THE STONY CREEK WATER WARS
Glenn County - Tehama County - Colusa County , California.
(c) 2009, Mike Barkley
George Wilson Deposition in Civ 91-1128
[A transcription of Doc 66, Watermaster George Wilson Deposition in
Set up Judge Levi's order, but neglected to mention that storage can
be a change of place & use of diversion; also states that OUWUA water is
being fed to the Tehama-Colusa Canal
In straight text without elaborate formatting. Any
editorial comments by me are contained within brackets, "", which you
may delete easily after downloading the "page source" to your own editing
software if your browser allows source downloading. ]
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??? 2 1992
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
GLENN-COLUSA IRRIGATION DISTRICT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, et al.
DEPOSITION OF GEORGE G. WILSON
Monday, May 18, 1992
Reported by: Michael J. LeROY, CSR, RPR
License No 8023
Sandra M. Bunch & Associates
Certified Shorthand Reporter No. 3032
2110 K Street
Sacramento, California 95816
531 Oak Street No. 4
Roseville, California 95678
For the Plaintiffs: MINASIAN, MINASIAN, MINASIAN, SPRUANCE, BABER, MEITH &
Attorneys at Law
1681 Bird Street at Oak
Oroville, CA 95965
By: PAUL RYAN MINASIAN
For the Defendant United States of America: U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Environmental & Natural Resources Division
650 Capitol Mail
3305 Federal Building
Sacramento, California 95814
By: MARIA AREVALO IIZUKA
[bottom of every page:]
SANDRA M. BUNCH & ASSOCIATES 969-4012
Examination by: Mr. Minasian Page 5
Plaintiffís Exhibit No./ Description / Page
1 / Excerpt of R.O. Draft 11/22-1963 / 17
2 / Excerpt of USDC Order./ 47
3 / Application No. 18115, filed April 30, 1958. / 65
4 / Answer to protest. 65
BE IT REMEMBERED that, on Monday, the 18th day of May, 1992, commencing at
the hour of 1:00 p.;m. thereof, in the offices of Boutin, Lassner, Gibson
& Delehant, 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 300, Sacramento, California, before me,
Michael J. LeRoy, a Certified Shorthand Reporter, State of California, there
George G. Wilson,
a witness in the within-entitled action, called by the Plaintiffs herein.
The deposition was reported by Michael J. LeRoy, a duly Certified
Shorthand Reporter of the State of California and a disinterested person, and
therafter was transcribed into typwriting pursuant to the applicable
provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure of the State of California.
having been first duly sworn by the Certified Shorthand Reporter to tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, was examined and testified
as hereinafter set forth.
[top of each page] GEORGE G. WILSON
By: PAUL RYAN MINASIAN, Attorney at Law, counsel on behalf of the Plaintiffs:
Q. Your name, please?
A. George G. Wilson.
Q. And your present residence address?
A. Right now I have two of them. My voting address is 5836 Dewey Drive, Fair
Oaks, California, and my other address is route 5, box 5847, Orland,
California. Thatís where I spent most of my time.
And then the office address that I use, if you want that also, is 828 8th
Street, in Orland,. California.
Q. Now, Mr. Wilson, during your years in employment, did you work with the
Bureau of Reclamation?
Q. And for how many years did you work for them?
A. I started in 1943 and I retired finally in 1979, I believe it was.
Q. During what period of time did you work in what I will call, for the
moment, the water rights area of the Bureau of Reclamationís activities?
A. Approximately from 1962 until my retirement.
Q. And that would be in 1979?
A. Iím trying to remember. I think it was Ď79.
Q. Now, prior to 1962, did you work with the bureau in some other capacity?
Q. And what was that capacity?
A. Well, I started with them on power line in 1943, surveying up at Redding,
while Shasta Dam was being constructed. I went into the Air Force for three
years and came back and worked at the Orland project as a ditch rider for
approximately seven or eight years and then transferred on to Antioch,
California, and worked on the Contra Costa Canal for four years there, and
then transferred to the regional office in Sacramento and worked in the
ground water geology branch for four years, and the rest of the time after
that I was in water rights section.
Q. So from 1962 to about 1979, you worked, in the water rights section of
the Bureau of Reclamation --
Q. -- in Sacramento?
Q. Now, what were your duties in that section of the Bureau of Reclamation
during that period?
A. Very basically, it was to protect the water rights of the United States.
Q. And engaged in that were you called to look at various water rights
issues relating to bureau projects and bureau functions throughout the
state of California?
Q. And did you also work for the bureau in looking at their problems in
other western states?
A. Primarily in California. I donít remember that I got involved outside of
California at all.
Q. So from Ď62 to Ď79 you worked in the office of the bureau that was
responsible for regulating and observing the bureauís activities as they
relate to California water law?
A. That's true.
Q. Now, as part of those activities, did you gain experience in the way
that the bureau approached water rights and the way that the bureau
negotiated its contracts for water deliveries?
Q. Could you explain to us your experience during this period of Ď62 to Ď79
in regard to a series of contracts which are known as the Sacramento River
contracts? Did you have any involvement in those contracts?
A. Yes. Regarding the Sacramento River contract, it was primarily, my
involvement was primarily to determine water requirements and water uses
and the lands to which they were to be applied, and the water rights that
were available for those lands.
Q. Could you describe to us the general historical background, what was
going on in the early nineteen-sixties at the bureau relating to Sacramento
MS. IIZUKA: Isnít that a little bit overbroad? Could you make it a little
MR. MINASIAN: Sure. I can narrow it for you.
Q. Mr. Wilson, during the period of the
nineteen-forties, the bureau had built Shasta Dam; had they not?
Q. And they were planning to build the Trinity project as a part of the supply system for the Sacramento River?
Q. And downstream of Shasta Dam, on the Sacramento River, did you become
aware during the period of 1962 to Ď79 that there were a number of
individuals and entities, like irrigation districts, that claimed
water rights to the water?
Q. And was there a problem posed for the bureau in that the bureau was
delivering water from Shasta Dam down this river and parts of the water
were being utilized by the water right holders along the Sacramento River?
A. Thatís true.
Q. Okay. Did this problem culminate in an attempt in the late
nineteen-fifties and early nineteen-sixties to enter into those contracts
which weíll call the Sacramento River contracts?
Q. And what was the purpose of those contracts, as far as the bureau was
A. I believe the purpose was to enter into a contract whereby the diverters
paid the Bureau of Reclamation for the water which they diverted, to which
the diverters had
no legal water right to. So that the Bureau of Reclamation was being -- being
repaid for the -- or just paid for the water that they were diverting.
Q. Okay. And was your role in that purpose in attempting to help the bureau
understand what water rights these individuals and districts had along the
A. I worked with the problems. I donít know I would say it was to help the
bureau to understand their water rights. I think they were teaching me water
rights more than I was teaching them. But, yes, I was working with the
problem of determining which entities had, water rights and the quantity
of their water rights, in addition to many other things.
Q. Okay. Now, you mentioned that you went to work in the water rights
division in 1962. Youíd done ground water hydrology work for about four
years before that; is that correct?
Q. Had you worked in the ground water hydrology area in the Orland or Stony
Creek fan area? Had you done work up there?
A. Yeah. It was only to the extent of monitoring wells that had been drilled
in there for ground water elevations, yeah.
Q. So you would gather the data and put it in a form in which it could be
recorded and used in future years relating to ground water wells?
Q. Now, in 1962, did you have an opportunity to work or do work relating
to these negotiations of Sacramento River contracts for the bureau?
MS. IIZUKA: Can you define, I mean, are you using the term negotiation the
way an attorney would negotiate a contract? Because George is not an attorney.
MR. MINASIAN: Right. Let me rephrase it.
MS. IIZUKA: Okay.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Mr. Wilson, did you become aware shortly after youíd joined
the water rights division of the Bureau of Reclamation that there were
discussions going on with various parties along the Sacramento River who
claimed rights which were aimed at developing a contract?
Q. Were one of those parties the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District?
Q. Let me ask this: Do you remember having any involvement with regard to
the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District negotiation or contract discussions?
MS. IIZUKA: Again, George is not an attorney and he would not be involved
in negotiations. Now, if you want to ask him if he did work for attorneys
or the sort of work he did, maybe thatís a fairer question, but since George
is not an attorney, he couldnít have been involved in the negotiations per
se for contract negotiations. [why not?]
MR. MINASIAN: Okay. Well, I think youíre mistaken about that, but let me ask
a question to elucidate this.
Q. Also in the water rights division was a gentleman named Gleason Renoud?
Q. Who else was in the division with you?
A. We had probably a dozen. It was a large staff at that time.
Q. And was this staff engaged in communications with the various parties
that represented Sacramento River water rights holders such as Glenn-Colusa
Q. So the discussions and communications that went or occurred between the
staff of the bureau or staff or consultants for the various districts, as
well as for attorneys for the bureau and attorneys for the districts?
Q. Were you involved in any of those activities relating to Glenn-Colusa
A. I was not involved in any of the negotiations. My role would have been
limited to digging out numbers such as for water requirements and crop -- or
water requirements for certain crops and for certain ground.
A. That type of determination.
Q. Did you have any contact with any of the specific
issues relating to Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District before the contract
between GCID and the bureau for river rights was signed, to your knowledge?
A. I think your question may be a little too broad to answer.
Q. Let me narrow it down. Do you remember doing any specific work relating
to the issues of how much water Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District had
available to it under its water rights?
A. I would have to have been involved in some of the computations, but to
remember, I couldnít say specifically what.
Q. Do you remember any involvement of yourself in computing or determining
the amount of water that Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District had a right to out
of Stony Creek?
A. Yes. I remember, because I was familiar with the Stony Creek area, I was
asked to give what data I knew, what I had available. But, as I remember,
the numbers that were negotiated by the parties were not necessarily the
numbers that were -- came from various tables or were computed.
Q. Now, the computations that you did, were they related to the actual
amounts of water that were in the creek at various points in time and the
actual amount of water that was diverted by Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
at its main canal out of Stony Creek?
A. I would be guessing. I just canít remember that
closely that many years back precisely what -- I would say that would be the
basis for the determination, would be the diversions by Glenn-Colusa and the
water was available under their water right.
Q. Do you remember doing any other work relating to Stony Creek in this
period of time, relating to Black Butte Reservoir, as an example?
A. No, I donít think I did. My involvement with Stony Creek at that time
probably would have related primarily to entities who were filing
applications for water rights, and I would examine them and, if proper,
file protests and conditions under which the permits would be approved.
