WATER ALERT: State’s offer of working group to oversee water flows “a joke,” MID official says | The Modesto Bee

WORKING GROUP INPUT ILLUSION (THE DELPHI TECHNIQUE)  . . . These meetings are controlled by directives not only from the United Nations, NGO’s, universities, The World Bank and many many more to establish policies based upon fraudulent water science. .   We have Primary Water – water is a renewable, we are NOT running out of water. . .  We MUST as individuals access primary water, independently from the water takeover power structure that is set to ration water resources that are endlessly available to all.  Learn more go to PrimaryWater.org

An important role of irrigation district board members is deciding how much water to allocate for agriculture and city customers each year and how much to hold in storage, said Michael Frantz, a TID board member. “In certain years, (the STM Group) would take that control away from our elected leaders and transfer it to a Sacramento bureaucrat.”

The so-called “STM Working Group” would include state water board staff and its executive director, the state and federal wildlife agencies, and water users. The group would implement the flows downstream from the dams and assess their effectiveness in boosting salmon numbers.

“The STM Group is a joke,” said John Mensinger.

In a statement Friday, the state agency said it would not be operating the reservoirs. The STM group would assist with implementation and monitoring of the flow requirements and would be comprised of the current operators, who are experts on reservoir management, and fisheries experts, who know how to manage flows for fish protection, the board’s statement said.

“The STM working group is all about having experts that understand the local problems make recommendations to best manage the system,” the board said.



State’s offer of working group to oversee water flows “a joke,” MID official says

Key elements of a State Water Resources Control Board plan for restoring fisheries are not acceptable to local irrigation districts, which are likely to sue if the state board does not compromise, district board members said Friday.

Most people know by now that the Bay Delta update would require 40 percent of unimpaired flows from February through June on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to restore salmon and support the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary.

To implement the plan, the state board would create a working group for the rivers that would exert far too much influence over the operation of Don Pedro, New Exchequer and New Melones reservoirs, two board members said.

The so-called “STM Working Group” would include state water board staff and its executive director, the state and federal wildlife agencies, and water users. The group would implement the flows downstream from the dams and assess their effectiveness in boosting salmon numbers.

“The STM Group is a joke,” said John Mensinger, who sees himself as a moderate board member of Modesto Irrigation District, which co-owns Don Pedro with Turlock Irrigation District. “We are never going to accept it.”

An important role of irrigation district board members is deciding how much water to allocate for agriculture and city customers each year and how much to hold in storage, said Michael Frantz, a TID board member. “In certain years, (the STM Group) would take that control away from our elected leaders and transfer it to a Sacramento bureaucrat.”

In a statement Friday, the state agency said it would not be operating the reservoirs. The STM group would assist with implementation and monitoring of the flow requirements and would be comprised of the current operators, who are experts on reservoir management, and fisheries experts, who know how to manage flows for fish protection, the board’s statement said.

“The STM working group is all about having experts that understand the local problems make recommendations to best manage the system,” the board said.

The water board, which held a two-day hearing on the plan Tuesday and Wednesday, says it will vote on the Bay Delta water quality update Nov. 7. Local and state officials who spoke at the Sacramento hearing said they would prefer to negotiate voluntary agreements that could include other tools for improving the fisheries in the delta.

If there are no agreements, the state could impose the flow requirements through conditions on water rights starting in 2022.

The irrigation districts, including MID and TID, along with districts with rights to Stanislaus and Merced river water, take issue with the final flow proposals, which were issued in July, but also can’t live with proposals for year-to-year carryover storage behind the dams for environmental purposes.

With a more civil tone prevailing at the hearing this week, local officials had thought that Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointees on the board might compromise. But board members’ comments near the end of the meeting Wednesday evening suggested they won’t budge and were disappointing, Frantz said.

Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the five-member board, is a former western director for the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. Other board members have professional backgrounds with regulatory agencies.

Negotiations are still possible with the state’s Natural Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife. Representatives of those agencies said at the hearing they’re committed to discussing voluntary settlements before the Nov. 7 decision.

“If the state board adopts this program, as it stands, we are going to sue them because the environmental document is deficient and a lot of things they are asking for are unlawful,” Mensinger said, noting he has seen a rough draft of a lawsuit.

Legal challenges to the Bay Delta update are also anticipated from environmental groups that have called for 50 to 60 percent river flows to benefit the fisheries.

Frantz said the carryover storage requirements are a lesser-known piece of the state’s plan and one reason for dire predictions of economic losses for the region.

He said it would result in cuts or total elimination of water deliveries to farmers and city of Modesto customers amid multiple dry years. As an example, he cited the severe drought from 2012 to 2015. No water would have been delivered to TID customers in the last two years of the drought if the state proposals had been in place, Frantz said.

Some special drought provisions in an agreement might help appease the districts.

“We expect to see more droughts,” Frantz said, noting that weather patterns suggest that dry spells could be longer and more severe in the future. Aside from the farm-related industries served by the districts, more than a million people live in the area affected by the water board’s plan.

The state plan would allow the increased river flows or an equivalent amount of water to be managed and shaped for creating river conditions and cooler water temperatures that support the salmon. The releases, starting at 40 percent of the natural runoff in the watersheds, could be adjusted in future years between 30 and 50 percent based on whether the measures are effective in boosting the fisheries.

Mensinger said the upper end of the range is too high — the MID won’t sacrifice half its water.

The irrigation districts are faced with convincing the water board to accept some of their ideas for salmon restoration in the three rivers. They contend more can be done with less water by providing habitat and suppressing nonnative bass that feed on young salmon swimming downstream.

