LEGAL, Siskiyou

Scott-Shasta Emergency Regulation Now in Effect

California Water Board Public Info.

June 22nd, 2023 thru December 19th, 2023 fell below the requirements to divert surface water for INEFFICENT LIVESTOCK WATERING.

The exceptions to the curtailment order for water diversions in the Scott River watershed include non-consumptive diversions, minimum human health and safety diversions, and minimum livestock watering diversions. These exceptions allow certain types of diversions to continue even after receiving a curtailment order, provided that the appropriate forms are submitted to the State Water Board.

Water right holders in the Scott River watershed are required to submit a certification form confirming cessation of diversion under their water right and whether they are pursuing an exception to continue limited diversions under the curtailment order. This form must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the issuance of the curtailment order, under penalty of perjury. Additionally, there are reporting requirements for water right holders to notify all diverters exercising water rights associated with the order.

The emergency regulation establishing drought emergency minimum flows in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds will remain in effect for one year from its effective date, which was August 30, 2021. However, it may be repealed earlier if water supply conditions improve, and it may be readopted if drought conditions continue into the following year.

{ February 1, 2024,} the Office of Administrative Law approved adoption of a new emergency regulation for the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds. The emergency regulation will expire on February 1, 2025. The 2024 emergency regulation is available online here.

The emergency regulation provides the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) with curtailment and information order authority to protect minimum instream flows, while also providing for water use for minimum human health and safety (including firefighting), minimum livestock watering, and non-consumptive uses. This message highlights specific aspects of the regulation related to curtailment status, livestock watering, and groundwater local cooperative solutions. Additional information related to the regulation is available on the Scott River and Shasta River Watersheds Emergency Regulation website.

NO CURTAILMENTS AT THIS TIME Flows in Scott River and Shasta River are greater than the required minimum instream flow and no curtailments are in place at this time. The status of curtailments will be posted at the top of the above referenced website and any curtailment orders will be mailed to the affected water right holder and posted for the Scott River and Shasta River.

Effective immediately, most people who plan to divert surface water for livestock are required to meet the requirements below, which includes notification to the State Water Board before diverting for livestock watering between now and March 31, 2024. For inefficient livestock watering diversions:

Email [email protected] with your:

  • Name and contact information (email and phone number requested),
  • Point of diversion and associated Water Right Number,
  • Anticipated amount of water,
  • Plan for how to:
    • Bypass 90% or more of flows* (so long as flows are greater than the minimum flows)
      • Note this bypass can be up to 80% during the higher flows noted below:
        • Scott River (Fort Jones gage) – greater than 362 cfs for February and 354 cfs for March); or
        • Shasta River (Yreka gage) – greater than 220 cfs;
    • Bypass more flow if necessary to protect redds (recommend diverter contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff)
    • Stop diversions if there are curtailments in your watershed
    • Stop diversions if your tributary loses connection to the mainstem (except on Moffett Creek).

Please provide best information you can, and Board staff will follow up if we have questions.

These requirements are for surface diversions that are more than ten times the amount that your livestock drink.  If you do not know whether your diversion is considered “inefficient” under the regulation, please contact the Board.

If you are interested in proposing a local cooperative solution, contact us now at [email protected] or (916) 327-3113, or join us for an upcoming meeting on this topic in February or March.  We’ll post information about the meeting to the webpage and send notification of the meeting via the email list.  You may monitor the LCS Webpage for updated information on the groundwater LCS process and how to apply.

If you would like to receive email updates about the Shasta River and Scott River watersheds moving forward, please sign up for the State Water Board’s “Scott-Shasta Drought” email subscription list under “Water Rights” at:

Please email questions regarding this message and related efforts to:

[email protected] or leave a message at our dedicated emergency regulation phone line at: (916) 327-3113.

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