On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation approved the Environmental Impact Statement on the 10-Year Water Transfer Program that could send up to 600,000 acre-feet of Sacramento Valley water south of the Delta – each year. When combined with additional state approved transfers, the total could be over 800,000 acre-feet. If history is any guide, half of the transfer water may come from groundwater substitution.  There will also be limited accounting of impacts to surface and ground waters because the “willing sellers” are allowed to produce their own “monitoring and mitigation programs” – window dressing for legal requirements.
AquAlliance’s 2014 lawsuit forced the agencies to consolidate their so-called “temporary” one-year transfers in 12 of the last 14 years into a project that compelled analysis of all the impacts. As we expected, the 10-Year Water Transfer Program’s EIS/EIR revealed massive gaps in basic facts and evaluation and we exposed this in our 73-page comment letter with 36 technical appendices (see below).
Now we must build the Water Defense Fund to prepare for the inevitable legal battle to stop the transfers.
 Groundwater substitution transfers take place when a water district sells its river water that is normally used to irrigate rice and instead continues growing rice by pumping well water. The grower makes money on both the water sale and the rice that is grown
Click links for:
- Bureau of Reclamation Press Release 3.20.15
- Final EIS/EIR Bureau of Reclamation websiteThe EIS/EIR website is very complex, so we have pulled out the Comments & Responses to the draft EIR/EIS for easier viewing:
- Appendix J – Responses to written comments on the draft EIS/EIR from agencies, group & individuals and oral comments at public meetings – including comments submitted by AquAlliance, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) & Aqua Terra Aeris Law Group (designated as comments NG03) on page 451-562.
- Comments on the draft EIS/EIR:
- AquAlliance, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) & Aqua Terra Aeris Law Group
- Butte County Comments
- Yolo County Comments
- City of Chico Comments
- Kyran D. Mish Comments
- ECONorthwest Comments
- Local Agencies of the North Delta (LAND)
- South Delta Water Agency
- Central & South Delta Water Agencies Expert Analysis
- We have cited the above comments to facilitate viewing, as the listing of comments in the Bureau’s 13-part Appendix O is difficult to navigate.