Legislation

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HORB revisited

Last week, the court approved a joint stipulation (PDF) filed by the various parties involved in the OCAP salmonid litigation. [1] The stipulation will set the plan for the coordinated operation of the state and federal projects — striking some sort of balance between Delta exports and species protection, and replacing certain requirements of the … Continue reading

SWRCB grandstanding on the BDCP?

Since the package of water legislation passed in 2009, there has been a flurry of administrative activity to complete documents called for in the legislation. At least three high-profile plans concerning the Delta — the Delta Plan, BDCP, and what will be the first major update to the Bay-Delta water quality control plan (WQCP) in … Continue reading

Fall X2 and delta smelt, continued

This post is a continuation of the previous post. Given that there is a salinity range physiologically tolerable to delta smelt — and a subset salinity range that is not just tolerable, but actually suitable, for which there is a higher probability of finding fish in practice — salinity is an important factor when determining … Continue reading

Opportunity to enhance delta smelt science scrapped by Wanger compromise

The 2008 biological opinion prepared by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a set of actions that should be taken to protect delta smelt while operating the federal and state projects.  USFWS will prepare yet another version of this BiOp by an order of Judge Wanger, or else be relieved of the need to do … Continue reading

Judge Frawley’s decision on South Delta salinity and Tracy discharge

My apologies for the lack of new posts here. I recently started working on a water-related project that I hope to share here in the future, but it will take some time to complete. In the meantime, I will try to catch up on news and be better about updating. Last month Judge Timothy Frawley … Continue reading

Wanger Recap: Final judgment for delta smelt, salmon dispute cools off

The spring season is often associated with uplifting imagery: Of nature reawakening and basking in ever-stronger sunlight, and of a new life cycle that emerges as the Earth sheds the frigid harshness of winter.  But at least in the world of California water, spring can be decidedly less romantic for various reasons — not the … Continue reading

State Water Resources Control Board adopts Delta flow criteria

Yesterday the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously adopted criteria describing the flows deemed necessary to protect public trust resources in the Delta, as detailed in the draft report released last month.  This approval of the report meets the statutory deadline and is even slightly ahead of schedule.  Within nine months, the SWRCB collected extensive … Continue reading

Draft report available for the Delta flow criteria

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 requires that the State Water Resources Control Board develop new flow criteria describing the flows needed to protect public trust resources in the Delta.  In theory, these criteria will inform the BDCP and Delta Plan, while furthering the Legislature’s co-equal goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability.  A … Continue reading

SWRCB names new Delta Watermaster

The State Water Resources Control Board today named a Delta Watermaster, a new position that was created in the Delta Reform Act of 2009 as part of last year’s water legislation package.   The Board’s choice was Craig M. Wilson, a water attorney from Stoel Rives and a “more than 30-year veteran of dealing with California’s … Continue reading

Should the public trust doctrine be extended to groundwater?

The public trust doctrine was extended in 1983 to protect the unique ecosystem and environment of Mono Lake.  Should it be extended once again — this time to protect coho salmon on the Scott River? It’s no secret that California has serious problems when it comes to groundwater management.  Aquifers throughout the state are pumped … Continue reading

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