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Flow Monitoring


In 2002, the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (Agency) Board of Directors certified the Final EIR/EIS and applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a permit to construct the Salinas Valley Water Project (SVWP). The SVWP consists of three components:

  Inflated Nacimiento Spillway rubber dam

  1. The Nacimiento Dam Spillway Modification
  2. Reoperation of Nacimiento and San Antonio reservoirs
  3. The Salinas River Diversion Facility

The MCWRA coordinated construction of the SVWP from 2008 through 2010. The project was the culmination of multiple decades of planning, engineering and public involvement. The objectives of the SVWP are to:

During the permitting process for the SVWP, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) initiated a formal Section 7 consultation with the Corps on the issuance of a permit for the SVWP. This consultation resulted in the MCWRA authoring the Salinas Valley Water Project Flow Prescription for Steelhead Trout (Flow Prescription) in 2005 and incorporating it into the project description. The Flow Prescription defines flow requirements and operational targets for managing steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Salinas River. Three main areas of monitoring are outlined in the Flow Prescription:

  1. Quantify the presence of the threatened steelhead trout in the lower Salinas River system (population monitoring)
  2. Manage river flows to ensure adequate water for fish passage (migration monitoring
  3. Monitor water quality to determine habitat suitability (habitat monitoring)

The Flow Prescription has been incorporated into the NMFS Biological Opinion (BO) as a stand‐alone document, which may be modified upon mutual agreement between the MCWRA and NMFS, in order to facilitate future adaptive management strategies. The MCWRA submits annually to NMFS reports that summarize SVWP operational and fish flow data in order to comply with the BO. These reports starting with the first year of operation in 2010 are found here: