10-Year Water Transfers Final EIS/EIR Approved

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. [1] 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.

[1] 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

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