River Watch Header Image

Want Fish? Workshop on Instream Flows–AB 2121

Want Fish?

The State Water Resources Control Board next workshops on maintaining instream flows, draft policies for implementing AB2121 are here.

Do not let this SWRCB public workshop on minimum instream flow draft policies (AB2121) be dominated by a massive turnout by the Farm Bureau, large water sellers, and Real Estate developers, as in the last few workshops. SWRCB Board Members and staff need to hear from the rest of our communities: fisheries, environmental, water quality, good government, land use, greenbelt and open space, conscientious farmers and land stewards, hydrologists, groundwater, and taxpayers who want protection of our public trust resources for the next 10 generations.

*SWRCB workshop on AB2121 Instream Flow draft policies*

Tues 8/5, 1-5pm, Ukiah Valley Conf. Center Wed. 8/6, 1-5pm, Merlo Theater, Wells Fargo Center, Santa Rosa

The comment letters are available for viewing on the State Water NOTE: THE REGIONAL BOARD, CAG, PATRICK HIGGINS AND SONOMA COUNTY WATER COALITION HAVE GOOD Board’s website at:/ COMMENTS ON FILE

http://www.waterrights.ca.gov/HTML/instreamflow_nccs_publiccomment.html

.

Please tell them:- Talking Points Streams are in terrible shape – lower rainfall and unlawful diversion are the problem – the salmon fishery is on the ropes

Legal Framework (AB 2121 – State Water Code ) – puts responsibility on the State Water Board to solve the problem

The State Board must develop policy to support minimum by-pass flows to support fish survival

No new instream diversion should be permitted that would diminish adequate flows for fish survival

Existing illegal diversions and instream impoundments should be curtailed/removed

RECOMMENDATIONS – SHORT LIST

Apart from suggestions and discussion from above, the following summarized suggestions are made:

Proposed policy needs to be reworked to make it more understandable and enforceable

Adhering to the original Joint CDFG/NMFS Guidelines might simplify policy and related implications.

All origins of water use should be considered in Watershed Analysis and setting diversion limitations.

Watershed Analysis and condition setting for permits and license shall be consistent with all State Code (including CEQA, Water Code, and CDFG 1600 permitting) – this includes group actions.

All unauthorized onstream dams and storage facilities that block fish habitat shall be considered for removal on a prioritized basis.

Season of Diversion should be no greater than January through March.

Funding to support permitting and monitoring programs shall be developed through permit fee schedules.

A functional enforcement system shall be developed and employed.

Alan Levine