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Water Supply and Water Rights

How we move water in California and put it to its best use is a vibrant and ongoing discussion. Who's water is it and how is it being used? Read more to learn about where your water comes from and where it is going.

Temperance Flat Dam Public Meeting and Environmental Documents

The Temperance Flat Dam proposal has re-emerged from a long sleep and is now chugging forward out of 
pure political might. This will be the tallest dam built in California, but will only catch the smallest amount of 
waterWater-hungry agribusiness and politicians are promoting the proposal as a way to create new water 
supplies, but look into the project details and see why this may be the worst possible infrastructure scenario 
to satisfy our changing water needs. The result of a dam at Temperance Flat could mean less water, large 
taxpayer subsidies, and even larger profits for its private development partners. Read on to learn more, 
and join us October 16th at the Piccadilly Inn to voice your concern to the Bureau of Reclamation who is 
spearheading this proposal. 

Stop The Temperance Flat Dam And Help Save The San Joaquin River Gorge!


Please plan on attending public hearings during the week of October 13 to speak out against the Temperance Flat Dam and support Wild & Scenic River protection for the San Joaquin River Gorge. The meetings are:


Sacramento: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1-3PM, 2800 Cottage Way, Rooms 1001-1002. 

Fresno: Thursday, Oct. 16, 6-8PM, Piccadilly Inn, 2305 W. Shaw Avenue.

If you are from outside of Fresno, Friends of the River is working to coordinate car pools to the hearings. Please call Lily Amodio at (916) 764-2390 or email her at if you are interested in carpooling, particularly to the Fresno hearing.

Climate Change Data is In! Geos Institute releases study for Southern Sierra

The GEOS Institute issued a DWR funded report “Future Climate, Hydrology, Vegetation, and Wildfire Projections for the Southern Sierra Nevada, California” in May 2014. This was the first information I have seen integrating global and local models into basic climate change data for our watersheds in the San Joaquin Valley. The data provided is significant to all Californians and should be reviewed and understood by water managers throughout the State. Planning today can help us to identify our vulnerabilities and strategies for adaptation to the changes that are already occurring. The term “Irreversible Climate Change” identifies that there are positive feedbacks in our climate system that kick in to such an extent that emission reductions are no longer effective.

The early data released in this report is shocking! Using widely accepted climate models, and integrating these projections with local hydrology data, we begin to see a range of possible or likely changes in our hydrologic system. The report emphasized how dominant evapotranspiration rates were to the potential for hydrologic change (changes in precipitation do not translate directly to changes in water supply). The following represent some standout data released under the ‘business as usual’ climate projections for Southern Sierra:

  • Changes to Sierra Nevada hydrology are already occurring (15.8% declines in snow water equivalents, increased wildfires, 16% increase in frequency and intensity of very heavy precipitation, spring runoff occurring 1 to 3 weeks earlier)
  • Increase in average annual temperature of up to 4.1 degrees Celsius by 2099 (up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in Summer months)
  • An average of 75% reduced runoff in Summer months (May through September, and reaching up to 95%-97% reduction in late summer)
  • Broad agreement in models of 82% - 86% reduction in annual average snowpack

The report emphasized that the resource models we use today can no longer rely on historic data anticipate future conditions. We

Study criticizes Delta tunnel project

An analysis by a group opposed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has concluded the cost of the project far outweighs its potential benefits.


Cost of governor’s twin tunnels plan disputed

May 29, 2013 9:00pm


•  Independent economist questions Brown’s numbers

12 Northern California Lawmakers Call on Obama to delay Peripheral Canal Plans

Revive the San Joaquin and 36 other concerned organizations signed a letter recently to Secretary Salazaar of the Department of the Interior urging a second look at the upcoming ‘imminent’ decision to approve the Peripheral Canal as a part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  This proposed tunnel below the Delta would have the capacity to divert ALL the Sacramento River’s runoff to destinations south of the Delta.  

Nunes proposes HR 1837, Say Bye to Our River and Our Water!

Congressman Devin Nunes is at it again, using the San Joaquin River Restoration program as a bargaining chip to divert more State water away from our Delta and rivers and into the hands of Westlands water district and others who can economically benefit from surplus water sales.

Revive the San Joaquin Wins Court Battle!

With our legal partners the Dumna Tribal Council and Madera Oversight Coalition, Revive the San Joaquin just got word that we won our lawsuit against the poorly planned Tesoro Viejo Development along the river in Madera County. This State Appellate Court decision will reverse County approvals for a master planned community of 15,000 residents that would have dumped wastewater to the river, paved over impo

Dems Costa and Miller spar over Valley water

Posted at 11:46 PM on Friday, Oct. 01, 2010
By Michael Doyle / Bee Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- California congressional Democrats are engaged in another of their periodic intramural fights over the state's water, this time involving the giant Westlands Water District.

Illustrating once more that regional loyalty trumps party labels when it comes to water, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, on Friday pledged "the fight of a lifetime" if some of his Democratic colleagues continued to criticize a proposed Westlands water deal.

In particular, Costa targeted Rep.

Kings County farmers land lucrative water sales

Posted at 11:59 PM on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
By Mark Grossi / The Fresno Bee
More farmers in Kings County plan to sell their water to Southern California at an eye-popping price, raising worries about the future of the region's thriving agricultural economy.

Two Kings farmers last month announced a pending water sale involving nearly $12 million. Another farmer last year sold some of his state water allotment for $73 million.

Watch streaming video of the Feb 4 debate on water issues at Fresno State, moderated by U.S District Judge Oliver Wanger.

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