News Worth Noting: Groups Sue USFS over Nestlé’s water bottling; Groundwater adjudication legislation; Atmospheric rivers legislation; SWRCB Chair Marcus to Receive Leadership Award

Bottled waterGroups Sue US Forest Service Challenging Nestlé’s Illegal Water Bottling from the San Bernardino National Forest: “Earlier today, the Story of Stuff Project, the California-based Courage Campaign Institute, and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the US Forest Service for allowing Nestlé to continue to bottle millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest with a permit that expired 27 years ago.  The lawsuit specifically challenges Nestlé’s four-mile pipeline that siphons water from San Bernardino National Forest’s Strawberry Creek to bottling operations in Ontario, California.  The groups are calling on the Court to immediately shutdown the pipeline, and order the US Forest Service to conduct a full permitting process that includes environmental reviews.  In 2014 alone, an estimated 28 million gallons were piped away from the forest to be bottled and sold under Nestlé’s Arrowhead brand of bottled water.  The permit expired in 1988 but the piping system remains in active use, siphoning about 68,000 gallons of water a day out of the forest last year. ... ”  Read more here:  Groups Sue US Forest Service Challenging Nestlé’s Illegal Water Bottling from the San Bernardino National Forest

Downey Brand new logoGovernor Signs Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Part II: Groundwater Adjudications Meet Groundwater Management: “On October 9, 2015, Governor Brown completed what is probably one of the most remarkable two years in water legislation in California’s history.  Last year, as is well-known, the Governor shepherded through the Legislature not only the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) but also the $7 billion water bond (Proposition 1), which was approved by the voters last November.  In signing SGMA, the Governor pledged that during the 2014/15 legislative session, he would submit a proposal to streamline groundwater adjudications.  With the signing of AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley), the Governor kept his promise.  This article focuses its attention on several questions that will, in our view, determine whether this legislation lives up to the goal of streamlining groundwater adjudications, the court process for determining groundwater rights.  First, what will be the role of the State of California in these adjudications?  Second, to what extent will the parties and the courts be able to use a new civil procedure law to encourage the resolution of groundwater adjudications, particularly with new authority for the Department of Water Resources to review and comment after an adjudication is completed?  Third, how will courts exercise authority under existing Supreme Court case law to subordinate unexercised rights to groundwater?  Fourth, and most important, how will the courts satisfy the new mandate to conduct groundwater adjudications “in a manner that is consistent with the achievement of groundwater sustainability within the timeframes of” SGMA and “minimizes interference with the timely completion an implementation of a groundwater sustainability plan.” … ”  Read more from Downey Brand here: Governor Signs Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Part II: Groundwater Adjudications Meet Groundwater Management

ScrippsLegislation to Improve Understanding of Atmospheric Rivers Authorized by Governor: “California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Oct. 9 legislation that will improve the state’s ability to respond to major precipitation episodes with an aim to better manage water supply by expanding climate and weather research focused on the causes of drought and flood led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego.  The legislation requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to improve flood protection and water reliability by gaining more knowledge of atmospheric rivers (ARs) that supply 30 to 50 percent of California’s precipitation and water supply (typically in six to eight events per winter), and are largely responsible for the high year-to-year variability of California precipitation.  This variability is double or triple the variability in the rest of the U.S. and presents unique challenges for California water supply and flood control.   ... ”  Read more from Scripps Institution of Oceanography here: Legislation to Improve Understanding of Atmospheric Rivers Authorized by Governor

scwc logoState Water Resource Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus to Receive Leadership Award at Southern California Water Committee Annual Dinner:The Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) announced today it will present its prestigious Hon. Harriett Wieder Leadership Award to Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, at SCWC’s upcoming 31st Annual Dinner on October 29.  Under Marcus’ leadership, the State Water Resources Control Board is taking on unprecedented challenges as it works to balance the needs of people, businesses, farms and the environment during this relentless drought. With statewide water quality and supply issues under her purview, Marcus’ role is more crucial than ever and her leadership has shown through. She has led the charge for increased water conservation and got results—California has reduced water consumption by nearly 30 percent from June 2015 through August 2015.  “Ms. Marcus holds arguably the single most challenging position in California water and she has not shied away from making tough decisions,” said Charles Wilson, Chairman of SCWC’s Board of Trustees. “Her thoughtful approach to California’s most complex water issues is paired with the strength and sharp focus of a true leader.” … ”  Read more from the Southern California Water Committee here:  State Water Resource Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus to Receive Leadership Award at Southern California Water Committee Annual Dinner

 

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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