CA Water Policy

Laissez-Faire Era: 1848 to 1860
beginning of gold rush: population boom.

–hydraulic mining to access gold in Sierra Nevada

–Irwin v Phillips: 1855: ruled in favor of prior approp “first in time, first in right”

–mining–debris/flood–1868: floods in Sacramento

–uncoordinated action
–summary: gold rush, uncoordinated and competitive from the start.

Local organization
–hydraulic mining was over
–lux v haggin establishes riparian priority.
–wright act set up irrigation districts and decentralized water projects, setting up our current
system of organization
–reclamation act: federal subsidies to irrigation projects
–setting up seniority of riparian rights, but still need reasonable use
Hydraulic Era: end of 1890s to 1970s (environmental era)
–modernization of water laws
–setting up foundation for our huge water system
–large regional, interregional, statewide projects
–motivated by increased agriculture, urban developments
–funded by state, federal, local
–projects: Hetch Hetchy, Central Valley Project, Boulder Canyon, Owen’s Valley
–water commission act: Established the Water Commission in 1913 to oversee water use permits for surface waters.
–reasonable use doctrine
–fish and game code
–flood management: which led to era 4 conflict
—-empire through technocracy, engineering, technocracy with local elite, concentraion of land ownership, rural v urban, lobbying
–LA aqueduct/Owens Valley
Era of Conflict
–environment as stakeholder
–shift focus from economic growth toward conservation and efficiency (ecosystem protection)
–Acts:
–national environmental policy act: 1969
–CA environmental quality act of 1970
–Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1973
–Audubon Society v Superior Court of CA: 1983: Mono Lake case: Doct of Public Trust
–Themes: Improvisation, poor systems of control giving way to catastrophe, in turn giving way to new, revised systems of control. water policy as reflection of the needs of the era, the time.
Pueblo Water rights
San Diego and Los Angeles exercise pueblo water rights. Pueblo water rights are water rights established under Mexican and Spanish law and are recognized in California. These rights grant a city (pueblo) access to freshwater flowing through the city and its underground aquifers with no restrictions regarding reasonable use. Pueblo water rights are what made Los Angeles possible: residents in an area can claim the water in that area.
Flood Control Act (1944)
signed by FDR to authorize Army Corps’ construction of Pine Flats Dam: purpose was flood control on Kings River. Because it was built by the Corps, no acreage limit and water went to massive growers: agribusiness. Gave the army corps the availability to make flood control reservoirs, but they could also use the dam for agriculture. Flood control requires empty reservoirs while agriculture requires full reservoirs.
Alabama Gates
-The Alabama Gates spillway on the Los Angeles aqueduct, is the site of the 1924 takeover by a group of valley ranchers who turned off the water to Los Angeles, temporarily releasing the flow back to the Owens River.
-demonstrates the tensions between owens valley individuals and LA
State Water Plan (1933)
Approved in 1933 by California State Legislature. Laid the groundwork for the CVP. Was proposed to combat drought in Central Valley and get water to agriculture in the Central Valley. Plan to convey water south from the Sacramento river to San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Also, plan included diverting water from the Kern River. Shasta Dam and Friant Dam are two a major projects included in State Water Plan: conveying water south from Sacramento River for primarily ag. in Southern California. Both Shasta and Friant dam were built by the Bureau of Reclamation. 70% of CVP water goes to ag. CVP operated by Bureau of Rec.
Peripheral Canal
Combat science
1. The selective development and presentation of facts and analysis primarily for the political or regulatory advantage of disadvantage of one stakeholder group or agency.
2. This demonstrates an agencies ability to present facts that may be true but may be misleading. By only presenting some information and hiding others the true story is not represented.
3. This was seen in our role-play where the Kern county farmers use science to their advantage. Also in the CH.2 reading– dust up of ammonium played a role in decline of delta smelt, but consultants were hired to help the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District with press releases and studies claiming that although they are the primary source of ammonium in the Delta, the ammonium poses no problem and the Delta’s problems are from downstream water exports. To counter this, a coalition of water contractors led by the MWD did a study and drew conclusions that suggested that ammonium was the cause of the decline of the delta smelt.
Gross and Net Water Use
1. Gross water use is the water delivered to a home, business or farm. Net water use is that part of gross water that is unavailable for reuse.
2. Net water(water that has been used) becomes saline and contaminated. Once this water is used it is generally not available for reuse within the watershed without prohibitive treatment cost.
3. Gross water is all of the water a house has available to them.
dual/hybrid system of water rights (California Doctrine)
1. California recognizes both forms of water rights. Riparians as a class generally have first claim to the native waters of the state’s rivers and streams. If there is water remaining after riparian demands are fulfilled, the appropriators may take the remaining water in order of their priority of appropriation.
2. Who has access/ priority to water? California limits the circumstances in which an appropriator on public land can defeat a riparian. Thus, in California, a riparian will prevail over an appropriator except in cases in which water rights were appropriated after the 1866 Act and before the riparian’s patent.
3. Lux v. Haggin (1886)– powerful riparian landowners v. equally powerful appropriator who urged the CA Supreme Court to abolish riparian rights. Riparian rights won– appropriative rights would continue but be inferior. Riparians- entitled to “the natural flow of the watercourse undiminished except by its reasonable consumption by upper riparian proprietors.” The court decided that water could be used for commercial and agricultural purposes as long as the use did not negatively affect other riparian landowners. This broadening of the “reasonable” use definition meant that riparian land owners could now use more water than previously allowed.
Burns-Porter Act (1960)
1. Funding for the SWP was authorized by the California Legislature in 1959 and approved by the
voters in 1960 through the Burns-Porter Act. The Burns-Porter Act expressly authorized the
State of California to enter into contracts for the sale, delivery, or use of water made available
by the State Water Resources Development System (California Water Code [CWC]
12937(b)(4)). In return for the State financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining facilities
needed to provide water service, the 29 public water agencies contractually agreed to repay all
associated SWP capital and operating costs including the $1.75 billion in bonds used to
construct the SWP facilities.
2. There was a North/ South difference in voting– South was for the SWP, North was against– didn’t want their water to be taken away. But the Burns-Porter Act was approved. There were regional battles in the MWD over support of the act.
Nat’l Audobon Society vs. Superior court/ Mono Lake Case (1983
1. This case highlights the conflict between the public trust doctrine (based on the principle that certain resources are too valuable to be privately owned and must remain available to public use) and appropriative water rights. The court held that the public trust doctrine restricts the amount of water that can be withdrawn from navigable waterways.The public trust doctrine was being violated- environmental damages to Mono Lake- significant water level declines due to water diversions by the LA DWP (Dept. of Water and Power).
2. This case shows a shift in values toward more protection of the environment. Doctrine of Public Good– recognized. Finally LA gave up some water– back to Mono Lake- for the environment/ public good.
Central Valley Project
1. Largest project of the Bureau of Reclamation. Conveyance of water from North > South. State Water Plan of 1933- devised in order to provide irrigation and municipal water to Central Valley. Many canals, aqueducts, and pump plants. Hydroelectric capacity of over 2,000 megawatts, provides recreation, and promotes flood control– 20 dams and reservoirs. Transformed the desert environment of the San Joaquin Valley into productive farmland. Resulted in disastrous environmental and historical consequences–salmon population decline, many natural river environments no longer exist, promoted high-water-demand irrigated industrial farming that in turn has polluted rivers and groundwater.
2. No one questions if it should be done or not– reveals the pervasive mindset of the Progressive Era. Allowed for growth in Central Valley– farmland.
San Luis Drain
Hydraulic Era
“The hydraulic society of the West…is increasingly a coercive monolithic, and hierarchical system, ruled by a power elite based on the ownership of capital and expertise”
Era ruled by the technocrats and elite who wanted to tame society through technology and knowledge
Land was owned by a few elites
Time of modernization of water laws
Characterized by large statewide projects (regional, interregional, & statewide)
Motivated by increased agriculture and big agribusiness as well as urban development
Projects funded by state federal, and local money
Big Projects
Hetch Hetchy, Central Valley Project, Boulder Canyon, Owen’s Valley
Other key terms
Water Commission Act, reasonable use doctrine, Fish & Game Code
Questions to think about
Who made the policies of the Hydraulic Era? What were their interests?
Contrast supply augmentation (dams, large projects) with water transfers & reallocation
How has the landscape changed as a result of the Hydraulic Era?
Turner’s Frontier Thesis
