Legal Basis for Water Rights Protests

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Friant Dam looms along the San Joaquin River northeast of Fresno.

 
FriantDamUpClose2001.jpg
Photo by Tim Stroshane.

Once the public is notified of a water right petition, the California Water Code provides the public and interested water right holders an opportunity to protest granting of an application for a water right.

Learn about C-WIN's Water Rights Action Program.

California Water Code Section 1335 recognizes as legitimate four types of protest that the application would:

  • Result in injury to an existing water right.
  • Not be in the public interest.
  • Adversely affect public trust resources
  • Adversely affect the environment.

No member of C-WIN personally possesses a water right, nor does the organization possess an interest in a water right. However, C-WIN files protests on selected applications on grounds of public interest (e.g., proposed use would be wasteful and unreasonable), public trust protection, and environmental effects, based on this sampling of legal authorities (as appropriate):

Other laws and authorities (e.g., court cases and regulations) may also provide protest rationales, depending on specific applications submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board.

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