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CSPA Advisory June 14, 2010 

CSPA Protests Three Water Transfers

By Chris Shutes, CSPA Water Rights Advocate
June 14, 2010 -- CSPA filed protests and accompanying comment letters today in opposition to petitions for three proposed water transfers, two from Sutter County and one from Sacramento County. The petitioners are Tule Basin Farms, Garden Highway Mutual Water Company, and (jointly) the City of Sacramento and Sacramento Suburban Water Company.

The Sutter County petitioners would substitute groundwater for water that would normally be diverted from surface water. Sacramento Suburban would partly forego groundwater recharge that would normally be carried out with the water that is proposed for transfer. All of the water would be transferred through the Delta pumps of the State Water Project for use in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

The transfers proposed for 2010 are virtually identical to 2009 transfers in nearly identical amounts made by the same entities to many of the same recipients. The 2009 transfers were made under the umbrella of the Drought Water Bank, which CSPA and others successfully challenged in court.

CSPA’s protests of the 2010 petitions center on the fact that “temporary transfers” under Section 1725 of the Water Code by definition are of one year’s duration or less. Temporary transfers are exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. However, since the same action is now being repeated over a second year, CSPA maintains that the transfers should be considered long term transfers, which would be subject to environmental review under CEQA.

Sacramento County Protest

CSPA Comments - Sacramento County Protest

Sutter County (Garden Highway) Protest

CSPA Comments - Sutter County (Garden Highway) Protest

Sutter County (Tule Basin) Protest

CSPA Comments - Sutter County (Tule Basin) Protest