Press Release: Californians for Water Security Says Recent Report On Delta Smelt Decline Underscores Urgent Need to Move Forward With California Water Fix

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California Water Fix Will Protect Delta Ecosystem and Endangered Smelt by Restoring Natural River Flows

 

SACRAMENTO – In response to alarming news that Delta smelt populations continue to decline, Californians for Water Security reiterated that we urgently need to implement the California WaterFix and EcoRestore to protect the Delta ecosystem. Failure to move forward with this critical plan will mean continued crash of this species and the continued decline of the Delta.

“This is further proof that maintaining the status quo is an irresponsible approach that will push the Delta smelt to the point of extinction while continuing the decline of the Delta ecosystem,” said Gerald H. Meral, California water director of the Natural Heritage Institute. “We cannot wait any longer to reverse these problems. The WaterFix and EcoRestore will have significant benefits for the Delta ecosystem and wildlife. Because the pipelines will transport water below ground, they will restore more natural river flows and help stem ‘reverse flows’ that harm native fish.”

EcoRestore will restore at least 30,000 acres of critical habitat in the Delta over the next four years.

Last week Administration’s submitted testimony to the State Water Resources Control Board showing:

WaterFix would create more flexibility to better balance water quality, fish protection, and water supply: WaterFix would allow the state and federal water projects to capture and store water during times of heavy rainfall and runoff, when diversions pose less risk to fish and water quality. Such opportunities are limited now because the location of the existing south Delta pumps are within endangered fish species’ habitat. New intakes offer increased flexibility to the State Water Project and Central Valley Project to operate in “dual conveyance” with the existing pumps in the south Delta; this would allow, for example, utilizing northern diversions during seasonal rain events when pumping would otherwise be restricted in the south Delta.

WaterFix would reduce the “reverse” flows in south Delta channels that pose risks to threatened and endangered fish species. It is an upgrade to the 50-year-old water system that delivers water to two out of of three Californians.

About Californians for Water Security:

CWS is a growing coalition of more than 12,000 California citizens and more than 170 organizations representing business leaders, labor, family farmers, local governments, water experts, environmentalists, public safety officials, infrastructure groups, taxpayer associations, and others who support the plan to fix California’s broken water distribution system. The Governor’s plan was drafted after nearly a decade of scientific review and analysis by leading water experts and conservationists and has received input from leading scientists and engineers. The coalition is waging an active advertising, grassroots lobbying, social media and public advocacy campaign to support this important project to fix our aging water distribution infrastructure and improve water reliability and security throughout the state.

For more information on Californians for Water Security, visit: www.watersecurityca.com

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