“The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.” – Turner
The West promotes individualistic democracy > no emphasis on societal rank
The presence and predominance of numerous cultural traits — “that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things… that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism” — could all be attributed to the influence of the frontier.
Connected with Manifest Destiny, Homestead Act
Explained why people went West, contributed to Western culture of individualism
Doctrine of Reasonable Use
Formalized in a 1928 CA Constitutional Amendment
Originally used to limit riparian rights to water
Precise definition of reasonable use is not legally spelled out, however, it is usually taken to mean
Water resources of the state shall be put to beneficial use to the full extent to which they are capable
Efficient use of water for beneficial purposes; the fight to use water shall be limited to such water as shall be reasonably required to the purposes served
The historical hierarchy has placed drinking water as a more reasonable use than agriculture/irrigation
Water rights are vested rights that are entitled to executive protection and police powers (powers of state to protect health and safety of the public)
This means that the doctrine of reasonable use can be viewed as a police power and used as such by the Federal government
However, there have been unintended consequences of the reasonable use doctrine
Increased use
Because people want to maintain their rights to water, they may use water when it’s not necessarily needed
Central Valley Reclamation Reform Act (1982)
Further defined and codified the acreage limitations set out in the 1902 Reclamation Reform Act
Raised acreage limitation on land irrigated with water supplied by the Bureau of Reclamation
Established and required full-cost rates for land receiving water above the acreage limit
Requires water users to file a form declaring their landholdings before they can receive Reclamation project water
Sig: Anyone who gets water from CVP projects must own only up to a certain amount of land
Mono Lake
In 1941, the LA Department of Water and POwer extended the Los Angeles Aqueduct system upriver into the Mono Basin. The aqueducts diverted the streams that had historically flowed into Mono Lake and the surface level of Mono Lake fell rapidly.
By 1976, Mono Lake had fallen 40 feet and salinity had increased to 3x that of the ocean. Would become an alkali wasteland if trend continued.
Decimated the natural bird and fish populations
Mono Lake Committee formed in 1978, studied, reported on, and educated CA about the damages done to Mono Lake
National Audubon Society v. Superior Court
Protected Mono Lake through state public trust laws. Court decided that drying out the Lake and streams was not in the public interest. So CA must return water to Mono Lake.
Now the surface levels are rising and alkalinity is decreasing
Significance
Started water conservation schemes in California
Led to the changing and falling apart of Mulholland’s machine
A turning point in CA water history
Central Valley
Large, flat valley in central CA. 450 miles, 13.7% of CA land
Northern half = Sacramento Valley, Southern half = San Joaquin Valley
Meet at the Delta
6.5 million people live in the Central Valley, fastest growing region in CA
Water imbalance between North and South
North (Sacramento Valley): 20 in annually
South (San Joaquin Valley): Very dry
Significant to everything we’ve studied
Kesterson Wildlife Refuge
Wildlife Refuge and Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley
Built 1968-1971 because rising levels of groundwater (due to increased irrigation) were harming crops. Put the extra water into 12 evaporation ponds.
Received saline drain water that was also contaminated with selenium.
Increased saline and selenium (from agr. runoff) led to massive die-offs and deformities of wildlife, algal blooms, and disappearance of waterfowl
Ponds were covered, but no one knows how to deal with the problem of drainage
Take farmland out of production? Could be env and economically harmful
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul/08/local/me-kesterson8
Manifest Destiny
Progressive era values/mindset
Doctrine of Public Trust
Water Conservation Agreement between MWD and IID (1989)
Water “transfer” (they don’t call it that) between the MWD and the IID
MWD gives $ to IID for conservation of water and the conserved water is used by the MWD
Owens Lake
Sacramento River
John Muir
supply augmentation vs. reallocation
water ranches
agricultural lands purchased solely for their water rights
an example of water as an investment strategy
navigable waters
The Commerce Clause in the Constitution grants the federal government jurisdiction over navigable waters.
Navigable waters remain subject to public use and access for uses such as boating, bathing, fishing, hunting, and recreational and aesthetic interests
Private activity cannot interfere with the overriding public interest
Doctrine was applied to the Sacramento River
Central Valley Project Improvement Act (1992)
1992, signed by Bush
Goals:
Address fish/ wildlife and environmental issues
Double anadromous fish pop
Set aside 800,000 acre feet a year for CVP water for fish and wildlife
Important note- it allowed water transfers outside of CVP contractors
San Fernando Valley
Area just north of LA
Was initially filled with small towns and orchards
Owens Valley Aqueduct terminates here in what was initially called Owensmouth
In order to have access to the water provided by the aqueduct, the San Fernando Valley needed to be annexed into LA
Much of the area was annexed in the 1920s in order to be a part of the municipal water system
San Joaquin River
A major river flowing south from the Delta to the Fresno area
was used greatly to supply irrigation to local farmers
the Friant Dam was built on the river in 1937
there is very little water left below the dam
The Friant-Kern Canal carries San Joaquin River water to the Tulare Basin
James Garfield
became Secretary of the Interior in 1906
was lobbied by opposing parties (Sierra Club, city officials) regarding Hetch Hetchy
in 1908 he approves San Francisco’s application to develop the Hetch Hetchy reservoir
Water transfers
Definition: A water transfer is a reallocation of water among water users. Water transfers usually involve a transfer of water , and NOT a transfer of water rights and never water ownership (CA taxpayers own the water). It is usually done at the permit holder level. Water transfers are difficult because existing water institutions want to protect their existing use. Also, there are few concrete laws providing guidance on how to perform a water transfers.
Significance: Logically, water transfers make a lot of sense because water rights in California do not always take into account logistics and efficiency. Other concerns: litigation if the transfers are done incorrectly and effects on 3rd parties.
Examples: A place where water transfers are easy + work well: Within the Central Valley Project CVP. Currently, in the service area of the CVP, one CVP contractor can transfer water to another CVP contractor within the service area without securing the approval of the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) for a 1 year period.
Difficult water transfer: Transfers between CVP users and outside of the CVP service area. Hypothetically, this would probably involve a transfer between an agricultural user and an urban municipality. Logically, these transfers make sense but do not happen because of fear of litigation, and concerns for third party effects.
Other thoughts: Riparian rights are rarely transferred because they are connected to the land that they’re attached to.
Appropriative rights are difficult to transfer because the ownership and quantity of the rights are subject to dispute.
State Water Project SWP has not really established a routine for water transfers. There is 1 long tern (50+ yrs) exchange agreement that permit districts remote from the SWP aqueduct receive other water in exchange for their SWP entitlement. The lack of transfers is attributed to uncertainty surrounding the rules, processes, and policies governing water transfers in California.
Third Party Effects
Definition: Third party effects are usually within a water transfer. The water transfer occurs between two parties (giver+receiver), though a third party will usually feel the effects of the transfer. The affected third party may sue over changes in their water access.
Significance: Third party effects prevent a lot of water transfers from happening
Irwin v. Phillips (1855)
Definition: Irwin is a California miner who has diverted a stream from its natural course to his mine. Phillips is a downstream miner who now lacks sufficient water for his mine, so he tries to divert some of the water from Irwin’s course to the natural course to better his mine.
Irwin won the suit initially because Phillips was trespassing on his property (the canal he built to divert the water, not the land/water itself), but the case went to the CA Supreme Court over the question: Did the common law of England + Eastern US (riparian rights) apply to California? If yes, then Irwin didn’t have the right to divert the water (belongs to the US government)(Philips’ argument), but Irwin argued a new law was being used in California water (appropriative rights). Irwin argued the new law being used allowed the first user to find the water the right to use as much of it as he needed. The CA Supreme Court sided with Irwin, saying appropriative rights (first in time, first in right) was a legitimate, and he could use that water for his mine, establishing appropriative rights in CA water policy.
Significance: Key example of rules of western water rights and legitimizing appropriative rights.
XXXX NOT ON MIDTERM XXXXX Monterey Agreement (1994)
Definition: An agreement made between six water agencies and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to restructure California’s water market and the State Water Project. The goal was to restructure long-term contracts between the local water contractors receiving water from the SWP. The legality of the Monterey Agreement was questioned as it was seem as a betrayal to representative democracy (decisions should be made by the people not the DWR). There was fear private contractors would gain from the public’s water. n attempt to bypass citizen input
