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Addressing Water Supply in CEQA Documents: Coping with Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova

Thinking Forward
Categorized Under: Environment



Earlier this year, in Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (40 Cal. 4th 412), the California Supreme Court spelled out new principles regarding how agencies should evaluate water supply impacts for land development projects. Specifically, the court ruled that the City’s evaluation of short-term water supply for a large land development project was adequate, but that the evaluation of long-term water supply was inadequate. The court also found that new information about the effects of groundwater withdrawals on steelhead trout and Chinook salmon in a nearby river warranted recirculation of the EIR. The lessons learned in this decision should provide useful guidance as agencies throughout California cope with the difficult task of balancing land development and water supply in the context of CEQA.

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Authored By

  • Ron Bass

    Senior FellowICF International

    Ronald Bass has participated in environmental and planning studies under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and state planning laws. He is coauthor of The CEQA DESKBOOK: A Step-by-Step Approach to the California Environmental Quality Act and The NEPA Book: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.

    A member of the editorial board of California Environmental Law Reporter, he writes articles about legislation, regulations, and court decisions. Mr. Bass has served as president of the Association of Environmental Professionals and the American Planning Association, California chapter, from which he received the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Insight Details

Published: Jan 1, 2008
Source: ICF International

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