Author Archives: Chris Shutes

The State of California’s Executive Branch Needs to Close the Books on Negotiations of “Voluntary Agreements” with Water Agencies and Irrigation Districts that Attack the Authority of the State Water Board and Foundational Environmental Law

Summary Both Yuba Water Agency (YWA) and the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (Districts) allege that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has unlawfully delayed decisions concerning their respective hydroelectric projects.  Both YWA and the Districts have … Continue reading

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CSPA Opposes Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts’ Petition for Waiver of Clean Water Act

Joining a growing list, Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (Districts) filed a Petition for Declaratory Order with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) on October 2, 2020 asking that the Commission find that the State of California has … Continue reading

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NMFS Gives Stockton East and Irrigators All the Water in the Calaveras River

On September 14, 2020, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Stockton East Water District (Stockton East) issued a Final Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Calaveras River.  The HCP will require a minimum flow of 20 cfs upstream of … Continue reading

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CSPA Asks San Francisco Water Agency to Withdraw Voluntary Agreement

CSPA and thirteen other conservation and fishing organizations wrote a letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on September 9, 2020 requesting that the Commission withdraw its support for a proposed Tuolumne River Voluntary Agreement.  CSPA and others also … Continue reading

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CSPA Sues FERC over Waiver of Clean Water Act

CSPA and three other non-profit groups have sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the Federal Appeals Court 9th Circuit in defense of the State of California’s authority to protect the Yuba and Bear Rivers.  The lawsuit is the … Continue reading

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Assemblymember’s Trojan Horse Hides Real Need for Section 401 Trailer Bill

It’s a pretty sweet deal when you don’t do your homework for five years and then get the principal to say you don’t have to do it at all, and, by the way, we’re retroactively giving you an “A” in … Continue reading

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CSPA Defends Cold Water for North Fork Feather River Trout

CSPA and American Whitewater (AW) have defended proposed measures to keep summer water temperatures in the North Fork Feather River cold enough for trout.  The defense came in comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in opposition to a … Continue reading

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CSPA Scopes Out Delta Tunnel Do-Over

CSPA has identified 69 issues that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) must confront in its forthcoming Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the new incarnation of its “Delta Conveyance” project.  Delta Conveyance means a proposed tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin … Continue reading

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CSPA and Coalition Oppose Waiver of Clean Water Act

CSPA and allies in the Foothills Water Network have filed a Response in Opposition to Yuba Water Agency’s Request for Waiver of water quality certification for the Yuba River Development Project.  The Network filed its letter with the Federal Energy … Continue reading

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Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Weakening of Federal Environmental Review

The Hydropower Reform Coalition submitted comments on March 10, 2020 in opposition to proposed changes to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The Coalition’s comments state that the proposed new NEPA rule would make analysis worse and … Continue reading

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Salmonid Restoration Federation Conference Postponed Indefinitely

One of California’s premier annual gatherings of fisheries restorationists, scientists and advocates has been postponed indefinitely in order to protect public health.  The conference of the Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF)[1] planned for March 31-April 3 in Santa Cruz will not … Continue reading

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The First Law of Holes Is: Stop Digging.

Water in California is overallocated and overappropriated.  Too much is promised, too much is delivered, and not enough is left in rivers and in the ground.  The result is ecosystem collapse, sinking land and dry wells, and dying communities in … Continue reading

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CSPA and Allies Oppose another DWR Delta Boondoggle

CSPA and California Water Research submitted comments on January 6, 2020 opposing the analysis of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) of proposed future Delta operations.  The comments responded to DWR’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Long-Term Operation of … Continue reading

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CSPA and Tuolumne advocates answer San Francisco on water supply

CSPA, the Tuolumne River Trust, Golden West Women Flyfishers and two unaffiliated Bay Area advocates (“TRT et al.”) continue to make the case that the City of San Francisco and its wholesale agency can both protect their water supply and … Continue reading

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Calaveras River Plan Takes 14 Years to Keep All the Water

On November 14, 2019, CSPA filed comments critical of a new Habitat Conservation Plan for the Calaveras River and also filed comments critical of a supporting environmental review document.[1]   Stockton East Water District (Stockton East) and the National Marine Fisheries … Continue reading

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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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