December 22, 2016

Western Growers Urges Opposition to Water Board’s Proposed Unimpaired Water Flow Rule

The State Water Resources Control Board (Board) will hold its final regional workshop on proposed rule changes to the Water Quality Control Plan and unimpaired flow proposals for the Delta on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, in Sacramento. The proposed changes would increase unimpaired flows from the San Joaquin River by 40 percent in order to aide salmon populations, resulting in 350,000 acre-feet of water that should be made available for beneficial uses to instead flow through the Delta to the ocean. 

The rule has been met with considerable resistance by the agriculture community, water managers, elected officials and local governments.   

As was the case with the previous three workshops, Wednesday’s Modesto workshop produced impassioned testimony from those opposed to proposed rule, including Michael Frantz, a director of the Turlock Irrigation District. According to the Board’s website, Frantz is quoted as saying, “This approach, unimpaired flow as a water management tool, erodes water supply for de minimus environmental gains: high cost and low return.”    

Western Growers has been fully-engaged with other water users through an alliance of irrigation districts and ag organizations to support a balanced and comprehensive solution that would benefit both people and the environment. WG staff testified before the Board in November to outline WG opposition to the proposal and recommendations for comprehensive, common-sense solutions for the Delta.      

Western Growers urges members to attend the final workshop in January to voice opposition to this proposed change. If you cannot attend, members can submit written comments to the board. The public comment period closes at noon on January 17, 2017.

Workshop Info

Date: January 3, 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m.

CalEPA Headquarters Building

January 3, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Building

Coastal Hearing Room

1001 I Street, Second Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

Getting to CalEPA

Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected]. Please put, “Comment Letter – 2016 Bay-Delta Plan Amendment & SED,” in the subject line. You may also submit your comments by fax to (916) 341-5620. Couriers delivering comment letters must check in with lobby security personnel, who can contact Jeanine Townsend at (916) 341-5600.

View Speaker Presentations 

State Water Resources Control Board webpage

For more information, contact WG’s Gail Delihant at (916) 446-1435.