Water lawsuit in the works

AquAlliance sues Butte Water District over water-shipment plan

AquAlliance, a Chico-based water-protection group, announced that it has filed a lawsuit in Butte County Superior Court against the Butte Water District (BWD) for what it calls the “obfuscation of impacts, both short and long term, from water transfers out of the northern Sacramento Valley to Kern County water districts.”

A press release says BWD wants to ship 16,850 acre-feet of water from the Feather River to the Dudley Ridge Water District, the Kern County Water Agency and the Palmdale Water District. It will do so by holding production on 3,350 acres of rice fields and/or substituting 5,350 acre-feet of groundwater (using wells to irrigate the crops and selling the surface water). AquAlliance says the project is part of a plan to transfer 250,000 acre-feet of water south of the Delta.

The suit says the project’s environmental review violates the California Environmental Quality Act.