Proposed One-time Increase of State Water Project Water Delivery from Pyramid Lake to United Water Conservation District

Summary

SCH Number
2019120613
Lead Agency
Water Resources, Department of (California Department of Water Resources)
Document Title
Proposed One-time Increase of State Water Project Water Delivery from Pyramid Lake to United Water Conservation District
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
12/24/2019
Project Applicant
California Department of Water Resources

Document Description
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has requested authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to grant a variance from Article 52 of the existing FERC license for the South SWP Hydropower Project, FERC Project Number 2426. Article 52 of the existing FERC license provides for the simulation of the natural hydrograph of the Piru,Creek watershed through releases into Piru Creek below Pyramid Lake and Pyramid Dam: Under the existing license, water deliveries are made to the United Water Conservation District (United) through Pyramid Dam into Piru Creek and thence into Lake Piru by 'mimicking a natural storm event. Article 52 in the existing license further provides for water deliveries to United up to 3,150 acre-feet (AF) between November 1 and the end of February through Pyramid Dam into Piru Creek and thence into Lake Piru by mimicking a natural storm event. The Article 52 variance would allow for a one-time delivery total of 8,987 acre-feet (AF) SWP water from Pyramid Dam to United that would be released to mimic a natural storm event. The water release to Piru Creek from the,,Pyramid Reach will occur before the end of February 2020. The release schedule will be designed to mimic a natural hydrograph, including a gradual ramp up and ramp down of flows, and a peak flow similar to a typical storm event for this period. The final schedule for the release will be established with consideration of operational constraints at Pyramid Dam, natural hydrology and the timing of the issuance of the variance by FERC. The duration of the release could be as little as five days and as much as 3 weeks. To support the Article 52 variance, DWR has requested authorization from the State Water Resources Control Board for a temporary amendment to Condition No. 1 in the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification that was previously issued for the South SWP Hydropower Project to accommodate the increased SWP water delivery to United. The proposed increase of SWP water delivery is intended for the beneficial use of addressing critically depleted groundwater conditions within United's service boundary. The release will be completed by February 29, 2020.

Contact Information
Gwen Knittweis
California Department of Water Resources
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Phone : (916) 557-4554

Location

Counties
Los Angeles
Other Location Info
The Project begins at Pyramid Lake and Pyramid Dam, which are component facilities of the State Water Project (SWP). Pyramid Lake is a reservoir formed by Pyramid Dam, located in Los Angeles County, California. Approximately 13 miles northwest of Castaic. Specifically, SW 1/4 of Section 2, Township 6N, Range 18W.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
15301
Reasons for Exemption
Based on an examination of the proposed project, this project qualifies for a Class 1 Categorical Exemption§ 15301 - Existing Facilities under the California Environmental Quality Act for the following reasons: a. The project is a water management operation using only existing facilities. b. The project will not support new development or a change in land use. c. The project does not establish a new permanent source of water supply. d. The project is not expected to have any effects on the environment. e. There will be no expansion of existing use of any facility. f. None of the exceptions in§ 15300.2 apply (e.g., no cumulative impact, no significant effect or impact to areas of critical concern.) In addition, there is no impact to any state- or federally-listed species or to any cultural resource.

Attachments

Notice of Exemption
2019120613_Proposed One-time Increase   PDF 672 K

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