Water Forum Update Effort

October 6, 2020

ECOS and Habitat 2020 are part of the Water Forum update effort.

Stakeholders in the Sacramento Region are working to update the historic Water Forum Agreement of 2000. The update, referred to as Water Forum II could represent renegotiation of some aspects of the agreement that seem out of date and would benefit from a fresh look in a 2020 context.

To support deliberations, a series of learning sessions were held in July and August 2020 to provide current and potential Water Forum signatories with information to promote a shared understanding of several cross-cutting topics: climate change, fisheries, habitat, groundwater management, and urban water management planning (including demand management, water use efficiency and conservation). An additional educational session on the management of the American River Watershed is being planned for late October/early November. Summaries of these sessions can be found on the Water Forum web site.

The document The Water Forum Past, Present, and Future provides a cogent summary of the history of the Water Forum Agreement, what has happened over the course of the past 20 years that may result in the need for the Agreement’s updating, and what future impacts the region is likely to face and how an updated Agreement will help the region adapt to these changes.

The Water Forum is composed of four caucuses – Environmental, Public interests, Water Purveyors, and Business. ECOS and Habitat 2020 members as well as other environmental groups are represented on the Environmental Caucus. As a prelude to the learning sessions and upcoming negotiation discussions, each caucus developed a Statement of Interests to clarify its intentions and interests in a renegotiated Water Forum Agreement. Access to the Environmental Caucus Statement of interest is possible through this link.

There are a significant number of ECOS members who are actively involved with the Water Forum and this renegotiation effort. If you have questions about the Water Forum or its programs, please contact the Water Forum’s Executive Director, Tom Gohring. Questions about the Environmental Caucus Statement of Interests can be directed to Habitat 2020.

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SMUD Roseville Water Transfer comments

On September 10, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento and Habitat 2020 sent a letter to Sacramento Metropolitan Utilities District (SMUD) a letter regarding a proposed water transfer between the City of Roseville and SMUD. Below are some excerpts from the letter, followed by a link to the letter in full.

Recently the Environmental Council of Sacramento and Habitat 2020 became aware of the pending temporary water transfer between the City of Roseville and SMUD. Our review of the environmental assessment and decision document prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation found specific deficiencies in the analysis and a casual dismissal of the transfer’s cumulative significance. We believe that the proposed transfer of water does not contain the necessary safeguards to protect Lower American River fisheries. We request that the SMUD Board direct its staff to include provisions in the contract that will address these concerns.

We believe the transfers must be governed by the standards and requirements contained in the Modified Flow Management Standard. These standards and requirements would much better ensure that the transfer would not negatively impact the American River flow and temperature standards.

Click here to read the full letter.

Photo by George Nyberg of the American River

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