Groundwater from the Stonebridge wells near the Pope Street Bridge is an integral part of St. Helena's water system.

City of St. Helena Reaches Agreement with Water Watchdog Group

Feb 16, 2021 at 8:00am

Jesse Duarte, Napa Valley Register

The City of St. Helena has agreed to monitor local groundwater levels and stream flows, averting a potential lawsuit from an environmental advocacy group.

Following months of negotiations, the city and Water Audit California released a joint statement Friday announcing the city will collect monthly water levels and annual extraction totals for local wells and provide a public, “scientifically useful” summary of the data.

The city will conduct a comprehensive review of its water system, develop new protocols for using the city’s own Stonebridge wells, and work with Water Audit on the installation of new stream gauges along the Napa River, York Creek and Sulphur Creek.

The city will also consider “impacts to public trust resources” in evaluating new well permits and water connections.
In a separate statement, the directors of Water Audit thanked city officials, saying “everyone worked very hard to reach this understanding.”

“Water Audit commends the City for its decision to adopt the principles of science and thereby lead the way for other Napa communities to fully understand the essential relationship of water to our lives,” the directors of Water Audit California said in a statement. “This substantially differs from the current myopic focus on groundwater.”

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