“Water Audit California sued the City of St. Helena this week over its management of water. The watchdog group says the city is violating its “public trust” responsibilities relating to the Napa River and its aquatic habitat. It cites the city’s policies on groundwater pumping, well permitting, and water consumption by vineyards and wineries.
Months of negotiations between Water Audit and the city resulted in a joint statement issued in February in which the city agreed to collect water level and extraction data from wells, provide a summary of the data to the public, conduct a comprehensive review of the water system, develop new protocols for use of the Stonebridge wells, work with Water Audit on installing stream gauges at local waterways, and consider “impacts to public trust resources” in evaluating well permits and water connections.
Water Audit’s lawsuit claims the city failed to provide water data referenced in the joint statement, resulting in the new litigation.” [Read more]