News Worth Noting, legal edition: Newhall case applies Prop 26 to wholesale water rates; State Water Board updates and readopts emergency regulation for Russian River tributaries; Journal article: The making of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Newhall Case Applies Proposition 26 to Wholesale Water Rates

From Nossamann LLP via JD Supra:

NossamanNewhall case applies “Plaintiff Newhall County Water District (“Newhall”), a retail water purveyor, challenged a wholesale water rate increase by Defendant Castaic Lake Water Agency (“Castaic”), a government entity that supplies imported water to four water retailers in the Santa Clarita Valley, including Newhall.  (Newhall, supra, 243 Cal.App.4th at p. 1433.)  Newhall argued, among other things, that Castaic’s rate increase violated Article XIII C of the California Constitution (i.e., Proposition 26).1   (Id. at p. 1440.)  The increased rates were based in substantial part on Newhall’s use of groundwater, which was not supplied by Castaic.  (Id. at p. 1433.)  The Court held that the rates violated Proposition 26 because the rates do not “bear a fair or reasonable relationship to Newhall’s burdens on, or benefits received from, [Castaic’s] activity.”   (Id. at pp. 1433-1434, Cal. Const., art. XIII C, § 1, subd. (e), final par.) … ”

Read more from JD Supra here: Newhall Case Applies Proposition 26 to Wholesale Water Rates

State Water Board Updates and Readopts Emergency Regulation Requiring Reporting of Water Diversion and Use Information in Russian River Tributaries

From Somach, Simmons & Dunn:

somach logo“At its March 1, 2016 board meeting, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a resolution to update and readopt a drought-related emergency regulation requiring landowners located within the four Russian River tributary watersheds of Dutch Bills Creek, Green Valley Creek, Mill Creek, and portions of Mark West Creek to report information regarding their water diversion and use.

According to the State Water Board, the ongoing nature and severity of the current drought increases the risk of extinction to juvenile Central California Coast coho salmon and California Central Coast steelhead. The four tributaries to the Russian River provide critical spawning and rearing habitat to the endangered and threatened fish. Although the fish can survive very dry periods, the pools in the upper reaches of these watersheds must have sufficient water to maintain adequate temperatures, stream connectivity, sufficient dissolved oxygen, and other water quality conditions for the fish to survive the hot summers. … ”

Read more from Somach, Simmons & Dunn here: State Water Board Updates and Readopts Emergency Regulation Requiring Reporting of Water Diversion and Use Information in Russian River Tributaries

Desperate Times Call for Sensible Measures: The Making of the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

By Tina Cannon Leahy:

Tina Cannon LeahyAbstract:

The story of how California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)—popularly pronounced as “Sigma”—is an example of how what occurs “overnight” can be a century in the making.

California is frequently the United States’ leader in sustainability and progressive regulation. Sections of the State’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act were models for the modern federal Clean Water Act. The federal Clean Air Act provided California a preemption waiver that not only allowed it to set its own automobile emissions standards but empowered other states to choose between the stricter California standard and the federal standard. With a market share of over 8% of the total United States population, the State’s 2003 ban on brominated flame-retardants was effectively a nationwide ban. And in 2006, California took legislative action on climate change while congressional leaders were still nattering about whether global warming was related to human activities. Nonetheless, California was the last State in the nation to adopt a statewide system for groundwater regulation.”

Click here to download the journal article from Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal here:  Desperate Times Call for Sensible Measures: The Making of the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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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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