Chris Shutes, CSPA Water Rights Advocate
CSPA has filed comments on El Dorado Water and Power Authority’s Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Supplemental Water Rights Project Acquisition of 40,000 Acre- Feet Per Year of New Consumptive Water Rights. Under the proposed project, El Dorado seeks to use water stored in reservoirs owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District for future domestic and agricultural water supply in El Dorado County. In its water rights application filed in 2008, El Dorado claims “county of origin” priority over many existing water users, including the City of Sacramento and the Central Valley Project.
While CSPA is broadly supportive of county of origin protections, the application filed by El Dorado presents numerous major policy and legal questions. CSPA protested the applications by El Dorado on a number of grounds, as did other environmental interests and more than a few water purveyors. In addition to being substantively controversial, the Draft EIR also contains many shortcomings under the California Environmental Quality Act.