Q. But you donít have a recollection of being involved either formally or
informally in the bureauís filings with the State Water Resources Control
Board in order to get the rights to build Black Butte and use water?
A. No, I donít believe I was involved in that.
Q. Taking you back to the negotiations, excuse me, to the work you did
relating to the Sacramento River contracts, do you recollect ever being
involved in issues of what should be included within the Glenn-Colusa
A. What I remember was there was some disagreement on the number, quantity
of water that should be available to Glenn-Colusa under their Angle Decree
right on the Stony
Creek, and as I remember the main reason for the disagreement on this was
that there were no numbers that would spell this out entirely. It had to be
based on several factors.
Q. Can you remember what those factors were?
A. I believe theyíre the same as they would be today, would be the water
physically available in the creek for the water right and the ability for
Glenn-Colusa to divert this water and the need to divert the water at
Q. Directing your attention back to 1962 to Ď65. Do you recollect whether or
not one of the issues was whether or not Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
would have its dam up in Stony Creek and be able to actually utilize the
water in a wet year?
A. Now, I could not say the specific years, but I do know that as many
years as I can remember, that Glenn-Colusa did put their dam up in the
creek, they shut -- bull dozed it up, or with a drag line, whatever means,
they put in a gravel dam, which made it physically possible for them to take
water coming down the creek, and also remember in many years the dam was
washed out because too much water came down the creek. This was prior to
Black Butte, when it wasnít regulated. So in order to save their dam, and
now this is an assumption, they would divert all the water they could into
Glenn-Colusa, if they could.
Q. The recollections you have of the period of Ď62
through Ď65 --
MS. IIZUKA: He didnít say those were for Ď62, Ď65.
THE WITNESS: No.
MR. MINASIAN: No, Iím going to lead into that.
MS. IIZUKA: Okay.
MR. MINASIAN Q: So the period of Ď62 to Ď65, before the contract between the
bureau and GCID was entered into, do you have any recollection of looking at
or studying the question of how feasible it was for Glenn-Coiusa to use
early water, March 15 water to, say, May 1 water, out of Stony Creek?
A. During that period, no, I donít believe I got involved in that at all.
Q. Do you remember ever advising Gleason Renoud, who was also on the staff
of the bureau, in regard to what you thought the districtís right to water
out of Stony Creek was worth or what quantity of water it was?
A. If I did, I donít recollect it, and I think. Gleason was probably as
well informed as I was at that time.
Q. Now, did you do any other work besides the Black Butte issues, the
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District contract, other Sacramento River contracts,
that would relate to either Stony Creek or Glenn-Colusa during this period
of Ď62 through Ď65?
A. I donít remember doing any other than it would have been examining
applications filed with the State
Water Resources Control Board.
Q. Now, since leaving the bureau, youíve become the Water Master on the
Orland -- on the Stony Creek system; have you not?
Q. And youíre aware that there is a decree, a court judgment called the
Q. And do you understand that Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District is awarded
and determined to hold certain rights
under the Angle Decree?
Q. Now, have you been asked by the bureau, the United States, to
investigate and render any opinions in this matter relating to those rights?
Q. Would you tell us what opinions youíve been asked to render for the
A. I was asked what in my opinion the extent of Glenn-Colusa Irrigation
Districtís Angle Decree rights are on Stony Creek.
Q. Were you asked any other inquiries or questions?
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís kind of broad.
MR. MINASIAN: Yeah, it is.
Q. If you can remember. Otherwise, Iíll lead you into them.
A. Well, I -- I canít remember -- some of the --
Q. Let me ask you a different way, George.
Q. Did the United States and Maria Iizuka ask you to investigate anything
relating to this litigation other than Glenn-Colusa Irrigation Districtís
A. The only thing I can remember, and it was probably informally, whether
or not there was any water available for Glenn-Colusa under their Angle
Decree right at certain time.
Q. Any other acts that you were asked to do by the United States?
MS. IIZUKA: In connection with this litigation?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes, in connection with this litigation.
THE WITNESS: I canít think of anything.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Well, if they come to you as weíre talking, will you
Q. Youíre aware that a contract was actually signed between the Bureau of
Reclamation and Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District in 1964; are you not?
MR. MINASIAN: Letís mark this Plaintiffís 1.
(Whereupon Plaintiffís Exhibit 1 was marked for identification.)
MS. IIZUKA: I want to be sure that itís clear on the record that George
is -- George was asked by Mr. Minasian whether or not he was aware that
a contract had been entered into. I want to be sure itís on the record
that Georgeís awareness has nothing to do with his having been involved in
negotiating the contract.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, George, looking at the first page, do you see this page
bearing the date of 6th of April, 1964?
Q. Purporting to be a copy of a contract between the United States and the
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District?
Q. Was the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District one of this series of
Sacramento River contracts?
A. Yes. They were one of what we referred to as the Sacramento River Rights
Q. The Sacramento River Rights Contracting Program involved a number of
districts and individuals along the Sacramento River with differing water
rights; did it not?
A. Yes. It involved basically everyone below Shasta Dam to the Delta, who
diverted from the river or one of its tributaries, under the -- a form of
water right, and who also used the project, water bureau project.
Q. From the experience both during the period before this was signed and
in the many years with the bureau, did you come to understand that there
were certain basic principles that were applied to most of the contracts
and then there were certain specific provisions that applied in the case
of specific issues relating to a particular contractor?
Q. Okay. Among the general principles that were applied to all contracts,
there was a deficiency clause, so they took a cut in certain dry years?
Q. There was a price that was payable and a term of the contract?
Q. Okay. Now, was there also a quantification of water into two categories,
called base supply and project water?
Q. Why was that done?
A. The -- on the form that youíre referring to, which we referred -- where
we showed the quantities of water, there was first determined the total
supply, and then that was broken down into what water would be available
under the individualís water right and what water he would have to pay for
to the Bureau of Reclamationís project water, and that was referred to as
base supply and project supply.
The base supply being the water credited under the water right and the
project supply being the bureauís water.
Q. Was one of the general principles used in these contracts to establish
an Exhibit A to the contract, which provided a schedule for deliveries?
Q. And weíre looking now on Exhibit A to Plaintiffís
1, which is a copy of the Exhibit A to the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
Was this a fairly standard approach that was used to all the contractors?
A. Yes. Iím trying to remember. Initially, I believe, everyone received an
Exhibit A with this type of quantification. There may have been some that
later, in lieu of the Exhibit A, worked off of a flat rate.
Q. Would that be a short form contract?
A. That would be a short form contract for smaller diverters.
Q. But generally, the larger diverters had this same format, which there was
Q. -- a base supply column, a project water column and a total supply column.
And then on a monthly basis, between April and October, the total quantity
of water in each category available to the district was set?
Q. Now, why did the period not include the months of February, March, as an
example, or November, December, as an example?
A. I would -- I believe it was determined that that was not the normal
irrigation season, that that was outside of the irrigation season.
MS. IIZUKA: Can I just advise, if you -- if thereís a question that Mr.
Minasian asks you that you either really donít know the answer or -- tell
either you donít know or that the answer youíre giving is basically, as he
has said now, a guess, since he's not totally sure.
MR. MINASIAN Q: So would you like to rephrase your answer? I can ask it to
you again, Mr. Wilson.
A. I think I can clear it up. In my opinion, it is this way because this
was the accepted irrigation period.
Q. And if water was used in March or in November by a water right holder
with this contract, there was probably water available in the river without
the bureau making releases from Shasta? Was that another reason why the
focus was on April through October?
A. I just donít know, because youíre asking me, as I took it, if there was
water available in the river, and I donít know if there was or not.
Q. But you do know that this general format was used?
Q. And that the project water was water that was paid for?
Q. And that down at the bottom of this format there would be points of
diversion, and on this particular one of Glenn-Colusa, do you see the
Sacramento River and Stony Creek are both listed?
Q. Now, the Stony Creek notation says, "Intersection of Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation District main canal and Stony Creek, as shown on Exhibit B."
Do you know where that is?
Q. Could you describe it for the record?
A. That is the -- at the point where the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation Districtís
main canal crosses Stony Creek.
Q. And at that point, the district pushes up a gravel dam and any water
coming down Stony Creek is diverted into the canal at that point?
Q. And historically, thatís occurred since you can remember?
Q. Now, Iím going to ask you to look at page 16, which is the next page in
sequence in our exhibit Just go ahead and turn that over, George.
A. Oh, okay.
Q. George, if you ever want to look at the whole contract, just --
MS. IIZUKA: Iíve got it here.
MR. MINASIAN: Maria has got it or I have it.
THE WITNESS Yes
MR. MINASIAN Q: Down at the bottom of the page, do you see paragraph 9(a)
says that there is an agreement on water quantities, and would you read
that first subparagraph 1, starting with the word "It shall constitute full
A. "It shall constitute full agreement as between the United States and
the Contractor as to the quantities of
water and the allocation thereof between the base supply and Project water
which may be diverted by Contractor from its source of supply," and I have
a "of" here, I think thatís a misprint.
A. "For beneficial use on the land shown on Exhibit B which said diversion,
use, and allocation shall not be disturbed so long as the Contractor shall
fulfill all of its obligations hereunder."
Q. Now, with your work with the bureau, did you know one of the purposes of
these river contracts was to come to an agreement as to the quantity of water
which the districts would be entitled to take on a monthly basis?
Q. Okay. Now, was there included in the standard river contract,
or in Glenn-Colusaís contract, any limit on the amount of capacity that the
district could pump at any given moment in time, to your knowledge?
A. That the district could pump?
A. There would be pumping from the Sacramento River?
MS. IIZUKA: Are you asking George if there is anything in the contract that
would limit the --
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
MS. IIZUKA: If you could point something out to George in the contract,
wouldnít that be easier?
MR. MINASIAN: If he recollects. If he doesnít, let me move him through
the pages, because it is simpler.
Q. Would it be helpful for you to look at the document?
A. Without looking at the document -- I think the document probably speaks
for itself, but without looking at it, I donít remember any limitation on
rate of flow that could be pumped.
Q. All right. Now, directing your attention to the Exhibit A that we
looked at, which is a part of the contract, you note that there is no limit
upon the Q or the quantity of water, rate of flow that can be taken at
either Sacramento River or Stony Creek?
Q. Now, with your work at the bureau, do you know why the bureau did not
limit the district to the Q or quantity of water that could be taken at any
A. No, I donít know why. I might add that it would be a tremendous
involvement if they were to try to do this on all Sacramento River
contractors, if they were to establish a limit of the rate of flow.
