Divert Flood Flows to Agricultural Lands (both in the Mid and the Upper San Joaquin River Regions)

Project Lead: Collaboration amongst the USFWS, River Partners, USDA NRCS, CA State Parks, and other state and federal resource agencies.

Potential Project Partners:
No partners identified at this time

Short Project Description:
Large areas exist along the San Joaquin River that could be used for temporary flood flow storage. With agriculture as the primary land use in the floodplains of the Mid and Upper San Joaquin River regions and the presence of large wildlife refuges along the river, a series of designated areas could be managed in a coordinated way to reduce peak flow and provide temporary storage during a flood event. In some places, this is essentially a “no‐action” alternative since it already occurs. Depending on the topography, the types of crops, and the willingness of the landowners, agricultural properties and refuge lands could be utilized as detention basins where excess flood flows would be stored temporarily until water percolates back into the ground. Other agricultural lands would be temporarily flooded and the waters would be routed back into the channel after the high flows recede. The United States Army Corps of Engineers Reconnaissance Report, San Joaquin River, Mainstem (January 1993) describes this concept and identifies specific sites that could be used in a network of temporary flood storage areas.

Project Status In-progress
Project Cost $150,000,000