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CSPA and Butte Environmental Council object to proposed water transfer

December 30, 2008 -- Citing the need for an Environmental Impact Report before any transfer is agreed to, the CSPA and the Butte Environmental Council have filed an objection to the transfer of 10,000 acre-feet of water from the United States Bureau Of Reclamation’s Orland Project to areas within the Orland-Artois Water District. The proposed transfer is promoted by the USBR, which explains that the District is suffering an urgent need for additional water to meet the water needs of permanent crops during what is depicted as a statewide drought.

The document points out that a series of major winter storms is bringing significant precipitation into the affected region. While these storm events will relieve the immediate need to irrigate the permanent crops it is impossible to accurately predict the precipitation patterns that may occur during the 180 day (6 month) term of the “temporary urgency change.”

Before approval for the transfer can be given, CSPA and the BEC state that the following must be done to comply with state and federal protections. First, the agencies must prepare an Environmental Impact Report on the proposed temporary urgency change. Second, alternatives to the proposed Project should be presented to the public. And finally, the agencies must consider significant environmental impacts.

CSPA and BEC Comments on Proposed Water Transfer