FIGHTING FOR THE TUOLUMNE RIVER

AND ALL IT SERVES

What is Happening?

Despite massive opposition to Phase 1 requirements of the Bay-Delta Plan and a more feasible proposal put forth in the Tuolumne River Management Plan, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted its plan on December 12, 2018. In doing so, the Board rejected progress in voluntary settlement talks between Turlock Irrigation District and state officials. TID and its partner, The San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, have filed a lawsuit challenging the adequacy and legality of the state’s action.

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What is SED?

The Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan was created by the State Water Resources Control Board to set water quality objectives for the Bay-Delta and define how those objectives are to be implemented. To address the Plan’s impacts, a Final Substitute Environmental Document (SED) has been developed for Phase 1 of the Plan. Phase 1 of the proposal seeks to require 40 percent of unimpaired flows to be released within the Tuolumne, Merced and Stanislaus rivers each year between February and June in hopes of benefiting salmon and other fish species and managing salinity.

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Why is TID Opposed?

TID strongly opposes this sweeping initiative and believes there are less drastic, non-flow-based alternatives that warrant the serious consideration of the State Water Board. Phase 1 lacks the best available science and will negatively impact TID water and power customers. Phase 1 would 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.

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Challenging the State’s plan for the Tuolumne River

The State Water Resources Control Board is increasing flows through the Bay-Delta for alleged environmental benefits. But Turlock Irrigation District has a more workable plan, one that would not only help native fish, but also the millions of people who rely on the river for their health and livelihoods.

December 31, 2012

Draft Substitute Environmental Document (SED) in support of Phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan released by State Water Resources Control Board for public comment.
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March 2013

State Water Resources Control Board hosts Public Hearings on 2012 Draft SED (Sacramento).
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September 2016

The State Water Resources Control Board releases its Revised Draft SED for public comment.
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July 6, 2018

State Water Resources Control Board releases Final SED in support of Phase 1 of its Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan for public comment.
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August 20, 2018

More than 1,000 people – including elected officials and farmers – gather at the state capitol to rally to protest the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed plan.
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August 21-22, 2018

State Water Resources Control Board holds a public meeting to receive oral comments on the proposed plan. Testimony was heard from more than 150 individuals and groups.
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August 22, 2018

State Water Resources Control Board announces it will continue the meeting and defer final action until Nov. 7.
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November 6, 2018

Gov. Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom send a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board requesting action on the plan be postponed until Dec. 11, 2018, to allow voluntary agreement negotiations to progress.
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November 7, 2018

The State Water Resources Control Board votes to postpone further consideration of the proposed plan until Dec. 11-12 to allow voluntary agreement talks to happen.
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December 12, 2018

State Water Resources Control Board adopts the Final Substitute Environmental Document that increases water flows along the Tuolumne River. Staff will further evaluate a voluntary agreement between TID and 13 other agencies to manage both the San Joaquin and Sacramento River systems and provide an analysis by March 1, 2019.
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January 10, 2019

The San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, of which TID is a member, files a lawsuit challenging the Phase 1 of the State Water Board’s Bay Delta Plan.
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March 1, 2019

Keeping the potential for voluntary settlements alive, TID and a diverse coalition than 40 agencies submit a Project Description to the State Water Board for further analysis as part of its Bay-Delta Plan environmental review.
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July 1, 2019

The State of California issues its Voluntary Agreements Progress Report, outlining progress to date and describing the work needed to complete and evaluate any agreements. Read more

February 2020

Responding to a Governor Newsom editorial, TID, MID and SFPUC issue a joint statement thanking the Governor for his leadership and reiterating Tuolumne River agencies' commitment to the VA process. Read more

“The State’s plan will result in minimal benefits to fish while severely impacting our communities. That’s not something we can allow.”

– TID Board President Charles Fernandes

If you would like more information about Turlock Irrigation District or the The Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, please contact us using the form below.

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