Category Archives: Chris Shutes

Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Another Trump Administration Attack on the Clean Water Act

The Hydropower Reform Coalition (HRC), including CSPA and allied hydropower advocates, has submitted extensive comments in opposition to the Trump Administration’s attack on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  Trump’s Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a … Continue reading

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Oops, DWR Did It Again

WaterFix version 1 is hung out to dry.  There have been welcome announcements by the Newsom administration of a clean start on California water policy.  But on June 10, 2019, the Department of Water Resources posted “Why Delta Conveyance” to … Continue reading

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Cutting Funding for Ag Water Efficiency: A Backwards Portfolio for Managing Water

On May 9, 2019, Governor Newsom released his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.  The website for CalCAN, the California Climate and Agricultural Network, reports[1] that the proposed budget would eliminate funding for SWEEP, [2] “the state’s on-farm water … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allied Groups Dissect Draft EIS for Don Pedro

CSPA, nine other conservation and fishing groups, and four whitewater outfitters (“Conservation Groups”) jointly submitted 75 pages of comments on April 12, 2019 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the relicensing of the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project and … Continue reading

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Fishing and River Groups Analyze Voluntary Agreements

CSPA, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, and other fishing and river groups have released an analysis critical of the outline of Voluntary Agreements submitted to the State Water Board as a proposed alternative to the Board’s regulatory update of the … Continue reading

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What the Water Deals Mean, Part 1: December 2018 Agreements between the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation

On December 12, 2018, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) concluded a series of water agreements relating to DWR’s State Water Project (SWP) and the Bureau’s Central Valley Project (CVP).  On … Continue reading

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Glass Half Full: State Water Board Adopts San Joaquin Flow Objectives for Update of Bay-Delta Plan

The State Water Resources Control Board adopted new objectives for flows in the Lower San Joaquin River and for southern Delta salinity on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.  The new plan for flow in the San Joaquin River will require as … Continue reading

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Major Setback for Delta Tunnels: DWR Withdraws Certification that WaterFix Is Consistent with Delta Plan

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has withdrawn its Certification that its proposed Delta tunnels (WaterFix) project is consistent with the Delta Plan.  As anticipated in a November 16, 2018 CSPA post, there is now no chance that the Delta … Continue reading

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Delta Tunnels Hearing at State Water Board Drawing to a Close

After more than three years, 104 days of testimony, and over twenty-four thousand pages of hearing transcripts, the hearing before the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) on the proposal to construct two tunnels to convey water under the … Continue reading

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Water Budgets: Numbers Matter

A recent series of articles and blog posts by Jeff Mount and others from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) proposes a system of “water budgets” for the environment as part of a new system for managing water and … Continue reading

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Delta Stewardship Council Recommends Pause in Delta Tunnels Project

It now appears that there is almost no chance that Delta tunnels will be approved and begin construction before Governor Brown leaves office in January 2019.  The roadblock emerged on November 15, 2018 in a proceeding before a state agency … Continue reading

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State Water Board Postpones Decision on San Joaquin River Flows

“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot In response to a joint written request[1] from Governor Brown and incoming Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Water Resources Control Board on November 7, … Continue reading

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Federal Dam Safety Regulators Describe Need for Big Changes at Oroville Dam

The Division of Dam Safety and Inspections in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a letter to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on October 25, 2018 that requires DWR to reclassify the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam as … Continue reading

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San Francisco Board of Supervisors Unanimously Supports Update of Bay-Delta Plan

In an 11-0 vote on October 30, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting the State Water Resources Control Board’s immediate update of the San Joaquin Flow portion of the Bay-Delta Plan.  Introduced by Supervisor Aaron … Continue reading

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Conservation Groups Submit Complete Flow Recommendation for Tuolumne River

CSPA and nine other Conservation Groups filed extensive comments and recommendations January 29, 2018 for flow requirements and non-flow measures for the lower Tuolumne River.    The filing is an important milestone in the multi-year licensing process of the Don Pedro … Continue reading

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CSPA Submits Testimony on Delta Tunnels – Months of Hearings Start in January

On November 30, CSPA filed testimony and exhibits for the State Water Board’s hearings on the Delta Tunnels (“WaterFix”). This new testimony is for Part 2 of the hearings: impacts to fish and wildlife, recreation, and other Public Trust values. … Continue reading

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Report on Oroville Describes Urgent Dam Safety and Flood Lessons

Much of California’s dam and flood infrastructure is obsolete and falling apart.  It needs to be fixed now, says a report entitled “The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident and Lessons from the Feather River Basin.”  The authors of report are from … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Recommend Flows and Habitat for Lower Yuba River

In a hundred-plus page filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on August 25, 2017, CSPA and other members of Foothills Water Network coalition filed recommendations for improving flow and habitat conditions in the lower Yuba River.  The filing … Continue reading

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Oroville Dam Relicensing – Letter to FERC Requests Delay in New License

CSPA has joined a broad-based ad hoc coalition of entities in an August 8, 2017 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that requests a delay in the issuance of a new hydropower license for the Oroville Facilities Project.  … Continue reading

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CSPA comments on scoping for relicensing the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project

CSPA presented oral scoping comments on June 28, 2017 for the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project in Mendocino and Lake counties.  The small 1900’s-era hydroelectric project generates power with water that is piped from the upper mainstem Eel River … Continue reading

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