#3 Protection and Restoration

Habitat, land uses, and water quality must be protected and restored.

11. Ecosystem Restoration. Our rivers, streams, and estuaries have become so degraded by water projects and other pollution sources that restoration of instream flows and the ecosystems dependent on these flows must occur. Whenever the place or the purpose of use of diverted water changes, the public trust requires that some portion of the water in question be devoted to the restoration of degraded ecosystems. At least one third of all the water saved by conservation and reuse must be dedicated to fish and stream restorations, and to restoring overdrafted groundwater basins.

12. Land use. Land use and water are inextricably linked. Land use planning and development must be based on secure and reliable water supplies. Development that is compact, contiguous with existing development, and in places where supporting infrastructure including water supply already exists, should be encouraged. Development on flood plains, wetlands, prime ag land, and environmentally sensitive habitats should be discouraged.

13. Sustainable Agriculture. Sustainable agricultural land must be preserved. As ag land goes out of production because of globalization, global warming and other factors, water should be returned to the environment.

14. Water Quality. All water quality standards must be clear, publicized, and enforced. Enforcing water quality standards includes maintaining sufficient flows through river, streams and estuaries to ensure ecosystem health and the public health.

15. Area of Origin. The areas that are water rich, the areas of origin in northern California, must be protected so that these areas can grow and maintain their instream flows as required by state law.

16. Innovation. All water users should be encouraged to be more creative and to find ways to benefit themselves and the environment. Federal or other subsidies should be redirected to save minimally 10% of farmland for riparian habitat.

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