Q. And you do see that Exhibit A instead deals on a monthly basis?
Q. It gives you a total volume of water that you can take on a monthly basis?
Q. Now, was that the general practice of the bureau relating to Sacramento
Q. To your knowledge, was there any -- ever any specific discussion at the
bureau about putting a quantity or rate of flow limit upon the diversions out
of Stony Creek by the district?
A. I donít recall any, any such conversation.
Q. All right. And youíd agree that paragraph 9(a), which is the agreement
on water quantities, does not include a rate of flow limitation for Stony
Creek diversions by the district?
MS. IIZUKA: Well, Iím going to object. I think the contract basically speaks
for itself. I donít think that either George or anybody else has to interpret
what 9(a), or 9(a) 1 says.
MR. MINASIAN: But Iím entitled to ask him -- let me rephrase that.
Q. George, let me ask it in a different way: Youíve told us that you donít
remember any discussion at the bureau about including a rate of flow or
instantaneous flow limitation on the Stony Creek diversions in the
Do you recollect any discussions at the bureau before the contract was
entered into in which there was expressed any concern on the part of the
bureau as to limiting Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District to a certain
amount of water that they could divert from Stony Creek?
MS. IIZUKA: Now, youíre talking about amount of water or pumping amount
that they could pump in terms of --
MR. MINASIAN: Iím talking about a rate of flow out of Stony Creek.
MS. IIZUKA: Rate of flow, not quantity? Because theyíre two different
things. Youíre talking about total quantity or rate?
MR. MINASIAN: Let me rephrase the question so itís absolutely clear.
MS. IIZUKA: Okay.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Prior to the time that the GC1D-bureau contract was signed,
which we know occurred in about 1964, do you recollect any discussion among
your cohorts in the water rights division at the bureau about a need to limit
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District to either a quantity of water or a rate of
flow that the district could get out of Stony Creek?
A. I remember that there was discussion pertaining to an annual quantity
and acre feet that the bureau should be cred -- GCID, pardon me, should be
credited based on their Angle Decree water right, and rate of flow, as I
remember it, would not be involved except to the extent to determine what
the right under that original Angle Decree water right would have been,
what the quantity would have been.
Q. So taking that memory and looking at this contract, from the discussions
you heard at the bureau and were part of, did the bureau carry forward that
philosophy in this contract, which is to try to figure out totally how much
water GCID should be able to get
from a combined Stony Creek and Sacramento River diversion, but not worry
about the instantaneous flow they could divert either from Stony Creek or
A. I donít recall any conversation that would indicate such, in that, as I
recall, the base supply or the water that was credited to GCID from Stony
Creek was put into the same base supply as comes out of the Sacramento River.
Q. On page 18, about midway down, do you see the phrase or sentence, "It is
further agreed that.the Contractor at all times will first use water to the
use of which it is entitled by virtue of its own water rights"?
Q. "And neither the provisions of this contract, action taken thereunder,
nor payments made thereunder to the United States by the Contractor shall
be construed as an admission that any part of the water used by the
Contractor during the term of this contract was in fact water to which it
would not have been entitled under water rights owned by it nor shall receipt
of payments thereunder by the United States from the Contractor be construed
as an admission that any part of the water used by the Contractor during the
term of this contract was in fact water to which it would have been entitled
under water rights owned by it "
Now, during the course of your work with the
bureau in Ď62 through Ď64, did you become aware of what the bureau intended
by this language?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. George Wilson, as knowledgeable is he is, is not an
attorney. Iím fairly certain that the ultimate language or the drafting of
this language was done by attorneys. Again, I repeat the language of the
contract pretty much speaks for itself.
MR. MINASIAN: But Iím asking George about whether or not he had any
conversations with anyone else relating to what the bureau was trying to
achieve by including language like this in the contract.
THE WITNESS: Relating to this specific language?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
THE WITNESS: I have no recollection of it, any conversation.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, the next page, page 19, is paragraph 10(a). Would you
read that to yourself and refresh your recollection about this language.
Q. Now, do you see towards the bottom of page 19 the phrase, four lines up,
"The Contractor," which would be GCID, "authorizes the United States to
divert, store, or use such Stony Creek water"?
Q. Do you remember any discussions at the bureau with your cohorts relating
to what the bureau was trying to obtain from Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
in regard to Stony Creek?
MS. IIZUKA: Iím just going to object for the same reasons I gave with
regard to the earlier paragraph. Again, this is a legal document, George
Wilson is not an attorney and would not have drafted the language. You
are free to ask him the question, but there is an objection on the record.
MR. MINASIAN: Okay.
Q. Do you understand, George, that Maria has objected, you will go ahead
and try to answer the question as best you can?
A. Okay. I think Iíll be answering your question.
As I understand this last part, it was, to make us aware that Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation District would not object to the Bureau of Reclamation storing
water in Black Butte that would have otherwise been available to GCID under
their Angle Decree.
Q. And did you come to any understanding as to what the advantage to the
bureau was of that provision?
A. I donít -- I donít believe I even addressed it at that time.
Q. Since that time, have you come to understand what the advantage to the
bureau is of having the right to direct the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
to allow the bureau to store GCIDís Angle Decree rights?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Objection to the form of the question. I -- itís
not -- the form of the question, in the sense of the bureau being allowed to
store GCIDís Angle Decree rights. I donít think thatís legally
correct and Iím going to object to the question.
MR. NINASIAN: Let me break it down.
Q. You do see here that the language says the contractor, GCID, authorizes
the United States to divert, store, or use such Stony Creek water; do you not?
A. Yes, I see that in the contract.
Q. Based upon your experience on Stony Creek, both in 1962 through the
time of the signing of the contract in Ď64, but also since that time, have
you come to some understanding of what the benefits to the United States
are from that right to store the GCIDís Stony Creek water?
A. Well, at this time, the problem I have with this language is that -- and
this is as Water Master -- I donít believe GCID can grant a right to the
Bureau of Reclamation to store water under the Angle Decree in the Black
Q. So your concern is that you donít think Glenn-Colusa has the right to
consent to the bureauís storing GCIDís waters?
A. Now youíve changed it and youíve said consent to them storing it, rather
than granting the right to store it.
Q. You do see the word the "Contractor authorizes"?
Q. So letís use that phrase.
Q. Do you think that GCID had the right to authorize
the United States to divert, store or use?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Why donít we, Paul, if youíre asking the question,
why donít you read the whole thing? The fact of the matter is, can you read
what youíre asking George to look at without looking at the earlier part of
that sentence, which says, "Any time during the period April through October
of any year that the Contracting Officer requires the Contractor to take
water from Sacramento River that it would otherwise be entitled to divert
from Stony Creek," and I think thatís critical language.
MR. MINASIAN: All right. Letís look at the whole sentence.
Q. Have you got the whole sentence in mind now, George?
Q. Iím not asking you for a legal conclusion. Iím just asking for either
your personal experience in the time from Ď62 to Ď64, or Iím asking since
that time, have you any reason to believe that GCID could not authorize the
United States to divert, store or use Stony Creek water?
A. This may be a legal conclusion, and whether they could authorize it or
not, I donít know. I would say that the GCID could state to the Bureau of
Reclamation that they would have no objection to them storing the water.
Now, maybe weíre saying the same thing, and I have no problem with that.
And, as Water Master, let me put in here that I have no problem with the
agreement and the arrangement that the bureau and GCID have in this contract.
I have no objection to it whatsoever, and the way it has been utilized,
I think itís been beneficial to everyone and unless something were to come
up, I canít imagine what, I would have no problem with it as it is.
Q. Now, what weíre doing here is trying to see if you have both personal
knowledge of what the intention of the parties to this contract were and
second, if your expert opinion leads to any interpretation of this language.
So Iíve asked you whether you remember anything being discussed about what
the bureau was attempting to obtain from GCID.
Do you have any recollection at all of talking with Gleason or talking with --
A. Well, very broadly, I would say that it was in order for the Bureau of
Reclamation not to have to operate Black Butte Dam to accommodate the
Glenn-Colusaís Angle Decree water right, which would be an operation
nightmare, that they entered into an agreement with the Bureau of
Reclamation where they would credit the Bureau of Reclamation with the
quantity of water that -- or credit GCID with the quantity of water that
they would have gotten out of Stony Creek.
Q. Now, this April 1 date, youíre familiar with the Angle Decree as Water
Master; are you not?
Q. Do the rights of Glenn-Colusa actually start on an earlier date than
April 1 under the Angle Decree?
A. As I recall, without looking at the book, March 15th is their date in the
Q. All right. Is Glenn-Colusa entitled under its Angle Decree rights to
divert water or use water before March 15?
MS. IIZUKA: Divert water from Stony Creek?
MR. MINASIAN: Stony Creek.
THE WITNESS: Under the Angle Decree?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
THE WITNESS: Again, the Angle Decree speaks for itself. I donít believe
Iíve seen anything in there that entitles them to divert prior to March
15th. I believe it says on or about, so I wouldnít pin it down to one
day, depending on the circumstances.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Is it a correct proposition, based upon your experience,
the Angle Decree was not really concerned about whether water was used by
a party under the decree in the months of February and early March?
A. I couldnít say whether they were concerned. What I would say is that
they limited the water rights to specific periods, and it would be an
assumption to say that they werenít concerned.
Q. Look at the top of page 20, if you would, and read that to yourself.
Now, do you recognize this paragraph as what we
call the 10(a) paragraph, it starts on page 19 and goes through the middle
of page 20, and, Mr. Wilson, do you see the specific language of the last
sentence? It says, "Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subdivision,
the Contractor," which is GCID, "reserves the right to divert water from
Stony Creek to the extent of its entitlements under the Angle Decree, for
periods not to exceed five consecutive days, whenever its Sacramento River
pumps are temporarily unable to meet its diversion requirements because said
pumps are partially or wholly inoperable due to an emergency or an
Q. First go back to your experience with the bureau. Did, at any time,
anybody from the bureau discuss with you what this language meant before
the contract was signed?
A. Pertaining to the five consecutive days of emergency?
Q. Or pertaining to the use of the word entitlements under the Angle Decree.
A. Yeah. I donít recall any previous conversation.
Q. Now, during the period of Ď64 up through your retirement, were you
involved in decision-making about the operations of water on Stony Creek,
and do you recollect any discussions with any bureau personnel relating to
the meaning of this language or the way it would be implemented?
