Westlands seeks permit to use aqueduct as sewer
by Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director
March 2, 2010 -- Attached are coalition scoping comments that CSPA and other organizations (including California Water Impact Network, Sierra Club, PCFFA, AquAlliance, Restore the Delta, Planning and Conservation League, Friends of the River, Southern California Watershed Alliance, Salmon Water Now, Crab Board Owners Association, Winnemen Wintu Tribe, Southern California Watershed Alliance and North Coast Rivers Alliance) submitted regarding Westland Water District's proposed discharge and conveyance of polluted groundwater into and through the California Aqueduct.
Westland's groundwater is highly contaminated with selenium, boron, salts, etc. The aqueduct is a water of the nation and supplies drinking water to more than 20 million people in Southern California. The aqueduct also has identified recreation and wildlife habitat beneficial uses and its waters supply reservoirs and streams that support significant fisheries habitat. Westland's is essentially attempting to dilute polluted wastes, created by irrigating impaired soils, with relatively good quality aqueduct water.
The coalition letter raises numerous issues including the fact that the project would require Clean Water Act discharge permits and the Department of Water Resources and not Westland's is the proper lead agency to prepare the EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act.
The coalition letter