• State Board Draft Report Recommends “Flow Criteria” for the Delta
  • August 12, 2010 | Authors: Steven M. Anderson; Gregory K. Wilkinson
  • Law Firms: Best Best & Krieger LLP - Riverside Office ; Best Best & Krieger LLP - Sacramento Office ; Best Best & Krieger LLP - Riverside Office
  • In a draft report issued Wednesday, the State Water Resources Control Board proposed restrictions that, if fully implemented, could have major implications for users of the state‚Äôs largest water supply. Though unlikely in the near term, the proposals in a 191-page report could eventually lead to significant decreases in water exports in order to protect the "natural environment" of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Specifically, the flow criteria proposed would ensure that flows through the Delta are maintained at higher levels than has occurred in the past several decades. In particular, the draft report calls for flows through the Delta amounting to 75% of unimpaired outflows between January through June, 75% of unimpaired Sacramento River inflow from November through June, and 60% of unimpaired San Joaquin River inflow from February to June.

    The development of the draft flow criteria was undertaken in a shorter than normal time frame in order to comply with the requirements of the comprehensive water legislation adopted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2009.

    The State Board is scheduled to consider adopting the draft report as final at its meeting on August 3. Concerned citizens, public agencies and other interested organizations may submit written comments to the state by July 29, or may provide in-person comments at the State Board meeting.