District Court Dismisses Claim That 2018 Amendments to the Bay-Delta Plan Discriminate Against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

October 2023

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 34, Number 1

The United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates the New Melones Project on the Stanislaus River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River, as a component of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP). On the August 30, 2023, a U.S. District Court dismissed Reclamation’s claim that the California State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Water Board) 2018 amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta Plan) illegally discriminated against Reclamation with respect to salinity objectives that apply to operations of the New Melones Project. The amended Bay-Delta Plan will increase the salinity objectives set forth in Reclamation’s water rights permit for the New Melones Project. The State Water Board moved to dismiss the action on the ground that the issue was not ripe. Judge Jennifer L. Thurston agreed and granted the State Water Board’s motion to dismiss.

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