Some have suggested the state should remove June from the requirements since the young salmon are no longer in the river that month.

If the flow requirements are approved in November, a signoff is required from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It could be another flashpoint in the process given the recent efforts by the Trump administration to intervene in water resource policies in the delta. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has said the updated Bay Delta plan contradicts the congressional priorities for the federally run New Melones reservoir and has threatened legal action.

The state water board has not conceded that the federal EPA has approval rights over all of the Bay Delta water quality update.


The World Bank – Regulatory Frameworks for WATER Resources Management – (Document) Public Disclosure Authorized

The World Bank – Regulatory Frameworks for WATER Resources Management – (Document) Public Disclosure Authorized
  1. Regulatory Frameworks for Water Resources … – World Bank Group

    web.worldbank.org/archive/website01021/WEB/IMAGES/Proxy  Highlight

    regulatory framework for water resources management and identifies …. With regard to water legislation, the Action Plan recommendations are still highly.
EXCERPTS BELOW from above Document – recommended reading entire water regulations and global water management scheme – above link:

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) has addressed the concept, stating that

the holistic management of freshwater as a finite and vulnerable resource, and the integration of sectoral water plans and programs within the framework of national economic and social policy, are of paramount importance. . . . Integrated water resources management is based on the perception of water as an integral part of the ecosystem, a natural resource and social and economic good.293

IWRM aims to ensure the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources by maximizing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital environmental systems.294

Sustainable and efficient water management requires good planning. This suggests that each jurisdiction needs to develop plans for how it will manage and regulate its water resources. Consequently, water legislation could stipulate the types of plans—national, regional, basin plans—the authorities are required to develop, and the issues that they should address. The legislation could also stip- ulate how the information needed to develop these plans should be collected.

4.4 RegulationofWaterUses

As a public trustee of the nation’s water, the State is entrusted with responsibil- ity for ensuring that water is allocated equitably and beneficially, as well as with authority for regulating the use, flow, and control of all types of water in the State. A general rule in most statutes relates to the requirement for a permit or license to be issued by the government in accordance with clear and transparent criteria and procedures before a person can use water or construct water infra- structure. In essence, the permit grants a water right to this person.

Such a permit would describe the types of water uses allowed, the quantity of water that can be used, the water standards with which the permit holder must comply, the duration of the permit,297 the process for its renewal, and the water permit fees. In relation to groundwater, well spacing and the current amount of water being drawn from the aquifer in question can be other factors to be con- sidered in deciding whether to award a permit. However, in some countries per- mits are not required if the depth of the well does not exceed a specified limit. In addition, most legislation exempts domestic uses, up to a specified amount per day, from the requirement for a permit.298 Other issues to be addressed include procedures for challenging unfavorable decisions on water rights.

One issue facing most countries preparing water legislation is how to verify and regularize water uses that existed before the legislation is adopted.

Groundwater needs stricter and more detailed rules for its protection because it is more vulnerable than surface water to pollution and other forms of contam- ination. This is due to the fact that groundwater “flows at much slower rates than surface water, which causes contamination and other problems to manifest at slower rates and reduces aquifers’ natural reclamation abilities.”306 Moreover, pollution of groundwater is usually irreversible.307 It is further argued that non- replenishable groundwater (fossil aquifers) requires more stringent protection rules.308 Some legislation addresses the environmental sustainability of the water source, requiring that part of the water be left as a “reserve” to maintain the ecosystem of the river.309 These developments indicate clearly that the stan- dards for protecting water resources are evolving; therefore the legislation should be flexible enough to accommodate such evolving standards.

Two concepts that have been evolving and are now receiving increasing atten- tion in water legislation are the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle. The precautionary principle has been given wide recognition by the Rio Declaration, where it is included as principle 15. That principle states: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of seri- ous or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degra- dation.”310 The main rationale for the precautionary principle is the often irre- versible character of damage to the environment and the limitations inherent in the very mechanisms for reparation of this type of damage.

306 See Gabriel Eckstein, Protecting a Hidden Treasure: The U.N. International Law Com- mission and the International Law of Transboundary Ground Water Resources, 5 Sust. Dev. L. & Policy 5 (2004).

307 See Stephen Foster, Essential Concepts for Groundwater Regulators, in Salman (ed.), supra n. 163, at 15. See also Stephen Foster, Adrian Lawrence & Brian Morris, Ground- water in Urban Development—Assessing Management Needs and Formulating Policy Strategies, World Bank Technical Paper No. 390, 11 (World Bank 1998); and Stephen Foster, John Chilton, Marcus Moench, Franklin Cardy & Manuel Schiffler, Groundwater in Rural Development—Facing the Challenges of Supply and Resources Sustainability, World Bank Technical Paper No. 463 (World Bank 2000).

308 See Guidelines for Development and Management of Groundwater Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions, 8 Intl. J. Water Resources Dev. 145 (1992).

309 See supra, section, on the concept of the Reserve in South Africa.

310 For the Rio Declaration see supra n. 277. The precautionary principle is now recog- nized as a general principle of international environmental law;see The Precautionary Principle in International Law—The Challenge of Implementation (David Freestone & Ellen Hey, eds., Kluwer Law Intl. 1996).See, for example, Preamble to the Convention on Biodiversity, 31 ILM 818 (1992) (entered into force December 29, 1993); article 3.3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 31 ILM 818 (1992) (entered into force December 29, 1993); and the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, supra n. 122.

