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Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District considers water transport to keep rights

EUREKA- The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is looking for ways to use 75 million gallons of water per day, before they lose it.

The district’s water rights will expire in 2029. At that time, if their water allowance isn’t regularly consumed a portion will be up for bid across the state. In a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the district said if they lose the rights, another state entity could use it for their own benefit, hurting local rate payers.

The district presented three options they’re working towards: Increasing local use, transporting water out of the county via pipeline, and releasing in stream flows to the Mad River.

“We come from a region where water has been without our permission transported out of the area and it has been detrimental to some of our streams and watersheds,” said Bruce Rupp, director of the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. “So the community is rightfully concerned about maintaining control and not damaging, particularly our concern, the mad river watershed. We're concerned about that too so we want to control the water, we want to benefit from it, and we want to be sure whatever we do, does not harm the environment.”