Water suit sinks

Federal judge rejects Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority’s water-rights lawsuit

A federal judge has rejected a claim by members of the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority that their rights of origin under the Central Valley Project trump the demands of water users in the San Joaquin Valley. In his ruling, Judge Oliver Wanger said the TCCA—17 North State water contractors—gets “no more water than they have received.”

The Central Valley Project (CVP) was initially launched as a state venture in 1937, but the state went broke and the feds took over. Last February, the TCCA filed a lawsuit asking the federal government to operate the project in adherence with state water laws, which say local needs must be met before water is shipped south.

Jeffrey Sutton, general manager of the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, said its members were disappointed with the decision and that TCCA members will decide within a few weeks whether to appeal.