The recent precedent set by the California Court of Appeal in a hotly debated legal issue surrounding groundwater protections has wide ranging implications for how we can preserve and enhance ecosystems that are dependent on groundwater inputs in California.
“In litigation to protect salmon and steelhead in the Scott River, the court ruled that the public trust doctrine―which protects the public’s right to use waterways for navigation, fishing, boating, natural habitat protection, and other activities―applies to groundwater pumping that adversely affects a navigable river or lake. The court also held that Sustainable Groundwater Management Act doesn’t override the public trust doctrine in groundwater cases.” (PPIC)
These developments will have far-reaching implications for how California’s groundwater will be managed in the future.
CalTrout is actively doing restoration work on this tributary to the Klamath River and is the lone environmental representative for the Scott River Basin’s Groundwater Sustainability Agency. By working with local farming representatives, CalTrout will have the ability to advance groundwater enhancement and protection measures in the Scott River Basin through a collaboratively based process.