Hetch Hetchy
Definition: a reservoir created by a dam in the Hetch Hetchy valley in Yosemite National Park. John Muir battled and lost to Woodrow Wilson/federal government to keep the water/land natural. The reservoir is owned by the city and county of San Francisco, to supply drinking water to San Francisco. The water is transported by the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct. It creates a lot of hydroelectric power.
Significance: Significant for John Muir and the Sierra Club battling for the environment (1910’s/1920’s) early for environmental fight.
Shasta Dam
Definition: Dam built in Northern California on the Sacramento River. It was built as part of the Central Valley Project, and was built to help with flood control/droughts for the central valley, being important because of all of the agriculture. The Bureau of Reclamation helped the state of CA complete the project.
William Mulholland
Definition: Self-taught water planner from Los Angeles who headed the Department of Water and Power in LA. He wanted the city of LA to have its own water instead of being entirely dependent on state water (municipalization). Friends with Fred Eaton (mayor of LA). Mulholland had grand vision of LA growing and wanted water from the Owens River to do so. Through some questionable transactions, Mulholland and Eaton acquire enough land in Owens Valley to block the Bureau of Reclamation’s plans with the water, and convinced the LA taxpayer to finance the project using propaganda. Mulholland builds the LA aqueduct and it is seen as a success (though at the time LA didn’t really need the water). He builds the St. Francis dam, the storage reservoir for the LA aqueduct, and though warned it might have structural issues, he insists it’s fine. The dam breaks and 600 are killed. Mulholland retires from the LA Dept. of Water and Power in disgrace.
Significance: Mulholland’s ideas about a growing Los Angeles and it’s never-ending need for water outlive him. He saw water not being used for agriculture or urban use as wasted water. He started the idea of public ownership. He had plans to get water from the Colorado River to LA, and was part of the formation of the Metropolitan Water District.
Technical Compliance
While the Imperial Irrigation District was still a public body open to the electoral process, it had succeeded in insulating its processes from democratic participation by any dissident groups. Scientific language made all the IID’s decisions seem “utterly rational.” The result was an unopposed rule by technocracy. The beneficiaries of technocratic rule were men who had property. Left out were the poor and landless farmworkers.
Agribusiness
In agriculture, agribusiness is a generic term for the various businesses involved in food production, including farming and contract farming, seed supply, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesale and distribution, processing, marketing, and retail sales. Basically, agriculture as a business.
– Also synonymous with corporate farming– large scale, industrialized food production.
– Contrasts with smaller family-owned farms
– Have always been the dominant force influencing CA water policy
Homestead Act
The Homestead Act was a US Federal law that gave an applicant, a “homesteader,” ownership of a piece of undeveloped farmland at virtually no cost. The Homestead Act gave people incentive to move West of the Mississippi River. Original intentions were to motivate people to settle and farm these lands, but the Homestead Act was often used by individuals scheming to acquire water resources, rather than use the land for agricultural purposes.
Metropolitan Water District
The MWD is the major water supplier of the urban and industrial areas in the southern coastal area of California. Serves over 16 million people, and imports most of its water from the Colorado River and the SWP. The MWD is concerned with the quality of the water it receives from the State Water Project.
Tolumne River
A California river that flows from the central Sierra Nevada to the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley. Much of the water diverted from Tuolumne River serves the city of San Francisco. The damming and diversion of the Tuolumne was part of the SF Bay area’s effort to keep up with Los Angeles’ water-driven growth. SF has been importing water from the Tuolumne River since 1923. San Francisco especially wanted the Tuolumne over other rivers because it was free of established water rights claims and would be the cheapest to acquire.
Damming the Tuolumne River meant flooding Hetch Hetchy Valley inside Yosemite National Park, but the project was still approved by Secretary of Interior, James R. Garfield, in 1908.
Delta Mendota Canal
Aqueduct in central California, part of the CVP. Its purpose is to replace water in the San Joaquin River that is diverted at the Friant Dam. It is operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority, who are responsible for maintaining the quality of water that is discharged from the south end of the canal.
Fred Eaton
a key figure in the municipalization campaign for the Owens Valley Water Project. He wanted water for LA. He was elected the mayor of LA in 1898, and he is responsible for the creation of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP). Eaton was interested in personally profiting from the Owens Valley project.
Acreage limits
Limits farms receiving water from federally funded water projects to 160 acres
Reclamation Act of 1902 begins acreage limitations
Technical compliance allowed the Bureau to sidestep this limitation — husbands, wives, and other family members could each own 160 acres of land but be part of the same farm — projects funded by the Bureau can still support agribusiness
Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 retains acreage limitation for Colorado River water going to the Imperial Valley
Central Valley Project also subject to acreage limits
Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 increases acreage limit to 960
Agribusiness support from Reform Act is supplemented with larger limits and technical compliance still being used
Irrigation districts
The Wright Act of 1887 authorized the formation of irrigation districts with the power to acquire water rights, to construct water projects, and to sell bonds and impose proper assessments to support water development
Sparked a dramatic increase in agricultural production
Decentralized system
Water becomes more of a private entity than a public resource
Era of Local Organization
Created to help with water guarantees to specific areas covered by the districts
Imperial Irrigation District — agribusiness support, All-American canal from the Colorado River
Mining Act (1866)
Appropriative rights observed in California
Began during the Gold Rush and miners staking claim to minerals based on “first in time, first in right”
Transferred to water rights because mineral lands and water use occurred at the same places
Laissez-Faire era
Beginning of large-scale water diversion
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Reclamation is part of DOI
Management and conservation of natural resources
Water resource management
Diversion, delivery, and storage of water
Secretary of the Interior administers Department
Central Valley Project, Hoover Dam, and All-American Canal funded and operated by BOR and DOI
Imperial Valley
Westward movement and commanding the desert
Imperial Irrigation District and Bureau of Reclamation partnership to control Colorado River
Large agribusiness farming area
Water supplied by Colorado River and All-American Canal
Fertile land with no water becomes agricultural empire
Receives majority share of Colorado River water (2.6 million acre-feet)
Creation of the Salton Sea from Colorado River diversions
Environmental problems with Salton Sea and agricultural runoff
Hoover Dam water storage for Imperial Valley — Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928
Acreage limits and technical compliance are major features of the agribusiness supported by Bureau water projects
98% of Colorado River water that goes to the Imperial Valley is for irrigation
MWD-IID water transfer — transfers water from agriculture use to urban use
Friant Dam
Concrete dam on San Joaquin River in the Central Valley
Built between 1937 and 1942 by the Bureau of Reclamation
Water storage for irrigation to San Joaquin Valley
Forms Millerton Lake
Diversion point for the Friant-Kern and Madera canals that move water to Kern County and Madera County
Farmers who receive water from the Friant Dam system produce nearly $2 million worth of crops
With canal diversions, water from Friant Dam irrigates nearly 900,000 acres of farmland
Hydropower generation
Major reduction in the Chinook Salmon run due to diversions and water impounding
Joseph Lippincott
Owens Valley water and Los Angeles Aqueduct
Chief of the South Western Region for the Reclamation Service (Bureau of Reclamation)
Private consultant to the City of Los Anegeles
Major player in Bureau’s project proposal for Owens Valley water
Helped Fred Eaton acquire land and water rights for Owens Valley water and aqueduct location
Convinced Bureau/Reclamation Service to abandon federal dam project in favor of Los Angeles plan
Believed in the greatest good for the City of Los Angeles
Against agriculture priority on Owens Valley water — supported urban growth of Los Angeles
Helped secure aqueduct right-of-way rights for Owens Valley project
technocrat-capitalist alliance
1. Progressive era values and the rise of technocracy in the government.
2. Allowed water management to shift from local management to large scale management governed by the gospel of efficiency and technical hierarchy.
Major Players – Army Corps and Bureau of reclamation. Management through expertise and engineering, technology. Productivity and extracting it from the land. Organized in hierarchical ways. All for the idea of direct provision of government services.
3.Example: Imperial Irrigation District-

