Instream Flows Policy
MAINTAINING INSTREAM FLOWS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL STREAMS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
These FAQs will be updated periodically. The last update was on April 17, 2008. Specific questions may be directed to Division of Water Rights staff via email at AB2121Policy@waterboards.ca.gov or via telephone at (916) 341-5342.
- Why is the State Water Board developing a policy for maintaining instream flows?
- How do I make my questions and concerns regarding the draft policy known to the State Water Board?
- What is in the draft policy?
- Does the draft policy apply to the entire state of California?
- What rivers are included in the draft policy?
- Will all water rights be affected by the draft policy?
- What water right actions are affected by the draft policy?
- Does the draft policy affect existing rights?
- What potential impact would the draft policy have on pending applications?
- What is the significance of the January 1, 2008 cutoff date for water availability analyses? Will applicants who did not turn in an analysis prior to the January 1 date still have their applications processed?
- How will the draft policy affect applications for existing onstream dams?
- What does "protectiveness" mean?
- Is it accurate that the draft policy would significantly reduce the amount of water a landowner could divert, if any water could be diverted at all, compared to diversions under the 2002 DFG-NMFS Draft Guidelines?
- Is the draft policy more restrictive than the 2002 DFG-NMFS Draft Guidelines?
- Why does the draft policy have a minimum bypass flow criteria? How was the minimum bypass flow criteria developed?
- Why was the minimum bypass flow equation changed on March 14, 2008? How does this affect the amount of water that could be diverted?
- Why does the draft policy have a maximum cumulative diversion criterion? How was the maximum cumulative diversion criterion developed?
- Is it true that a maximum rate of diversion might not be required for some onstream reservoirs?
- What is the upper limit of anadromy, and how is it used in the draft policy? The upper limit of anadromy is the upstream end of the range of anadromous fish that currently are, or have been historically, present year-round or seasonally, whichever extends the farthest upstream. The draft policy's minimum bypass flow criteria allows the use of the watershed drainage area at the upper limit of anadromy for calculating the minimum bypass flow at points of diversion that are above the upper limit of anadromy. The location of the upper limit of anadromy is also considered when selecting points of interest to evaluate the proposed project's effect on fishery resources.
- Can the draft policy's criteria be modified?
- What is the watershed approach?
- Are previous hydrologic analyses available to the public?
- Does the policy change approval requirements for all pending water rights and diversion permit applications? If not, does the policy make distinctions? Will any new documentation demands be placed on applicants affected by the policy?
- Does the policy apply equally to seasonal and perennial streams and those who divert from them?
- What evidence is the State Water Board using to demonstrate that salmonids have historically inhabited specific streams - year round or seasonal waterways - thereby making them subject to the policy?
- When the policy is fully implemented, how much spawning habitat does the State Water Board anticipate will be reclaimed? And, what is the anticipated impact on fish populations?
- Has the State Water Board analyzed the economic implications of the policy on agriculture and the North Coast economy? If so, what has the State Water Board learned?
- Why did I receive a Notice of Availability and do I need to respond?
- When were written comments due?
- What are the next steps in the policy development process?
- Where can I get additional information regarding the draft policy?