December 9, 2013
Board passes resolution promising minimum discharges to local streams
Last Thursday, the normally sleepy UCSD monthly board meeting was standing room only. People turned out to tell the Board of Trustees they’re still worried about the proposed sale of water to Cronus Chemical. Comments were eloquent, heartfelt, and intelligent. We heard repeatedly that the deal favors Cronus and ignores changing climate and future water needs.
On Thursday’s agenda were three versions of a resolution requiring the District to maintain discharges to the Saline Branch (tributary to the Salt Fork) and the Copper Slough should the sale to Cronus be finalized. While all three were weaker versions of a resolution drafted by Prairie Rivers Network, we are pleased that the Board passed a resolution that contained numeric minimum discharges rather than the weakest version. With this resolution, the District promises to discharge no less than 1.5 million gallons per day to the Copper Slough, and no less than 4.5 million gallons per day to the Saline Branch.
We still think the water sale is short-sighted and ill-conceived. The resolution should provide some protection to local streams, but no one knows if it’s enough. We’re quite certain the number of aquatic species in the Copper Slough and the Saline Branch will decline when the District diverts millions of gallons per day to Cronus. Paddling and aquatic animals in the Salt Fork could also be harmed.
Thank you for coming out and speaking your truth. The Board was noticeably moved. The resolution passed on Thursday requires the Board to account to the public should the minimums not be met. Let’s keep the light shining on the UCSD.