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CSPA Advisory August 16, 2010 

CSPA asks State Board for hearing: is any additional water available for diversion from the Central Valley and Bay-Delta system?

By Chris Shutes, CSPA Water Rights Advocate
August 16, 2010 -- CSPA requested that the State Water Resource Control Board hold a hearing on the applications of Davis, Woodland, and U.C. Davis to divert up to 44,000 acre-feet per year from the Sacramento River. CSPA protested these applications in 1994, in part on the grounds of the fact that the Sacramento River is over-appropriated. While other protesting parties settled with the applicants, CSPA continued to maintain that no water was available to appropriate.

The Delta Flow Criteria Report approved by the State Board on August 3, 2010 suggests that the amount of water released through the Delta to San Francisco Bay needs to be doubled. Put differently, about 3 to 5 million acre-feet of water above what has been released through the Delta to the Bay over the last ten years needs to be released.

CSPA’s request for hearing states in part:

  • Even if, conservatively, we were to say that the amount of required Delta outflow originating in the Sacramento River system were 3,000,000 acre-feet per year, there is a huge amount that will need to be made up from already existing diversions. Under such circumstances, the Board needs to explain exactly where it will find 44,000 acre-feet per year of water available to service Davis, Woodland, and U.C. Davis’s Applications 30358A and 30358B, or, for that matter, any available water to service these diversions.
  • The State Board made clear that the Delta Flow Criteria Report does not represent an adjudication of existing water rights. CSPA is not asking that the Board to make it an adjudication. CSPA asks, rather, that the Delta Flow Criteria Report be used as evidence in the Board’s exercise of its adjudicatory role in considering the Applications 30358A and 30358B. Indeed, the Delta Flow Criteria Report is compelling evidence that the Board is currently violating the water quality and fish and wildlife attributes of the public trust.

The applications of Davis, Woodland and U.C. Davis will be the first major Central Valley applications considered by the Board since the publication of the Delta Flow Criteria Report. CSPA looks forward to seeing how the overwhelming scientific evidence presented in the report is applied practically in actual water rights issues.

Read the request.