Coastal Commission considers filing protests against waterbags
December 11, 2002
COASTAL COMMISSION TO VOTE ON CONTROVERSIAL WATER BAG SCHEME; PUBLIC INTEREST AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS DECRY THEFT OF WATER.
What: On the final day of a fiery 4-day meeting, the Coastal Commission will vote whether to file a protest with the State Water Resources Control Board over a notorious water bag grab on North Coast rivers. The proposed project would suck water at the mouths of the Albion and Gualala Rivers to fill polyethylene bladders the size of three football fields. Tugboats would pull these to San Diego and the water would be sold by a company called Alaska Water Exports as a business enterprise. Environmental impacts, public trust violation, and transnational corporate control cited by groups as reasons to oppose. Coastal Commission staff recommends protesting the project.
When: Friday, December 13, 2002; hearing begins at 9 am.
Where: Hyatt-Regency Embarcadero Hotel, foot of Market Street in San Francisco
- Albion River Watershed Protection Association
- Friends of the Gualala River
- Alliance for Democracy
- Public Citizen
- Sierra Club, Redwood ChapterVisuals: Banners and signs opposing water bag scheme; citizen testimony to Coastal Commission.
December 13, 2002Public Interest and Environmental Groups Decry Controversial Water Bag Scheme
California Coastal Commission Votes Friday to Protest Controversial Plan That Activists Testify Would Lead to Theft of Water
- Public Notice for 31194 – Gualala (9/13/02)
- Public Notice for 31195 – Albion (9/13/02)
- Clarification Letter (10/3/02)
- Gualala & Albion / Notices & Info
- Protest Form
- Waterbag fact sheet
- Waterbag chronology
- Status update on the waterbag scheme
- Description of the water rights process
- Public trust doctrine & international trade agreements
- Governor Davis signs Assembly Bill 858
- Water Export – main page
- Waterbag protest deadline postponed
10/28/02: Alaska Water Exports failed to publish legal notices in local newspapers as required. Consequently, the SWRCB will re-issue notices and allow another 60 day comment / protest period.
- Woolsey Protests Gualala Water Export
11/13/02: Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) sends a letter to the SWRCB protesting the application by an internationally funded firm to withdraw river from the Gualala River.
- Alaskan firm targets water from Gualala, Albion Rivers
1/18/02: Reporter Julie Verran broke the story in the Independent Coast Observer.
- Multinationals want Gualala River water
1/25/02: Early article with good background information, in the Independent Coast Observer.
- Editorial: Water for Sale (search their archive for “water oped gualala”).
3/24/02: Editorial in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
- Water Fight: Gualala and Albion Try to Sink Giant Water Bag Scheme
7/31/02: Overview article first published in the Pacific Sun.
Photographs (photos will open into a new window)Photos on our site are available for use as long as credit is given:
- Gualala River estuary, January 2002
Credit: P.T. Nunn; size 1280×960
- Albion River estuary, with Hwy 1 bridge
Credit Laurie York; size 576×397
- Albion River estuary, aerial
Credit Rixanne Wehren; size 501×339
Rights to photos on other sites are the responsibility of those sites:
Nordic Water Supply’s website; size 720×444
- Large tug
Nordic Water Supply’s website; size 300×274
Submitted by Alaska Water Exports to the SWRCB
- Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
- Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
- California Democratic Party
- Gualala Municipal Advisory Council
- Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce
Albion River Watershed Protection Association
Friends of the Gualala River
Alliance for Democracy
(510) 663-0888, extension 101
Sierra Club, Redwood Chapter
Western Environmental Law Center
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