– Paid $3 million to buy back rights from Harriman but the agency was quickly overrun with big business interested board members.

– Modeled itself into a private, corporate entity that produced water.

– They saw weakness in a democracy of water users and thought to keep the board and authority out of “popular pressures.” It acquired a business/manager mentality, uninfluenced by local needs and individual users. Promoting the ideal of technical authority.

– These businessmen ran with the idea of a centralized water management and expanded it into the idea of centralized corporate control over agriculture.

– Technicians of water control and agribusiness had jointly taken control of the valley and its resources.
-Used language of scientific management to establish a sense of authority over people who would question their methods.

Lux v. Haggin (1866)
1. Came as a result of conflict over the Tulare basin where powerful riparian landowners went against a powerful appropriator who was trying to abolish riparian rights. Recognizes the right of downstream riparians to water.
2. By a vote of 4 to 3 the court ruled in favor of the riparians. Downstream riparians could claim the full, unencumbered flow of the rivers despite the burdens such claims would place on upstream appropriators. It also decided that disputes between riparians would thereafter be settled on the basis of reasonable use. Lux v. Haggin became an obstacle to developing water supplies for California’s growing cities.
Bureau of Reclamation
Salton Sea
In 1905 while clearing out silt build up,more than 90% of the flow moved into the northward opening and then settled into the Salton Sink 227ft below sea level. It took two years to plug the leak in 1907.
Friant-Kern Canal
Carries San Joaquin River water to the Tulare Basin
Mary Austin
1. Influential American writer who wrote about the High Sierras and Mojave desert of California.
2. Mark Watterson wrote to her to request that she could express her views about the Owens Valley in order to gain publicity to fight back against the city of L.A. “publicity…the only thing the City of Los Angeles seems to fear.”
Pork barrel politics
Public Domain Lands
Desert Lands Act (1877)
A federal incentive program to promote development that gave desert lands to settlers; in return, the settlers were required to irrigate the land. Their water use fell under appropriative rights because of a lack of local water sources
Army Corps of Engineers
Colorado River
Tulare Lake
The Corp dried up Tulare Lake (it used to be the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi R and an important habitat for many species) through diversions for agriculture, and upstream damming projects to prevent flooding. Located in the Central Valley, the basin where the lake used to be is now used for agriculture.
Teddy Roosevelt
Competing Agencies
Historical Competing Agencies: Owens Valley Irrigation District vs. MWD: Residents in the Owens Valley formed the irrigation district to collectively bargain with LA over land sales and water rights.
As an overarching concept, agencies in the Santa Ana watershed, and other urban watersheds, compete over water rights instead of working together to conserve the maximum amount of water. For example, in the Santa Ana watershed, there are 28 retail water districts, 34 city retail water providers, and 17 retail water companies. As Beehler said, the bureaucracy is unnecessary and self-perpetuating.
Competing Agencies, which can become third parties during a water transfer, make transfers complicated. In the case of the transfer of IID water to the MWD, Palo Verde and Coachella irrigation districts needed insurance that none of their allocated water would be unavailable during drought years. As such, they agreed to monitor the MWD to make sure they only took conserved water.
Conflicting goals
Big Three: Environmental Goals vs. Agricultural Goals vs. Urban Goals.
Wright Act (1887)
March 7, 1887 – Permitted Farming Regions to form and bond irrigation districts which allowed small farm owners to bond together, pool resources, and get water to necessary places.
Because of the Wright act, irrigation districts had the power “to acquire water rights, to construct water projects, and to sell bonds and impose property assessments to support water development

and distribution” (Pisani 1984).

Some successful irrigation districts: San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin—the Turlock, Modesto, and Tulare Irrigation Districts—which financed and built the first significant-scale dams and canal systems to store and distribute water on a regional basis. These districts, along with several important private companies, such as the Fresno Canal and Land Company, sparked a dramatic increase in agricultural production.
Many of the first irrigation districts failed (including six of the seven established in the Sacramento Valley), but by the early 20th century, irrigation districts were successfully established around the state, including the Glenn-Colusa and Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation Districts in the Sacramento Valley, the El Dorado and Nevada Irrigation Districts in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Merced and Fresno Irrigation Districts in the San Joaquin Valley, and the Imperial Irrigation District along the Mexican border (Pisani 1984).

