This just in … State Water Board Dismisses Enforcement Actions Against Byron-Bethany and The West Side Irrigation Districts

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Board Action Sustains Authority to Enforce Water Rights System When Demand Exceeds Supply in Droughts From the State Water Resources Control Board: “Today the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted an order dismissing a pair of enforcement actions brought against two water districts alleged to have taken water not available due to drought conditions. The Order follows […]

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Panel discussion: “Fixing” California’s water rights system

Water rights panel

Panel of prominent attorneys discusses how the state’s water rights system performed in the drought and what changes, if any, should be made to the current system California’s recent drought and the State Water Board’s curtailments of water rights starting in 2014 has brought complaints about the state’s antiquated water rights system and alleged oversubscription of our surface water resources […]

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Justice Ronald B. Robie on California’s “New Normal”

CLWS Robie to audience

Justice Robie’s keynote address to law symposium focuses on California’s water rights system and the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Justice Ronald Robie began by noting the title of the conference, ‘The New Normal’, saying that he thought it an appropriate way of looking at where we are today. “I’ve been involved with these issues for a long […]

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Legal panel: You Mean Just Having a Water Right Isn’t Good Enough?

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How the ESA, Streambed Alteration Agreements, and the Clean Water Act Are All Curtailing the Exercise of Water Rights Recent court cases and regulatory changes have had major effects on the ability to for diverters to exercise their water rights, even those long-held.  At the ACWA 2015 Fall Conference held in December, a panel of lawyers discussed the issues, touching […]

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This just in … DWR and Reclamation submit joint petition for change in water right permits and licenses re: California Water Fix

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From the State Water Resources Control Board: On August 26, 2015, the California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation submitted a joint petition for change in water right permit and license conditions  for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project to add points of diversion of water on the Sacramento River associated with the California WaterFix […]

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This just in … Bryon Bethany Irrigation District pursues legal action to retain water rights for hundreds of local farmers, ranchers and families

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From the Byron Bethany Irrigation District: The Byron-­‐Bethany Irrigation District filed a lawsuit in Contra Costa County Superior Court today demanding that the “notice of curtailment” BBID received June 12, 2015 be rescinded immediately and seeks damages from the State for the devastating impacts of the State Water Resources Control Board’s order to cease diversions. The notice of curtailment, which […]

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This just in … Water curtailment update: Extended curtailments for Merced River, Upper San Joaquin; also City of San Francisco

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From the State Water Resources Control Board: With drought conditions continuing into the summer months, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) extended curtailments on the Merced River for senior water rights dating back to 1858; and all pre-1914 and post-1914 appropriative rights on the Upper San Joaquin River. The Upper San Joaquin River runs from upstream of […]

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The impact of new regulations on water rights in California

A view from Daou Vineyards at sunrise looking towards the valley in Paso Robles, Calif. on April 28th, 2015.

An overview of how new reporting requirements, frost protection regulations, water curtailments, and some pending litigation could affect water rights Earlier this year, the U.C. Davis Viticulture & Enology Department held a one-day seminar  on Changing Water Regulations and the Impact on Vineyard Management in California which touched on several topics of interest to small- and mid-sized growers. One of […]

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State Water Board orders all post-1914 water rights holders within the Sacramento River watershed and Delta to stop diverting until further notice

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From the State Water Resources Control Board: With California’s extreme drought resulting in insufficient water to serve all water-right holders, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that junior water-right holders in the Sacramento River watershed and Delta are receiving curtailment notices. The notices advise the recipients to stop diversions of water and allow it to […]

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Guest commentary: California Water Rights Law: 100 Years and Counting – and Concerned

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Written by John Kingsbury, Executive Director of the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association The long history of California is embattled with disputes over water diversions for export to other regions. The US Army ran out the Paiutes from the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra Nevada region that destroyed the Paiutes quality of life and largely destroyed the environment. The […]

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