I said yesterday that my blog posts will slow down. Then this notice from the Water Board hit my email inbox. These proposed water rights fee increases apply to existing and proposed permits and licenses, not pre-1914, court adjudicated, or riparian rights…unless someone also got a permit or license for one of these.
Why do the fees have to be increased, and why does the Water Board say it is an emergency?
“Moreover, the State Water Board finds that the proposed amendments to the Board’s fee regulations must be adopted immediately in order to allow for the timely collection of fees to conform to amounts appropriated by the Legislature from the Water Rights Fund for the support of water right program activities. Without fee revenue in the amounts appropriated, much of the water rights program would be in danger of being shut down. Continued administration of the water rights program is essential to the economy and environment of the State of California. Without funding for the program, critical water transfers and changes in water project operations would not be approved, the security of water rights needed for the state’s water supply projects would be undermined, and the environment would be threatened. New water supply projects for irrigation or municipal use, and modification of existing projects involving changes in permitted or licensed water rights, could not move forward. The water rights program also is important for the protection of public health. For example, the water rights program applies and enforces Bay-Delta water quality standards that protect the drinking water supplies for 22 million Californians. In sum, adoption of the proposed regulation is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and welfare.”
What are the many proposed fee changes?