4.6 RegulationofWaterInfrastructure

Regulation of the works that are needed to provide adequate water services is not purely an issue of water law. The construction and operation of such works raises legal issues related to construction, land acquisition, environmental, and zoning law, and, in the case of public works, government procurement law. The water statute needs to address this because these works affect the quality, quantity, and flow of water. Consequently, it is important that water legislation stipulate who can operate such works and the procedures for getting permission to undertake them. This issue may be addressed, inter alia, through a requirement for a per- mit from the relevant government authority if the works are to be carried out by a private party. Both public and private entities would need to adhere to laws and regulations in this regard.

The legislation would endow the government with responsibility for the use, protection, capital investment, and safety of all state-owned water infrastruc- tures, while making private owners responsible for their infrastructure. Private owners include water users’ associations, which are allowed in some countries to build and operate their own water infrastructure. Some statutes require that water infrastructures that have special strategic importance be owned only by the state. The government has the authority to inspect privately owned water infra- structure and ensure its compliance with standards, permits, and registration requirements, including any requirements for an environmental impact assess- ment, as well as its proper functioning and safety.317

It is worth noting that the issues related to water infrastructure are quite com- plex and are usually covered in a large number of legal instruments. The World Bank Policy Paper on Water Resources Management refers to the World Bank policies that are related to water resources. They include the policies on envi- ronmental assessment, environmental action plans, involuntary resettlement, projects on international waterways, indigenous peoples, physical and cultural resources, safety of dams, how to involve nongovernmental organizations, poverty reduction, and disclosure of information.318

4.7 Institutional Arrangements

Institutional arrangements for dealing with water resources are covered widely in water legislation. Such arrangements designate one or more government agencies with ultimate responsibility over water resources, including allocation and supervision of water rights and the preparation of plans, programs, and poli- cies, as well as enforcement provisions. The previous part of this study noted the variety of those agencies: ministries, national councils, agencies, and commis- sions. Whatever choice is made, the line of responsibility should be made clear to avoid duplication and overlapping of responsibilities, and the entity should be provided with financial and administrative autonomy. As noted in the World Bank Water Policy: “The lessons of experience suggest that an important prin- ciple in restructuring public service agencies is their conversion into financially autonomous entities, with effective authority to charge and collect fees, and with freedom to manage without political interference.”

The institutional arrangements should also reflect decentralization of deci- sion making and public participation. Decentralization is based on the principle that “nothing should be done at a higher level of government that can be done satisfactorily at a lower level.”320 This is reflected in the establishment of basin management authorities that are responsible for developing water management plans for a specific basin.321 The legislation should clearly define the watershed limits, composition, and responsibilities of the basin authority. Public represent tation in such agencies would strengthen their role and provide a base for sup- port of their decisions. The responsibilities of such entities could extend to both management and protection of the basin. This approach of decentralization and public participation in water management would incorporate two of the Dublin Principles.

Water users’ associations are established under most legislation as legal enti- ties with responsibility over the operation and maintenance of the irrigation facilities in their district and for collection of water charges.322 Furthermore the authority of those associations is extended in some countries to water supply as well. It is widely argued that participation of users “increases the likelihood that the system under their responsibility will be well maintained and contributes to community cohesion and empowerment in ways that can spread to other development activities.”323 Moreover, because association-managed systems have a consumer orientation, they are likely to provide better service and improve willingness to pay for such service.324 (See page 154 of this document)

*****Some legislation provides for the establishment of “advisory boards”, where all the entities and organizations concerned with water would be represented, including civil society organizations and academic institutions. Such advisory bodies would assist the government in preparing water policies, programs, and plans, and in coordinating their implementation. Indeed, public participation in the design and implementation of water policy and legislation is now considered an important element in ensuring the success of the policies and the legislation.329  **********

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4.8 Financial Arrangements

One of the complex issues, and a major challenge in water resources manage- ment, is water charges.330 Charging fees is intended to recognize water as an eco- nomic good,331 manage demand, encourage rationalization of water use, and raise revenues for operation and maintenance of the system.332 Most of the statutes state that charges for water must be set at a level that is adequate to cover the costs associated with operation and maintenance of the water infrastruc- ture.333 Because some cultures perceive water as a God-given gift for which no charges should be imposed, such charges can be presented as fees for delivery of the service, not necessarily for the water itself.334

One of the elements taken into account in setting charges for water is the vol- ume of water used, sometimes with progressive increases in prices for water usage exceeding certain amounts. This approach is being applied for domestic, industrial, and irrigation uses, though for irrigation uses approaches other than volume of water delivered have been used. Such approaches include the size of the area irrigated, the kind of crop irrigated, and the season for irrigation (the wet or the dry season, with higher charges during the dry season).335 Some laws use the source of water as a factor, charging more for groundwater than for surface water. Other laws include location of the area of delivery, the furthest points pay- ing the highest fees. In many countries water charges are set out in a separate regulation rather than in the water law itself, since updating a regulation is less cumbersome than amending a law.

Water pricing has been one of the most difficult issues faced in the water sec- tor, particularly charges for irrigation.336 Irrigation is the largest single user of water, accounting for about 73 percent of global water use, with the figure exceeding 80 percent for developing countries.337 Irrigation water in most countries is heavily subsidized,338 with no more than 10 percent of operating costs being paid by the users.339 This is notwithstanding water law in many of those countries that would call for full cost recovery for water services.340 The vicious cycle of farmers not paying because water is not being delivered, and water not being delivered because the system is in disrepair and cannot be fixed because of lack of funds, is often quoted as one reason for this state of affairs.

