Davidge withdraws waterbag applications!
December 13, 2002: After the Coastal Commission votes to oppose his waterbag scheme, Ric Davidge announces that he is withdrawing his applications to bag water from the Gualala and Albion Rivers.
For information about the campaign that stopped Davidge, and about his new proposal to export water from the Mad River, see below.
Gualala River estuary in winter
photo courtesy of P.T. Nunn, 2002
OverviewAlaska Water Exports filed applications with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to extract billions of gallons of fresh water annually from the Gualala and Albion Rivers. They wanted to sell the water to cities in southern California.
They planned to trench and lay pipe through the estuary of each river, to a point above the saltwater intrusion zone. They would have pumped fresh water into giant bags tethered offshore, and towed the bags to southern California.
Friends of the Gualala River believed that this plan would have had dire consequences for the estuaries and for the local economy. We protested vigorously, and worked with a large coalition of environmental and public interest groups to stop the waterbag scheme.
In the face of mounting opposition from local citizens and elected officials, Alaska Water Exports withdrew their applications. For now, the Gualala and Albion Rivers are safe from the waterbag scheme.
Alaska Water Exports, renamed to "Aqueous Corp.", has announced that it is now targeting the Mad River instead.
News1/07/03 Davidge targets the Mad River
Alaska Water Exports, renamed to "Aqueous Corp.", has announced that it is now targeting the Mad River.
12/13/02 Water mogul packs his bags
After the Coastal Commission votes to oppose his waterbag scheme, Ric Davidge announces that he is withdrawing his applications.
10/28/02 Revised notices required
Due to the applicant's failure to publish the original notices in local newspapers within the required time period, the SWRCB announced that they will issue revised notices for the waterbag applications.
The Independent Coast Observer broke the waterbag story in their January 18, 2002 issue. You can find copies of some of their articles on our Press page, along with links to many other newpapers:
ProtestsHere is some of the information we used in preparing protests.
- Public Notice for 31194 - Gualala
- Site map - Gualala
- Public Notice for 31195 - Albion
- Site map - Albion
- The SWRCB protest form
- How to fill out the protest form
- Example of a completed protest form
- Primary grounds for protesting
- Calendar of protest workshops
- Petition to stop the waterbags
- Contacting regulatory agencies
Protecting Public Rivers from the Corporate Grab-Bag
An article summarizing the waterbag campaign, by Ursula Jones
(in "Defend the Global Commons," Public Citizen's Water for All Campaign newsletter,
January 2004, page 4, 258KB .pdf file).
- "Ric Davidge's fantasy"
- "Owning the River" (ICO editorial)
- Fred Euphrat's commentary on KQED
- Water-grab threatens Californians' control of water
- Waterbag fact sheet
- Waterbag chronology
- Description of the water rights process
- Public trust doctrine & international trade agreements
- Contact information for regulatory agencies
- How to send a letter to the California Coastal Commission
- Gualala Municipal Advisory Council
- Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce
- California Democratic Party
- Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
- Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
- SWRCB, from FoGR and others
- Governor Davis, from Chamber of Commerce
- Governor Davis, from FoGR
- SWRCB, from Gualala River Watershed Council
- US Army Corps of Engineers, from FoGR
- Mayor of the City of San Diego, from FoGR
- World Water SA, from American Rivers et al
- Questions from Sea Ranch Forum & Davidge's answers
- Questions & Answers (part 2)
- Dr. Austin's questions & Davidge's answers
- Commentary on Davidge's answers
- Legal information & regulatory agencies
- Environmental groups
- Commercial water export companies
- Related issues
Friends of the Gualala River needs all the help you can give. Please join us and send your tax-deductible contributions to:
Friends of the Gualala River
P.O. Box 1543
Gualala, CA 95445
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