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Cyberinfrastructure of real time water quality management in the San Joaquin River Basin

Post Date

March 21st 2016

Application Due Date

April 4th 2016

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)

Cooperative Agreement

Funding Activity Categories

Natural Resources

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories

Public and State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education


  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $893785 - $893785

Grant Description

OVERVIEW Real-time water quality management is a new concept in regional water resources and water quality management which relies on ready access to critical information and data processing tools needed for decision support activities. Real-time water quality management as a concept is similar to the site-specific water quality objective except that it places greater focus on the stakeholders in the watershed to achieve compliance rather than on the objective itself. As such it is more dynamic and both easier and less expensive to formulate and implement. This concept, if shown to be implementable for salinity in the San Joaquin Basin, may provide a basis for real-time management for other more complex contaminants such as mercury or nutrients such as nitrate in the future. The cyberinfrastructure to accomplish real-time water quality management will take advantage of state-of-the-art concepts such as cloud-based computing and web services, GIS-based modeling and use of social media. It will also require the development of software tools to perform real-time quality assurance of continuous flow and water quality data and supply this data to basin stakeholders using appropriate visualization to foster timely and scientifically defensible decision making. RECIPIENT INVOLVEMENT 1. Design and implement the first real-time salinity management program as an alternative to EPA-mandated Waste Discharge requirements under the current salinity and boron TMDL. 2. Develop key cyberinfrastructure including environmental sensor networks, appropriate radio and CDMA telemetry, web-based data access, forecasts models and web access to model input data and model results. 3. Perform stakeholder outreach _ demonstrating use of decision support tools to practice real-time salinity management in coordination with other Basin stakeholders. 4. Work cooperatively with UC Merced students and faculty to encouragement involvement in Reclamation planning, modeling and decision support system development activities. RECLAMATION INVOLVEMENT Substantial involvement on the part Reclamation is anticipated for the successful completion of the objectives to be funded by this award. In particular, Reclamation will be responsible for the following: Reclamationмs responsibilities include Яsubstantial involvement.Н in the Project, as anticipated in the CESU agreement with UC Merced. The GOTR will collaborate with the recipient partner together with students, technicians and other scientists involved in carrying out the scope of work. This might involve some mentoring of Recipient personnel or facilitating cooperative work with other Reclamation personnel as suggested by the GOTR in fulfilling the Project goals. Substantial involvement by Reclamation is anticipated during the performance of activities funded under this cooperative agreement. In support of this Agreement, Reclamation will be responsible for the following: 1. Act as Federal liaison in the conveyance of funding from Reclamation to the Regents of the University of California, Merced. SINGLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION Reclamation did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria: (4) UNIQUE QUALIFICATIONS Single Source Justification Description: The Recipient is a research scientist and has been associated with various institutions of higher learning in the State of California for the past 26 years including UC Merced, UC Berkeley, Berkeley National Laboratory and California State University, Fresno. In this capacity he has conducted and continues to conduct public outreach in the form of public lectures, seminars and service on state-level planning and advisory committees. These events have involved the general public, local, state, and federal officials and have been geared to educate and provide meaningful communication about activities that affect the San Joaquin River Basin and Bay-Delta watershed. This public outreach touches on topics of water supply reliability, water quality, and ecological restoration efforts in the San Joaquin River Basin and Delta as identified in the CALFED Bay Delta Record of Decision (ROD). The Recipient has significant involvement in the stakeholder-led CVSALTS initiative and in CALFED Bay-Delta program. Both public outreach efforts are integral actions - helping the public understand the process of how resources are being wisely used and protected in the development of an amended water quality control plan for the San Joaquin River Basin and the central Valley. Through UC Merced and its role in educating leaders of tomorrow in the San Joaquin River Basin this grant program