KMTG Water law Attorneys Leading Efforts to Achieve a Manageable and Effective Instream Flow Policy on Behalf of Landowners, Vineyards and Other Agricultural Water Users

Sacramento, CA | May 1, 2008

There is an important matter on the near horizon related to your water rights, and that is a recent proposal (issued 12-28-07) now pending before the SWRCB for adoption of a new North Coast Instream Flow Policy. This new flow policy will affect an area that includes your property and, as drafted, will impose restrictive bypass flow requirements on all proposed water projects and changes to existing permits. The provisions of the draft policy will dramatically increase the cost and decrease the yield of water right projects. Its restrictions could lead to a determination that water is not available for appropriation in many cases, resulting in the denial of change petition or permit. Changes to existing permits and new permits would require costly mitigation and restoration work on stream channels, including engineered bypass channels and instream and riparian zone habitat projects such as gravel and woody debris plans requiring detailed compliance schedules and monitoring. For existing unpermitted dams, dam removal may be required if a permit is not obtained. The new proposal is likely to affect the yield of water projects, and even if water is available, will dramatically increase the cost per acre-foot of such water. It is likely that the policy will be imposed on riparian and pre-1914 water right diverters through related regulatory action by the Department of Fish and Game.

If you have any questions please feel free to email KMTG water law attorneys Becky Sheehan or Janet Goldsmith or contact them by telephone at 916.321.4500.

Coalition Comments Submitted May 1, 2008

Comments on State Water Resources Control Board Draft Instream Flow Policy submitted by the Coalition on May 1, 2008

KMTG Media Coverage Regarding SWRCB's Proposed AB 2121

KMTG water attorney Janet Goldsmith was quoted in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat about the SWRCB’s waterways proposal AB 2121 and its effect on people and businesses.

KMTG water attorney Becky Sheehan was published in the opinion/editorial column “Readers Speak Out” in an article titled “Reconsidering the North Coast Instream Flow Policy” on the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed AB 2121."

KMTG water attorney Becky Sheehan writes article, "Throwing Water At The Problem: State Board's Policy Plan Promises Radical Fish Flow Impacts on North Coast's Agricultural Water Users," Family Farm Water Review, April 2008.