Partial data on drainage returns and surface-water withdrawals are presented for areas of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, for March 1994 through February 1996. These areas cover most of the delta. Data are also presented for all drainage returns and some surface-water withdrawals for Twitchell Island, which is in the western part of the delta. Changes in land use between 1968 and 1991 are also presented for the delta.
Measurements of monthly drainage returns and surface-water withdrawals were made using flowmeters installed in siphons and drain pipes on Twitchell Island. Estimates of monthly returns throughout the delta were made using electric power-consumption data with pump-efficiency-test data. For Twitchell Island, monthly measured drainage returns for the 1995 calendar year totaled about 11,200 acre-feet, whereas drainage returns estimated from power-consumption data totaled 5 percent less at about 10,600 acre-feet. Monthly surface-water withdrawals onto Twitchell Island through 12 of the 21 siphons totaled about 2,400 acre-feet for 1995. For most of the delta, the monthly estimated drainage returns for 1995 totaled about 430,000 acre-feet. The area consisting of Bouldin, Brannan, Staten, Tyler, and Venice Islands had the largest estimated drainage returns for calendar year 1995.
Between 1968 and 1991, native vegetation in the delta decreased by 25 percent (about 40,000 acres), and grain and hay crops increased by 340 percent (about 71,000 acres). For Twitchell Island, native vegetation decreased about 77 percent (about 850 acres), while field crop acreage increased by about 44 percent (about 780 acres).