provides a unique opportunity to have students involved in programs and on projects that are directly relevant to reclamationмs mission. This is one of the reasons for Reclamationмs long-term support of the CESU program goals and objectives. This agreement is the first between UC Merced and Reclamation. STATUTORY AUTHORITY The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, (Reclamation) Mid-Pacific Region, has initiated implementation of a program to provide greater flexibility in meeting existing water quality standards and objectives for which the Central Valley Project (CVP) has responsibility in order to reduce reliance on releases from New Melones Reservoir for those purposes. Implementation of this program is consistent with direction given by Congress in the Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act (Act; Public Law 108-361) to develop and initiate a Program to Meet Standards (PTMS, Program). This Program was authorized in Section 103(d)(2)(D) of the Act. (d), to the extent authorized under the reclamation laws, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (title XXXIV of Public Law 102_575; 106 Stat. 4706), the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and other applicable law. (2) CONVEYANCE. (D) PROGRAM TO MEET STANDARDS.└ (i) IN GENERAL.└Prior to increasing export limits from the Delta for the purposes of conveying water to south-of-Delta Central Valley Project contractors or increasing deliveries through an intertie, the Secretary shall, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, in consultation with the Governor, develop and initiate implementation of a program to meet all existing water quality standards and objectives for which the Central Valley Project has responsibility. (ii) MEASURES.└In developing and implementing the program, the Secretary shall include, to the maximum extent feasible, the measures described in clauses (iii) through (vii). (iii) RECIRCULATION PROGRAM.└The Secretary shall incorporate into the program a recirculation program to provide flow, reduce salinity concentrations in the San Joaquin River, and reduce the reliance on the New Melones Reservoir for meeting water quality and fishery flow objectives through the use of excess capacity in export pumping and conveyance facilities. (iv) BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES PLAN.└ (I) IN GENERAL.└The Secretary shall develop and implement, in coordination with the Stateмs programs to improve water quality in the San Joaquin River, a best management practices plan to reduce the water quality impacts of the discharges from wildlife refuges that receive water from the Federal Government and discharge salt or other constituents into the San Joaquin River. (II) COORDINATION WITH INTERESTED PARTIES.└The plan shall be developed in coordination with interested parties in the San Joaquin Valley and the Delta. (III) COORDINATION WITH ENTITIES THAT DISCHARGE WATER.└The Secretary shall also coordinate activities under this clause with other entities that discharge water into the San Joaquin River to reduce salinity concentrations discharged into the River, including the timing of discharges to optimize their assimilation. (v) ACQUISITION OF WATER.└The Secretary shall incorporate into the program the acquisition from willing sellers of water from streams tributary to the San Joaquin River or other sources to provide flow, dilute discharges of salt or other constituents, and to improve water quality in the San Joaquin River below the confluence of the Merced and San Joaquin Rivers, and to reduce the reliance on New Melones Reservoir for meeting water quality and fishery flow objectives. (vi) PURPOSE.└The purpose of the authority and direction provided to the Secretary under this subparagraph is to provide greater flexibility in meeting the existing water quality standards and objectives for which the Central Valley Project has responsibility so as to reduce the demand on water from New Melones Reservoir used for that purpose and to assist the Secretary in meeting any obligations to Central Valley Project contractors from the New Melones Project. (vii) UPDATING OF NEW MELONES OPERATING PLAN.└The Secretary shall update the New Melones operating plan to take into account, among other things, the actions described in this title that are designed to reduce the reliance on New Melones Reservoir for meeting water quality and fishery flow objectives, and to ensure that actions to enhance fisheries in the Stanislaus River are based on the best available science. The authorization directs the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), in consultation with the Governor of California, to develop and initiate implementation of a program to meet all existing water quality standards and objectives for which CVP has responsibility. The Act supports actions that provide greater flexibility in meeting existing water quality standards.

Contact Information

  • Agency

    Department of the Interior

  • Office:

    Bureau of Reclamation

  • Agency Contact:

    Beverly Breen
    Grants Officer

  • Agency Mailing Address:

  • Agency Email Address:

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