State Water Project

This category contains 13 posts

HORB revisited

Last week, the court approved a joint stipulation (PDF) filed by the various parties involved in the OCAP salmonid litigation. [1] The stipulation will set the plan for the coordinated operation of the state and federal projects — striking some sort of balance between Delta exports and species protection, and replacing certain requirements of the … Continue reading

Opportunity to enhance delta smelt science scrapped by Wanger compromise

The 2008 biological opinion prepared by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a set of actions that should be taken to protect delta smelt while operating the federal and state projects.  USFWS will prepare yet another version of this BiOp by an order of Judge Wanger, or else be relieved of the need to do … Continue reading

DWR petitions to extend State Water Project permits

The Department of Water Resources, which holds permits to appropriate water for the State Water Project, has petitioned the State Water Resources Control Board to extend several of those permits for five years to December 31, 2015.  Last week, SWRCB noticed the petitions (PDF), allowing protest until September 20.  The relevant permits authorize diversions from … Continue reading

Parties to the Delta Smelt litigation propose alternative CVP and SWP operation plan

On May 27, 2010, Judge Wanger issued his ruling on the delta smelt biological opinion, which was analogous to his earlier ruling on the salmonid biological opinion.  In the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, Wanger determined that the federal agencies had acted arbitrarily and capriciously with respect to Component 2 of the reasonable and prudent alternative … Continue reading

The Head of Old River Barrier, and a delicate balance of species and exports

One purpose of the Vernalis Adaptive Management Plan (VAMP), beyond looking at flows and exports, was to investigate how the survival rate of Chinook salmon smolts migrating through the San Joaquin River system could be improved by constructing a rock barrier at the Head of Old River (HORB).  Reverse Old & Middle River (OMR) flows … Continue reading

Drought Water Bank Is Not Exempt From CEQA, After All

Last week brought some interesting news relating to the 2009 Drought Water Bank (DWB).  In early 2009, the DWB had been fast-tracked by Governor Schwarzenegger and the Dept. of Water Resources, to use water transfers as a means of supplying additional water to users experiencing drought shortages.  On February 27, 2009, the Governor issued a … Continue reading

Judge Wanger Denies TRO on Delta Smelt BiOp

Judge Wanger has issued a ruling denying Westlands/SLDMWA’s request for a temporary restraining order against the new pumping restrictions that went into effect on February 10 at 5:00 p.m. to protect delta smelt. Fish and Wildlife’s proposal to implement Component 1, Action 2 of the delta smelt RPA limits negative Old & Middle River (OMR) flows … Continue reading

TRO Sought Against Delta Smelt BiOp, but Will Judge Wanger Consider the Science?

The battle for the pumps is on. Quick recap: on February 5, 2010, Judge Wanger issued a 14-day temporary restraining order against one action contained in the NMFS salmonid biological opinion, which (if Wanger had allowed it to be implemented) would have lessened the negative Old & Middle River (OMR) flows.  These are the reverse … Continue reading

Pumping Restriction Out, Pumping Restriction In

In the last post, we focused on the 2009 biological opinion that the National Marine Fisheries Service prepared for salmonids, but a parallel process has been playing out with the delta smelt.  The 2008 BiOp for the pelagic delta smelt was prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Both BiOps issued jeopardy determinations and … Continue reading

Judge Wanger Grants 14-Day TRO on the Salmonid BiOp

On June 4, 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service released a biological opinion that revised a previously invalidated BiOp.  The purpose of the 2009 NMFS BiOp is to assess the impacts of water projects in the Delta on several listed species: winter and spring run Chinook salmon, green sturgeon, Central Valley steelhead, and Southern Resident … Continue reading

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