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Decision1422 of the State Water Board, 1973 (PDF)

Status: Live River
By: State of California
Date: April 4, 1973

Decision 1422 was the result of lengthy contested hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) application for water rights permits to impound water behind New Melones Reservoir. Environmentalists presented evidence on the value of the Stanislaus River and challenged the need for the water to be impounded behind the dam. In Decision 1422, the SWRCB limited filling of New Melones Dam to elevation 808′ (Parrott’s Ferry) until such time when the USBR returned to the SWRCB with a proven need for the additional water.

The authority of the State to impose conditions on a federal water project was challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that the states may impose conditions provided that the conditions are not inconsistent with clear congressional directives respecting the project. Many court and SWRCB hearings followed on the issue of Decision 1422’s consistency with congressional directives. However, there were no restrictions on flood control storage and the massive (El Nino) runoff in 1982-83 resulted in the dam being filled. In 1983, the SWRCB removed all storage restrictions on New Melones Dam.

The original decision is posted at the Water Board here.

Format: Document
Collection: Admin's Collection

Date uploaded: Sep 11, 2018
Date last modified: Apr 20, 2024