THE STONY CREEK WATER WARS
Glenn County - Tehama County - Colusa County , California.
(c) 2001, Mike Barkley
SETTING ASIDE THE ANGLE DECREE: A DRAFT ISSUES OUTLINE:
[Changed circumstances, fraud, mistake]
The Angle Decree is an anachronism:
Return to Stony Creek Water Wars.
1) the discovery of a 6,700,000 acre-foot rechargeable underflow
in the Stony Creek Fan under Orland, a quantity far in
excess of the reasonable use by either Orland Unit Water
Users Association (OUWUA) or Glenn-Colusa Irrigation
District (GCID) despite Decree terms deeding it to GCID.,
2) approval of funding for 42 wells into the Fan in 1977,
3) storage capacity granted Reclamation from Black Butte Dam,
4) construction of the Tehama-Colusa Canal, with access to three
times the amount of water needed to irrigate the entire Sacramento
all change the circumstances under which the Decree was issued
--it allowed appropriators to interfere unduly with riparians'
reasonable use of their water
--it treated riparians as appropriators and appropriators as
riparians, while ensuring the riparians were permanently cut
off from further riparian or appropriative rights.
--it supplanted correlative rights in an unfair and inequitable
--it allowed appropriators to attain appropriations and prescriptions
by law that they had not attained in fact,
--it allowed the U.S. to claim prescription, but did not allow
prescription against the U.S.
--it allowed a wholesale prescription against property of every
riparian in the basin except plaintiff's clients, rather than
proper condemnation and compensation,
--it allowed the U.S. to desrtroy riparian rights far in excess of
what would have been necessary to accommodate the U.S. project,
--it allowed the U.S. to divest riparian ownership in a way
inconsistent with state law and practice
--it allowed the U.S. to impose a Federal regulatory scheme on a
watershed that should have been left for State regulation
--it levied a draconian seizure upon Stony Creek riparians in a way
that has been levied upon no other class of Californians,
--it granted the Orland Project a longer irrigation season than any
defendant except Hall & Scearce,
--it interfered with application of a more appropriate and fairer
state regulatory scheme that would have included considerations of:
- - area of origin
- - equitable/reasonable/beneficial use
--it made a mockery of "Equity", ignoring such equitable maxims as:
He who seeks equity must do equity.
He who comes into equity must come with clean hands.
Equity delights to do justice and not by halves.
Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy.
Equity regards that as done which ought to be done.
Equality is equity.
Equity abhors a forfeiture.
--Reclamation brought the action to conceal its own mistakes in
developing the Orland Project rather than to halt wrongful
diversions by riparians,
--a fairer result would have been to order Reclamation/OUWUA to
place its flow in canals between East Park, Stony Gorge, and
Black Butte, or even in short canals past the few diversions,
rather than allow it to commingle its water with that
of riparians and use that as an excuse to strip riparians of
--the District Court has proven ill-equipped to administer this
--subsequent orders and opinions from the District Court and Court
of Appeals have been numerous, inconsistent, and largely
unpublished, leaving all Stony Creek interests unable to
define their rights and duties under the Decree.
--the June 24, 1922 settlement with the State of California has been
lost, leaving the State unable to define its rights and duties
under the settlement, and leaving the state with a history of
its own actions and opinions violative of the Decree.
--the Decree has unfairly allowed the very same people who overdrew
the watershed flow, that is, OUWUA, Reclamation, The District
Court, The Water Master, Glenn Colusa Irrigation District, and
other appropriators, to assert to upstream riparians that no water
is available to them because the stream has been over-allocated,
--the Decree has allowed OUWUA, Reclamation, Glenn-Colusa ID, and
other downstream appropriators a hidden profit by allowing them
to take all waters not actually used by upstream riparians, in
amounts far in excess of the awards to such downstream
appropriators under the Decree and in amounts that certainly
show the deception in their claims of over-allocation
--enforcement has been levied only against upstream riparians
while leaving violations by downstream appropriators unpunished.
--it allowed the State Water Rights/Resources Control Board and its
predecessors to grant further appropriations for which the SWRCB
does not have jurisdiction,
--Federal jurisdiction has been lost with the departure of Reclamation
from operation of the Orland Project [to be verified]
--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817