NHI represents Trout Unlimited-California and National Audubon Society-Peregrine Chapter in a case to reform the regulation of water rights in the entire North Coast of California. As of 2004, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) had not acted on pending water right applications in that region filed since 1990. A multitude of unpermitted diversions had occurred, but SWRCB and other regulatory agencies did not bring enforcement actions due to limitations of budget and staff. This case seeks to restore the rule of water law throughout the region, through timely decisions on applications and systematic enforcement. The case specifically seeks to establish minimum flow standards and other procedures that, on a watershed basis, assure that water diversions will contribute to the recovery of threatened anadromous fisheries. Specific remedies proposed in the case include monitoring of flow in each creek which sustains anadromous fish, reporting of all diversions, and real-time adaptive management if flow in a given creek falls below the minimum for fisheries protection.
Contact: Richard Roos-Collins