Valley Water Agencies Ask for More Water Now and in the Future

On pace to be the driest January-February on record, signaling a third straight year of drought, local water authorities are begging the state to release more water for farmers this summer or at least begin building capacity to withstand future droughts.

On Feb. 23, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced its initial 2022 water supply allocations for Central Valley Project contractors, including the water agencies which operate the Friant-Kern Canal to the east and Delta-Mendota Canal to the west. Allocations are based on an estimate of water available for delivery to CVP water users and reflect current reservoir storages, precipitation and snowpack in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada.

A Tiny Fish is on the Brink of Extinction. Does it Matter that Another Just Like It is Thriving?

California’s tiny delta smelt is not a terribly impressive fish at first glance, and not really at second glance either. It’s about the length and width of a finger, silvery and kind of see-through – looks a bit like a sardine.

Newsom Promised to End California’s Water Wars. Now that Trump is Gone, Can He Do It?

Shortly after taking office two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to deliver a massive compromise deal on the water rushing through California’s major rivers and the critically-important Delta — and bring lasting peace to the incessant water war between farmers, cities, anglers and environmentalists.

Westlands Celebrates Habitat Restoration Following Third Straight Year of Finding Zero Delta Smelt

Westlands Water District announced Wednesday that it recently completed the Lower Yolo Restoration Project, which restored the habitat for fish and other wildlife species in part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Zero Delta Smelt Found in Latest Search. New Habitat Hopes to Change That

An annual search for a tiny endangered and contentious fish in the sprawling California Delta has once again come up empty.

The state’s annual Fall Midwater Trawl Survey found no delta smelt in September’s sampling of the critical waterway. The last time the rare fish turned up in a survey was in October 2017 when just two were found. Hoping to reverse the recent trend, the Westlands Water District and the California Department of Water Resources announced the completion of a Delta habitat restoration project on Wednesday.

California’s Delta tunnel project inches forward – and just got a $15.9 billion price tag

When Gov. Gavin Newsom downsized the Delta tunnels water project last year, the idea was to save money and try to appease at least some of the project’s critics.

Yet the project remains controversial — and still figures to be costly.

After months of relative quiet, Newsom’s administration released a preliminary cost estimate for the scaled-back project Friday: $15.9 billion for a single tunnel running beneath the estuary just south of Sacramento.

California Sues to Stop Federal Water Actions

California wants a federal judge to stop how the Trump administration is managing water supplies in the Golden State, saying protected species like trout and Delta smelt risk imminent and irreparable harm.

Opinion: Collaboration is the Answer to California’s Fishery and Water Supply Challenges

California has the opportunity to enter a new era in water management. