AquAlliance exists to defend northern California waters and to challenge threats to the hydrologic health of the northern Sacramento River watershed. We are prepared and willing to confront the escalating attempts to divert more and more water from the northern Sacramento River hydrologic region. 




Twin Tunnels Protest 1.5.16

Protest of CSPA, C-WIN & AquAlliance of the Petitions “Requesting Changes in Water Rights of the Department of Water Resources and US Bureau of Reclamation of the California Waterfix Project”

Click here to view the Protest document. (Yellow highlights show our specific section, although we contributed to other areas.)

This protest demonstrates how AquAlliance is again representing the NorthState in a way that local governments are not. Butte County was the most possible entrant into the fray fighting the Twin Tunnels before the State …

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Farmers Try Political Force to Twist Open California’s Taps

New York Times, 12.31.15:

A powerful article about the political clout of Westlands Water District:
“A water utility on paper, Westlands in practice is a formidable political force, a $100 million-a-year agency with five lobbying firms under contract in Washington and Sacramento, a staff peppered with former federal and congressional powers, a separate political action committee representing farmers and a government-and-public-relations budget that topped $950,000 last year. It is a financier and leading force for a band of 29 water distric…

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Sites Reservoir: Different Views

Here are some very different view on the benefits of the proposed $6.3 billion Sites Reservoir on the west side of the Sacramento Valley.




The Good (AquAlliance agrees):

Los Angeles Times, 12.27.15: Is the era of dam-building over? 
Sacramento Bee, 1.2.16: Building Sites reservoir will never pencil out or produce much water (response to Sac Bee 12.26.15 editorial below)
Butte County Water Commission’s subcommittee report on its investigation into Sites Reservoir. The conclusions are valuable.

The Bad…

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Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction in California's Central Valley

From this year’s California Water Policy Seminar Series, presented by the UC Davis School of Law and the Center for Watershed Sciences, this article explains in detail how excessive groundwater pumping results in reduced streamflow in the tributaries and main stem of the Sacramento Valley River system. 

Back in the 1950s and ’60s, the Sacramento River and its tributaries were probably gaining about a million acre-feet per year on average from the groundwater. As pumping progressed through the years, the groundwater levels were drawn down… …

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Water scheme jeopardizes valley

Transfers from our region will devastate the landscape if left unchecked
– By Jim Brobeck, AquAlliance water-policy analyst – 

Chico News & Review, 6.11.15: A massive water transfer scheme is moving rapidly forward out of sight of most people. In 12 of the past 14 years, Sacramento Valley water has been sold to San Joaquin Valley desert irrigators. So-called “temporary” or “emergency” water transfer/sales occurred without the benefit of comprehensive impact analysis, so AquAlliance sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 2010 and 201…

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North-to-South Water Transfers Encourage Inefficient Use of Agricultural Water

Comparative Water Use Efficiency of Growing Almonds in Kern County and in Butte County
Even though almond yields may be larger per acre in Kern County, when using “crop per drop” as a criterion, Kern County orchards are only 39% as water use efficient as orchards in Butte County.
Click here to read our full report on the inefficiency of transferring water from north to south to grow almonds in Kern County.

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Violations of Water Quality and Management Lawsuit

On June 3, 2015, AquAlliance joined a lawsuit  that could alter the water transfers that are planned from the Sacramento Valley to desert agriculture this year. For almost a year and a half, we and our colleagues tried to sway the State Water Resources Control Board to adhere to the laws that slow water exports, to no avail. They have bent over backwards to allow the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources to export more water from the Sacramento Valley to south of the Delta during these drought years using Tempor…

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Little fish’s disappearance is a big problem

Chico Enterprise-Record, 4.23.15 – The little delta smelt is nearly extinct. You can almost hear the celebrations in the San Joaquin Valley from here.
Not so fast though.
As the drought worsens, the people vs. fish argument heats up south of the delta, whipped up by pandering valley politicians who say people shouldn’t suffer because of a little fish.
In the midst of this, the news about the delta smelt couldn’t have come at a more unfortunate time.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife throws out nets in the delta in an attempt to coun…

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