Tit for tat

While the state and federal governments and water exporters question the legality of agricultural diversions within the Delta, Stockton environmentalist Bill Jennings is now questioning the legality of diversions by the state and federal governments and water exporters.

Jennings filed a complaint last week arguing that most of the water pumped south from the Delta is coming from the San Joaquin River system, not the Sacramento River.

The state Department of Water Resources doesn’t have any water for the State Water Project on the San Joaquin side.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation does, but that water is limited to the Stanislaus River and is supposed to serve only Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties, Jennings writes. It’s not supposed to be exported, he says.

Jennings says Delta farmers should get the water. He asks the State Water Resources Control Board to investigate.

“The last 70 years of California’s water wars must be read in the light of junior water right claimants seeking to break in line and disenfranchise those who hold senior riparian and appropriative water rights,” he wrote. “The reckless accusations by DWR, USBR, Westlands and the State Water Contractors are but the latest example in a long line of assaults on 150 years of water law and precedent.”

It will be interesting to see how the water board handles all of these complaints. Really interesting.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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