. VCStar: Santa Barbara Channelkeeper sues for study of Ventura River water use
|Ventura River at Foster Park - July 2013|
According to ChannelKeeper;
“For 16 years, the State Water Board has recognized the Ventura River as impaired by pumping and diversion of water, yet has never conducted a Reasonable Use Analysis of the City’s pumping,” said Ben Pitterle, Channelkeeper’s Watershed and Marine Program Director. “The recent drought has brought water supply concerns to the forefront, but this unreasonable use has been occurring for decades. We feel the river can't wait any longer."
Some stretches of the river that once flowed year-round now frequently go dry for months at a time, and surface flows in other stretches have been reduced to the point that water quality is severely degraded. Where flow is insufficient, water temperatures rise, algae proliferate and suck oxygen out of the river, and fish and other aquatic species that depend on a clean, flowing river suffer. At the same time, those who pump water from the river, particularly the City of Ventura, continue to do so at an unreasonable and unsustainable rate. This situation is heading toward a crisis, especially as the City discusses plans for significant growth, which would exacerbate the problem.
“This is an issue that really needs to be resolved by the City developing a truly integrated water management system to ensure that our limited resources are not wasted and to ensure the future sustainability of the community,” said Paul Jenkin, Environmental Director with Surfrider Foundation, Ventura chapter, and longtime river advocate.
Critical Victory in Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s Lawsuit to Restore Flows in the Ventura River
At a hearing in California Superior Court in San Francisco on Thursday April 23, 2015, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper won a critical victory in its lawsuit to restore flows in the Ventura River. The Court affirmed that the SWRCB does indeed have a mandatory duty to prevent unreasonable use of California’s water and that Channelkeeper can seek to compel them to analyze the City of Ventura’s use of the Ventura River. The SWRCB is required to respond to Channelkeeper’s lawsuit within 21 days.
To review the lawsuit and supporting documentation, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i2tv6upf1x6ecex/AAAi550vU4F34DjdU598NzFxa?dl=0