Assemblyman Gray to Governor: Missed Deadline to Address Water Rights Fairness “Sends Wrong Message”

Sacramento, CA (January 8, 2018) – Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) is calling on Governor Brown to explain why a state agency missed a critical deadline to make recommendations for improved water rights fairness. In a letter delivered to Governor Brown, Asm. Gray said, “To a community that already feels attacked and abandoned, [the missed deadline] sends entirely the wrong message.”

Asm. Gray authored Assembly Bill 313, bipartisan legislation vetoed last session by Governor Brown. Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) provided technical support in crafting the bill.

AB 313 would have ensured that neutral, administrative law judges presided over all water rights matters – providing basic fairness and due process currently lacking for California’s water rights holders. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) writes regulations, initiates enforcement actions, and conducts hearings in its own courtroom with its staff members as acting as the prosecution team and its board members acting as the judge.

Assemblymember Adam Gray represents the 21st Assembly District.

In the Governor’s veto message, he directed the California Environmental Protection Agency to make recommendations to improve the State Water Resources Control Board’s hearing process. However, a January 1st deadline to provide those recommendations has passed. Assemblyman Gray is now requesting to meet with the Governor and CalEPA to “…understand why CalEPA has failed to meet the deadline and discuss the ramifications this disregard has for my district and our ability to engage in settlement discussions with the administration.”

The full letter is below.

1.8.18 AB 313 Governor Veto Letter

Final Joint Legal Brief Filed in Landmark Water Rights Case

A milestone case that will impact the oldest water rights in California took a significant step forward Thursday. In Santa Clara County Superior Court, the final joint brief on was filed on behalf of Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), West Side Irrigation District (WSID) and other water agencies.

The case will decide the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) claim that during drought, it can curtail riparian and pre-1914 water rights holders under Water Code Section 1052 based on priority of rights. BBID’s legal team argues that the SWRCB does not have such authority. The outcome of this legal battle has far-reaching ramifications for every riparian and pre-1914 water rights holder in the State.

The full brief is posted below.

11-9-17 FINAL BBID WSID Reply Brief to SWRCB Opposition to the Merits

Western Growers: Brown Vetoes WG-Supported Fair Water Rights Hearing Bill

From Western Growers: “In the final hours to sign or veto bills sent to him by the California Legislature, Governor Brown vetoed AB 313 by Assemblymember Adam Gray, a Western Growers-supported bill that would have inserted much-needed balance into the state’s water rights enforcement activities…”

Read More!

Brown Vetoes WG-Supported Fair Water Rights Hearing Bill | Western Growers

BBID Responds to Critical Mercury News AB 313 Editorial

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District on Monday issued a letter to the San Jose Mercury News, responding to the newspaper’s critical editorial on Assembly Bill 313, a BBID-backed water bill that restores fairness for the state’s water rights holders.

The Mercury News limits its Letters to the Editor to 150 words, so BBID chose to post its full response here. The original editorial is posted below BBID’s letter.

BBID’s Response

BBID Response to Mercury News Op-Ed

Original Mercury News Editorial

Editorial: Don't cave to Big Ag; veto water rights bill

California State Auditor Releases Report on California Water Fix

A new state audit finds costs and timeline of the California WaterFix planning phase “increased significantly” due to the scale and unexpected complexity of the project.

The report, released Thursday by the California State Auditor, also finds that the Department of Water Resources has not ensured that it is prepared for the transition of WaterFix – and has not completed either an economic or financial analysis to demonstrate the financial viability of the project.

The summary and fact sheet are posted below. Read the full report here.

Summary_2016-132


Fact Sheet_2016-132

 

BBID Responds to AB 313 Opposition Letter

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is setting the record straight on Assembly Bill 313, a good governance bill ensuring fundamental fairness and due process for California’s water rights holders. BBID sent the below letter to Governor Brown, responding to a recent opposition letter submitted by a group of environmental organizations.

Lawmakers decisively passed the bill on the final day of the Legislative session. Introduced by Adam Gray (D-Merced), AB 313 now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

BBID Response to AB 313 Opposition Letter

Multiple Agencies & Organizations Urge Governor to Sign AB 313 (Updating)

Joining Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, which previously submitted a letter to Governor Brown urging him to sign AB 313, multiple agencies have also sent the Governor letters of support. The bill introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) restores due process to water rights holders. AB 313 now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

This post is being updated as more agencies submit letters to the Governor.

A coalition of agricultural organizations

AB 313 (Gray) 2017_09-20 Water Rights_Ag Coalition SUPPORT GOVERNOR

 

Northern California Water Association

NCWA_GovernorAB313Sept2717

 

Yuba County Water Agency

AB 313 (Gray}-Support

 

Merced Irrigation District

AB 313 (AG) Support Letter MeID

 

San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Authority

Exchange Contractors Support of AB 313 - 9-20-17

 

Placer County Water Agency

PCWA Support AB 313 (2)

 

Western Canal Water District

WCWD_Gov.Brown.AB313.9.21.17

 

United Water Conservation District

United Water Conservation Dist. AB 313 Letter of Support

 

Central California Irrigation District

CCID AB 313

 

Cucamonga Valley Water District

CVWD AB 313 Request for Signature CVWD

 

Columbia Canal Company

CCC RevisedAssemblyBill313

 

San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority

170922 - SLDMWA AB313 Support Letter to Governor - SUBMITTED

 

Patterson Irrigation District

PattersonID_2017-09-22 AB 313 Letter to Jerry Brown

 

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company

 

Steve Nicolaou, Local Attorney

Letter to Hon. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. dated 09-28-2017

BBID Urges Gov. Brown to Sign AB 313

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign landmark legislation restoring due process for the state’s water rights holders.

BBID prepared the following letter in support of Assembly Bill 313. Lawmakers decisively passed the bill on the final day of the Legislative session. Introduced by Adam Gray (D-Merced), AB 313 now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

BBID Sign AB 313 Support Letter

BBID Releases Agricultural Water Management Plan Draft

Byron Bethany Irrigation District produced this Agricultural Water Management Plan (AWMP) in compliance with Executive Order (EO) B-29-15. This current version is a draft intended for public review.

EO B-29-15 requires:

  • All agricultural water suppliers that supply water to 10,000 to 25,000 agricultural acres to develop an AWMP
  • The AWMP must include a drought management plan, a quantification of water supply, and a quantification of demand over the years 2013, 2014, and 2015

The District’s AWMP has been prepared in accordance with EO B-29-15 and the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (SBx7-7), and follows the structure specified in the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR’s) A Guidebook to Assist Agricultural Water Suppliers to Prepare a 2015 Agricultural Water Management Plant (2015 Guidebook) (DWR, 2015a).

BBID_AWMP_Draft_09182017_Compiled