State Water Resources Control Board
One of five branches of the CA environmental protection agency.
Established by the Dickey Water Pollution act of 1949.
Balances the water needs of the state, oversees the allocation of water for essentially everything in the state of California.
The SWRCB has regulatory authority for protecting the water quality of lakes, rivers, bays, estuaries, streams and coastlines.
Provides financial assistance for local water treatment and management.
The significance of the SWRCB is as a mediator and regulator of all water issues, with the quality and quantity of water delivered to all users in mind.
Each section receives 7.5 million acre-feet each, with a 1,100,000 acre foot surplus allotted (when available) to the lower basin.
Upper basin states: WY, UT, CO, NM
Lower basin states: CA, AZ, NV
The Colorado River Compact does not allocate water within basins.
Arizona originally opposed the compact and didn’t ratify until 1944.
Department of the Interior deemed water allocator by Supreme Court in Arizona vs. California (1963).
By 1960 CA was taking 5.36 million acre feet, demanded by the DOI to reduce usage to 4.4 million acre feet.
Pine Flat Dam
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fearing agricultural degradation in CA’s central valley, he allocated $20 million in relief funds for the BOR to salvage the situation. This move was a precursor to the CVP, which was authorized two years later after the passing of the Rivers and Harbors act.
Made the way for bureaucracy in water managment
key stakeholders in water politics )urban users, agriculture, environment)
Urban users
rely upon water for indoor and outdoor use
average family of four uses 400 gallons/day
Have always had a tense relationship with ag users because irrigation projects do bring water to urban users, but ag uses much more water
MWD – very powerful urban water district
Owen’s Valley
SF – gets water from the Hetch-Hetchy canal
Ag
State’s largest water user
Benefit from the construction and maintenance of CA water projects
only ~5% of state economy however have strong lobby so political clout is much more than 5%
Ag areas in CA are some of the most productive in the world
Environment
a more recent player
first became prioritized in the 70’s with the environmental quality act of 1970
Next big step was the failure to pass a bond measure for the Peripheral Canal in 1981
Some arbitrary measures have been made to protect the environment as a stakeholder however usually it is not prioritized
Flood control
irrigation projects are considered in part flood control
use lined rivers and dams to control flooding potential
? of levees in the delta area are not up to federal standards
most of central valley is in a flood plain
Reclamation Act (1902)
Set aside money from the sale of semi-arid public lands for the construction and maintenance of irrigation projects in the West.
Created the United State Reclamation Service, a part of the Department of the Interior
in 1907 was renamed the United States Bureau of Reclamation
Basically made all large scale irrigation projects (dams, canals, etc.) possible
gave the federal government jurisdiction to do these projects
60% of irrigable land in CA exceeded the federal ag. limit
Technical compliance
Imperial Irrigation District
Formed in 1911
Provides water and power to the area
Largest agriculture district in California
Fertile soil, but no water
50% of CO river water allotted to CA goes to the IID
Gets water from All American Canal
Irrigation district in the Imperial Valley, Coachella Valley ID and Palo Verde ID are also located nearby
Beginning in the 1960’s there was mounting political and economic pressure to reform water use
IID has been sued by landowners for damage caused by flooding and ag run-off
1980 – lawsuit triggers judicial orders requiring more water conservation in the IID
1984: State Water Resources Control Board: IID’s water use is unreasonable
1989: Water Conservation Agreement: Water “transfer” (they don’t call it that) between the MWD and the IID
MWD gives $ to IID for conservation of water and the conserved water is used by the MWD
Boulder Canyon Project
Boulder Canyon Project act was signed in 1928 – allocated 165 million for the All American Canal, Hoover Dam, and the Imperial Dam
Supported by CA because it allowed water to be diverted from the Colorado River
Arthur Davis, Director of Reclamation Services in the Southwest (Responsible for the Colorado River area). significant policy b/c it allowed irrigation of the Imperial Valley. More significant for Urban SoCal because it allowed developers to grow cities at a fast rate. the Army Corps of engineers opposed the Boulder Canyon Project because they had plans to construct levees downriver for flood control.
Kings River
Runs through the Central Valley
Terminates in Tulare Lake (which is now dried up)
Pine flat dam built on it by Army Corps of Engineers
Harold Ickes
United States Secretary of the Interior 1933-1946 (New Deal Era)
Director of Public Works Administration
Implemented FDR’s New Deal
When AZ sent national guard to try to stop construction of Parker Dam, Ickes called them off
Water supply
water quality
Water Commission Act (1914)
Hydraulic Era act created a comprehensive system for regulating water rights
Created State Water Commission with the power to issue permits and licenses to govern the exercise of water rights
Focus on appropriative rights (Pueblo rights, riparian rights, and groundwater rights all exempt)
Surface water appropriations initiated after 1914 must be authorized by a water permit or license
Water rights are now handled by the State Water Resources Control Board
Water Commission Act laid the foundation for modern regulation of water rights and use and governmental oversight of water allocation
Department of Water Resources
Created as a result of the California Water Plan in 1956
Two principle functions: statewide water planning and developing and managing the State Water Project
DWR pumps water to the Central Valley and southern California via the California aqueduct
Hoover Dam
Colorado River Compact of 1922: Six of the seven Colorado Basin States (not Arizona) approve compact which identified upper and lower basins and introduced Hoover Dam to be constructed by Bureau of Reclamation
Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928: authorized Hoover Dam and All-American Canal to divert water to Southern California
Metropolitan Water District purchased power generated from dam to help justify costly project
Hoover Dam completed in 1941 and created Lake Mead (reservoir)
Colorado River water passes through Hoover Dam and is either diverted to the Metropolitan Water District via the Colorado River Aqueduct or to the Imperial Irrigation District via the All-American Canal
State Water Project
Statewide project managed by the California Department of Water Resources
Major funding for project was approved by 1960 statewide bond act (Burns Porter Act) led by Governor Pat Brown for $1.75 billion, the largest bond ever considered by a state at that time
Provides water for 25 million Californians and 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland via 444-mile California Aqueduct
70% of water goes to urban users and 30% goes to agricultural users (Metropolitan Water District is largest urban user and Kern County Water Agency is largest agricultural user)
Contracts specify average annual water delivery of 4.2 million acre feet of water
Transports water from Lake Oroville (largest earthwork dam in Western hemisphere), through the San Joaquin Delta, over the Tehachapi Mountains, all the way to Lake Perris, with many offshoots along the way
Massive amount of infrastructure: 34 storage facilities,reservoirs and lakes; 20 pumping plants; 3 pumping-generating plants; 5 hydroelectric power plants; and 700 miles of canals and pipelines
29 water agencies have long-term contracts with the SWP
No acreage limit for water allocation and diversion of SWP water
SWP is the largest user of electric power in the state
Governor Ed Brown
Former governor Edmund “Pat” Brown helped establish State Water Project without acreage limit
Influential in 1960 Burns-Porter Act ($1.75 billion bond act which provided funding for State Water Project infrastructure)
Lied to voters about real cost of aqueduct – actual cost was $4 billion
Great personal interest in establishing water infrastructure in California – California Aqueduct is officially called Governor Edmund G. Brown California Aqueduct
Governor Brown was very adamant about expansion, but he later acknowledged that population could have been limited by restricting water
“Today, of course, the environment – the quality of life – is very important. At that time, I was primarily dealing with the quantity of life” (1981 quote)
Son Jerry Brown is current governor
Groundwater overdraft/mining
1. When more water is pumped out of basins than is replenished over many years; this is known as overdraft. Chronic overdraft essentially groundwater mining-could be as high as 2 maf/year on average state wide. Much of this overdraft occurs from agricultural uses in the Tulare Basin. Groundwater supply is not managed by one agency. Lack of holistic manegment.
2. In the Central Coast, the Salinas Basin also suffers from chronic groundwater overdraft largely from agricultural pumping. Although groundwater mining can help meet demands during droughts it is an ultimately unsustainable water source. Groundwater overdraft and unregulated pumping is a source of growing conflict among water users in many parts of the state, with repercussions including higher costs of pumping, aquifer damage from saltwater intrusion, reduced groundwater availability during droughts , etc.
Developed water
Colorado River Compact (1922)
1. Divided the waters of the Colorado River equally between the upper and lowers basins. Each basin would be entitled to 7.5 million acre feet annually. There was a surplus in the lower basin states.
2. This led to the conflict of how much water that California should get. Other states were concerned about CA acquisition of water rights to river. CA is limited to 4.4, no more that half of any surplus water.
Kern County Water Agency
1. Kern county water agency is a distinct type of special district that overlies all of Kern county but whose member districts, are only those with entitlements to state water. The Kern County Water agency was formed for the purpose of contracting with state of California for water from the SWP and has access to the entire tax base of Kern County in financing its operations. Its primary function is to sell water from the SWP to member districts. Together, the individual member districts and the Kern County Water Agency determine the allocation of all water imported to Kern County via the SWP

