Mt. Shasta Water Rights Campaign

Read the report: Mt. Shasta Water Rights - Who Decides?

Click on the report cover to download.

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In October 2008, residents of Mount Shasta learned that PG&E intended to begin a cloud seeding project in their southeastern watershed through an announcement in the Mount Shasta Herald. Mt. Shasta residents face two major threats to their local water supply: 1) PG&E’s practice of cloud seeding, where the energy giant launches a cannon of silver iodide into passing storm clouds, forcing the unnatural release of rain in one location, which it then channels for corporate use as hydroelectric power; and 2) water withdrawal from the local aquifer by corporate water bottlers. The community wanted to stop these unwanted practices, which pose serious environmental damage to their very pristine ecosystem at the base of Mt. Shasta and threaten resident's well-being. 

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Both local and county officials knew nothing about the cloud seeding efforts. Residents learned that officials were unaware of PG&E's plan because the State of California allows private corporations to modify weather using toxic chemicals without regulation, monitoring or permits. Since then, the Mt. Shasta community linked with Global Exchange and formed the Mt. Shasta Community Rights Project and wrote an ordinance that bans cloud seeding and corporate water bottling. 
 
Following a series of public presentations and strategy meetings with residents, Global Exchange’s recently held a three-day “campaign-school” with a core group 15 local organizers committed to leading a rights-based campaign. We helped them draft the “Mt. Shasta Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance,” designed to assert and secure the right of the people of Mt. Shasta to natural water systems and cycles.  Specifically, the ordinance: 
  • asserts the rights of residents to exercise self government; 
  • bans corporations from engaging in weather manipulation; 
  • establishes strict liability and burden of proof for chemical trespass; 
  • bans corporations from engaging in weather withdrawal for resale; 
  • strips corporate rights and protections that allow them to subordinate people and the environment to the will of a few; and
  • recognizes and enforcing the rights of nature. 

 

Proponents have been working long and hard to get this on the ballot having faced various barriers along the way. Read their story (see PDF David vs Goliath below) to see how the campaign took a turn, revealing the true challenges our communities face to make change.  Also see below to download sample campaign materials that we designed to assist Shasta and other communities as they work toward achieving local self control and rights for nature. 

 

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Click here to read a Feb 17th update/article from Read The Dirt on the effort to pass a Community Water Rights and Self-Government Ordinance in Mt. Shasta. Hear how the citizens of this small town were, as our author states, “denied their right to vote on this admittedly controversial measure.” The Ordinance would have banned corporate cloud seeding and water extraction.

 


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