Partly because of this reasoning, some countries have followed the approach of charging a flat rate for water, whether for irrigation or domestic use, with all users or consumers paying the same rate regardless of the amount used. This approach does not create any incentives for managing demand or using water efficiently. Indeed, it creates perverse incentives for exactly the opposite, thus exacerbating an already difficult situation. The vicious cycle applies more vividly to water utilities where supply, demand, and pricing keep hopelessly chasing each other because of the flat rate approach. The problem of unac- counted-for water exacerbates this situation.341One reason for promoting the use of water users’ associations in both irrigation and rural water supply is the expectation that they can play a major role in water management, including operation and maintenance and collection of water charges.342

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In the cited case, the applicant had failed to pay for water in excess of the free six kilo- litres per month provided by the Durban Transitional Metropolitan Council (DTMC). The DTMC, invoking its bylaws, gave the applicant written notice and allowed for represen- tations to be made before disconnecting her water supply. The applicant argued that the bylaws were inconsistent with the Water Services Act because the disconnection resulted in her being denied access to basic water services while she was unable to pay for basic provisions in its water law.357 Chile has implemented a water stamps system for the needy in its population who live below a certain level of income.358 Con- sequently, there is increasing pressure on governments from international and civil society organizations to guarantee such a right to the poor and vulnerable segments of society through incorporation of this right into water statutes, as well as through specific action and procedures to implement the provisions of the statutes.

4.11 EnforcementoftheRegulations

The credibility of any legislation, including water legislation, depends on its enforcement provisions and how to get the different parties to comply with them. Such provisions need to enumerate acts that are considered violations of the law and specify sanctions. The tools that authorities can use in enforc- ing the requirements of the statute and identifying violations are limited to monitoring and inspections. To facilitate enforcement, most water law statutes give employees of the water agency the authority necessary to monitor com- pliance with the law, and some even create a special category of employees for that purpose.

Violations would include diverting or using water for any purpose without having been awarded the right to use water for that purpose; in contravention of the permit, actions that alter the flow rate, quality, or quantity of water without prior authorization; construction of unauthorized works; or committing fraud in measuring the volume of water used. Such violations can result in sanctions that include temporary or permanent revocations of the permit, fines, or even jail sentences for acts that involve criminal activity,359 though such sanctions are subject to appeal. Violators may even be liable to pay damages to any person harmed by their acts, as prescribed by the statutes of Armenia and South Africa. On the other hand, the statutes of China and Vietnam, as discussed earlier, provide incentives for compliance.

4.12 Dispute Settlement

Given the increasing scarcity of water resources and the rising quality problems, disputes between different users, or between a user and the government, are bound to arise. Water legislation therefore needs to address the issue of how to deal with those disputes. Furthermore, the legislation may also need to address situations where the dispute is between two government agencies.

Water disputes can be dealt with in widely varying ways. Initial authority to resolve disputes between users may be granted to the water agency established and operating under the water law. Special commissions are established in some jurisdictions to mediate or arbitrate water disputes between users that do not involve the government. Water users’ associations are also given powers in some countries to resolve disputes among members. A special water tribunal is estab- lished in some jurisdictions to deal with water disputes.360 The rationale for those less formal mechanisms is to avoid cost and delays. However, in most cases, appeals are allowed to the court system. Cases against the government, in most jurisdictions, can only be dealt with by the court system.

Disputes between different government agencies or basin authorities may be referred to the regulatory authority. Disputes between different water users’ associations are referred, as mentioned earlier, to the federation of water users’ associations, if such a federation exists.361

Clearly, a wide array of key and emerging issues has to be addressed in water legislation. Those issues include ownership of the water resources, underlying principles and priorities, regulation of water uses and water infrastructure, pro- tection of water resources, institutional and financial arrangements, enforce- ment of regulations, and dispute settlement. Some of the components of those issues are still evolving. Decentralization and participation, including broad par- ticipation in the preparation of water legislation, are gaining wide recognition and are becoming overarching principles for the regulatory framework for water resources management.362

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CHAPTER 5 Conclusion

Water resources globally are facing tremendous and ever-increasing pressures. The population of the world has more than tripled in the last century, presenting a major challenge, particularly in the water sector, to governments around the world. Environmental degradation and hydrological variability, urbanization and industrialization, have compounded the challenges. Disputes resulting from com- peting demands between different uses and users at the local, district, provincial, national, and international levels keep multiplying. Issues related to international waters are now becoming increasingly apparent, and indeed are intertwined with domestic uses. Utilization of shared waters by one country is, more than ever before, having direct effects on other countries sharing the same watercourse.

All those challenges have pushed the need to rethink water resources manage- ment to the top of national as well as regional and global agendas.363 The search for solutions has extended across various paths, including the managerial, tech- nological, financial, social, economic, political, institutional, and legal, confirm- ing the multidisciplinary, or transdisciplinary, nature of water. The Marrakech Declaration recognized the urgent need for a better understanding of all those complex issues, including the legal ones, as a prerequisite for shaping a water policy for this millennium.

The relevance and importance of water legislation to the proper management and protection of water resources was recognized a long time ago. This recogni- tion has been underscored by more recent international conferences on water, starting with the Mar del Plata United Nations Water Conference in 1977. Indeed, that conference went beyond urging States to adopt water legislation and issued a detailed road map highlighting the basic elements to be included in water leg- islation, as well as in the national water plan, policy, or strategy. The road map also included the process for preparing water legislation.

That road map is still valid and relevant, almost thirty years after its adoption. Moreover, the road map undoubtedly paved the way for the Dublin which we termed the magna carta for water resources management and develop- ment. The four Dublin Principles continue to guide policies, strategies, and leg- islation around the globe and without a doubt have had major influence on our thinking about how water should be used, managed, and developed. Chapter 18 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development on Fresh- water Resources and the declarations of the three world water forums, as well as other international water conferences, have incorporated and emphasized those principles and underscored the importance of water legislation. Indeed, the only effective way for recognizing and giving effect to the Dublin Principles is through their incorporation in water legislation.

