707-769-2008   *  SONOMA COUNTY   *   CA   *  94951


Water Contracts Can Indeed Be Broken


A Federal judge in New Mexico redefined how water contracts will work and all the wild west water agencies are having palpitations over it.



From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

" A June 12 decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Mexico has sent shock waves through the western water community that are reverberating in Washington. The court ruled that water already contracted for urban use can and must be diverted to meet endangered species needs, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation does not have to honor contractual obligations if a listed species needs the water, even when that species is part of another river system."

The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) has long held that contractual obligations to cities preclude any other use. One important other use would be to conserve water in the face of a clear and present danger of groundwater overdraft.

This decision changes the dialogue surrounding the issue of contracts.



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