The Redwood Chapter has a Water Committee (WC) which meets regularly to discuss
the health of our rivers and the aquatic ecosystems that depend on clean water and
adequate flows. Our scope of work is from the San Francisco Bay to the Oregon border.
Chapter leaders may refer interested parties to the WC chair to participate. The WC
operates at the pleasure of the Redwood Chapter and makes recommendations to the
Chapter for actions. The contact person is: Daniel Myers (707) 895-3887 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WC is active in such ways as:
We participate in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) comments to
the Regional Water Quality Control Board on Total Maximum Daily Load, aka TMDL,
for listed pollutants or causes of pollution to our rivers such as: sediment,
nutrients, pathogens, temperature and lack of flow. Pollution is determined under
body of laws such as the federal Clean Water Act, the State Porter Cologne Act.
We monitor the Department of Fish and Game to make sure that natural habitat is not denuded along streams. We advocate for enforcement of stream bank protection.
We are participating as a voting member on the Plenary Group of the Trout Unlimited and Peregrine Chapter Audubon's petition before the State Water
Resource Control Board, SWRCB. This legal petition advocates that the SWRCB will enforce illegal water appropriation, monitor flows, determine cumulative
impacts from legal and illegal water diversions and then determine water availability, report to the Governor all water diversion applications by 2008.
As a voting member on the Plenary Group we will help shape legislative reforms at the State Water Resource Control Board regarding water appropriations and riparian rights.
Currently most North coast rivers are suffering from lack of flows due to over appropriated water. We maintain a constant vigilance over possible 'water grabs' such as floating
water bags off our coast to extract fresh water from our coastal rivers. The Water Committee is a watch dog group that opposes 'privatization' of water.
We stand ready to oppose any government or corporate interest to take water away from the commons.
Most of the Chapter Groups are participating in their county General Plan updates. We coordinate Chapter water issues into General Plan policies and guidelines. We advocate for interagency protection of streams. The WC advocates to prevent instream barriers and/or the removal of dams.
Information on broad Sierra Club water policies can be found here. Information on our Water Committee campaigns can be found here.
How are we effective? The Water Committee is backed by 11,000 Sierra Club members strong. We are a political force. We coordinate our activism and knowledge of water rights and water law to protect water resources by:
- attending public hearings regarding water resource protections developing CEQA comments on projects that effect water resources working directly with RWQCB and SWRCB representatives to improve the health of our rivers
- reporting violations of water laws and advocating for enforcement