Some thirty years after Mar del Plata, the overall picture around the world with regard to water legislation is quite mixed. While a number of countries have adopted comprehensive water statutes, others are still struggling to agree on one. Countries in a third group have addressed water issues in scattered provisions in a number of laws and regulations. Some of the countries with a federal system of government have assigned authority over water to their states or provinces, with little responsibility left for the central government.

As stated earlier, the purpose of this study is to provide policy makers and technical experts with a toolkit of issues to be considered in water legislation. Based on the survey and analysis of the regulatory frameworks for water resources management in sixteen jurisdictions, the study has identified key elements that for the most part have been addressed, in varying ways, by the coun- tries surveyed. The study has also identified what we have referred to as emerg- ing trends in water legislation.

However, as the previous chapters indicate, the jurisdictions whose regula- tory frameworks for water resources management are examined in this study have addressed the various basic issues in ways that are influenced largely by their legal history and their socioeconomic, political, and cultural milieu. State ownership or custodianship of water resources is gradually emerging as the rule. Yet exceptions are allowed in some countries for some form of private ownership; and traditional and customary rights are still gaining recognition. Private ownership of rainwater harvested in private lands for domestic use is explicitly allowed in a number of countries. Groundwater continues to present special challenges because a number of countries still allow the ownership of land to carry with it ownership of the water beneath it. Moreover, even in coun- tries that have claimed custodianship over such groundwater, effective meas- ures for exercising such custodianship responsibilities are still lacking. The fact that groundwater is highly susceptible to externalities364poses additional


364 For discussion of such externalities, see World Bank, supra n. 4, at 83.

problems, particularly when the aquifer in question is a fossil, nonreplenish- able one.365

Variations in the incorporation of the four Dublin Principles in water legisla- tion are quite evident. Financial arrangements are given wide coverage in some legal frameworks, underscoring the belief that treating water as a socioeconomic good will assist in demand management as well as in rationalizing water use. Yet a few countries have missed or ignored this principle, thereby compounding the challenges to the sustainability of their water resources. However, even in some countries that have adopted provisions for cost recovery, enforcement of those provisions has proven quite difficult.

Decentralization of decision making at the basin level and participation of users in the planning and management of water resources are the rule in some countries, the exception in a second group, and absent in others. Indeed, some countries have gone a long way towards incorporating public participation, not just users’ participation, into decision making over water resources management issues. As discussed in the previous chapters, such participation includes public notice of water use permits, inviting public comments on proposed regulations to be issued by the executive authority, the establishing or disestablishing of a water institution, and water pricing strategies. As the discussion in the previous chap- ters indicates, decentralization and users’ participation are the pillars of any water legislation.

Similarly, variations in institutional arrangements for the water resources sec- tor in the countries surveyed are quite apparent. They include oversight by one or more ministries, councils, commissions, or simply administrative agencies or water utilities. However, it is the authority and independence of such entities that should actually matter, not whether they are ministries with multiple responsibil- ities or separate water agencies. Legal and financial autonomy is particularly important for public water utilities.366 Where there are multiple entities, the need for coordination and avoidance of overlapping responsibilities is necessary. But in a number of countries this need may not be that clear, in theory, in practice, or in both.

With the challenges to the quality of water resources multiplying by the day, compounded by environmental degradation and industrialization, the need for an elaborate protective framework is evident. Yet a number of countries still fail this test. Decisions on water rights—how to allocate them, using what criteria, and how to verify existing ones—and how to administer them will only be accepted as legitimate when they are made in a transparent, equitable, and fair manner, accompanied by mechanisms to redress grievances. Some legislation does pro- vide for public participation in such decisions. Yet those elements, and the details elaborating them, are missed in a number of water laws.

As the previous chapters indicate, water resources management is clearly a dynamic and evolving concept and should be dealt with accordingly.367 Our understanding of the elements that need to be addressed in water legislation is constantly evolving. It is also noteworthy that “water legislation is rapidly evolv- ing towards integrated water planning to satisfy environmental objectives, eco- nomic requirements and social concerns.”368 This fact is further buttressed by some emerging trends in water legislation. The underlying purposes for legisla- tion now include new elements, such as the sustainable utilization of water resources to protect future generations. Such sustainable utilization is also needed to enable states to meet their international obligations with regard to shared water resources.

Integrated water resources management is increasingly finding a place in water legislation and policies. As discussed earlier, IWRM aims to ensure the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources by maximizing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustain- ability of vital environmental systems.

Closely related to the concept of IWRM is the need for protection of the water source ecosystem, which is broad and includes the flora, fauna, and land con- tiguous to the water source.369 Similarly, the notion of the “reserve” is becoming increasingly relevant for water legislation. Furthermore, concepts that have been reserved to international environmental law, such as the precautionary and polluter-pays principles, are gradually being incorporated as rules in domestic water legislation.

The human right to water for the needy and vulnerable groups of the society is being debated, and as discussed earlier, it is widely agued that such a right does indeed exist under international law, buttressing the emerging calls to recognize this right.


Water a Land Grab Accelerating – Costly Regulations and Restrictions – The World Bank and Corporations want TOTAL CONTROL . . .

