Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Central Valley Project, California

Central Valley Project, California (16 U.S.C 695d-695j). The Emergency Relief Appropriations Act (Chapter 48, April 8, 1935; 49 Stat. 115) authorized expenditures of funds for various types of public works projects, including water conservation and irrigation. The Central Valley Project (CVP), a series of dams, reservoirs and canals in the San Joaquin Valley of California, was first established under this authority. This authority has been subsequently amended as follows:

Chapter 689; June 2, 1936; 74 Stat. 1622; Chapter 832; August 26, 1937; 50 Stat. 844, 850; Chapter 895; October 17, 1940; 54 Stat. 1198; Chapter 690; October 19, 1949; 63 Stat. 852; Chapter 1047; September 26, 1950; 64 Stat. 1036; Public Law 674; August 27, 1954; 68 Stat. 879; P.L. 95-616; November 8, 1978; 92 Stat. 3115; and P.L. 102-575, October 30, 1992; 106 Stat. 4600.

The Flood Control Act of 1936 formally authorized funds for the project by name and the project was reauthorized by statutes enacted in 1937 (Chapter 832), 1940 (Chapter 895), 1949 (Chapter 690), 1950 (Chapter 1047), and 1954 (Public Law 674). The 1940 statute broadened the project's purpose to include navigation improvements, flood control, and energy development purposes.

The 1949 statute reauthorized the CVP to include the Folsom dam and reservoir. The 1950 statute again reauthorized the Central Valley project and declared the purpose of the project to be for improving navigation, regulating the flow of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, flood control, irrigation, and electric power.

Public Law 674, enacted in 1954, declared use of water for fish and wildlife as a project purpose in addition to all other previously stated purposes. It also provided authority and conditions for delivery of water to the Grasslands areas of the San Joaquin Valley for waterfowl purposes as stipulated in the 1950 DOI report entitled "Waterfowl Conservation in the Lower San Joaquin Valley, Its Relationship to the Grasslands and the Central Valley Project."

Public Law 95-616, approved November 8, 1978, amended the 1954 Act to guarantee the delivery of 3000 acre-feet of water each fall and 4000 acre-feet of water each summer, when available, and authorized construction of the water delivery system to deliver water to Federal waterfowl refuges in the San Joaquin Valley.

P.L. 102-575, signed October 30, 1992 (106 Stat. 4600) included provisions to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats in the Central Valley and Trinity River basins. Objectives include addressing the impacts of the CVP on fish and wildlife resources and achieving a "reasonable balance among competing" water uses. (For more detail, see the entry on P.L. 102-575, the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992, particularly Title XXXIV, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.)

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