Water Transfer Lawsuit Filed

Today’s Slowing the flow article in the Chico News & Review announced that AquAlliance and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance have filed suit against the Bureau of Reclamation to protect more than just the Delta Smelt – they are looking to protect the entire ecosystem from overdraft and collapse.

“The Delta smelt is just an indicator species for what is happening to all the species in this estuary,” said Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, one of two plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “Whether you’re talking about striped bass, or sturgeon, or splittail, or Delta smelt, they’re all down to historic low numbers.”

This lawsuit, filed June 10th in the federal district court, alleges that the Bureau of Reclamation has not adequately accounted for all of the environmental impacts stemmed from water transfers from the Sacramento River Valley to agricultural users south of Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley.

In the article Barbara Vlamis of AquAlliance, the second plaintiff, describes how groundwater transfers are being used to fill contracts of San Joaquin Valley users can damage the environment where the water is being pumped and transferred out of saying, “When you overpump a groundwater basin, you lower your surface waters,” Vlamis explained. That means tributary creeks may vanish and the overall flow of the Sacramento River will decline, harming the fish that live in the river and the Delta.”

This lawsuit will continue to be in the news and we will be watching it closely.

For the full article in the Chico News & Review please follow the link here: Slowing the flow

 

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