TID joins water agencies in legal challenge of Bay-Delta Plan

On Jan. 10, 2019, the San Joaquin Tributaries Authority (SJTA), of which TID is a member, filed a lawsuit challenging the Phase 1 of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Bay-Delta Plan.

The lawsuit, filed in Tuolumne County Superior Court, contends the State Water Board adopted a wholly different plan than it analyzed, violated state and federal due process laws and unlawfully segmented the environmental review of the plan, among other claims. The lawsuit, along with others, marks the beginning of a prolonged court proceeding surrounding the adequacy and legality of Phase 1.

On Dec. 12, 2018, the State Water Board adopted Phase 1 of its Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, despite TID and its partners on the Tuolumne putting forth a workable solution which could have been implemented immediately. The state’s action was unfortunate, but not unanticipated. If implemented as adopted, Phase 1’s objectives would undoubtedly have significant and devastating impacts on TID customers, all of whom benefit from the Tuolumne River.

On Nov. 7, 2018, after considering a request from Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, the State Water Board voted to delay further consideration of Phase 1 of its Bay-Delta Plan to give the voluntary settlement agreement process more time to be successful.


The Draft Substitute Environmental Document (SED) for Phase 1 was released in Dec. 2012, and after a public hearing at the State Water Board in Sacramento in March 2013, the State Water Board decided to update the document’s analyses and objectives. The State Water Board released an updated SED in Sept. 2016, setting off another comment period that concluded March 17, 2017.

TID strongly opposes this sweeping initiative and believes there are less drastic, non-flow-based alternatives that warrant the serious consideration of the State Water Board. Phase 1 lacks the best available science and will negatively impact TID water and power customers. Phase 1 would also cause significant harm to the region’s economy, agriculture operations and water supply. There would also be negative effects to groundwater levels at a time when California is in search of paths to better groundwater management following the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.

The links below are provided for customers and others looking to gain information or be a part of the process regarding the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal.

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