July 2018: Important Decision by California State Water Board to Put More Water in the Tuolumne, Merced & Stanislaus Rivers
The California State Water Board is about to adopt new important water quality standards for the San Joaquin tributaries which means increased flows in the Tuolumne, Merced and Stanislaus Rivers.
The bottom line is that the Board’s proposal is to require 30-50% of unimpaired flow in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries between February and June. The starting point would be 40%, and could go up or down depending on whether biological and environmental goals are met. (as an example, currently only 20% of the water in the Tuolumne River remains in the river for fish—the other 80% goes to agriculture and municipal use)
The science tells us that 60% of unimpaired flow would be needed to fully protect fish and wildlife, so we will continue to advocate for at least 50% of unimpaired flow, but we are making progress.
As GWWF Conservation Chair, I have been working within the coalition of fishery and environmental groups for years on this critically important topic. The National Resources Defense Council has an easy way below to send a message to the Water Board supporting this huge issue. Please clink this link to send the message—it only takes a minute!