From the Save Napa Valley Foundation:
Save Napa Valley Foundation’s (SNVF) support has facilitated numerous Water Audit California projects that have been pursued over the last year through multiple mediums. They can be grouped into three broad categories: informing; instructing and compelling.
We have informed the community through our Forum (boycotted by County edict) we returned to our years-old theme that “we manage what we measure,” by amplifying two endemic problems in Napa County: numerous stream obstructions and inadequate groundwater monitoring. Subsequently we published white papers by recognized experts on the legal, hydrological, and biological aspects of the inadequate monitoring of the surface water/groundwater interface. We continue efforts to inform elected officials and administrative bodies and are seeing results in increased monitoring and consideration of the topic by County agencies.
Based upon years of observation, Water Audit has concluded that Napa County (and some municipal) planning processes are inadequately and inconsistently monitored and administered. Through examination of the recent Duckhorn, Del Dotto, Rutherford, Clark Family Moon, Vineyard 29 and other planning applications we have identified a series of systemic deficiencies that collectively illustrate an uneven pattern of application of the law and regulations. By appealing decisions rendered with inadequate process or inaccurate findings, Water Audit is using negative reinforcement to instruct and encourage the County to apply proper process.
Finally, Water Audit has used the litigation process to compel remedy of significant environmental injury through selective targeting to establish, refine or render precedence on selected aspects of the law. In Bakersfield, the court has provided a preliminary injunction restoring perennial flows to the Kern River for the first time in a century based upon FGC 5937, the same provision of law that previously secured bypasses from the Calistoga, St. Helena, Rector, and Lake Marie reservoirs. In Merced, Water Audit is seeking to remove an impediment to passage through the application of FGC 5935 and 5936, with the ultimate goal of restoring passage to the headwaters in Yosemite for the first time in seventy-five years. Through litigation of the Hunter planning decision in St Helena, Water Audit is seeking to remedy the most significant impairment of the Napa River through inadequately monitored surface water/groundwater interfaces.