[env-trinity] Fresno Bee 5 25 2010

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Tue May 25 20:43:07 PDT 2010

Judge lifts delta pumping restrictions 

Posted at 08:03 PM on Tuesday, May. 25, 2010

By John Ellis / The Fresno Bee 

A federal judge in Fresno Tuesday evening ordered pumping restrictions
lifted on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, granting a request by urban and
agricultural water users who argued that taking additional water from the
delta would not harm endangered salmon. 

U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger granted the order following a lengthy
hearing that ran into the evening. 

But the effect of Wanger's ruling could be short-lived. Pumping restrictions
designed to protect another threatened fish, the tiny delta smelt, could
limit the amount of water farmers and urban water users can draw from the
troubled estuary. 

Currently, there are two sets of pumping restrictions in place. One expires
May 31, and the other on June 15, when juvenile salmon are done leaving the
rivers and migrating to the ocean. After June 15, no salmon-related pumping
restrictions are in place.

Tom Birmingham, Westlands' general manager, has said a favorable ruling
could give water users 20 days of increased pumping before June 15. That
could mean another 200,000 acre-feet of water above what would be delivered
with the pumping restrictions in place, he said.

Earlier this month, Wanger found the water users had made convincing
arguments that the federal government's science didn't prove that increased
pumping from the delta imperiled salmon. 



Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax

415 519 4810 mobile

bwl3 at comcast.net 



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