A. I think during that period, if it -- any discussions I may have had with
the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, it would have been basically that the
bureau could release water from Black Butte to GCID or from the river, and
that once the contract was signed, the quantities were moot, you might say.
It was up to the bureau and GCID as far as the quantities, because theyíre
established in Exhibit A and it could be from either source.
MS. IIZUKA: Could I clarify that, George?
THE WITNESS: Yeah.
MS. IIZUKA: Paul is asking you whether or not you had any discussions with
bureau personnel as to the meaning of this section that he -- or this
sentence he just asked you to read, notwithstanding the other provisions
of this subdivision, et cetera, et cetera.
I donít think your answer was actually responsive to his question.
THE WITNESS: No.
MR. MINASIAN: Let me get at it, George, with individual questions.
Q. From the time of Ď64, when the contract was signed, through Ď79, you did
have some involvement with decision-making relating to how Black Butte and
the Orland project would be operated; did you not?
A. A minor role, yes.
Q. And it was in the role of attempting to work out technically how much
water was available and how the
project, be it Shasta, Trinity, Orland project or Black Butte, would be
A. Yeah. Like I say, in a minor role, yeah.
Q. And in that minor role, you did have occasion to deal with the question
of whether or not Glenn-Colusa would be delivered water from Black Butte or
A. Oh, I did -- it was never a decision that was -- that was brought to me
or -- I just donít believe that anyone ever asked me about that particular
question, in the operation, no.
Q. Did you become aware during this period of time that bureau personnel were
working with Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District to dispatch water either from
Shasta or from Black Butte?
A. That would be a normal routine every year.
Q. And did you ever hear anybody from the bureau say it made a difference
to them, whether they took the water from Black Butte or from Shasta?
MS. IIZUKA: Iím going to object, because I think that article 10(a) pretty
much says that the United States reserves the right to require that the
contractor shall divert all of its total supply or any portion thereof from
either the Sacramento River or Stony Creek, and I think the implication or
clear meaning of that is that itís the Bureau of Reclamation that makes
the determination of where the water is going to come from. Itís not an
MR. MINASIAN: But weíre just asking for his
percipient view. What was -- was there a discussion that George overheard
or was part of in which it made a difference to the bureau from which
source the water came?
THE WITNESS: I canít remember any specific time or occasion. However, I do
know that there was discussion, more than once, on -- and it made a
difference to the bureau, to the Corps and various other people, how Black
Butte was operated, including the fish and wildlife, fish and game, on
upstream diversions, but nothing specific that I could answer for you.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Do you have a recollection of anyone at the bureau ever
saying, in the period you were working with the bureau, that the
language of the GCID contract limited GCID to the amount of water that
was in Stony Creek to which their rights attached at a given instant, if
there was an emergency or unforeseeable cause?
A. No, I donít remember any. We didnít discuss it.
Q. Do you recollect any discussions in which the language "emergency or
unforeseeable cause" was discussed with the bureau?
A. No, I donít recall that.
Q. Now, the language of the contract says, "Right to divert water from Stony
Creek to the extent of its entitlements under the Angle Decree." Do you
see that language?
Q. All right. Now, in the years that youíve worked with the bureau and the
years youíve been the Water Master, youíve got to know this Angle Decree
document fairly well; have you not?
Q. And youíre also aware of the use of terminology in water rights --
Q. -- over the years, because this has been your life?
Q And part of your duties were to go to the State Water Resources
Control Board and participate in their proceedings over the years?
Q. And in the course of that time, youíve become familiar with the way
that water is described by people that work in this field?
Q. Is water generally described by either quantity or rate of flow or both?
A. Both. One is dependent upon the other, in most cases. Usually cubic feet
per second rate of flow, an acre foot quantity.
Q. And a certain quantity of water is important to someone in the water
field, both in terms of the volume they get and the rate of flow that they
get it at, isnít it?
Q. So people working for the bureau in the water rights field are sensitive
and knowledgeable about both the volume, or the quantity of water they get,
and the rate of flow at which they have to deliver it?
Q. Now, the language which is in the contract with the bureau and GCID, on
page 20, do you see anything in this language which refers to rate of flow,
based upon your experience?
MS. IIZUKA: I would have to object, because the Angle Decree is mentioned
earlier on in 10(a), and I think the entire section has to be read in
the -- in that context.
MR. MINASIAN: Okay. Let me rephrase the question.
Q. George, at this point, Iím going to ask you as an expert, looking at
this language, just imagine youíve never seen this before, youíre an expert
in water rights, do you see anything in this language that refers to a rate
of flow that you can divert water at a given instant in accordance with a
certain amount of water?
MS. IIZUKA: Again, what language -- are you talking only about the little
piece at the end?
MR. MINASIAN: Well, Iíll tell you what, why donít we look at the whole of
10(a). See if you see anything in there that deals with rate of flow or
MS. IIZUKA: Doesnít the Angle Decree deal with rate of flow? Iím asking
MR. MINASIAN: Iím asking George as an expert to deal with the language
here in the contract.
MS. IIZUKA: It mentioned Angle Decree twice in section 10(a).
MR. MINASIAN: If George, as your expert, wants to go into the Angle Decree
after this, weíll do that. But Iím asking George, using the phrases that
are used by people in the water field, does he see anything in 10(a) which
relates to rate of flow or instantaneous flow.
THE WITNESS: Give me a second here.
MR. NINASIAN: I will.
THE WITNESS: I donít want to say something that Iíll have to retract.
The only thing that I see here that I think would probably indirectly refer
to a rate of flow is when they say divert from Stony Creek to the extent of
its entitlements under the Angle Decree, because the entitlement under the
Angle Decree is definitely a rate of flow.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Okay. Mr. Wilson, do you see anything else that would
indicate to you that whoever wrote this language or agreed to it had
something in mind relating to rate of flow?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. I think it speaks for itself. Youíre asking him
to reflect on the state of
mind of the drafter of this contract.
THE WITNESS: In trying to remember, again, I keep thinking of the contract
in its entirety, in addition to trying to pick out some specific line, and
in the contract in its entirety, again, I see, nothing -- remember nothing
relating to rate of flow, but it was quantity.
MR. MINASIAN Q: That is, in Exhibit A --
Q. -- there was no rate of flow limitation?
A. (Witness nods head up and down).
Q. And looking at 10(a), the only language that you indicated might refer
to it is the reference to the Angle Decree?
Q. Okay. Now, with your experience in the water rights field and the
operations of projects, what did -- what do you interpret this language to
mean? Do you have an opinion about what this language means?
MS. IIZUKA: Which language?
MR. MINASIAN Q: Commencing with the word "Notwithstanding the other
provisions of this subdivision, the contractor reserves the right to divert
water from Stony Creek to the extent of its entitlements."
MS. IIZUKA: Iím going to object because I think there was a declaration on
file filed by George Wilson in which I think he addressed that very issue.
MR. MINASIAN: Iím entitled to ask him what his opinion is.
MS. IIZUKA: Well, George can --- do you have a copy of his declaration?
MR. NINASIAN: No, no, I donít.
THE WITNESS: I think I brought it with me. Do you have one?
MS IIZUKA:: No, I donít Trying to see if I have it. I left it in the office.
THE WITNESS If I recall, the declaration was very brief.
I donít think I have it with -- well, Iíve got more junk.
Here it is Now, where were we?
MS IIZUKA: Do you want to repeat the question, Paul?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
Q. Letís start with the whole of paragraph 10(a). Based upon your
experience, Mr. Wilson, what do you believe the intention of the parties in
entering into and providing this paragraph 10(a) to be relating to, first
of all, the language "Notwithstanding the other provisions of this
subdivision, the Contractor reserves the right to divert water from Stony
Creek to the extent of its entitlements under the Angle Decree, for periods
not to exceed five consecutive days, whenever its Sacramento River pumps are
temporarily unable to meet its diversion requirements because said pumps
or wholly inoperable due to an emergency or unforeseeable cause"?
MS. IIZUKA: Iím going to object, and just for the record, I think that
Mr. Wilsonís declaration sets forth what his views are as to what GCIDís
entitlements are under the Angle Decree. I think that answers that part of
MR. MINASIAN: But Iím asking him as an expert, based upon his experience,
what did the parties mean by this language, what did they intend?
MS. IIZUKA: He didnít draft the contract.
MR. MINASIAN: Well, if you do not intend to have Mr. Wilson testify or
execute a declaration relating to what they intended --
MS. IIZUKA: Mr. Wilson was set forth by us as an expert with regard to
the Angle Decree. He is perfectly qualified to discuss and to testify as
to what GCIDís rights and entitlements are under the Angle Decree. To the
extent that youíre asking him to construe what the language of 10(a) means,
I think thatís a different ball game.
MR. MINASIAN: And youíre not proposing Mr. Wilson to provide evidence on
that subject, I gather?
MS. IIZUKA: He is perfectly qualified to tell you and to testify as to what
the entitlements of GCID are under the Angle Decree as that term is used
in section 10(a) of the water service contract.
MR. MINASIAN: But to do that, he has to express
an opinion as to what the language was intended to refer to, doesnít he?
MS. IIZUKA: Entitlements?
MR. NINASIAN: Yes.
MS. IIZUKA: Here are the entitlements. Can we read this into the record?
MR. MINASIAN: Sure.
MS. IIZUKA: Why donít you read the declaration the record, George.
THE WITNESS: Okay. This is declaration of Water Master George G. Wilson.
"I, George G. Wilson, declare I am the Water Master administering the Angle
Decree in the Stony Creek Water Shed. The rights of the Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation District has to the waters of Stony Creek under the Angle Decree
are not unrestricted. The following are limitation on Glenn-Colusaís rights
as set forth in that decree: Period of diversion is March 15th to October 1.
The rights are for direct diversion only, not for storage. The point of
diversion is at the crossing of Glenn-Colusa main canal and Stony Creek.
D, the maximum amount of Stony Creek water that Glenn-Colusa is entitled to
divert in any year is 20,315 acre feet. The maximum rate of diversion is
500 cubic feet per second."
Pardon me right here.
MS. IIZUKA: Per day.
THE WITNESS: Thatís an error.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís an error, okay.
"Pursuant to this stipulation of the Angle Decree entered into between
Glenn-Colusa and the United States, the United States is entitled to the
first 265 cubic feet per second of flow from Stony Creek to either directly
divert or to store for the Orland project.
"I have informed the Bureau of Reclamation that unless there is significant
inflow to Black Butte Reservoir there is and will be no water available to
the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District from Stony Creek under the Angle Decree
during the remainder of the current irrigation season.
