[env-trinity] Sacramento Bee 6/15/10
bwl3 at comcast.net
Tue Jun 15 09:14:18 PDT 2010
San Joaquin Valley water allocation boosted again
By Michael Doyle
Interior Department officials on Monday again boosted their planned
irrigation water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley, giving farmers 45
percent of their standard allocation.
The new allocation is up from a 40 percent delivery announced in May.
"This latest increase in allocation is a result of favorable weather
conditions this spring and better-than- expected pumping conditions in the
south Delta," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explained Monday afternoon.
Other federal water allocations in California will stay the same. Farmers
north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta still will get 100 percent of
their allocation, while municipal and industrial water users south of the
Delta still will get 75 percent.
Salazar has been under political pressure all year to boost irrigation water
deliveries, with California lawmakers from both parties insisting
environmental restrictions have been too strict.
Last year, farmers south of the Delta and on the San Joaquin Valley's west
side received only 10 percent of their allocation from the federal Central
Valley Project. The cutbacks stemmed from a combination of three years of
drought and environmental protections for species including the Delta smelt
and winter-run salmon.
"Obviously, we're pleased," Westlands Water District spokeswoman Sarah Woolf
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said the new announcement means "more water and
more jobs for our Valley."
"We took on Valley outsiders who tried to cut off our water," he said. "We
also took on the Washington bureaucracy until they listened."
The water restrictions were partly rooted in decisions by Fresno-based U.S.
District Judge Oliver Wanger, who has challenged the adequacy of water
protections for endangered species.
Last month, though, Wanger also struck down pumping restrictions on the
grounds that they were not based on sound science.
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
<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net
<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
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