A Sacramento judge has ruled against East Bay MUD, saying that its environmental impact report for future water projects, including a proposed new dam on the Mokelumne River, violates California environmental law. Judge Timothy M. Frawley ruled that East Bay MUD should have studied viable alternatives to building a new dam in the Sierra Foothills, including an already planned expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir in eastern Contra Costa County by a neighboring water agency.
“The ruling will force East Bay MUD to finally examine a water supply alternative that would spare an already over-appropriated Mokelumne River from further water diversions,” Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance said in a statement. The alliance was one of three groups that sued East Bay MUD in November 2009 over its EIR. “The irony is that if East Bay MUD had evaluated joining the Contra Costa Water District in the Los Vaqueros project, they would be on the verge of beginning construction of additional secure water supply facilities.”