"I declare under the penalty of perjury the foregoing to be true to the best
of my knowledge and belief." Dated August 26th, Ď91.
MS. IIZUKA: Thank you, George.
Excuse me, I think there may have been another typo here.
MS. IIZUKA: This should be deleted?
THE WITNESS: This is 500 cubic feet per second, yes, period.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís a typo.
THE WITNESS: The diversion season, had here as October 1. Is that correct
or is it October 30th?
MR. MINASIAN: October 30th.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís another typo.
THE WITNESS: So thereís another typo here.
MS. IIZUKA: Letís get back to your questioning, Paul.
MR. MINASIAN Q: So you donít have independent opinion as an expert in
regard to what was meant by this language of 10(a) relating to entitlements
under the Angle Decree, other than to look at the Angle Decree, is that
A. I think youíre asking me to interpret the contract --
A. -- as Water Master.
Q. Iím asking you to look at the GCID-bureau contract and tell me if you
have an expert opinion as to what they meant, right to divert water from
Stony Creek, to the extent of its entitlement under the Angle Decree.
MS. IIZUKA: Entitlements.
MR. MINASIAN: Entitlements under the Angle Decree. I think youíre telling
me you donít have an opinion on that, but you do have an opinion as to what
the Angle Decree says the districtís entitlements are?
MS. IIZUKA: Isnít that the same question? Objection
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Is that -- it is correct; that is, that. youíre willing to
offer an opinion on what the rights of -- what the phrase "to the extent of
its entitlements under the Angle Decree" means by looking at the Angle
Q. Okay. What do you think the extent of the
districtís rights under the Angle Decree were at the time this contract was
A. Again, I believe the declaration covers it, and if not, the Angle Decree
would speak for itself, but, like I say, I think itís the 500 CFS maximum and
the 20,315 annual acre foot quantity.
MR. MINASIAN: Going to mark as Plaintiffís 2 selected pages out of the Angle
(Whereupon Plaintiffís Exhibit 2 was marked for identification.)
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, Iíll let you use this copy. Itís marked.
Mr. Wilson, do you recognize the document that youíve been handed as a Xerox
copy of selected pages of the Angle Decree?
Q. And you do have a copy of the original decree --
Q. -- available to you, so if you want to refer to any other pages, do not
Page 1 is the face sheet on it showing itís a United States District Court
Q. And the next page in order is page 168, or the beginning of section Roman
Q. Do you recognize this language as describing the rights of the
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District and the
priority of those rights?
Q. Now, do you see at the top, the priority was the 14th day of November,
Q. Was that a relatively high priority; that is, Glenn-Coiusa Irrigation
District was one of the earliest large users off of the creek?
A. It would depend on what you refer to as a large user. Itís a
rather late date as a numerical date.
Q. But in terms of the quantities of water that Glenn-Colusa was entitled
to under the decree, they were actually fairly large compared to the rights
that were granted the Bureau of Reclamation for the Orland project?
MS IIZUKA: Wait a minute What are we talking -- youíre asking George to
look at the Angle Decree, and if youíre asking specific questions, can
you direct them to where in the Angle Decree youíre --
MR. MINASIAN: Sure
Q. Seventh line down, do you see the phrase 14th of November, 1904?
Q. Is that what is known as a priority date?
Q. What does a priority date mean in regard to Glenn-Colusaís rights?
A. That would indicate, as opposed to all other water rights in the system
that were named in the Angle Decree,
what their priority would be as far as receiving water.
Q. All right. And is the priority date of November, 1904 a relatively
early priority date for the large users off Stony Creek?
A. I donít know if I could -- would answer as fairly early, but I think the
appropriation schedule in the Angle Decree shows all of the water rights with
their priority dates so that we could --
Q. Maybe I could phrase it a different way
You know enough about the Angle Decree with your experience to know whether
or not GlennóColusa had a good right to water from Stony Creek with this
priority date. Would you describe it as a good water right9
A. As opposed to upstream diverters, no, because most all of the upstream
diverters have earlier priority dates.
Q. But the upstream diverters tended to be relatively small diverters, did
Q. The big diverters on the stream were Glenn-Colusa and the Bureau of
Reclamation for whatís known as the Orland project?
Q. And Glenn-Colusa was ahead of the Orland project except for the
stipulation which was entered into?
A. No. Orland projectís earlier right is 1864, which is a very small
right, and again, the priority for the Orland project rights are in, I
believe, Article 8 within
the decree, and they have several rights, dated -- I think thereís several
of them prior to 1904. Maybe not. 1864. But, anyway, theyíre in
this -- this is 1897. They had a 1888. They had several of them prior to
Glenn-Colusa and some after, later than Glenn-Colusaís.
Q. Is it correct that the East Park Dam and the Stony Gorge Dam were both
built after 1904?
Q. Is it correct that although they utilize some of the water rights which
the bureau might have filed on before 1904, that the rights to the East Park
Dam and Stony Gorge Dam are generally later water rights than GCIDís?
Q. And in California, under appropriative rights, the earlier rights have
the priority over the later rights --
Q. -- except if parties agree otherwise?
MS. IIZUKA: Can I just say one thing, and this has been going on for awhile:
If youíre asking a question, can you ask a question, because I have a sense
that youíre sort of testifying here, Paul.
MR. MINASIAN: Okay.
Q. Now, the second thing Iíd like to point out about this language, if
youíd look, do you see about midway in the language, on page 169, "The
irrigation season for the lands of said District is hereby defined as and
to be the period beginning on March 15th and ending on October 1st of each
A. It is October 1st.
Q. It is October.
MS. IIZUKA: I was right.
THE WITNESS: Yeah.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís okay. Go ahead. Iím sorry, Paul.
THE WITNESS: Go ahead.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Do you see that's what we call the period of use or the
season of use?
Q. Do you recognize that to be March 15th through October 1st?
Q. And the third line from the bottom, do you see the place of diversion,
or point of diversion as being described "to divert from Stony Creek at the
diversion point aforesaid"?
Q. What is the diversion point aforesaid?
A. I believe itís referring to the diversion point for Glenn-Colusa from
Stony Creek where at the point -- where Glenn-Colusaís canal crosses Stony
Q. If you went back up that paragraph, do you see the court describing the
place as a closing of the lower or easterly embankment of its main canal
where it crosses Stony Creek?
Q. So the point of diversion was where the main canal crosses Stony Creek,
a gravel berm was put up and thatís the place at which the district diverted
Q. Now, we go to page 170. Do you see weíre now defining the entitlement
or the amount of water that the district can get, the second --
MS. IIZUKA: I want to correct something. Entitlements. Letís be sure it's
plural, all right? Letís use the language. [the word entitlement or its
plural does not appear in the Decree]
MR. MINASIAN Q: Do you see the language of the decree, "Said district for
the irrigation thereof, 20,315 acre feet of water, or so much thereof as may
be available at said point as above described, during each irrigation season,
at the rate of diversion not exceeding 500 cubic feet per second at any time
during said season"?
Q. All right. Now, where is the point as above described?
A. Point of diversion is the -- where the Glenn-Colusa canal crosses Stony
Q. And the quantity of water which the district is adjudged to have a right
A. 20,315 acre feet.
Q. And the rate of diversion is set?
A. 500 second feet.
Q. Now, the rate of diversion in this case is measured at the district's
main canal; is it not?
Q. And the quantity of water, 20,315, is also measured at the main canal?
Q. That means in order to get 20,315 at 500 cubic feet per second at the
main canal, youíd have to have a larger amount of water coming down the
creek to take care of creek losses, wouldnít you?
A. In nearly all circumstances. It would be very rare it was a gaining
stream rather than a losing stream in that area.
Q. Now, the decree goes on to refer to a stipulation between the Bureau
of Reclamation and the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District [no, between USA
and GCID] that was put into this decree; does it not?
A. Yes. This is the stipulation between Glenn-Colusa and the Orland project.
[No, between GCID & USA.]
Q. And based upon your experience in the creek, is it correct to the say
that the purpose of this stipulation was to give the bureau [no, USA] the
right to take the first 265 cubic feet per second of natural flow from the
creek before Glenn-Colusaís rights would be satisfied?
A. Youíre asking me the bureauís intent or thinking, and I canít answer
that. But I would say that this is what actually did happen, yes.
Q. That is, the stipulation, if we look at the top of
page 172, weíd see that the Orland project was granted the right to divert
265 cubic feet per second of natural flow?
Q. Now, what is your understanding of what was to happen if the Orland
project was not diverting 265 CFS of the natural flow?
A. Assuming that there was 265 available?
A. That 265 would continue on down the creek and Glenn-Colusa would have
access to it. [access, but not right?]
Q. And when you look at page 172, paragraph E, do you see that Defendant
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District is recognized to have the right to the 265,
or any portion of it not being utilized by the bureau? [where?]
Q. So the amount of water that the Glenn-Coiusa Irrigation District was
allocated by the Angle Decree was the amount of water up to 20,315 acre feet
that was really available to it from natural flow?
A. Yeah, it was allocated if it was available, yes.
Q. Now, how would one go about determining the amount of water that
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District was entitled to under the Angle Decree,
from a practical matter, before Black Butte Reservoir was constructed?
A. Well, in answer to what you just said, you would read the Angle Decree
and see what it says. Are you asking on each individual year?
Q. Yes Letís just take a given day in April, before Black Butte Reservoir
A. It would be different in every year, probably.
Q. First thing you do is if the bureau was diverting 265 CFS, either
directly into Orland project or into storage in one of its reservoirs,
that would be okay, wouldnít it.
Q. If every other water right holder was taking the water they were entitled
to, then the remaining amount of water in the creek would be available to
the GlennóColusa Irrigation District; would it not?
A. Under the stipulation, not under the other language in the decree
I believe maybe to clear this up, as I understand it, weíve talked about two
different classifications here of a right, and one, the -- eliminating the
stipulation between the Orland project, I think thatís pretty clear, that
Glenn-Colusa has 500 second feet, 20,315 acre feet. The stipulation, as I
interpret it, is saying that, basically, after we get ours, you can have
everything thatís there, if there is anything there.
Q. So, as you --
A. Thatís putting it very broadly, but I think thatís what it is.
Q. So based upon your experience, you would treat the entitlement of the
district, Glenn-Colusa, to be 20,315 at 500 cubic feet per second?
MS. IIZUKA: Under the stipulation or under the decree?
THE WITNESS: Under the decree.
MS. IIZUKA: Right.
