hall in Copperopolis. Tri-Dam presented a PowerPoint presentation in which the following points were explained to members of the public and media in light of the continuing drought and the possible impact on Tulloch reservoir operations. Representing Tri-Dam were Susan Larson and Ron Berry. CCWD representatives Bill Perley and Joel Metzger also joined in the panel presentation. The presentation started with a brief overview of the Tri-Dam Project reservoirs and powerhouses including Donnells, Beardsley, Sand Bar, and Tulloch. The presentation then moved to operations of Tulloch reservoir, with specificity about New Melones reservoir and the role of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), and how winter drawdown and summer refill schedules are prepared by the BOR. A history and background of New Melones reservoir was provided along with an overview of regulatory agencies involved with the Stanislaus River Basin. The precipitation conditions as of 3/6/15 were explained along with end of year storages and status of New Melones. As noted within the PowerPoint presentation, there is a possible shortfall at the end of the current water year. Mr. Berry then spoke about the possibility of Tulloch reservoir being drawn down this summer to help with lowering water temperatures for the fish in the Stanislaus River. He explained that Tri-Dam and the Districts would work with fishery agencies to try and have the draw down resemble, as near as possible, the five year schedule that Tri-Dam follows when required by FERC to fully exercise spill gates at the dam. Mr. Berry indicated that it is hoped that this would happen in September of 2015 when the reservoir normal starts its winter drawdown, but advised the audience that without much needed rainfall in the coming weeks that this draw down date could move into the summer months. In closing we explained that if 2016 was to be a dry water year it is possible that our reservoirs would become run of the river. Ms. Larson concluded the discussion by informing all present that Tri-Dam will continue to keep the public and local agencies apprised of developing conditions, with weekly updates on the Tri-Dam website.
As noted during the meeting, Tri-Dam will post weekly updates on this page each Friday, beginning this Friday March 13, 2015. As noted during the meeting, it is important that all interested persons check the website regularly as Tri-Dam will post updates should conditions change, and a drawdown below scheduled operating levels become necessary.
In the event that you have questions, please feel free to contact:
Ms. Susan Larson, email@example.com (209) 785-3838 or
Mr. Ron Berry, firstname.lastname@example.org (209) 965-3996.
The spring filling schedule for Tulloch Reservoir is provided below. The schedule complies with Army Corps of Engineers flood control constraints, and elevations are projected to lie between the low and high bands. Note that actual elevations may vary temporarily due to inflow to Tulloch during rain events, or unforeseen operational constraints.
Tri-Dam Project has developed a plan for the management of the reservoir shoreline. The Plan includes the following attachments (click on any title to download the PDF document):