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Red Bank Oaks

Summary of the North of the Delta Offstream Storage Investigation

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        Initial water development planning studies in the Cottonwood Creek Basin were conducted by the USBR in the mid-1940s.  Since then, both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Water Resources have taken turns studying the potential of establishing reservoirs in the area.  In July 1985, DWR started the first of a series of studies to evaluate the engineering and economic feasibility of the tributary reservoirs.  The Corps terminated their work on the project in October 1985.  In 1987, the DWR reported on a two-year pre-feasibility study of the Dippingvat-Schoenfield Project on South Fork Cottowood Creek and Red Bank Creek.  The objective of the study was to develop information on the Dippingvat-Schoenfield alternative (Red Bank Project) comparable to that available on the other Cottonwood Creek tributary projects as a basis for selecting one project for further study at the feasibility level.  Efforts were centered primarily on geologic investigation of the project dam sites, sources of construction materials, and engineering analysis of project operations and cost estimates.  These studies were completed in 1993.  Further investigations were deferred until 1996. *

        In 1995, the CALFED Bay-Delta Program was established to develop a long-term, comprehensive plan that will restore ecological health and improve water management for beneficial uses of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary. Early in the process, CALFED compiled a list of 52 potential surface storage projects in the Central Valley and began an initial screening to reduce the number of sites to a more manageable number for more detailed evaluation.  Forty storage sites were removed from the initial list.  Of the remaining 12 storage sites, four are grouped under the heading "North of the Delta Offstream" storage alternatives.  Those four alternatives are titled the Red Bank Project, the Thomes-Newville Project, the Colusa Project, and the Sites Project.  A map of the Red Bank Project, with an outline of the Association properties relative to the project, is on the back of this sheet.

        Section 404 of the Clean Water Act has significant implications for proposed surface water storage projects as it requires a reservoir project proponent to undertake an extensive evaluation of alternatives and to select the "least environmentally damaging practicable alternative."

        In 1997, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) began a two-year reconnaissance-level study of the North of Delta Offstream Storage Investigation under Proposition 204.  In fiscal year 1997-98, DWR expended $3 million of Proposition 204 funds to start this investigation…  DWR expanded the 1997 reconnaissance study to a broader investigation that could eventually lead to feasibility reports, environmental documentation, and project permits. DWR expended $8.4 million on these studies during FY 1998-99.

        The Red Bank Project was originally proposed with two major dams to create 350 thousand acre-feet of storage in Dippingvat Reservoir on South Fork Cottonwood Creek and Schoenfield Reservoir on Red Bank Creek.  Two small dams and reservoirs, Lanyan and Bluedoor, would be part of the conveyance from Dippingvat to Schoenfield.  Most of the water supply for this project would come from South Fork Cottonwood Creek.  Floodflows would be diverted for short-term storage in Dippingvat, and then diverted to Schoenfield, the main storage reservoir.

        All three phases of the North of the Delta Offstream Storage Investigation included public involvement.  As of 2007, you could contact Mr. Steven Sager and request to be added to the mailing list for future notice of activities relating to Red Bank Oaks water resources.  Contact information for Mr. Steven Sager follows:

Steven A. Sager, Senior Engineer, Offstream Storage Project

California Department of Water Resources

2440 Main Street

Red Bluff, California 96080-2398

(530) 529-7324

* All technical information provided on this sheet is sourced directly from the July 2000 Final Draft of the North of the Delta Offstream Storage Investigation Progress Report published by the California Department of Water Resources

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Last modified: 06/27/17