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Local Cooperative Solutions (LCSs) under Scott-Shasta Drought Emergency Regulation

The Drought Emergency Regulation for the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds (Drought Emergency Regulation) provides for local cooperative solutions or LCSs in lieu of curtailments.  LCSs provide water rights holders with an opportunity to propose alternatives to curtailments under the Drought Emergency Regulation.  LCSs must be approved by the State Water Board prior to implementation.  Additional information related to LCSs is available:

BACKGROUND ON LOCAL COOPERATIVE SOLUTIONS
Subdivision (f) of Section 875 of the Drought Emergency Regulation allows for individuals or groups to develop Local Cooperative Solutions (LCSs) that provide fisheries benefits, flow contributions, or specific and trackable water savings, instead of curtailment. The implementation of the plans that are developed as part of an LCS are monitored by a Cooperating Entity through a binding agreement with the individuals or groups proposing the LCS. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Scott River and Shasta River Watermaster Service (SSWM), nonprofit organization with expertise and experience in water-saving transactions, or a similar qualified entity may act as the Cooperating Entity.  The individuals covered by an LCS must enter into a binding agreement with the Cooperating Entity for their LCS to be approved by the Deputy Director of the Division of Water Rights.
An LCS can take many forms:

  • Watershed-wide cooperative solutions, CCR 875(f)(4)(A), are solutions that include all diverters in the Scott River or Shasta River watersheds and provide sufficient assurance that the drought emergency minimum flows will be met.
  • Tributary-wide cooperative solutions, CCR 875(f)(4)(B), are solutions entered into by diverters in a specific tributary to the Scott River or Shasta River.  There are two goals these LCSs can have:
    • (1) allows diverters on a tributary to work together to ensure that their tributary’s pro-rata share of the drought emergency minimum flows reach the mainstem; or
    • (2) allows for diverters on a tributary to work together to provide a specific fishery benefit, and CDFW finds that the in-tributary benefits for anadromous fish are equal to or greater than the anticipated contribution to protections provided by the drought emergency minimum flows.
  • Individual cooperative solutions, CCR 875(f)(4)(C, may be approved in the absence of an approved tributary-wide or watershed-wide LCS. An individual cooperative solution can take two forms:
    • A binding agreement between a water user or water users and a Cooperating Entity that specifies a timeframe during which the water users shall cease diversion and includes a certification that the diversion under a specified water right(s) has ceased.
    • A binding agreement between an individual diverter or sub-tributary-wide group of diverters and CDFW or NMFS to perform actions for the benefit of anadromous salmonids, and CDFW makes a recommendation for exemption from curtailment based on an assessment that the benefits of these actions in a specific time period are equal to or greater than the protections provided by their contribution to flow over the same specified time period.
  • Overlying or adjudicated groundwater solutions, CCR 875 (f)(4)(d), for individuals, groundwater basins or sub basins may be approved so long as the groundwater LCS covers at least 400 irrigated acres – individuals or groups with fewer than 400 acres are encouraged to join an existing LCS and may  contact State Water Board staff (see Contact information section), work with a Cooperating Entity, or contact others in the community to discuss how to reach this 400 acre requirement. More information on how to develop an approvable overlying or adjudicated groundwater LCS for the Scott River watershed can be found in the guidance document. The process for the Shasta River watershed is the same, however different water reduction amounts and time frames are required as indicated below.
    • Scott River Watershed: A net reduction of 30% throughout the irrigation season (April 1 – October 31) as compared to the prior irrigation season, and a monthly reduction of 30% between July 1 through October 31, as compared to the prior year (2021) or 2020.
    • Shasta River Watershed: A net reduction of 15% through the irrigation season (March 1 – November 1) as compared to the prior irrigation season, and a monthly reduction of 15% between June 1 through September 30 as compared to the prior year (2021) or to 2020.

GUIDANCE ON LOCAL COOPERATIVE SOLUTIONS

LIST OF LOCAL COOPERATIVE SOLUTION PROPOSALS (BY WATERSHED)

Participants Coordinating Entity /
Binding Agreement Party*
Type of LCS Acreage Proposal (Date Submitted) Decision
Scott Watershed
H & H Land and Livestock CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 320 3/10/2022 Approved
Finley Farms CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 2179 3/17/2022 Approved
Fawaz Farming CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 1049.6 3/24/2022 Approved
Menne Ranch Hay CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 1541.5 3/25/2022 Approved
Scott Valley Farms Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 826 4/04/2022 Approved
California Heritage Farms Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 997 4/06/2022 Approved
Hanna Bros. Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 1179 4/13/2022 Approved
Bryan/Morris Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 411 4/14/2022 Approved
Black Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 187.5 4/15/2022 Pending
Jenner Cattle Co. Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 1575 4/15/2022 Approved
Crystal Creek Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 412 4/18/2022 Pending
Hurlimann Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 291 4/22/2022 Pending
O’Brien Ranch CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 116 4/22/2022 Approved
Newton Family Ranch CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 108 4/22/2022 Pending
Piersall Ranch CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 277 4/23/2022 Pending
Paul Sweezy Farm Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 697 5/11/2022 Pending
Isbell Ranch CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 110 5/13/2022 Pending
Rocking M Ranch Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 515 5/13/2022 Pending
Martin Dairy Siskiyou RCD 30% Overlying Groundwater 249 5/16/2022 Pending
Kohl Creek Angus CDFW 30% Overlying Groundwater 165 6/30/2022 Pending
Shasta Watershed
Hart Ranch CDFW Individual - Equal or Better N/A 3/28/2022 Approved
* CDFW and Siskiyou Resource Conservation District are available to act as Coordinating Entities for local cooperative solutions.


  CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Adam Weinberg – Environmental Scientist, State Water Resources Control Board

Phone: (916) 883-1386
Email: Adam.Weinberg@waterboards.ca.gov

Kevin DeLano – Geologist, State Water Resources Control Board

Phone: (916) 359-9827
Email: Kevin.DeLano@waterboards.ca.gov

Eli Scott – Scott and Shasta Stewardship Specialist, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

Phone: (707) 576-2610
Email: Elias.Scott@waterboards.ca.gov