2. Over the years, the Agency has experienced extreme variations in water supply on both local and statewide fronts due to drought conditions, increasing environmental regulations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and ever-expanding demands on the state’s water system

All-American Canal
1. In 1919 the imperial irrigation district began lobbying congress fro authorize the construction of The all American canal, a canal that would stay north of the border. The Boulder Valley Project authorized the construction of this project.
2. Before this American farmers were forced to share half of their diverted water with Mexico.
California Aqueduct
Uneven development
Winter run salmon
California Constitutional Amendment (1928)
LA Owens River Aqueduct
Colorado River Aqueduct
Oroville Dam
Delta Smelt
The Delta Smelt, a species of fish, has become endangered and listed as such under the Endagered Species Act. The Delta Smelt is a fish unique to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, and because of its listing under the ESA, there have been changes in water policy to protect them.
Appropriative rights
Rights to water that are not adjacent to the appropriators land. Appropriative rights are usufructary- meaning the water must be put to beneficial use in order to be used. Associated court cases- Lux V Haggin (1888)-Subsequent appropritations cannot injure pre-existing riparian rights. Appropriators have senior rights if they exist before the purchase of the riparian property.
Crandall V Woods (1857)Riparian rights always subject to pre existing appropriative right. prior riparian rights trump subsequent appropriations. Subsequent appropriations cannot injure pre-existing riparian rights. A riparian owner, even if he has not used the water he is entitled to, cannot be defeated by an appropriator who started using the water after the settler claimed the land.
Boulder Canyon Project Act (1928)
passed in 1928 by congress, appropriated $ for the Hoover Dam and the All American Canal.
Owens Valley Project
In the early 20th century, the valley became the scene of a struggle between local residents and the city of Los Angeles over water rights. William Mulholland, superintendent of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) planned the 223 miles (359 km) Los Angeles Aqueduct, completed in 1913, which diverted water from the Owens River. Much of the water rights were acquired through subterfuge, with purchases splitting water cooperatives and pitting neighbors against each other. The purchases led to anger among local farmers, which erupted in violence in 1924, when parts of the water system were sabotaged by local farmers. Owens Valley the farmers who were steadfast the longest during the Owens Valley Transfers were able to sell their land for even higher prices than the average farmer received due to Los Angeles’ willingness to settle. As a result of these acquisitions, the lake subsequently dried up completely, leaving the present alkali flat which plagues the southern valley with alkali dust storms.
In 1970, LADWP completed a second aqueduct from Owens Valley. More surface water was diverted and groundwater was pumped to feed the aqueduct. Owens Valley springs and seeps dried and disappeared, and groundwater-dependent vegetation began to die. Years of litigation followed. Finally in 2008 LA rewatered the lower Owen’s River Valley.
Parker Dam
is a concrete arch-gravity dam that crosses the Colorado River 155 miles (249 km) downstream of Hoover Dam. Built between 1934 and 1938 by the Bureau of Reclamation, it is 320 feet (98 m) high, 235 feet (72 m) of which are below the riverbed, making it “the deepest dam in the world”. The dam’s primary functions are to create a reservoir, and to generate hydroelectric power. The dam straddles the border between California and Arizona. The reservoir behind the dam is called Lake Havasu and can store 647,000 acre·ft (798,000,000 m3) or over 210 billion US gallons.
Controversy- Construction of the dam was a contentious issue for Arizona. Built as part of the larger Colorado River Compact of 1922, Arizona was not pleased with the plan in general and refused to sign it until 1944. Even then Arizona continued to dispute its water allotments until a 1963 Supreme Court decision settled the issue. The court has had to adjust the agreement several times since, most recently in 2000. As recently as 2008 Arizona Senator John McCain has called for a renegotiation of the plan.[4]
In 1935, when Arizona Governor Benjamin Baker Moeur sent 6 members of the Arizona National Guard to observe the dam’s construction, they reported back that there was construction activity on the Arizona side of the river. Arizona Attorney General Arthur La Prade concluded that the Metropolitan Water District had no right to build on Arizona’s territory, which prompted Governor Moeur to send a larger National Guard force to halt construction. The troops were recalled when Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes halted construction until the issue had been settled.[5]
The Department of the Interior took Arizona to court over the issue hoping to end the state’s interference. To the Department of the Interior’s shock, the Supreme Court sided with Arizona and dismissed the injunction. The court concluded that the dam had never been directly approved by Congress and that California was not entitled to build on Arizona’s land without Arizona’s consent.[6] Arizona eventually agreed to allow the dam in exchange for approval of the Gila River irrigation project.
Tehachapi Pass
(elevation about 4,000 feet (1,219 m)) is a mountain pass crossing the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, California in theUnited States. The route connects the San Joaquin Valley to the Mojave Desert. The area east and south of the pass is home to the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm, one of California’s larger wind farms.
riparian rights
Riparian rights come from english common law heritage in which land owners adjacent to a body of water have rights to withdraw from the waterway. Today, such rights require permits administered from overseeing agencies (ex:State Water Resources Control Board). However, this was first subject to the “natural flow” of the watercourse in which each riparian owner was entitled to undiminished water in quality or quantity. Because of this impracticality, this was replaced by the doctrine of “reasonable use” to all other riparian users in 1928, although the amount of water allowed to be withdrawn was not originally quantified. In 1979 however this was reinterpreted to also limit the riparian user to a certain quantity for the future. Because Riparian rights come with land, such rights to water do not need to be exercised in order to be kept, thus leading to inefficiency, which was another reason for the reasonable use doctrine. Even with the reasonable use doctrine, there are no historical standards for reasonable use or irrigation measures so it is hard to determine. In times of drought, all riparians must reduce usage in proportion to their rights. Riparian right holders also have priority over appropriative water users.
Senior vs. Junior rights
Under the prior appropriation doctrine, water rights are “first in time, first in right”. That is, the older, or senior, water right may operate to the exclusion of junior water rights. The concept of “priority date” is significant. The priority date is generally associated with the date that water was first put to beneficial use, or the date that a successful application for a water right was submitted, and indicates the relative status of seniority among competing users. Older rights are senior. More recent rights are junior. In the case Lux vs Higgins (1886)- prior riparian rights trump subsequent appropriations, subsequent appropriations cannot injure pre-existing riparians. In times of shortage, senior holders (usually upstream) have the rights to withdraw their allowable amount of water, and thus junior holders bear the burden of cutting back.
Rivers and Harbors Act (1937)
The rivers and harbors act authorized federal involvement to build dams for many purposes, which include “controlling floods, improving navigation, regulating the flow of the streams of the United States, providing for storage and for the delivery of the stored waters thereof, for the reclamation of public lands and Indian reservations, and other beneficial uses, and for the generation of electric energy as a means of financially aiding and assisting such undertakings. The 1937 edition was specifically meant for the construction of the Parker Dam on the colorado river. This allowed work to happen on the colorado which was so silty and unmanageable it was called the river of blood, and only became “navigable” and thus under federal jurisdiction because of the rivers and Harbors Act. The parker dam, which is the ddepest damn in the world, is used for power generation and the reservoir behind it is Lake Havasu.
LA Aqueduct
The Los Angeles Aqueduct system comprising the Los Angeles Aqueduct (Owens Valley aqueduct) and the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct, is a water conveyance system, built and operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.[4] The Owens Valley aqueduct was designed by the city’s water deparment, at the time named the Bureau of Water Works and Supply, under the supervision of the department’s chief engineer and Superintendent William Mulholland. The system delivers water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to Los Angeles, California. This aqueduct highlights the contentions between the people of the Owens Valley, agribusiness, and the federal government through the bureau of reclamation. Residents of Owens Valley did not want their water to be diverted to LA while agribusiness was systematically buying up land in the owens valley and ruined the local economy (as well as Lippencott, an agent for the bureau of reclamation who bought a large chunk of land to profit from the aqueduct). Many protests, some of which being violent and using dynamite occured, however by 1926 LA owned 90% of the Owens Valley’s land and water). The people of Owens Valley appealed to Roosevelt for help, but he did nothing to stop Mullholland, Eaton (mayor of LA) and Lippencott.
Lake Havasu- The large resevoir built behind Parker Dam on the Colorado river which was built by the bureau of reclamation between 1934 and 1938, and pumps intwo two aqueducts. It is also known for its abundant boating and fishing, and thus although the resevoir is a by product of Parker Dam which is used for water generation, the water levels of Lake Havesu must be kept within a certain range for recreational purposes. Additionally, the Lake and the Parker Dam was part of the Colorado River Compact of 1922 which sparked a large dispute between Arizona and California, with Arizona refusing to sign until 1944.
The Delta
AZ vs. CA
CA Seven Party Agreement
Establishes water rights priorities but does not quantify.
Ag. first, urban last. Irrigation gets first dibs and urban gets last allotment.
Agriculture trumps urban use.
Only pertains to parties in SoCal. Who would get allotted CO River water.
