Some Things Learned In SB 88 Compliance Work

SB 88 compliance work has been taking up most of my time lately!  I have learned something from every client and every project.  Here is a partial list from the last couple of months:

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  • People are complex, with lifetimes of experience.  Especially those who have run businesses – farmers and ranchers in this case – will only offer wisdom if I listen.  Some of the best advice I have heard and started to apply is, “If you don’t like the way things are, just wait, they’ll change”…”Folks will help you if you ask and if you are not too proud to get help”…”Everything we eat, have, and touch, comes out of the earth, not from laws, regulations, or government workers”.
  • I saw a wooden weir that is engineer-certifiable!  It is in a stable ditch, where sediment is not allowed to get in the ditch and pile up.  The rancher obviously read up on weirs, probably from the USBR Water Measurement Manual, and he changes the boards often, keeps it level, and checks it regularly.  He uses the tables correctly to measure the flow.  It can be done.
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    If a job needs a big excavator, get one.  Trying to get by with a smaller piece of equipment doesn’t save money in the end!  I have heard this from equipment operators over the decades, and now I have experienced it.

  • There is always the right tool for the job…and half the time it is the one I don’t have yet!  For example, I have gotten by with a 20V, battery-operated DeWalt hammer drill for most concrete drilling, but high-strength concrete or having to drill 50 holes in regular concrete can burn up the best hammer drills.  Now I have my first rotary hammer, and I’ll be getting larger SDS rotary hammer tools soon.  Back to the “Folks will help you if you ask” advice above, I have been bugging John Bell of Redding Fasteners for advice – he is really smart and well-educated about all fastenating things.
  • Alternative Compliance Plans (ACPs) have benefits – saved time, reduced cost, avoiding effort on measurement where there is no benefit.  ACPs have risks – the more a diversion or reservoir is a standard case, the more likely somebody or an agency will lodge a protest with ACPs are made public.  There is always the possibility that the Water Board, listening to protests, may come back and say, “That’s not reasonable, get measurement devices in quickly.”
  • Speaking of ACPs, I just learned from Kathy Mrowka, Lily Weaver, and Jeff Yeazell that the WATER BOARD MAY AUDIT ACPs.  Before now, all I have heard or read is that the Water Board will not accept, reject, or evaluate ACPs, leaving it up to public review to bring up questions.
  • There are cattle ranches in places I never dreamed of!  From Imperial County, to San Luis Obispo, to Alturas and all the way to the Oregon border.  Thank you all, I really enjoy beef of every kind!

More later, have a good night, a great weekend, good health everyone!

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AllWaterRights - Rights To Water Engineering, Inc.

Solving Diverters' Headaches To Provide Peace Of Mind And Help Stay Out Of Trouble. Helping California residents understand, define, and protect their water rights since 2005.

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