American River Temperature Management

This presentation reviews American River temperature management operations, challenges, and the unique difficulties presented during periods of drought. Temperature management provides protection to endangered and threatened fishery species and provides suitable habitat for fish hatchery operations.

The US Bureau of Reclamation operates Folsom Lake for water supply use, power generation, and environmental purposes, including water temperature management in the Lower American River. Thermal stratification of Folsom Lake affords the opportunity for selective withdrawal of waters of various temperatures at different elevations. A temperature shutter structure at Folsom Dam blends the selected waters for desired downstream performance. Seasonal temperature strategies are developed annually, depending on the hydrologic year type, storage conditions, cold-water reserves, and fishery objectives.

Operational challenges to temperature management include uncertain future hydrologic, downstream water demands, and meteorological conditions. Additional challenges include balancing tradeoffs between water release volumes, different fishery species, power generation, and water temperature. To assist in temperature management, computational tools are employed to project the efficiency of cold-water reserve use, future downstream temperature performance, physical shutter operations, and bypass of power generation. Drought periods are particularly challenging for temperature management due to limited water supply and cold-water reserves.

Water Seminar Series Flyer

Topic: American River Temperature Management: Operational Challenges
Speaker: Randi Field, US Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Operations Office
When: Friday, November 17, 2017, 12 p.m.–1 p.m.
Where: University Library, 2000 State University Drive, Library 11


About the Speaker
Randi FieldRandi Field has 16 years of experience with the US Bureau of Reclamation, working on California's federal Central Valley Project. Eight of those years, she was directly involved in reservoir and water operations management with the remaining years spent working on water modeling studies for environmental regulatory compliance and future projects. Randi has expertise in system-wide operational forecasting, temperature modeling, seasonal downstream temperature management, and forecast-based flood control methods. She has been responsible for the daily, real-time decision-making regarding operational reservoir releases at New Melones Reservoir, Folsom Lake, Shasta Lake, and Trinity Lake. Previously, Randi worked for the US Forest Service studying watershed science. Randi has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University and a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Back to Top