How to allocate that 4.4 million acre feet that was allotted to CA through the compact.
Quantification Settlement Agreement of 1931
Groundwater replenishment
Placing treated wastewater (sewage, storm/urban/industrial run off) in spreading grounds above aquifers. water seeps down from spreading grounds into groundwater basin. California Dept of Public Health requires that treated wastewater (although treated to potable water standards) be placed into groundwater basin before pumped out for potable consumption
purple pipes
Pipes that deliver secondary and tertiary treated recycled water to businesses and industrial buildings. CA Dept of Public Health requires separate conveyances and storage system for all recycled water–can’t use the same infrastructure as potable water supply.
East Valley Water Recycling Project
Name of recycled water project in LA in the 90s that was dubbed “toilet to tap”–example of propaganda/media role in water policy
Integrated Resources Plan
Name of city of LA’s water recycling plan today. Integrated means they are treating sewage in with urban runoff and stormwater. same treatment system, but now including sewage with it. The plan includes upgrading the Tillman plant in LA to treat water up to the “advanced” level (potable water standards) and subsequent groundwater replenishment in San Fernando Groundwater Basin
Sewage treatment
The process by which water that has come into contact with humans is treated to a level at which it is drinkable. Three stages: primary effluent (what comes from homes and businesses), secondary effluent (water has undergone biological treatment), tertiary treatment (chemical treatment). Final products are clean, drinkable water, sludge, and biosolids (which can be used as fertilizer)
perchlorate
Used as a propellent in rockets also found in fertilizers. harmful because it disrupts thyroid functions. Widespread in California.
Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)
Set minimums standards to protect tap water. Required owners or operators of public water systems to comply with water standards
Unincorporated Area and Drinking Water Access
State Water Conservation Bill (2009)
Human Right to Water (2012)
Signed by gov. Jerry Brown. States that every human being has the right to safe clean, affordable and accessible water. Sets a policy priority requiring California state agencies to consider the human right to water when establishing policy and regulation.
CA Dep. of Public Health
Enforces the federal and state safe drinking water acts. Ensures the quality of the states drinking water from the point where water is pumped from a drinking-water well or surface water intake point.
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
Maximum contaminant level is the concentration of a proposed contaminant that can be allowed in drinking water
Fenner Gap
Location of underground water aquifer between Cadiz Valley and Fenner Valley. Extraction would take place here for Cadiz Project
Spreading basin
The basin on Cadiz property where pumped groundwater would be stored for shipment. In wet years, the spreading basins could also store extra water, shipped in from the SWP.
Smaller, alternative spreading basins are being considered to save desert tortoise habitat. This is considered a more environmentally sound alternative to the original project.
dry lakes
Lakes near Cadiz property where groundwater evaporates, and according to Cadiz, Inc., is “wasted.” Cadiz considers appropriating the water and shipping it to within the MWD a “reasonable and beneficial use.”
A brine mining company is suing Cadiz because they rely on the evaporating water to run their operation.
Ecologists and nearby residents fear that if Cadiz appropriates the evaporating water, the dry lakes could create dust storms a la dry Owens Lake.
Greywater
Greywater is untreated wastewater that is used within the home then kept on-site to be used again, rather than disposed through a septic or sewage system. Includes water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom sinks, and clothes washing machines but does not include wastewater from kitchen sinks or dishwashers
Greywater systems reuse water discharged in homes and other buildings for non-potable water uses, such as watering landscaping or flushing toilets
People are advised to avoid contact with greywater because of unknown possible health effects
Policy surrounding greywater is very complex, so most systems operate illegally without permits
Laundry to landscape
A specific kind of greywater system that diverts water used in the washing machine away from the sewer system, and instead keeps it on-site
Conserved water can be used to irrigate landscaping, but should not be used on edible plants and human contact should be avoided
As of 2009 a simple home greywater system that diverts fewer than 250 gallons of water is legally allowed in California without a permit
Potable water
Water that is safe for humans to consume
All water that reaches our homes is potable
Potable water must be kept separate from reused water if a greywater system is in use
San Luis Drain
Kesterson clean up role play
created by BoR to drain ag. run off in San Joaquin Valley. Selenium (element in ag run-off) carried from the drain accumulated in Kesterson Wildlife Reserve leading to extreme deformities in birds and wildlife in the area
Never completed b/c environmental concerns became apparent–drain construction was stopped and wildlife refuge was closed.
cooperative federalism
local groups given proper guidance from federal gvt but local groups given responsibility themselves to manage local water/ecosystems
examples: NEPA (national envi. protection act, 1969), Clean Water Act, other federal regulations, that are created on federal level but local agencies ensure they are put into place
Quantification Settlement Agreement (2000)
Defines how CA will allot its CO River water allotment, lowering CA’s use from 7.5 maf/yr to 4.4 maf/yr and provides a restoration path for the Salton Sea
Agr-to-urban water transfers (IID-SDCWA, IID-MWD, IID-CVWD, Palo Verde ID-MWD)
Lines Al-American and Coachella canals
Largely in response to litigation between CA and AZ
Kesterson Wildlife Refuge
artificial wetland environment, created from ag runoff from Central Valley Farms, high amount of selenium and other minerals– given wildlife deformities, especially the birds
“taking”
5th Amendment – when gov. regulatory action limits activity on private property or deprives the property of its value, the 5th amendment requires just compensation for the loss of the private property value under the “Takings Clause” – Kesterson Reserve & farmers
unlawful for anyone to “take” a listed animal, and this includes significantly modifying its habitat. This applies to private parties and private land; a landowner is not allowed to harm an endangered animal or its habitat on his property.
ESA takings
CA Seven Party Agreement (1931)
This agreement helped settle the long-standing conflict between California agricultural and municipal interests over Colorado River water priorities. The seven principal claimants – Palo Verde Irrigation District, Yuma Project, Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Irrigation District, Metropolitan Water District, and the City and County of San Diego – reached consensus in the amounts of water to be allocated on an annual basis to each entity. Although the agreement did not resolve all priority issues, these regulations were also incorporated in the major California water delivery contracts.
Agr. priority over Urban
Bay Delta Conservation Plan
Comprehensive habitat management plan for the Delta. Goals: to recover listed species while allowing for continued export of water through the SWP and CVP. May be impossible to achieve as higher flows much be needed. If successful, plan could become a model for HCPs
species triage
Letting a species go extinct by, for example, by making tradeoffs or prioritizing ecosystem investments that might ensure the survival of one species over another.
The ESA does not contemplate…that there may be circumstances in which the best policy is to allow some species in some river or estuaries to become extinct because the alternative is fragmented, inconsistent, and possibly futile efforts to preserve all species that may put every species at greater risk of extinction
Climate change
Delta smelt & coho salmon
Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)
Section 9 of the federal ESA prohibits the “taking” of an endangered species without a permit. Under Section 10, however, the government can grant an “incidental take permit” to any persons who wish to an action that may incidentally take a species, if they prepare an adequate habitat Conservation Plan.
The CA ESA HCP = Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs)
Allows regulators and regulated parties to negotiate a long-range habitat management plan to recover listed species.
Complex, can take years of scientific study and negotiation
Usually as response to crises, not to prevent them
Selenium contamination
selenium occurs in Ag run off–was delivered to Kesterson via San Luis Drain
also bad if it collects on Ag land though–saline soil is really bad for ag
salts and salinity
alien species
third party effects
flood risk vs. frequency
Minute 319
agricultural drainage
Use of pipes/ditches to remove excess water from agricultural lands
Necessary for most agr. farms because excess water saturates the soil and prevents crops from growing
Contaminants – selenium, nitrate
E.g. San Luis Drain
Ecosystem services
The benefits people obtain from ecosystems
Ex. natural water filtration, use of wetlands to assimilate wastes
Clean Water Act (1972)
Establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into waters of the U.S. and regulating quality standards for surface waters
wetlands/marsh ecosystems
Quicly disappearing ecosystem that would have been around most of the CO River but has now disappeared as water is redirected in canals, etc.
Natural filtration system for water Removes contaminants such as heavy metals naturally – marsh plants use them as nutrients
Cheap alternative to chemical filtration. Also provides a habitat for native plants/animals.
Ex. greywater filtration. SARWQCB uses natural bottomed channels instead of concrete
Reservation
A water reservation is a legal mechanism to set aside water from consumptive uses for the protection of fish and wildlife or public health and safety
Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)
Safe, clean drinking water for the public
Applies to all publc water systems
Sets contaminant levels for microbes and heavy metals (for ex)
In CA, applied through water treatment on many sales. Everywhere water contaminants must meet SDWA regulations, but some localities have made their own laws stricter.
methods of irrigation
flood irrigation – application of irrigation water where the entire surface of the soil is covered by ponded water. also a method of flood control
Localized irrigation – water applied directly to root zone of plants by means of applicators. water efficient
reconciliation
“Reconciliation recognizes that humans so completely dominate the planet that

