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