“The Bureau of Reclamation today [April 18] announced an update to the February 2014 Central Valley Project water supply for Sacramento River Settlement Contractors and wildlife refuges north-of-delta.
“A federal appeals court reinstated a challenge Wednesday from environmentalists to the government’s renewal of 41 long-term contracts for irrigation water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a suit seeking greater protection for the endangered delta smelt and other fish.”
“An appeals court said Wednesday that federal officials should have consulted wildlife agencies about potential harm to a tiny, threatened fish before issuing contracts for water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.”
From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by John Michelena:
“I have mixed feelings when I see those blue ‘Pray for Rain’ signs along our country roads. Though I thank the Almighty for sending rain, I think our state and federal governments have been lying to us about California’s drought and water.”
“On Monday, April 14, the Bureau of Reclamation will begin increasing releases from Goodwin Dam into the Stanislaus River to benefit Stanislaus River steelhead and San Joaquin River Chinook salmon. Goodwin Dam is located downstream from Tulloch Dam and New Melones Dam and Reservoir, features of the Central Valley Project (CVP).”
“A somewhat optimistic Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said the flurry of late-winter storms could cause regulators to open the flood gates of the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project ever so slightly.”
“As California’s drought stretches toward the hot summer months, state and federal officials are planning extraordinary measures to protect drinking water supplies and endangered Sacramento River salmon, according to a plan unveiled Wednesday.”
“State and federal agencies on Wednesday officially unveiled a joint plan detailing how they will tackle the ongoing drought that has raised difficult questions about how California farmers, residents and wildlife share the dwindling supply of water.”
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday applauded a decision by federal and state officials to release more water in the Central Valley, and pushed for much more supplies to be made available to the parched farming region.”
“State and federal officials said Tuesday they will temporarily relax protections for fish in the Delta in order to export more water to drought-ravaged farms and cities, the latest in a series of similar actions.”
“In a reversal potentially impacting the water supply to millions of Californians, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a biological opinion issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the effect of California State Water Project (SWP) and federal Central Valley Project (CVP) operations on the delta smelt—a small fish located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Ninth Circuit held the biological opinion valid, largely based on general principles of deference to federal agencies.