The purpose of the LSJRC was to address salinity issues in the Lower San Joaquin River watershed. To address salinity issues in the basin, the Lower San Joaquin River (LSJR) Committee developed a work plan to guide the completion of a Basin Plan Amendment for establishing salinity water quality objectives on the Lower San Joaquin River from Merced River inflow to Vernalis. The Work Plan laid out the technical and administrative processes to evaluate and define the beneficial uses of this river reach and recommended water quality objectives for salinity and the individual salt constituents that make up the salinity levels.
The process described in the Work Plan provided the Regional Water Board with the necessary tools to develop and adopt a Basin Plan Amendment prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Water Code. The Water Code requires consideration of various factors, including the means by which the objectives can be attained, economics, the need for housing and other factors. The Work Plan included the development of an implementation plan to demonstrate the means by which proposed objectives would be achieved and the cost of doing so. The Work Plan also identified other information needed to fulfill Water Code requirements. The Work Plan was developed to provide the Regional Water Board with the necessary tools to adopt water quality objectives by the deadline specified by the State Water Board’s Recycled Water Policy, which called for development of a salt management plan for all regions of the State by end of 2014.