On January 17, 2024, parties submitted a Petition for Rulemaking (petition) to the State Water Board seeking a permanent regulation to establish minimum flows in the Shasta River. The petition was submitted by the California Coastkeeper Alliance, Friends of the Shasta River, Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, Water Climate Trust, Shasta Waterkeeper, Save California Salmon, and Environmental Protection Information Center.  The State Water Board must act within 30 days of receipt of the petition to: (1) schedule a hearing; or (2) deny the petition. 

This is a petition for rule making to set minimum flows on the Shasta River in California. The petitioners, including environmental organizations, argue that the current flows and temperatures in the river are impacting salmonids and call for the establishment of flow standards based on existing scientific data. They also highlight the legal framework that gives the State Water Board the authority to regulate flows and emphasize the need for proactive action to protect the river ecosystem.

The petitioners have used desktop methodologies to evaluate and approximate instream flow requirements based on historic unimpaired flows and the habitat requirements for salmonids. These methodologies rely on estimates of unimpaired flows, fish passage equations, spawning and rearing requirements, and mean monthly flow data to identify appropriate flows for the Shasta River.

The State Water Board has the authority to regulate flows in the Shasta River under California’s water code section 1058, which allows the board to make rules and regulations to carry out its powers and duties. Additionally, the board has a duty to consider and protect the public trust, as well as further the goals of its Racial Equity Action Plan. The board also has policy incentives to establish permanent in stream flow regulations in the Shasta River, rather than relying solely on emergency authority.


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