FWA supports state action to reduce water with reserves | New


The Friant Water Authority has, with reservations, declared its support for the state’s action related to the water supply from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.

The state’s Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday issued an emergency order that shut off water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed to thousands of water rights holders.

On Tuesday, the state council took emergency action to ban thousands of farmers, landowners and others from pumping water from the delta. The interim order will come into force on August 16. Those who continue to pump water from the watershed face fines.

The state council made the decision despite the fact that many irrigation districts said they did not have the authority to do so.

And while the FWA issued a statement in support of the state council’s action, it said the action should only be temporary. And the FWA also spoke of the “illegal” diversion of delta water that serves to protect fish and environmental interests.

But despite the “illegal” diversion of water, FWA chief executive Jason Phillips said the FWA supported the actions of the state council with reservations, adding that it was essential that the water council the state protects the demands of the “southern delta” in this area. The FWA oversees the Friant-Kern Canal.

This spring and summer, it became clear to many members of the California water community that federal and state draft water is stored in upstream reservoirs, and which is released to meet critical supply needs. in water and water quality for humans and the ecosystem, is largely diverted. illegally in the Delta, ”Phillips said. “These diversions occur for weeks, if not months, at a time when there is little or no natural influx into the delta, which means that there is insufficient water supply available to support the legal diversions through the delta. Most of the water rights holders in the delta. “

Phillips went on to say that the state council’s decision seems “to some adding fuel to a fire.” But Phillips adds that the FWA thinks the move is “a first step in ensuring that these diversions without legal rights to an already limited water supply adhere to the state’s water rights system.”

Phillips went on to say that the state must protect the interests of this region. “In one of the driest water years on record in the entire state, it is critical that – at a minimum – the SWRCB protect this water which has been stored legally and should be used this year to respond.” storage needs and “southern delta demands.”

Phillips added “For this reason, the FWA supports the SWRCB in acting to exercise its responsibility to reduce these unauthorized diversions” to spray previously stored water.

But Phillips also said “until and unless hydrologic conditions require the emergency reductions to be extended,” the emergency order is expected to expire in late September.

Regarding “illegal” diversions, SJV Water reported at the Westlands Water District Board meeting on July 20 that there could be up to 4,000 CFS of additional flow in the delta if these derivations were stopped.

There are 5,000 people and entities who have won 9,000 rights to the water entering the delta. These rights were issued after 1914. Many other rights were issued before 1914.

There are 9,000 rights over river water entering the delta held by 5,000 different people or entities, said Water Board director Sobeck. And these are only the rights issued by the council after 1914. There are also countless other rights issued before 1914.

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