Why did Valley Water sue the State over environmental safeguards?

In December, the State Water Board adopted new instream flow standards for several California rivers in order to help restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, which is on the brink of ecological collapse.  Despite the fact that the amendment to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan would not affect Valley Water’s (formerly Santa Clara Valley Water District) water supply, the agency sued the State to block the new standards.  Please sign our petition to encourage Valley Water to drop its anti-environmental lawsuit.


Sign the petition here

Read about the lawsuit here

Watch a short video here

Learn more about the Bay Delta Plan below

Bay Delta Plan calls for 40% of unimpaired flow on the Tuolumne

After decades of degradation due to inadequate freshwater inflows, the State Water Resources Control Board may provide some relief to the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The Board voted 4-1 on December 12th to adopt the staff recommendation of 30-50% of unimpaired flow on the lower San Joaquin River and its three main tributaries between February and June, starting at 40%.  As the largest tributary to the San Joaquin River, the Tuolumne River will benefit greatly from this decision. Thanks to all who have supported our efforts to get to this point!

While this is a tremendous victory, we must bear in mind that this is only Phase 1.  Our campaign for a strong Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan is far from over.  Even though the best available science indicates that 60% unimpaired flow is necessary to fully protect fish and wildlife, we expect there to be lawsuits from agencies who disagree with even this conservative increase. Meanwhile, the Water Board will continue to focus on Phase 2 of the Plan, which addresses the Sacramento River Basin and Delta outflow (i.e. how much water will flow through the Delta to the Bay, vs. getting diverted at the Delta pumps).

But for now we have a major victory to celebrate over the holiday season.  Thank you to all those who helped make this possible!

Other Resources

State Water Board’s Bay Delta Plan Website

San Francisco Bay: The Freshwater-Starved Estuary

What is Plan Bay Area?

TRT Draft SED Comment Letter