Scientific Study Contradicts Basis for State Water Board’s River Flow Mandates

Fox And Hounds –

A new environmental study, published in in the prestigious North American Journal of Fisheries Management, reveals that Governor Jerry Brown’s State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) imposed so-called pulse-flow release requirements on water rights holders affecting several California rivers, operating from unproven beliefs the study now shows were without sufficient scientific basis.

Pulse flows, as ordered by the SWRCB, are short-term increases in outflow releases from California’s numerous dams. These flows have cut water deliveries to millions of Californians, forced some to drink foul-smelling water and required hundreds of thousands of acres of food-producing farmland to remain empty and unplanted.

While the SWRCB insists these pulse flows ease the passage of migrating fish, numerous parties, ranging from private citizens to the California Department of Water Resources, have labeled such releases as “ineffective,” “misguided” and “excessive.”

They are right in their criticism as the new study finds the SWRCB’s pulse flow requirements do not help migrating fish and in fact actually harm fish.

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