By Stephen Frank
Between the Feds and the State Water Project, farmers in the Friant area of the Central Valley got NO water this past year. “. Instead, the Exchange Contractors were supplied much of the summer with water released from Friant Dam, a major cause of the Friant Division’s first-ever Zero allocation of CVP water.
Friant’s petition takes issue with the State Board’s failure to honor water right seniority and imposition of “health and safety” use limitations on the Reclamation’s Delta water exports. The Congressionally authorized purposes of the Central Valley Project do not recognize a “health and safety” limitation on water use.”
The lawsuit contends State and Federal laws and rules were ignored. This could turn out to be a billion dollar hit—on the farmers—and billions in lost property value statewide. If government can stop contracted water deliveries without hearings, notice, etc. none of us are safe.
The Porterville Recorder
How the State Water Resources Board and its executive officer, Thomas Howard, have made far-reaching drought emergency decisions have been legally challenged by the Friant Water Authority in Lindsay and most of its member agencies, all of which were denied deliveries of any Central Valley Project water this year.
A petition for writ of mandate was filed Friday in Fresno County Superior Court contesting the State Board’s actions and also naming several state and federal agencies for their roles. They include the California Department of Water Resources, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the federal Interior and Commerce departments, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service.