WATER WARS: Water a Land Grab Accelerating – Costly Regulations and Restrictions – The World Bank and Corporations want TOTAL CONTROL . . .
Reminder: We DO NOT have a water shortage – we have Primary Water which is a renewable . . .
Please learn the water facts and learn more – PrimaryWater.org
San Francisco Chronicle (Aug. 19)
The cold, rushing water of the Tuolumne River, piped from the high peaks of Yosemite to the taps of Bay Area residents, is not only among the nation’s most pristine municipal water sources but extraordinarily plentiful.
EXCERPT from Above LINK:  City leaders call the restrictions unthinkable. They fear unprecedented water cutbacks for Bay Area residents and even businesses, and they’ve forged a strange marriage with farm communities which worry the plan will leave crops with insufficient water. Together, they have asked the state to scale back its initiative, but the state hasn’t budged, and another front in California’s enduring water wars has opened.
By Tara Lohan, News Deeply, 8/20/18
The state’s 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act takes a big step in protecting ecosystems that depend on groundwater, but now the hard work of incorporating that mandate into sustainability plans begins.
EXCERPT from Above LINK:
Many groundwater settlements usually dole out “strict pumping numbers” for the parties involved.
The arrangement means more involved monitoring.
Without pumping restrictions there would be a dust emissions problem. That would have been a pretty sad state for the valley.
Some people will be happier than others, and you’re going to want to have a framework for resolving disputes due to pumping ground water restrictions and allocations.
Groundwater sustainability agencies in California are now tasked with writing their required groundwater sustainability plans as part of the implementation of SGMA, they need to consider the impacts of groundwater pumping on “beneficial users” of groundwater. Under SGMA, GDEs are one of those users.

One of the first things groundwater sustainability agencies need to do is identify where in their groundwater basins they have GDEs. So, The Nature Conservancy has worked in partnership with California’s Department of Water Resources to develop a database to inventory GDE locations. “It’s a starting point,” Rohde said of the database. Groundwater sustainability agencies will then “have to use local hydrologic knowledge to groundtruth the mapped ecosystems in the dataset and also fill in any missing gaps to create a basin GDE map.”

The database, Rohde said, found 2.2 million acres of likely GDEs across California, half of which are in desert subbasins. GDEs in desert areas are some of the most vulnerable, she said, because overpumping of even a single well could draw down a desert spring that provides critical water and habitat for wildlife.

One of the reasons protecting GDEs is such an important part of SGMA is that we don’t have many of them left. The state has lost around 95 percent of its historic wetlands. Much of the remaining wetland and riparian habitat is highly fragmented. A number of native fish species are being pushed toward extinction.

The resources include information on how to incorporate GDEs into a biological and water quality monitoring network, and how to create a management plan that protects and improves GDEs.

Fox Canyon has completed a draft of its groundwater sustainability plan, and has used the state’s dataset and The Nature Conservancy’s guidance document to help incorporate GDEs into its plans, said Rohde.

When it comes to resources, though, there’s still more work to do in one really crucial part of the process: determining which biological and hydrological thresholds need to be set to keep the various plant and animal communities in GDEs thriving. “The holy grail of all of this,” said Rohde, “would be to be able to give [groundwater agencies] threshold numbers, so that they can focus on management activities to sustain that.”


How Ranchers Are Getting by With Less Water Across the West

Most ranches depend on rain to ensure cattle have enough to eat, but arid conditions amplified by drought across much of the West means that ranchers are employing best practices to use water as efficiently as possible, writes New Mexico rancher Cassidy Johnston.

WRITTEN BYCassidy Johnston PUBLISHED ON   READ TIMEApprox. 3 minutes

Mike Rosengrants feeds his cattle at his ranch in Campo, Colorado, in 2014. Drought across the West this year is making it tough for ranchers and farmers.RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

IN THE SUMMER, all we talk about is rain. Walk into a diner or a barn, or just run into someone at the store, and the first question anyone asks – even before, “How are you?” – is, “Did you get any rain?” It’s the same in New Mexico as in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. Everyone is concerned because, as ranchers, we know the health of our cattle depends on the amount of water that falls out of the sky. And this year, it hasn’t been a lot.

Much of the American West is classified as either semi-arid or desert, so water is our most precious resource. We need to use water efficiently to protect what little we have in this climate, especially in drought years. Most grazing pastures are not irrigated, so we rely heavily upon rainwater to replenish the grasses our cattle eat and the springs, streams, ponds and wells where they drink.

Ranchers continually have to ask themselves: Do we have enough water? What is the best way to bring water to our cattle? How can we improve our water systems to preserve more natural resources?

The answers to these questions have helped ranchers come up with some best practices to endure in tough climates.

Ranches that depend on dirt tanks filled by rainwater need to haul water to the pastures for cattle to drink. However, no amount of drinking water makes up for the lack of rain. While cattle usually graze grass in the summer, heat and drought have decreased forage growth. Some ranchers are supplementing their cattle’s diets with hay, while others are selling cattle to prevent damaging their rangelands with overgrazing.

Others may be doing fine this year because they routinely understock their ranches in anticipation of dry years like this. But if drought continues, even that isn’t a guarantee. In areas that have been drought-stricken for longer periods, ranches are either going out of business or hanging on by a thread, praying for rain that may never fall.

I feel fortunate to work on a ranch with an excellent water infrastructure. Since most ranches in our area have little to no surface water, we use a complex system of solar-powered pumps, tanks, lines and drinkers (water troughs) to deliver water over tens of thousands of acres to the cattle on our ranch.

We rely on our water system to keep the cattle hydrated, so we check it every day and repair broken water lines as soon as possible. Earlier this month, our ranch got new water tanks and drinkers because some of our pastures didn’t have enough places for the cattle to water to ensure the whole pasture is utilized properly, which is especially important in dry years.

