California Studies Association

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Patricia McBroom reports on the build-up to the soon-to-be-released Delta water plan

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In her blog, “California Spigot,” Patricia McBroom (a member of the CSA’s Steering Committee) has an extensive current post on the build-up to the release, expected in mid-February, of the State of California’s new plan for the Sacramento Delta. McBroom reports on the actions by a coalition of environmental groups to influence the report by means of a joint list of recommendations.  From the blog:

Thanks to new cooperation by the environmental community, the Council now has strong support for several very important goals. Among the most important of these is a call to restore adequate flow to the Delta estuary and reduce the State’s reliance on Delta water for human uses.

In the past decade, high levels of upstream and downstream use of this water have crashed the ecosystem, caused the near extinction of several species of fish, reduced salmon runs to near zero, sent pollution levels soaring and caused all manner of scary ecological changes.  But the extent to which restricted flows in the Delta caused the collapse or can lead to its recovery is a source of intense disagreement. Water contractors and growers have pushed to retain the same high levels of use they had before the drought of the past three years, while Delta ecologists and supporters argue that use should be cut dramatically – up to 50 percent in some scenarios, from 6 million acre feet (MFA) per year of exported water to roughly 3 million.

To read the entire report, click here.

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