State Water Resources Control Board flow proposal

The proposal

A proposal by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) would require the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus rivers to dedicate a significant percentage of unimpaired flow from February through June annually to improve fish populations and the Delta ecosystem. If approved, the Substitute Environmental Document (SED) would undoubtedly have significant and devastating impacts on TID customers, all of whom benefit from the Tuolumne River. The SED's preferred alternative calls for 30 to 50 percent of unimpaired flow to be released from these three rivers during the above time span, with a starting point of 40 percent.

The process

The Draft SED was released in Dec. 2012, and after a public hearing at the SWRCB in Sacramento in March 2013, the SWRCB decided to update the document's analyses and objectives. The SWRCB released an updated SED on September 15, 2016, which will set off another comment period and public hearing process. Comments on the draft SED are due by November 15, 2016. A public hearing will be held on November 4, 2016 in Modesto and November 2 and 10, 2016 in Sacramento.

Proposal threatens the region on many levels

TID strongly opposes this sweeping proposal and believes there are less drastic, non-flow-based alternatives that warrant the serious consideration of the State Water Resources Control Board. This proposal lacks the best available science and will negatively impact TID water and power customers. The proposal will also cause significant harm to the region's economy, agriculture operations and water supply.

There would also be negative effects to groundwater levels at a time when California is in search of paths to better groundwater management following the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.

The links below are provided for customers and others looking to gain information or be a part of the process regarding the State Water Resources Control Board's proposal.

Editorial: We must protect our water, below and above ground (pdf)

Additional Information