Public Trust Alliance News

November 7, 2010

Water Board Action on Stream Flows

Filed under: Instream Flows,Water — Mike Warburton @ 2:36 pm

If California is going to have rivers or streams, water must flow in the beds.  It can’t all be diverted for offstream use.  The timing, quantity and quality of stream flows is regulated for the public by the State Water Resources Control Board.  This week, public comments are due on the Board’s suggested priorities and budget for instream flow studies.  It is heartening to know the Board is taking this task seriously and that it recognizes that actual resources will be required to create and collect new information.  The problem is, it appears as if this new information may be seen as a sort of new baseline for undertaking a “new” task:  developing instream flow objectives.  What we really need to ensure is that the Board incorporates any new data with historical experience as it continues to protect an ecologically viable water resource system for future generations.  The Public Trust Alliance will emphasize how important it is to assemble flow data in historical context, with respect to a changing series of human diversions, some legal and some illegal.

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