Support BEC

Join
Help The World
Click Here
Donate
Help The World
Click Here
Volunteer
Help The World
Click Here

Connect

Upcoming Events

19
Sep

Join hundreds of volunteers in this annual effort to remove thousands of pounds of garbage and recyclables from our beloved park and creeks. 

27
Sep

Tour selected Chico gardens which use effective techniques for conserving water and creating wildlife-friendly habitat.

24
Oct

Join us for this fantastic event, celebrating our 40th anniversary! With live music, delicious food and silent auction at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.

Newsletter

*Sign up for our montly Newsletter

Newsletter Archive

BEC Protects

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a non-profit environmental organization based in Butte County, California. Our mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education.  BEC was formed in 1975 and throughout its 40 years, BEC has had a significant voice in shaping the environment and policies of Butte County and beyond.

BEC in the News

August 13, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:AquAlliance, a water advocacy group in Butte County, has vowed to file a lawsuit to try and stop Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District's plan to drill five new wells in eastern Glenn County.

Speakers at a public forum last week in Ord Bend called GCID's plans to pump more groundwater in times of drought "excessively greedy" and potentially harmful to area groundwater levels already taxed to the point that residential wells are running dry."Glenn County needs to enact an emergency ordinance just as Colusa County did," said Orland farmer Sharron Ellis, of Save our Water Resources. "Oversight of our resources is the responsibility of our county to protect the public trust."The project calls for five additional deep-water wells to be drilled along the Glenn-Colusa canal on sites east of Orland and Artois, which would yield 28,500 acre-feet of water taken over approximately eight months during critically dry years, GCID officials said."In a drought like this, do we really need 10 production wells to pull down more water?" asked Robyn DiFalco, director of the Butte Environmental Council. "I don't think so."DiFalco said the biggest concern with the project's environmental impact report is that it assumes the area's groundwater levels would largely recover during the next wet period."Based on what?" she said. "Data shows that the groundwater has not recovered in recent years. It's has recovered a little bit, but it is, overall, declining steadily."Water advocates said it is hard to trust GCID given its long history of promoting and endorsing conjunctive use of water, which means groundwater substitution, and that there is no reason to doubt that intent has changed.

DiFalco said since GCID had enough "surplus" water this year to sell 70,000 acre-feet of commingled water, of which 45,000 acre-feet flowed south this year to the Delta, she doubts that an emergency exists."If you have surplus water, where is the emergency for you to pump this water during a drought?" she said. "How do you claim to have surplus and also claim to have a deficit at the same time?"Tags: BEC, water, GCID, groundwaterby: rdifalco

July 28, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:he crowd at the Ord Community Hall Wednesday night was decidedly against the idea of five new wells for Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District. The agency provides water to about 1,000 farmers in four counties, and plans the new wells for use when surface water supplies are tight.Ord Bend >> The consistent and clear message Wednesday night was that people do not like Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District’s plans to drill five new wells. Members of the crowd were also not fans of five existing wells the district drilled previously and is including in the current environmental review.Speakers at a public comment meeting called the plans greedy, unnecessary and potentially harmful to groundwater levels in the area.Some citizens in Glenn County have started a petition calling for a moratorium on new production wells. Sharron Ellis, who passed a clipboard through the crowds, said a moratorium could stop new wells including those being discussed Wednesday night. So many wells are currently being drilled in the county that a moratorium would only slow down drilling, she said.One of the predictions in the environmental review is that once the drought is over, groundwater levels will recover. However, Robyn DiFalco, director of the Butte Environmental Council said this is not likely.Groundwater has not recovered in recent years, and is in a decline, she said.Tags: BEC, water, wells, Glenn County, GCID, droughtby: rdifalco

July 28, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Volunteer tree watering in Upper Bidwell Park: 8:15-11 a.m. Resources, including buckets, hose and water provided. Meet at North Rim Trail parking lot. Wear sturdy shoes and be able to carry a gallon of water from a truck to seedlings (5-10 yards). Butte Environmental Council planted 100 blue oak acorns last fall, and help watering is needed to assure their survival. For information or to schedule a group, Becky Holden, beckyh@becnet.org. Weekly through August.Tags: BEC, chico, water, oak, treeby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

August 13, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The district could sell the power it generates to a public utility or a public agency, using the proceeds to pay off debt used to finance construction of the plant."However, development of the Sites Reservoir is controversial. Several conservation and environmental organizations oppose this bill because it facilitates development of the reservoir. These groups contend the reservoir would harm the delta ecosystem while providing few, if any, resource management benefits."Tags: Sites Resevoir, water, energyby: rdifalco

July 24, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The California Department of Water Resources has released draft emergency regulations governing how groundwater basin boundaries may be modified or redrawn under the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Public comments on the draft regulations will be accepted until Sept. 4.The historic SGMA legislation, adopted last year, marked the first time California has attempted to comprehensively regulate groundwater and bring groundwater basins into a sustainable pattern of pumping and recharge.Tags: california, water, groundwater, SGMAby: rdifalco

July 24, 2015

Highlights and Sticky Notes:ore than a third of the largest groundwater basins in the world are being depleted faster than they are getting replenished, and there are little to no accurate data showing just how much water is left in them, according to two new studies published Tuesday.The studies spotlight increasing sustainability concerns as regions like California rely more and more on groundwater during times of severe drought."This work clearly demonstrates that it is no longer adequate to continue citing decades-old … estimates of total groundwater storage," according to the new studies, which were published in the journal Water Resources Research.Tags: groundwater, california, waterby: rdifalco

BEC's news feed is generated using Diigo, a social bookmarking tool.  You can see our full listing of news articles or subscribe to the RSS feed by visiting our Diigo group of BEC News Interests.