conservation of species and their habitats depends on integrating native ecosystem functions into ecosystems shaped by human activity. Such ecosystems are often largely new in many aspects of their structure and function and require continual human management.”
Ex. Rush Creek (Mono Lake tributory), San Joaquin River ‘restoration’ effort

Porter-Cologne Act (1969)
Gives the SWRCB ultimate authority over state water rights and water quality policy. Also establishes nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards to oversee water quality on a day-to-day basis at the regional/local levels.
Regional Boards & water quality – prepare and periodically update the Basin Plans (water quality control plans)
Recognized as one of the nation’s strongest pieces of anti-pollution leg.
leaching
loss of nutrients from the soil due to rain and irrigation
Contributes to groundwater contamination, as water carrying chemicals can seep into ground and enter underground aquifers
restoration
Returns damaged ecosystems to more desirable, natural conditions that resemble the original ecosystem
E.g. dam removal, removal of alien species
Endangered Species Act
listed species protected by law
Prohibits the taking of species that are facing extinction
protects natural habitats for species health
protection of species regardless of the costs to humans
God Squad
Mandates water be allocated for environmental uses, particularly for fish protection
Take away water from agr. and urban use
Problems: Focuses on single-species protection, not overall ecosystem health
Largely reactionary – does not create an atmosphere for prevention of endangerement
San Joaquin Valley Crops
Dam removal
State Water Conservation Bill (2009)
Ensures clean water supply for future generation by mandating a drop in per-capita water use
$3 bil for Delta restoration, $2 bil for increased water storage
Creates Delta Council, Delta Plan, stricter groundwater monitoring, enforcement of illegal diversions, more ambitious water conservation po.icy, water recycling & conservation programs
Single standardized water use reporting form
Agr water supplies shall measure volume of water delivered to customers & adopt a pricing structure.
Water suppliers who do not meet water management planning requireents est. by bill are not eligible for state water grants or loans
halophytes
Wetland plants that can filter water (bioremediation). Salt tolerant, can help desalinate water.
Salton Sea, Kesterson
Southern CA water sources
Groundwater: 30-40%
Probs: overdrafting, groundwater mining.
In adjudicated basins, those with overlying rights can extract as much groundwater as they like

LA Aqueduct: Imports water from Mono Lake and Owens Valley to LADWP
LA required to reduce imports – Audobon Soc. vs. Superior Court (public trust)

SWP: Oroville Dam (Sierra Nevadas) –> SoCal.
Imports decreasing (env flows)

CO River Aqueduct

Wastewater Reclamation
Orange County GWRS

Local sources

Desalination

tiered water rates
Charge lower rates to those who use avg. amounts of water, higher rates for higher than avg use. Highest rates reseved for levels of use in far excess of summertime avg.
Benefits efficient water users
hydroelectricity
energy generated at a dam as water flows downstream through turbines
Renewable source, but costs local env. & natural river system
Portion of MWD energy needs met with energy generated by CO River at Hoover Dam
Point & non-point source pollution
Point source: pollution that comes from an identifiable source (industrial or water treatment plants)

Non-point source: not easily attributable to one source (agr. runoff)

Cienega de Santa Clara Wetlands
Wetlands near the Yuma Desalination Plant, home to several endangered species. Could be affected by Desal plant
harmonizing water rights
unequal treatment between under-regulated groundwater & regulated surface water
Surface-groundwater conflicts
Ex. Russian River grapes need water that lower flows to levels that harmed endangered fish
conjunctive use/management
Conjunctive use and management of surface water and groundwater – necessary part of greater strategy of diversifying a water portfolio to increase efficiency and decrease costs in tandem with other strategies.
Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
A joint powers authority that plans and builds facilities to protect the water quality of the Santa Ana River Watershed