Ag Today August 1, 2018

Proposal To Increase Delta Water Flows Causes Contention Between Farmers, Fisheries

Nadine Sebai, Capital Public Radio
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

Following nine years of research, a California agency has proposed to increase water flows in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. But the decision is causing contention between farmers and fisheries.

The California State Water Resources Control Board says the proposal will prevent an ecological crisis, including the total collapse of fisheries. About 70,000 fall-run Chinook salmon adults returned to the San Joaquin Basin in 1984, but that number fell to just 8,000 in 2014.

In response, more than 50 agricultural, water and business organizations submitted a joint letter to the state’s water board on Friday, saying the move will benefit fish at the expense of farmers and ranchers. A press release from the California Farm Bureau Foundation says the proposal to allocate more water to the San Joaquin Delta’s tributaries is based on “an expedition of scientific uncertainty.”

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