In such a dry climate, strategic water use and grazing on our ranch keeps our rangelands healthy for our cattle and the wildlife that live here. In drier, drought-prone parts of the West, some ranchers will conserve resources by stocking their ranches at 50–70 percent carrying capacity with breeding cows and calves, the foundation of many ranches. This allows them to stock the rest of their ranch with cattle that can be sold during a drought to leave more resources for the breeding cows and calves. Rotational grazing – regularly moving cattle to fresh pastures – prevents cattle from overgrazing, which protects the health of the soil and increases resilience to drought.

Ranchers use these measures and more to conserve water because we know we could not raise healthy cattle without it.

Cattle ranchers are proud stewards of the land, and we take that job seriously. We know that if we do not manage resources like water efficiently on our rangelands, we will no longer be able to raise cattle and conserve the rangelands we love. Sustainable practices allow ranchers to produce food while protecting the resources we all share. We are constantly striving to improve how we use water for the good of our cattle, our environment and the next generation.

This commentary was produced as a result of a partnership with Sustainable Brands. The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies of Water Deeply or Sustainable Brands

WATER ALERT – Water Access Restricted – Bans on NEW Private Wells . . coming State, Nationwide, Worldwide . .

WATER ALERT – Water Access Restricted – Bans on NEW Private Wells . . coming State, Nationwide, Worldwide . . go to PrimaryWater.org

While this article is talking about California keep in mind water access and restrictions are intended goals worldwide!
We DO NOT have a water shortage – we have Primary Water.
Water is a renewable and the Earth is the water planet.
Learn the facts about water – go to PrimaryWater.org and PrimaryWaterInstitute.org.
Listen to the You Tube video “Primary Water Explained”.
Throughout the state, unregulated water wells have lead to the overdraft of aquifers and the pollution of public drinking water.
Efforts are in accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which provides greater oversight over groundwater and required local agencies to develop management plans. Layers of aquifers make up nearly 40 percent of California’s total water supply. In dry years, they contribute even more. Governor Jerry Brown signed the SGMPA into law in 2014 to halt overdraft, which has been particularly problematic in the Central Valley, according to state reports.
By Kate Cagle, Santa Monica Daily Press, 8/13/18
A proposed law to ban new private wells in Santa Monica will go before the City Council Tuesday as part of a statewide attempt to better regulate groundwater. The ordinance aims to protect local aquifers from overdraft, pollution and contamination.

Water TAX on Drinking Water – and More Water Taxes in the Future!

Water TAX on Drinking Water – and More Water Taxes in the Future!

Remember – we do NOT have a water shortage.  We have Primary Water a renewable from down below the Earth’s mantel which surfaces constantly . . . Watch the You Tube video “Primary Water Explained” . . . and go to PrimaryWater.org to learn the water FACTS. . .

With the state legislature returning from summer recess, the proposal to impose a statewide tax on drinking water could return before the end of the current legislative year on August 31.

The proposed tax on drinking water was introduced in 2017 by Sen. Bill Monning (SB 623). The primary purpose of the bill was to fund solutions in some disadvantaged communities without access to safe drinking water, which are primarily located in rural areas in the Central Valley. In September of 2017, the Assembly Appropriations Committee moved the bill to the Assembly Rules Committee, where it currently remains as a two-year bill. The proposal would have generated roughly $110 million per year through a 95-cent monthly fee on home water bills as well as taxes on businesses of up to $10 per month. Another $30 million would come from higher fees on agricultural and dairy businesses, industries whose chemicals contribute to the problem of contaminated groundwater.

I’ve argued it’s a very bad idea because it is the proverbial camel’s-nose-under-the-tent: It surely would be the first step towards more taxes on public drinking water.

By Jim Shields, Ukiah Daily Journal, 8/12/18
With the state legislature returning from summer recess, the proposal to impose a statewide tax on drinking water could return before the end of the current legislative year on August 31.

WATER STOLEN – Mexico quietly hands its water supply over to transnationals | Green Left Weekly



Mexico quietly hands its water supply over to transnationals

While many in Mexico are distracted by World Cup matches and the upcoming presidential elections, something big and strange has been going on under the radar.

Earlier this month, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed 10 decrees that essentially give transnationals like Coca-Cola and mining companies even greater access to the country’s water supply.

But there was little in the news about it. The media framed the measures as “guaranteeing water (supplies) for the next 50 years”. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also got behind the decrees, under the pretence that they protect the environment.

After academics and water rights activists analysed the legal content of what had been passed and declared their opposition, the WWF again defended the measures. It claimed the “water reserves don’t represent in any way the privatisation of a resource, nor the extinguishing of any right to use water. Rather, [the decrees] clearly establish volumes of water that should be intact for biodiversity.”

WWF greenwashing

But the WWF is not impartial in Mexico, given its alliance with Mexico’s top billionaire Carlos Slim. Author Wilfried Huismann denounced the WWF saying it has been “selling its soul” and “greenwashing” business operations for companies such as Coca-Cola, Shell, Monsanto, HSBC, Cargill, BP, Alcoa and Marine Harvest.

“WWF is a willing service provider to the giants of the food and energy sectors, supplying industry with a green, progressive image … On the one hand it protects the forest; on the other it helps corporations lay claim to land not previously in their grasp. WWF helps sell the idea of voluntary resettlement to indigenous peoples,” said Huismann.

An analysis by Water for All, a Mexican grassroots organisation that campaigns for water rights, found that the recent decrees allow the government to guarantee water for mining, petroleum and private companies, at the expense of rural workers, indigenous groups and urban communities. The decrees lift a prohibition on extracting water from about 300 catchment areas.

