San Andreas, CA – As extended drought conditions continue, the Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) looks to improve the understanding of its board and the public on the complexities of water rights.
According to district spokesperson Joel Metzger, plans are to hold a workshop at its July 22 meeting, which will be open to the public. “On a high level overview, we’re looking at rights on the Stanislaus River, the Calaveras River system and the Mokelumne River,” Metzger states. “Those are our main surface water sources and so, each of those systems has water rights associated with them – or reservations.”
As Metzger explains, “You have to, on a regular basis send the state information about what water you are using, and what water you plan to use in the future.” At the same time, he says, “You’re making the argument that, even if we’re not using this now, we’d like for you to keep this reserved for us for the future because we want to make sure that we can grow and expand. Those are the arguments that you have to make on a regular basis to the state.”
Metzter adds, “If the state looks at your application and says, ‘we don’t think that you are ever going to use this’ then there is a chance that some of the water rights could be taken away and potentially given to others.”
Other CCWD Notes:
Earlier this week, along with coming to terms with a local company over its plans to move forward with a hot asphalt plant, as previously reported, the CCWD adopted its budget of $17.6 million for the next fiscal year, which basically, according to Metzger covers its day-to-day operating expenses. It also projects over $2 million in debt. Due to drought-related cutbacks on water use and power-generating revenues expect to downtick a bit. The board also adopted the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Water Management Plan JPA. Metzger explains, “It’s really just an outline of what the group’s approach will be, what the highest priority projects are, and then how the grant money is applied for and awarded.” The move takes the district another step closer to joining the consortium of regional water agencies.