Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS)

Beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2016, LWA has led a team of consultants performing a variety of technical services in support of the development of a Salt and Nitrate Management Plan for the Central Valley (CV-SNMP).   The CV-SNMP has been developed through a multi-year stakeholder process, Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS).  The purpose of the CV-SALTS process has been to bring stakeholders together to develop information, strategies and suggested policies to address long term groundwater quality issues associated with nitrates and salts in the Central Valley of California.  The CV-SNMP will be used as the basis for a Basin Plan amendment that will restore drinking water supplies to communities impacted by elevated nitrates, control salt and nitrate degradation of groundwater basins through implementation of major treatment and transport projects, and improve groundwater quality to meet salt and nitrate water quality objectives, where reasonable and feasible.

LWA has successfully developed the following documents which are essential components of the CV-SNMP, working collaboratively with the CV-SALTS stakeholder group.

1) CV-SALTS Initial Conceptual Model & Geographic Information Services (Phase I) – California Central Valley

  • Establishment of salt and nitrate surface water and groundwater budgets for California’s Central Valley
  • Assessment of the long-term groundwater quality conditions in the Central Valley (20-year time period from 1983-2003)

2) CV-SALTS Phase II Conceptual Model – California Central Valley

  • Groundwater data refinements and updates
  • Development of a Management Zone archetype analysis for Alta Irrigation District to test the application of selected policies, data analysis methods, and salt and nitrate management approaches that are being considered by CV-SALTS
  • Preparation of the Preliminary Draft Central Valley SNMP


  • Preparation of Economic Analysis of proposed management and policy alternatives under CV-SNMP. Provided cost analysis of nitrate and salt management alternatives in Alta Irrigation District and the Central Valley.
  • Preparation of Antidegradation Analysis for salt and nitrate policy alternatives under CV-SNMP, working closely with stakeholder group, Central Valley Salinity Coalition and the Central Valley Regional Water Board.

4) Tulare Lakebed MUN and AGR beneficial use de-designation

  • Prepared CEQA scoping documentation, technical and policy analysis, and draft staff report to support a Basin Plan amendment to de-designate MUN and AGR uses in the historic Tulare Lakebed area in the lower San Joaquin Valley.