Natural Resources: Water Resources of Butte County

Natural Resources: Water Resources of Butte County

Support measures that will provide for the development and management of water re-sources in ways that are beneficial to the environment, economy, and the quality of life in Butte County, and that recognize that hydro-geologic boundaries do not follow political subdivisions
Position In Brief: 

1. Protect groundwater from contamination and exploitation by:

a.    Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and the County Geographic Infor­mation System (GIS) to locate recharge zones and wells.

b.    Protecting function and capacity of recharge zones.

c.     Protecting watersheds

d.    Using effective wellhead protection and well abandonment procedures.

2. Identify all third-party (i.e. hydrological and community economic) impacts to es­tablish the “value” of water as opposed to its “price”.

a.    Identify economic impacts (including administrative costs) in advance of any water transfers.

b.    Require mitigation payments and actions to be concurrent with water real­locations from fallowing, water transfers, and environmental acquisitions.

3. Urge Butte County to establish an office to centralize water records and make that information available to the public in a timely manner.

4. Monitor government entities to assure that water management decisions are the result of a public process.

5. Encourage use of watersheds and basins as an organizational vehicle encompassing community interests in water management.

6. Urge zoning ordinances and planning map overlays which could control and di­rect development in ecologically sensitive areas, such as:

a.    Those adjacent to rivers or streams

b.    Physically hazardous areas, such as flood plains, steep slopes

c.     High fire risk areas

d.    Geologically hazardous areas

e.    Areas with known limited availability of water.

7. Strengthen the conservation element in the general plans by specific identification of mandatory items and the inclusion of the non-mandatory items recommended in the State General Plan Guidelines current code:

a.   Reclamation of land and waters

b.   Flood control

c.   Prevention and control of the pollution of streams and other waters

d.   Regulation of the use of land in stream channels and other areas required for the accomplishment of the conservation plan

e.   Prevention, control, and correction of the erosion of soils, beaches, and shores

f.    Protection of watersheds

g.   Location, quantity and quality of rock, sand, and gravel resources

8. All water districts should write into their by-laws a clause insuring their compliance with the Butte County General Plan.

9. Develop a county master water plan to incorporate the total water management concept (source, quantity, quality, disposal, and economics).

10. Encourage and support the Local agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) in es­tablishing the primary, secondary, and tertiary spheres of influence for water ser­vice districts that reflect hydro-geologic reality and then to act within the frame­work of good planning.

11. Encourage participation of Butte County in regional water resource planning.


Position History: 
Two-year Study, 1975-76
Reviewed and Clarified, 1992 and 2002
League to which this content belongs: 
Butte County