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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

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

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

Delta Independent Science Board appointments

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 requires that the Delta Stewardship Council appoint up to ten nationally or internationally prominent scientists to a new Delta Independent Science Board.  Members will serve five-year terms, for no more than two terms.  Acting as successor to the CALFED Independent Science Board, the Delta Independent Science Board will oversee … Continue reading

Flow Criteria for the Delta: Or, maybe it is all about the fish

One problem with the package of water legislation passed in 2009?  The more you stare at it, the less you understand — and the stronger your head aches. (I know: I promised that we would leave this behind and do science instead.  We’ll do that next time.) Two posts ago, we discussed some reasons for … Continue reading

Flow Criteria for the Delta: Numbers or narrative?

Before going more into these flow criteria, I would like to clarify a personal opinion briefly.  My general stance on water issues often tend toward an environmentalist leaning.  In the context of Delta issues, that means taking the time and effort to study carefully what the needs of the ecosystem are.  It also means augmenting … Continue reading

Flow Criteria for the Delta: Wading through muddy legislation

Populations of fish in the Delta have plummeted in recent years to historically low levels.  The Delta’s current configuration — diked, drained, and channelized — has restricted habitat for native species.  In light of this physical configuration, existing flows are not sufficient to ensure a healthy Delta ecosystem.  The Delta Reform Act passed as part … Continue reading


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