They also declare that any water rights that have not been renewed are now invalid – meaning 50,000 towns, common land holders and communities, not realising they had to renew their right to access the water on their own land, have lost that right.

Furthermore, for the next 50 years, some states will be in charge of distributing water for public urban use through concessions. As seen in Puebla already, these concessions are essentially a privatisation of water, putting its management into the hands of corporations through a bidding process.

The Puebla government was the first state to successfully award a 60-year deal to a consortium to manage the local water. That consortium is run by corrupt business owners and money launderers — and as a result of the privatisation we have seen our water bills rise to 13 times what nearby states pay.

The company, Waters of Puebla, surprises residents with random water bill debts; refuses to fix broken connections while still charging water rates; restricts water access to some suburbs, seeing them go without water for months; and limits water to most poorer areas to just 60 minutes a week, while providing unlimited supply to wealthier suburbs and businesses such as Walmart.

In response to the WWF’s claim that the decrees have environmental goals, Water for All pointed out that the water the decrees reserve for conservation is expressed in millions of cubic metres a year, but “protecting rivers, catchment areas and their ecosystems depends more on regulating the water flow”.


The decrees also come in a context of expanding “megaprojects” in the country. Huge construction, energy and mining projects are carried out at the expense of rural and indigenous communities, and the environment.

With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, extractive industries took off in Mexico. Mexican researchers have warned that 70% of the country’s rivers are already “seriously contaminated” by extractive industry. Indigenous and rural communities suffer, as their only water sources are flooded with toxic chemicals. Already, of the 731 drainage basins, 104 are undersupplied due to overuse.

In response to Water for All’s analysis, Mexico’s private media has published several articles calling the claims of privatisation “fake news”. “The privatisation of water is false,” stated one article, while another was headlined “Peña Nieto privatising the water is more fake news”.

The coverage seems to be a clean-up campaign by the private media to quickly reframe the conversation.

Ultimately, none of these articles dispute that the decrees were passed; instead they discuss whether it is correct to label the removal of prohibitions and the concessions to private companies as “privatisation”.

The timing of the decrees is no coincidence. Left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly referred to as AMLO) is highly likely to win the July 1 presidential election, but he will not be sworn in until December 1. That gives the national and state governments a few months to award irreversible decades-long contracts and permits to corporations.

[Tamara Pearson has been an activist and journalist for 17 years, writing and fighting from Australia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and now Mexico. She blogs at Resistance Words, and is the author of The Butterfly Prison.]


TOXIC WATER ALERT: Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public – NaturalNews.com

TOXIC WATER ALERT:  Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public –NaturalNews.com

Posted on StopTheCrime.net

Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public 7/17/18

Image: Public water in Washington, D.C., was declared unsafe to drink; warnings issued to the public

(Natural News) Many Washington, D.C., residents spent the weekend under a boil water advisory due to a contamination risk. On Friday, DC Water began advising tens of thousands of homes and businesses across a big area of Northeast and Northwest D.C. to boil their tap water before drinking or cooking with it.

Around 34,000 people were affected by the problem initially, although the actual number could be much higher because, for example, all of the residents in an apartment complex are often counted as just one customer.

The issue stemmed from a problem with the city’s water system that allowed contaminants to get into the water in the affected areas. The source was an open valve at the Bryant Street pumping station, which is situated to the east of Howard University.

After detecting a drop in water pressure at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, the emergency alert was issued at 4:35 a.m. on Friday morning. The area covered by the boil water advisory was reduced just after noon on Friday. However, a new area of land near the border with Maryland was added to the advisory.

Experts weren’t initially sure if any water had been contaminated, but they put the advisory in place as a precaution. Although the water was safe to use for bathing, customers were advised to use boiled or bottled water for purposes such as preparing food, feeding pets, drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and preparing baby formula.Those who accidentally ingested the water need to look out for digestive issues. One area out of 13 tested positive for contamination with total coliform bacteria, but it has since been cleared. Washington, D.C., officials also closed all of the pools, water fountains and spray parks in the areas affected, despite temperatures reaching into the 80s. Bottled water was delivered to those living in area homeless shelters.

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Was the boil water advisory handled poorly by authorities?

Some residents were outraged that they only learned about the problem through the news and social media instead of being informed directly by the government or DC Water. The general manager of DC Water, David Gadis, insisted that the utility did everything it could to reach customers using methods like email and robo calls.

Washington, D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency warned residents of the advisory through Twitter and its Alert DC system. However, only those who sign up for these alerts will receive them, so many people simply didn’t get the word that their water was unfit for consumption.

The alert was lifted on Sunday, but residents were warned to run cold water through the taps for 10 minutes before getting back to their usual water usage.

Cities across America covering up crumbling water infrastructure instead of fixing it

Although this problem was reportedly caused by a valve issue, crumbling infrastructure in aging water delivery systems remains a huge problem throughout the nation. When water passes through corroding iron pipes, it can become contaminated with rust. These pipes can also rupture, allowing diseases and pollutants from the ground to get inside the water supply. Many waterborne disease outbreaks can be attributed to distribution system problems.

Across the nation, municipalities spend in excess of $50 million every year to bring residents “clean” drinking water. However, some experts say there is little point in cleaning up water but then delivering it to people using dirty pipes. The cost of replacing aging pipelines around the country in the decades to come could cost water utility companies hundreds of billions of dollars.

This is why people who care about their health avoid drinking tap water, regardless of how clean their municipality says it is. Aging infrastructure, the addition of fluoride, and possible contamination are just some of the issues that are driving people to increasingly turn to gravity water filters so they can feel confident that the water they are drinking is safe and clean.