MR. MINASIAN Q: As you see it then, the stipulation between the bureau and
Glenn-Colusa was -- is not what we refer to as the entitlement under the
A. Itís different.
Q. Different. All right. Now, Iíd like you to finally look at page 175.
MS. IIZUKA: Could I make one clarification for the record?
MR. NINASIAN: Yes.
MS. IIZUKA: Do you consider the stipulation to be part of the Angle Decree?
MR. MINASIAN: Iíd certainly stipulate that it is, but --
MS. IIZUKA: Iím asking -- well, if you do, okay.
THE WITNESS: I do.
MS. IIZUKA: Fine. Thatís it. All right. Please go on. Iím sorry. 175?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes. Which is the final page of our Exhibit 2.
Q. Look down at the bottom. Thereís some underlying language. Do you
see the phrase "That any of the parties to whom rights to water have been
decreed herein shall be entitled, in accord with applicable laws and legal
principles, to change the point of diversion and the places, means, manner
or purpose of use of the waters to which they are so entitled or any part
thereof, so far as they may do so without injury to the rights of other
parties as the same are defined herein"?
Q. Now, this language is part of the Angle Decree. In your years working
in the water rights field, did you become aware at any time of a provision
that relates to pre-1914 water rights, as to the changes of the purpose of
use, the right to store those waters, the right to change the place of use?
A. For pre-1914?
A. The only thing that comes to mind would be that, as I understood it, the
courts, and I may not be right on this, rather than the State Water Resources
Control Board, had jurisdiction over that.
Q. All right. Do you see the court in this case saying that parties who have
the rights to water under this decree can change the places, means, manner
or purpose of the use of the water so far as they may do so without injury
to the rights of other parties?
Q. Do you have any understanding what the court -- what was intended by
A. In this particular case, and Iím referring to the Angle Decree on Stony
Creek, there are instances where
one individualís field may be washed out and be nothing but river bed and
might have two or three acres of water right and it may create actually a
sand bar over here which was not in his original water right, and this has
happened, and in that case, they could go before the court and petition the
court for a change in place of use. [but they are not required to?]
Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether or not this language was intended
to permit somebody to store their water, as long as it didnít harm anybody
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Where is the word "store" in here. It says, "Change
MR. MINASIAN: He either has an opinion or he doesnít.
THE WITNESS: No, my opinion is that this does not permit storage. But this
is only an opinion, because I have never -- Iíve never seen anyone request
storage and any requests for application permit to storage is -- well, has
never arisen on Stony Creek under the Angle Decree. And theyíre very
specific that it is direct diversion. [are they? isn't reasonable and
beneficial change the only limitation?]
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, if the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation Districtís rights to
water under the Angle Decree were stored in Black Butte Reservoir, would
that cause harm to any other party under the Angle Decree?
MS. IIZUKA: Can you -- Black Butteís water rights under the Angle Decree
were stored in Black Butte?
MR. MINASIAN: No. If Glenn-Colusa Irrigation
Districtís rights under the Angle Decree were stored in Black Butte
Reservoir, would that cause harm --
MS. IIZUKA: Thereís a presumption there that the rights under the Angle
Decree are storage rights.
MR. MINASIAN: No. Iím just asking a factual question to him as Water Master.
MS. IIZUKA: Well, Iím going to object only to the extent that itís contrary
to the decree [how would she know?]. You can answer, George, but I donít
think itís --
THE WITNESS: To answer that, when you say anyone, there are times when it
would be detrimental to other people, other entities, not necessarily people
with water rights. Iím thinking primarily as Glenn-Colusaís water rights
go down the creek, as you know, they percolate into Stony Creek and keep
the wells in the community up, so that is one instance I can think of where
it could cause harm. But, again, those people have no water rights.
Maybe youíre not asking me this, but I will add that to store
Glenn-Colusaís -- or to determine what Glenn-Colusaís water rights would
be that would be available to store each year would be a tremendous
undertaking, because they would vary from day to day. In other words, you
canít just quantify and say 20,000 acre feet theyíre entitled to, so they
can store 20,000. [uh, try computers]
Am I answering your question there, Paul?
MR. MINASIAN: Well, I think youíre giving your opinion on this.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, there were two parts to the opinion. First of all,
you wondered if it would harm anybody who had a right to ground water
percolation in the creek.
Q. Would you look again at page 175, and do you see the last two lines of
the courtís decision, saying they may do so without injury to the rights of
other parties as the same are defined herein?
MS. IIZUKA: Who are the other parties?
MR. MINASIAN: Thatís my question.
Q. You recognize, Mr. Wilson, the other parties defined herein are the
holders of rights to surface water under the Angle --
A. Within the Angle Decree, yes.
Q. In other words, thereís nobody downstream of the Black Butte -- present
location of Black Butte Reservoir who holds a right to ground water --
Q. -- percolation under the Angle Decree?
A. Thatís correct.
Q. Is there anybody downstream of Black Butte who holds surface water right?
A. None that are current. [define current?]
Q. So if Glenn-Colusa Irrigation Districtís entitlement or right under the
Angle Decree were stored
in Black Butte, no person or party, as the same is defined herein, would be
harmed by that?
MS. IIZUKA: George, again, Iím going to object because, again, thereís an
underlying assumption in your question that thereís an entitlement under the
Angle Decree to have GCIDís waters stored in Black Butte and Iím going to
object because that isnít what the Angle Decree provides.
If you want to ask a hypothetical question which is not grounded in the
Angle Decree, thatís a different question. [and there's an underlying
assumption in her objection that there's anything in the Angle Decree that
prohibits storage, which, of course, there isn't]
MR. MINASIAN: Well, Iím asking George. for his opinion as to what this
language means. Weíve covered one part of it.
MS. IIZUKA: You canít take -- you know, you canít take a piece of a decree
out of context. It has to relate to what was given GCID and the other water
MR. MINASIAN: And Mr. Wilson can qualify his opinion.
MS. IIZUKA: Well, my objection is noted for the record.
MR. MINASIAN: All right.
Q. Mr. Wilson, so we have a clear record here, I want to give you time to
think about this. Can you think of any harm or injury that would be caused
to the rights of other parties as the same is defined herein, which is the
language the court uses on page 175, which would occur from storing and
releasing at a later time Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation Districtís Angle Decree entitlement in Black Butte?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. This only talks about changing points of diversion
[no, it's about "...change point of diversion and the places, means, manner or
purpose of the use of the waters to which they are so entitled....] ,
Paul. It doesnít talk about storage. And if you take -- youíre asking
Mr. Wilson to assume two things: That points of diversion equals or can
equal storage, and two, that under the Angle Decree, GCID has storage rights
in Black Butte, neither one of which is correct. So Iím noting my objections
for the record. Youíre asking him to say something that isnít spelled out
MR. MINASIAN: Okay. Youíve made your objections.
Q. Now, George, do you understand the question?
A. Yeah, I understand the question, and it is probably one of these things
that answers itself again. Since Black Butte has been built, itís been
storing water, some of that water possibly Glenn-Colusa could have been
entitled to under their Angle Decree to divert on down the stream.
In storing this water, there was no separation between Angle Decree water,
bureauís water, anybodyís water. It is all under the Black Butte, Bureau
of Reclamation permit, so in a sense, thereíd be no change from what there
is right now.
Q. So whatís been going on since Black Butte started its operation is proof
that thereís no harm to anybody?
A. I wouldnít say itís proof, because, as I understgand your question, you
may lead to a claim of
Glenn-Colusa on this water at a later date, as Glenn-Colusa as opposed to
bureau water. Maybe Iím getting too far afield here. But in that case, I
could see where the Bureau of Reclamation could lose control of this water,
and to that extent, it may possibly cause some harm to someone, either the
recreation, the fishery, or -- I just donít know, Paul. I canít give a good
answer to that.
MS. IIZUKA: For the record, are you saying that there could be harm to the
Bureau of Reclamationís permit rights, in a broad sense?
THE WITNESS: Definitely, if the water were allocated to Glenn-Colusa,
because that -- if nothing else, it would reduce this block of storage
under the rights that the bureau has in certain years. Some years it
wouldnít hurt a thing.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Okay. Let me direct your attention to the last lines on
page 175. Do you see the phrase, "without injury to the rights of other
parties as the same are defined herein"?
Q. Is there any question in your mind that the other parties defined herein
are the holders of rights under the Angle Decree?
A. Yes, I agree with you on that.
Q. They are, thatís who the court is referring to?
Q. Do you agree that Black Butte Reservoir is not
exercising an Angle Decree right; that is, the bureauís rights to Black
Butte are post 1914 water rights that arise from a source other than the
A. Yes, theyíre not Angle Decree.
Q. So youíve told us that you thought that there could be some confusion
if Glenn-Colusaís Angle Decree water rights were actually being stored in
A. And probably some detriment to even possibly some of these people, and
this -- this is --
Q. Explain to me how there could be detriment to somebody who held a right
under the Angle Decree by Glenn-Colusaís entitlements being stored in Black
A. Okay. To answer your question, this would be injury to someone who held an
Angle Decree water right. Iím not saying it would deplete their water right,
but, for instance, we have Stony Creek Water District upstream of Stony Gorge
who rely on Black Butte water by exchange under their contract.
Q. But thatís not an Angle Decree right that they hold, is it?
A. Yes, they have Angle Decree water rights, and the Black Butte water
makes their Angle Decree water rights whole when thereís physically --
when theyíre physically limited. [no, that's a contract right, er, privilege,
and outside the Decree]
Q. That is, they buy water from the bureau?
A. Supplement, yes.
Q. I want to direct your attention to what the court
was referring to in 1930, when this decree was entered into. That
contractual purchase agreement didnít exist at that time, did it?
A. Thatís correct.
Q. So can you think of anybody that held an Angle Decree right that
existed at the time of this decree who would be harmed by Glenn-Colusa
storing its water and releasing it at a later time down --
A. In 1930, I would say there wouldnít have been any harm.
Q. Today would there be any harm other than the Stony Creek irrigation --
A. I donít know. This is just one example that comes to the top of my mind
right now, and I would hate to say there would not be, because I would --
MS. IIZUKA: Iím going to stop this. I think the question has been asked
about 3,000 million ways, and I think that George has given the best answer
he could, and, you know, I think we should leave it at that.
MR. MINASIAN: Letís take a break.
(Whereupon a recess was taken.)
(Whereupon Plaintiffís Exhibits 3 and 4 were marked for identification.)
