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Can’t have your water and eat the fish, too!

Posted by feww on June 6, 2009

Federal Government tells California to cut water use to save fish

Californians are ‘mining’ water and have pushed salmon and other fish to the brink of extinction, the National Marine Fisheries Service, a federal agency, said, as it directed officials to cut water supplies to cities and farms to save a dozen or so marine species.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, finds that “the water pumping operations in California’s Central Valley by the federal Bureau of Reclamation jeopardize the continued existence of several threatened and endangered species under the jurisdiction of NOAA’s Fisheries Service.”

NOAAs  biologists and hydrologists have concluded that current water pumping operations in the Federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project must “be changed to ensure survival of winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, the southern population of North American green sturgeon and Southern Resident killer whales, which rely on Chinook salmon runs for food.”

California’s rivers used to brim with trout, salmon, sturgeon and more, but the federal, state and local governments built a monumental system of dams and pipelines in the most populous state that turned a desert into productive farmland and left some rivers dry.

California, now in its third year of  drought faces a major water crisis and an uncertain future. The impact of climate change and an ever-growing population dictates doom to the fate of  Chinook salmon and other species.

“Changing water operations will impact an estimated five to seven percent of the available annual water on average moved by the federal and state pumps, or about 330,000 acre feet per year. Agricultural water use in California is roughly 30 million acre feet per year. Water operations will not be affected by the opinion immediately and will be tiered to water year type. The opinion includes exception procedures for drought and health and safety issues.” The report said.

Full report HERE

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