Choppy Waters for Flow Rules

By Cariad Hayes Thronson

The winter kicked off with the State Water Resources Control Board’s December vote to adopt increased flow objectives for the southern Delta. The vote provoked an immediate volley of lawsuits, both from water users and from environmental organizations. The water users claim that the required flows would be an unconstitutional waste, while the environmental groups argue the plan doesn’t go far enough to restore endangered fish populations. Overshadowing the discussions are the vigorous efforts by the Interior Department to rollback protections for endangered Delta fish. “Governor Newsom has staked out turf against the Trump Administration,” says San Francisco Baykeeper’s Jon Rosenfield. ”Water management and endangered species are going to be the first real test of that.”

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