MR. MINASIAN Q: Now, Mr. Wilson, during the break we have handed you two
documents. Exhibit 3 is a copy of the Bureau of Reclamationís application
and permit granted pursuant to that application for Black Butte Reservoir.
Do you recognize those documents?
Q. Did you have any involvement in the processing of those documents?
A. I donít believe so, no.
Q. During your career with the bureau, did you become acquainted with the
limitations upon the season of diversion to storage that the bureau was
granted in regard to the Black Butte Reservoir?
A. To the extent that itís specified in the permit, yeah.
Q. And do you recognize that itís no -- that no storage is permitted after
April 30th of water?
MS. IIZUKA: What are rereferring to, Paul, for the record?
MR. MINASIAN: Thank you
Q. Exhibit 3, and weíre looking at permit terms, and weíre looking at
paragraph 1 and weíre looking at paragraph 12.
MS. IIZUKA: Just for the record, Iíd like to clarify that permit --
paragraph 12 says during the period from about May 1, it doesnít say May l,
to about October 31.
MR. MINASIAN: Okay.
Q. Now, do you recognize those terms as limitations upon the bureauís
ability to store water in Black Butte Reservoir?
Q. Now, prior to the -- can you see the date on that permit? Itís down here.
A. November 19, 1962.
Q. So before the contract between the bureau and Glenn-Colusa Irrigation
District, the bureau had obtained this right for Black Butte Reservoir from
the State Water Resources Control Board; had it not?
Q. Do you have a recollection of any discussions with bureau personnel about
the need of the bureau to get the right to store water from on or about
April 30th through the summer months at Black Butte Reservoir?
A. Attempt to store water during the summer months?
A. I donít remember any details. I believe that possibly, as in most
applications, they are generally filed in an attempt to extend the season
as long as they can, and the same way with the quantities, usually have a
larger quantity, noting that they can always be reduced and they cannot be
expanded. And only to that extent would I vaguely remember anything about a
season longer than they were given in the permit.
Q. Do you have a recollection today, after working as the Water Master on
the creek, that the bureau is prohibited from storing waters under its
rights in Black Butte Reservoir after about May 1?
A. I think the permit speaks for itself on that.
Q. All right. Now, in fact, the bureau does store water after May 1 in
normal or above normal water years in Black Butte Reservoir, does it not?
A. I think it has in the past, but whether or not itís storing it under this
permit is something that I donít know.
Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not theyíre storing it under Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation Districtís water rights?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection.
MR. NINASIAN Q: Do you know?
A. No, I donít know.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís assuming that there are such a thing as -- kind of fungible
item that youíre talking about here and I object to that characterization.
THE WITNESS: Do you want me to continue to answer that?
MR MINASIAN Q. Yes. Itís an objection for the record.
A. I donít believe any Angle Decree water right as such can be stored in
Black Butte at this time. [? not even by Reclamation? Hmmm.]
Q. What is the basis for that opinion?
A. Because thereís never been an Angle Decree water right for storage in
Q. And your view is that the rights granted and the language of the Angle
Decree do not authorize Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District to permit its water
to be stored in Black Butte Reservoir?
A. Thatís correct.
Q. Now, are there any other documents or facts, other than youíve told us
about today, which leads you to that conclusion?
A. I think the Angle Decree is the basis for my opinion that you canít store
GCID water under their Angle Decree water right in Black Butte [any particular
Q. Okay. Ever have any discussion with anybody about what the five-day period
Q. And who did you discuss that with?
A. Most everybody Iíve talked to recently.
Q. Just recently, since this matter started?
Q. How about before?
Q. What do you think the phrase, if you have an opinion, emergency or
unforeseeable condition --
MS. IIZUKA: Objection, for the record. The document speaks for itself.
However, George, you can express an opinion.
THE WITNESS: Just what I read in the contract.
MR. MINASIAN Q: So you donít have an opinion different?
A. Nothing different than that, no.
Q. Now, in the course of your employment with the Bureau of Reclamation,
did you have occasion to talk with bureau representatives about the problems
caused by the state boardís permit conditions relating to Black Butte
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Youíre characterizing it as problems, but go ahead,
THE WITNESS: Repeat that, would you please?
MR. MINASIAN Q: During the course of your career at the Bureau of Reclamation,
did you become aware that the State Water Resources Control Board had put
certain limitations upon the bureauís use of water from Black Butte
A. Aware of the limitations? Yeah, theyíre spelled out in the permit.
Q. Did you have occasion to talk with other persons at the bureau about those
A. Not as a problem. I have talked about -- if anything, it would have been a
Q. And what do you remember about the diversion point issue relating to the
Black Butte water?
A. As I remember, there was some uncertainty as to where the Black Butte
water diversion points were located.
Q. Do you recollect discussions with persons at the bureau about the fact
that the only way to get water from Black Butte Reservoir to the bureauís
customers was to run it down Stony Creek?
A. The CVP customers, I guess youíre using?
A. With the exception of running some of it down the Orland project canals
into Tehama-Colusa canal.
Q. Thatís been done recently, has it not?
A. Yes, within the last few years
Q. Historically, between the time the contract was entered into between the
bureau and GCID, the CVP service area was generally served out of the
Sacramento area [Sacramento River??], was it not?
Q. Did you have any discussions with personnel from the bureau about how
they were going to get water from Black Butte past or over the GCID gravel
dam that performed its canal?
A. Probably many times I talked with people that were not aware that
Glenn-Colusa had a solid dam in there, and Ďto that extent discussed with
them thereís no way you could physically release that water down there after
Glenn-Colusaís dam is in, release it to Sacramento River. So only CVP
customers would be through the Tehama-Colusa canal or GCID itself, under
Q. So is it your opinion, based on your experience, at the time the bureau
signed the agreement with GCID, that the bureau was gaining the ability to
deliver Black Butte water to GCID through Stony Creek and would not have the
problem of getting that water through GCIDís dam into the Sacramento River?
MS. IIZUKA: I donít understand that question.
THE WITNESS: I think I -- I think what youíre asking, was it advantageous
to the bureau to be able to deliver some of that water to GCID?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
MS. IIZUKA: From?
THE WITNESS: From Black Butte And I think thatís pretty obvious, that at
times was to their advantage. And they have done that sometimes when -- this
is, as I recollect, at times Glenn-Colusa asked for water and if the bureau
had it available and no objections to releasing it, they did, which was an
advantage to the bureau.
MR MINASIAN Q: Now, when the contract was entered into between Glenn-Colusa
and the bureau in 1964, the bureau knew that Black Butte Reservoir was going
to be completed at that time, did it not?
A. In Ď64? Yes. They did not know whether it was is going to be CVP. It was
not integrated in the Central Valley Project at that time.
Q. So the bureau, at the time of the agreement with GCID, knew they had a dam
that was going to store water on Stony Creek?
Q. And they knew Glenn-Colusa had a gravel dam across the creek which would
prevent water from getting in the Sacramento River?
Q. And is it your opinion that therefore there was an advantage to the bureau
in having a right to deliver Black Butte water to GCID down Stony Creek?
MS. IIZUKA: Hasnít George -- I think the question
has been asked and answered.
MR. MINASIAN: Well, I want to make sure that I get the record clear here
THE WITNESS: I would have to assume that they would know there would be an
advantage at that time to be able to divert some of it into Glenn-Colusaís
canal, and at the same time, there were, as I recollect, there were plans
and specifications drawn up, or at least feasibility studies, for putting
Glenn-Colusaís canal under Stony Creek. And I think in the feasibility
studies that that provision was in there so that they did not forever
expect to only be able to divert water into Glenn-Colusa.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Would the advantage to the bureau be, at the time of the
Ď64 contract with GCID, that the bureau could deliver water from Black
Butte down Stony Creek and the bureau would thereby not have to release
water down the Sacramento River for the district to pump at its Hamilton
City pumping plant?
Q. So the bureau got more flexibility as a result of Black Butte Reservoir
and the terms of the Ď64 contract?
Q. Now, in return for that flexibility, do you know of any documents or
instruments which state that the bureau intended not to recognize the right
of the district to get water down Stony Creek when it had an emergency at
its pumping plant?
A. I donít know of any such document.
Q. Do you know of any documents which would indicate that the bureau
intended if the emergency occurred in August or September to -- that the
contract would not obligate it to deliver water from Black Butte?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Youíre asking George to construe section 10(a). Weíve
been through 10(a), 10(a) speaks for itself, and I donít think we have to
get -- you know, regurgitate that.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Do you know of any documents relative to that subject?
Q. Now, the place of use of water from Black Butte Reservoir, do you have
any recollection or experience with what the place of use of the water from
Black Butte Reservoir was?
A. Only to the extent that itís spelled out in the permits from the
applications from the State Water Resource Control Board. And decision 1100.
Q. And do you remember what the place of use of the water was?
A. Lord, no. Youíre going clear down the San Joaquin Valley.
Q. That is, itís your impression that the place of use of the water under
the Black Butte Reservoir rights included all of the CVP service area?
A. I couldnít say for sure, but the permits and decision are specific on that.
Q. Would you please look at Exhibit 4. This is the answer of the bureau to
the protest of Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District. Do you see on line 26
through line 32 the bureau response and description of the rights of the
Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District?
A. Are you on page 2?
Q. Yes. Bottom of page 1 and top of page 2.
Q. My question to you, Mr. Wilson, is, this document appears to have been
filed by the Bureau of Reclamation July 11th, 1961, as an answer to the
protest of GCID relating to the Black Butte project. Do you agree with the
description of the rights of the district which are contained in lines 25
through 32 on page 1 and lines 1 through 13 on page 2?
MS. IIZUKA: Isnít it -- just for the record, there seem to be quotation marks
around it. Doesnít it appear to be a direct quotation from the Angle Decree?
MR. MINASIAN: It does.
THE WITNESS: I agree with this.
MR. MINASIAN Q: And thereís no reference to the stipulation --
Q. -- is there?
Q. So does this further confirm your opinion that the stipulation between
the bureau and GCID is really not a description of the entitlements of the
district under the
Angle Decree but instead itís the 20,315 at 500 CFS that describes the
A. You spoke of the stipulation.
A. This language is not in the stipulation.
Q. Thatís right.
A. Ask that same question.
Q. Okay. When someone refers to the Angle Decree entitlements, youíve
previously, I believe, given me the opinion that what they should be
referring to is the entitlement of the district to 20,315 acre feet at
Q. And that the -- although the Angle Decree includes a stipulation between
the bureau and the GCID, that that really isnít whatís meant, that stipulation
is not the entitlement of the district?
