Join with us to make your voice heard

Let the State Water Resources Control Board know you’re opposed to an increase in unimpaired flows on the Stanislaus River

There is an easy way for you to join thousands of like-minded residents of the region, government officials, public agencies and other organizations who are opposed to an increase in unimpaired flows on the Stanislaus River – which would hurt agribusiness, the local economy, home users and deprive thousands of recreational opportunities.

The State Water Resources Control Board is based in Sacramento. For most of us, it’s inconvenient or impossible to attend a meeting and let the five commissioners know what we think. With that in mind, we’ve created a simple and fast way for your voice to be heard. We’ll even save you the cost of a stamp.

Just fill out the form at the right, then use the message box to tell the water board why you favor a sensible, balanced water management plan for the Stanislaus River that fairly distributes this precious resource. Some of the important reasons are listed below. We encourage you to include anything that is meaningful to you in your message.

  • Economic Impact. This unfair water grab has potentially devastating consequences for people and the regional economies in the valley – where agribusiness directly contributes more than
    $6 billion annually to Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties – as well as the foothills – where New Melones and Tulloch reservoirs are located. The state estimates the economic blow to the region could be $64 million a year; we think it could be much, much worse.
  • Agribusiness Harmed. The state’s plan could divert more than 300,000 acre-feet of water away from agriculture in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced river basins. One estimate suggests that as many as 240,000 acres could be fallowed in the region; thousands of jobs in farming, trucking, food processing and related industries would be lost; and hundreds of millions of dollars would be sucked out of the local economy.
  • More Pumping? The state’s proposal hypocritically suggests that farmers will make up for lost access to surface water by pumping more from already overstressed aquifers. That makes no sense, especially at a time when the Legislature already has demanded local entities come up with Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans.
  • River Stewards.The South San Joaquin and Oakdale irrigation districts are stewards of the Stanislaus River. Since 1993, they have devoted millions of dollars to collect information about the salmon and rainbow trout who live in the river. They are committed to supporting responsible policies that will increase fish populations.
  • More Water Does Not Equal More Fish. Simply flushing water down the river in the spring and fall does not work – a fact supported by more than two decades of proven science. Since 2011, more than 500,000 acre-feet of extra water that could have been stored behind New Melones Reservoir has been sent downriver instead. That’s enough to meet the combined agricultural needs of SSJID and OID for an entire season.
  • Ways to Help Fish. Our research in the river tells us that habitat restoration (like the project completed at Honolulu Bar), augmenting spawning habitat, controlling water temperature and reducing predation are the best ways to increase fish populations.
  • Combating Predation. Predation remains the biggest threat to young salmon, rainbow trout and steelhead in the river. An estimated 95% of baby salmon and steelhead are eaten by non-native predators like striped bass before they ever reach the Delta. Reduce predation … and salmon and steelhead numbers will go up.
  • Impact on Hydroelectric Power. Releasing water between February and July, as the state’s plan calls for, forces electric utility companies to produce unnecessary hydroelectric energy during a non-peak demand period. This is irresponsibly inefficient. It creates cheap power in the winter when it’s not needed as opposed to saving the water in reservoirs to make cheap power in the summer when demand is high.

We’ll print out your message and deliver it to the water board for you.


We’ll print out your message and deliver it to the water board for you.

    Name (required)

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    I oppose an increase in unimpaired flows on the Stanislaus River because ...

    By checking this box, I certify I am the author of this letter and authorize Save the Stan to deliver it to the State Water Board on my behalf


    Letters of Support

    The state’s proposal to increase so-called “unimpaired flows” in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers has generated widespread opposition in the region. It would take water away from agriculture, homes and recreational users in an unscientifically supported attempt to benefit fish and the make up for what Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels project would remove from the Delta. The plan could have devastating economic impacts on agribusiness and related industries in the region.

    Here are letters sent to the State Water Resources Control Board opposing any increase in unimpaired flows.

    State Water Resources Control Board

    Thomas Howard, Executive Director
    P.O. Box 100
    Sacramento, CA 95812-0100
    (880) 210-7500, ext. 001
    Felicia Marcus, Chairwoman
    (880) 210-3253, ext. 001
    Dorene D’Adamo
    (880) 210-3250, ext. 002
    Tam Doduc
    (880) 210-3250, ext. 004
    Steven Moore

    (880) 210-3250, ext. 003
    Frances Spivy-Weber
    (880) 210-3250, ext. 001