California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are an ecosystem in crisis due to massive water diversions that jeopardize fish and wildlife, including native Chinook salmon runs and the thousands of fishing jobs that depend on them. The number of adult salmon returning to the San Joaquin basin plummeted from 70,000 in 1984 to a mere 10,000 in 2017. In December, the State Water Board adopted new standards to increase river flows in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers, but the Trump administration isn’t having it. The U.S. Department of Justice sued California in March to block the state’s new policy. Conservationists say that’s way off base, as the increased river flows are needed to sustain salmon and healthy rivers and correct a long-standing imbalance in the amount of water being diverted. As NRDC’s California water expert Doug Obegi says, the state’s new standards improve conditions but won’t do enough to achieve the goal to getting 78,000 salmon returning to the three rivers. Plain and simple: The fish need water.
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Expert BlogDoug Obegi
Despite voluminous scientific evidence demonstrating the need to increase protections for endangered and threatened fish species, the Trump Administration is proposing to greatly weaken protections in order to increase water supply for the Westlands Water District and other water contractors.
SAN FRANCISCO (November 10, 2015) – Environmental groups filed a request yesterday to supplement their complaint against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and growers who flood irrigate rice in the Sacramento Valley for mismanaging water supplies that should have been…
Fact SheetUnited States, CaliforniaKate Poole, Doug Obegi
Unlike WaterFix, these proven, alternative investments would improve water supply reliability and infrastructure in California.
Expert BlogDoug Obegi
On January 31, the Trump Administration is scheduled to release its new proposal for the operations of the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project under the Endangered Species Act (known as a biological assessment). It’s widely expected that…