Rights & Wrongs

Poisoned Lands, Polluted Water


Areas of the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Lake Basin where drainage problem lands occur.
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Click to enlarge. Courtesy of California Department of Water Resources.



Since the late 1960s the federal Central Valley Project, and later the State Water Project, supply irrigation water to growers irrigating approximately 1.3 million acres of drainage-problem lands on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Lake Basin.

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Monterey Plus Agreement

Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant, a State Water Project facility.

Photo courtesy of California Department of Water Resources.

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The parties to the original Monterey Agreement litigation eventually settled PCL v. DWR in 2003.

Parties to the new "Monterey Plus" Agreement included plaintiffs Planning and Conservation League, Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County, and Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (a state water contractor); and the California Department of Water Resources, 27 state water contractors (including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Kern County Water Agency, the largest), and two non-water contractors, Kern Water Bank Authority and Central Coast Water Authority.

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The Monterey Amendments to State Water Project Contracts

The California Aqueduct, which transports water exported from the Delta into the contractual arrangements of the Monterey Agreement.

Courtesy of California Department of Water Resources.

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In 1994, four State Water Project contractors, including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and the Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) which together control about 75 percent of the state's water, and representatives from Paramount Farming (a private corporation), met secretly in Monterey to resolve their water shortage issues.

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Water Politics and Social Justice

A coffin for the Delta at a Bay Delta Conservation Plan meeting.

Photo courtesy of Restore the Delta.

Today’s story of California water is really about justice in water denied to fish, to the California public, and to future generations. We at the California Water Impact Network see fundamental travesties that threaten fisheries and ecosystems with extinction, compromise the rule of established water law, and undermine the viability of our state's economy.

And we’re doing something about them.

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Selenium and the California Toxics Rule


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Section 303 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires States to adopt and implement water quality standards to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters. Water quality standards consist of beneficial uses designated for specific water bodies and water quality criteria[1] necessary to protect those beneficial uses.

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The Kern Water Bank

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The Kern Water Bank is an alluvial fan that can store in exceess of a million acre-feet of water (that's about 326 billion gallons of water).

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