Keywords:Central Valley, Central Valley Project (CVP), Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, water project operations, water supply
The report focuses on the State Water Board’s responsibility to enforce water rights and to prevent unauthorized diversions of water in the state...
The report focuses on the State Water Board’s responsibility to enforce water rights and to prevent unauthorized diversions of water in the state of California.
Pursuant to the Water Code, the State Water Board is responsible for enforcing the terms and conditions of water right permits, licenses, and registrations, as well as investigating diversions of water. As addressed in the Strategic Workplan for Activities in the San Francisco Bay / Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, the State Water Board is directed to investigate illegal diversions and violations of permit and license conditions and take action when violations are occurring in the Bay-Delta Watershed.
The report discusses how the State Water Board began an investigation of illegal diversions of water, focusing on the Delta. For instance, the State Water Board has investigated two islands in the Delta to establish whether the landowners possessed any water rights. Most did, though some individuals were subject to more review, the majority of which concerned validating riparian claims for severed parcels.
The report notes that the State Water Board has also investigated diverters within an area of the southern Delta and resolved all cases resulting from that investigation. The report also discusses how the State Water Board has begun an investigation of water diverters, statewide, who have failed to file required reports, which include the annual reports for permit and license holders, and the supplemental statements.
Finally, the report suggests a new approach of looking at districts in the Delta who serve water to individuals, in addition to looking at compliance issues related to individual diverters.
Earthquakes and high water as hazards to Delta levees were reviewed in a seven-hour workshop organized by the Delta Independent Science Board and...
Earthquakes and high water as hazards to Delta levees were reviewed in a seven-hour workshop organized by the Delta Independent Science Board and held at the campus of the University of California, Davis.
Earthquake hazards in the Delta were described in terms of ground motions from Bay Area earthquakes, infrequent earthquake recurrence on faults beneath the Delta, and levee fills prone to earthquake-induced liquefaction. Large uncertainties attend all these seismic elements of levee hazard. Those uncertainties, according to presentations in the workshop, include whether the Delta ground motions previously computed for Bay Area earthquakes were too large. Hazards from high water were deemed greatest from the confluence of high river discharge, wind-driven surge and waves, and high tides. Major risk assessments have used available data on these hazards without mandates to advance the science.
Research needs and opportunities identified in the workshop include expanded observations of Delta ground motions, improved estimates of geologically recent displacement on faults beneath the Delta, further identification of liquefiable materials and mechanisms beneath levees, continued airborne measurements of land-level change, updated mapping of the contracting area of remaining peat, and fuller documentation of past levee failures. Recurring assessments of earthquake hazards and climate change provide precedents for periodic reappraisal of Delta levee risk.
The workshop brought together different parts of the diverse community of Delta levee specialists. Positive responses to the workshop suggest that it served levee specialists and outsiders alike.
San Francisco Bay enters most of our lives as an obstacle to pass over as quickly as traffic-choked bridges allow. Although this beats...
San Francisco Bay enters most of our lives as an obstacle to pass over as quickly as traffic-choked bridges allow. Although this beats earlier attitudes—when we saw the Bay mainly as a dumping ground, a dam site, or a pit to fill in and pave over—we remain largely oblivious to one of the most remarkable wild resources in urban North America. Beneath our wheels lies a world of interesting and outlandish life, with much that puzzles even the scientists who regularly plumb its depths.
Pursuant to numerous Board decisions (D-1485, D-1641, Order 2001-05), the Projects are required to release stored water to meet water quality standards in...
Pursuant to numerous Board decisions (D-1485, D-1641, Order 2001-05), the Projects are required to release stored water to meet water quality standards in the Delta (including flow and salinity standards) where natural flows are insufficient. The obligation was originally placed on the Projects as an interim measure pending future studies of how the obligation to meet water quality standards would be shared with other appropriators. In return for resolving Project protests on subsequent applications to appropriate water, Term 91 was developed and made a condition to permits issued after 1965. Term 91 prohibits diversions by these Permittees when natural and abandoned flows to the Delta are insufficient to meet the water quality standards and the Projects are supplementing such flows with previously stored water to meet the standards.
The purpose of this report is to explore the enhanced use and more vigorous enforcement of diversion curtailments as a means to achieve flow standards. This subject matter is relevant to the Delta even through the Projects are under a present and legal obligation to meet existing flows standards.