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Good News on the Water Front

Last week we reported that Governor Newson had issued an Emergency Order that paved the way for the State Water Board to consider a Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) submitted by the operators of the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project for relief from a regulation that required large amounts of stored water to be sent to the ocean. Late Tuesday the State Water Board granted that petition.

To approve a TUCP, the State Water Board must find that:

(1) There is an urgent need for the proposed changes;

(2) The changes will not injure any legal user of water;

(3) The changes will not result in unreasonable effects to fish and wildlife; and

(4) The changes are in the public interest.

In addition, the State Water Board must protect public trust resources to the extent feasible and in the public interest. In a 37-page document, the State Board outlined the reasons and justifications consistent with these requirements for granting the petition. While the State Board had the legal authority to grant this petition, it is the action of Governor Newsom that made this possible. The effect of this decision is to save thousands of acre-feet of water in storage for use later this year. It was a good decision and Governor Newsom deserves our thanks.

Also, this week the water supply allocations for the Central Valley Project were raised to 35% for the West side districts. Exchange Contractors were allocated 100% as were the Friant Class 1 contractors. Friant Class 2 contractors were allocated 20%, which will likely go up. And the State Water Project contractors were allocated 35%. These all could be raised as the water year progresses.

Geoff Vanden Heuvel

Director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs

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