Delta Water Master tries to grab EID water
Despite adverse court decisions the state is still aiming to take some of the El Dorado Irrigation District’s water rights, many of which predate the Water Commission Act of 1914 and even more predate the 1927 Fiegenbaum Act. That latter act exempted prior water rights from the due diligence requirement as the state applied for unallocated waters to use for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Water Project.
A Dec. 4, 2012, report from the State Water Master to the State Water Resources Control Board calls for the state to take control of all water rights, even those predating 1965 and predating the 1931 law protecting county-of-origin water rights.
The technical term used by the State Water Master is Term 91. That provision would allow the state to force EID to surrender water to the state whenever it called for it.
The state tried to apply that term to EID’s water rights application for 17,000 acre-feet of water from the South Fork of the American River. This water is released from storage in four alpine reservoirs, diverted from the river near Kyburz and sent through 22 miles of canal, flumes and tunnels, all of which originally were built between 1874 and 1876. The water rights for this system — now called Project 184 — date to 1856.