Posts Tagged: water rights

More water under the bridge in Delta smelt debate

Delta smelt

Call it science by court ruling. A federal district court judge ordered the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service back to the drawing board late Tuesday in the latest wrinkle of the endless legal fracas over California’s water supply.

As Mike Taugher reports in the Contra Costa Times and Bettina Boxell writes in the Los Angeles Times, the court decided that regulations established to protect dwindling stocks of a tiny fish classified as ‘threatened’ were arbitrary, capricious and not sufficiently justified by research.

Though only the size of a minnow, the Delta Smelt has proven a legal leviathan. Concerns about its potential extinction have forced the shutdown of the mighty Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pump stations, which send billions of gallons of water to irrigation districts — and obliterate the smelt in the process. (more…)

Hope for water progress in California may be evaporating

Talks aimed at forging a compromise in California’s intractable water wars — in process for more than a decade — hit a potentially serious snag as the nation’s largest irrigation district announced it would no longer contribute to the cost of studies. (more…)

Hopes for water solution dissolving in California

A federal judge will take another week to issue his decision on the latest court battle over California’s water. The surprise delay came after Judge Oliver Wanger trashed a National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion that several species, including once-teeming and now-endangered Chinook salmon, must be protected by a sharp reduction in water diversions. (more…)