A. That is -- the stipulation is only, it is my interpretation, as between
the Orland project [actually, USA] and Glenn-Colusa and not between any of
the other holders
of Angle Decree water rights. Or any other entity that comes in at a later
Q. Now, in determining what is meant by the phrase entitlements under the
Angle Decree, does this answer of the United States confirm your opinion
and understanding that itís the 20,315 at 500 CFS, measured at the main
canal of GCID?
A. That would be their maximum entitlement for the
year, assuming that the water, of course, is there, as in any other water
Q. So do you have any information or materials which would indicate that the
bureau, at the time it entered into the contract with GCID, was interested in
anything other than the figure 20,315 diverted at 500 CFS at the
main canal of the district?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection.
THE WITNESS: Are you asking as the maximum water entitlement?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís a different question than what the bureau had in mind
when it entered into the water service contract. Why donít you ask the
question -- that question, not the question of the contract. I donít think
George can answer -- is qualified to answer what was in the bureauís mind.
MR. MINASIAN: All right.
Q. George, do you have an opinion as to what the language in the contract
between GCID and the bureau means when it refers to the districtís
entitlements under the Angle Decree?
A. Yes. It is not -- well, now, this is what -- I may have to take awhile
to explain this.
The quantity that the bureau determined for the purpose of the contract was
not the total water right entitlement under the Angle Decree, but was a
number that the parties had agreed on as an average annual yield.
Does that answer your question?
Q. And, therefore, what was meant was the average annual yield of the
districtís rights under the Angle Decree was to be a certain number of
Q. And what do you think that number of acre feet is?
A. I doubt if you want to know. In fact, I have --
Q. Wait a minute. I guess what need to know from you is, do you have an
opinion as to what the figure 20,315 acre feet means in terms of the
entitlements of the district?
A. Not as mentioned in the contract. Under the Angle Decree, it means that
theyíre entitled to divert 20,315 acre feet each year, at the 500 CFS rate,
assuming the water was available, yes.
Q. Now, you were about to tell me what you thought the actual yield had
Black Butte Reservoir not been built that GCID diverted from [to?] its main
canal; were you not?
A. Rather than what the annual yield was, I was inclined to say a number
that they had agreed on, whether it was the actual yield or not. And if I
get into this, this is strictly on memory, I donít have any numbers to back
it up, and this number went into the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation Districtís base
supply or free water and was lost in that group and treated the same as any
other base supply from the free water, and itís my recollection that that was
the number 15,000. Now, Iíve seen other people
refer to different numbers slightly higher. And in the transcript of the
hearings, the -- both parties discussed numbers.
MS. IIZUKA: The hearings before the --
THE WITNESS: The hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board.
If I remember right, thereís a number GCID kicked around of 16,000, something
MR. MINASIAN Q: Those were figures that were given in the Black Butte water
Q. Before the State Water Resources Control Board?
A. Again, as I mentioned earlier, in negotiating these contracts, as youíre
well aware of, there would be computations to determine quantities and then
those computations were often negotiated around and up or down or whatever
prior to the settlement.
Q. Okay. Is there any document or fact that youíre aware of that would
indicate to you that the bureau intended a limitation upon the right of the
district to get water in an emergency from Stony Creek?
A. I donít know of any.
Q. Do you know of any document or fact which would indicate that the bureau
intended to actually measure the amount of natural flow available in Stony
Creek, as if Black Butte Reservoir didnít exist, if the district called for
an emergency condition in a given August?
A. I donít know.
MS. IIZUKA: In any August?
MR. M1NASIAN: In any August.
MS. IIZUKA: You limit it to that?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes. Because itís a dry month.
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís where Iím objecting then. If youíre defining emergency to
mean that the bureau -- that the district is running low on water supply
versus inoperable pump, then Iím going to object to your characterization of
MR. MINASIAN: Okay. Then let me try to rephrase it.
Q. Do you know of any fact or document that, would indicate that the bureau
intended to restrict the application of the 10(a) provisions to periods of
time in which there was a physical breakdown rather than a shortage of water
for some other reason to the district?
A. Now, youíre asking if I know of any document?
Q. Yes, or fact.
A. No, I donít know of any document.
Q. Any other fact or information youíve been asked to gather for the bureau
for this proceeding?
A. I canít think of any other than just the water rights.
Q. In your position as Water Master, you have become acquainted with the
operations of Black Butte Reservoir in the last five, 10 years; have you not?
Q. And youíre aware thereís a flood control curve on
O. Youíre aware that that curve requires that the bureau start to decrease
water storage within the reservoir in the latter part of the summer?
Q. And Iíve used the bureau loosely there. Actually,
itís the Army Corps of Engineers?
A. The Corps of Engineers is operating, yes.
Q. Do you have any idea whether that flood control curve was known to the
bureau at the time of the agreement with GCID?
A. It may have been modified since then, but Iím sure they were well aware
of a flood control curve as such, yes.
Q. So at the time of the water rights contract between GCID and the bureau,
the bureau knew that there would be a relatively unusual requirement that
storage in Black Butte be drawn down to be prepared for floods early in
August arid September of each year?
A. I donít know the exact dates, but there would be a curve when they would
MS. IIZUKA: Thatís in wet -- weíre talking about -- I want -- wet years now?
MR. MINASIAN: Every year.
MS. IIZUKA: Every year?
MR. MINASIAN: Yes.
THE WITNESS: As I understand it, the criteria for
the draw down period and quantity is, to a certain extent, a variable, and
that is regulated by the Corps of Engineers, depending on the upstream. So
itís not a locked in positive, but it is there.
MR. MINASIAN Q: Do you recollect that the curve on the Black Butte Reservoir
actually requires that they reach a flood control minimum pool by a certain
Q. Okay. And that curve starts at an earlier date on Black Butte than it
does on Shasta; does it not?
A. I donít know.
Q. Presently, if -- take 1992 as an example. Youíre aware, roughly, of the
amounts of water that are stored in Black Butte Reservoir?
A. Vaguely, yeah. I donít watch them closely.
Q. If those waters arenít delivered to Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District down
Stony Creek, what else can be done with those waters before September 1 of
A. I believe with the quantities of water that are in there now, and Iím not
sure they would have to be out by September 1, but assuming that they were,
there would 7 have to be some provision for going around GCID stamp [dam?],
some of them to a certain extent could be put into Tehama-Colusa canal, but
it would be a small quantity.
Q. So generally if you wanted to get water out of Black Butte Reservoir to
meet the flood control requirements, you need to deliver to GCID?
A. Either that or to Glenn-Colusa Irrigation
District I think -- is that your understanding?
MS. IIZUKA: Yes. There were other alternatives.
THE WITNESS: There are some minor alternatives, such as delivering some to
the Tehama-Colusa canal, but for the major part it would have to go over or
under Glenn-Colusaís dam, and thereís no physical provision for that at this
MR. MINASIAN: So when the parties signed the contract between GCID and the
bureau in 1964, the bureau acquired the right to deliver water down Stony
Creek and get credit for it, so that the districtís water stayed in the
Sacramento River; is that correct?
A. Would you ask that again?
Q. Was one of the things that the bureau got in the 1964 agreement with GCID
the right to deliver Black Butte stored water to GCID down Stony Creek?
A. In lieu of Sacramento River water?
Q. And was that of value to the bureau?
A. I think so.
MS. IIZUKA: I think this has been asked and answered.
MR. MINASIAN: Yes. This is conclusionary.
Q. At the time that the contract was entered into, do you have any fact or
document to indicate to you that the bureau intended to restrict the amount
of water that the district could get in an emergency to the amount of water
that was available on that day from natural flow in Stony Creek?
A. I have not seen any documents of that type.
Q. From your experience in an operational capacity, with the bureau and with
the water projects of the bureau, does it make -- is it consistent with the
way water projects are run to say to someone, Iíll help you in an emergency
room [?], but only to the extent that thereís natural flow in a creek such as
A. I donít believe I can answer that any better than the man on the street.
Q. Is it any easier to answer when the bureau knows that itís going to build
Black Butte Reservoir on the day the contract is entered into with GCID?
MS. IIZUKA: This is such a hypothetical question.
MR. MINASIAN: Yeah, it is hypothetical.
MS. IIZUKA: I donít know that George -- Iím going to object. You know, heís
here to answer very specific questions.
MR. MINASIAN: If you canít answer it, George, thatís fine.
THE WITNESS: If -- maybe this would be an answer, and again, this is my
opinion, that the bureau obviously would provide water to Glenn-Colusa or
any other contractor when it would be beneficial to them in an emergency if
they can without detriment to somebody else. This would be just my
interpretation of the bureauís policy.
MR. MINASIAN Q: And that was the way people thought about the bureau back
in 1964, wasnít it?
A. Iíd like to think so. I was working for them there, yes.
Q. That is, that the bureau would not be arbitrary and basically would help
out in an emergency or in an unforeseen condition?
A. I think so. We had a good reputation.
Q. So when the contract doesnít include language which says that the bureau
isnít required to help out unless there was natural flow in Stony Creek on
the day of the emergency, does that strike you as contrary to the way the
bureau acted at that time?
MS. IIZUKA: Objection. Objection. Donít answer, George.
THE WITNESS: Okay.
MR. MINASIAN: That concludes the deposition.
(The deposition concluded at 3:25 p.m.)
PURSUANT TO SECTION 2025(q)(l) of the Code of Civil Procedure of the State of
California, I hereby certfify that I have read my deposition, made those
changes and corrections I deem necessary, and approve the same as now
Dated this ______ day of ______ ___, 1992.
GEORGE C. WILSON
State of California )
County of Placer ) ss.
I, MICHAEL J. LeROY, CSR, RPR, a Certified Shorthand Reporter for the State
of California, duly licensed, and a disinterested person, certify
That the foregoing deposition was taken before me pursuant to applicable
sections of the Code of Civil Procedure of the State of California at the
time and place herein set forth,
That GEORGE G. WILSON, the deponent herein, was put under oath by me;
That the testimony of the witness and all objections made at the time of
the e amination [sic] were recorded stenographically by me, to the best of my
ability, and were thereafter transcribed,
That the foregoing deposition is a verbatim record of the testimony of the
deponent and all objections made at the time of examination.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have subscribed my name this 26th day of May, 1992.
MICHAEL J. LeROY, CSR #8023
[of course the certificate applies to the reporters transcript, not to this
SANDRA N. BUNCH & ASSOCIATES 969-4012 86
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Return to Stony Creek Water Wars.
--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817