Author Archives: Chris Shutes

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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What the Water Deals Mean, Part 2: Voluntary Settlements Privatize the Public Trust

The holidays are over, and the sales are on.  Karla Nemeth, Director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) published an op-ed in CALmatters on December 26, 2018 to tell the world “what new water deals mean.”  Tom Birmingham, … 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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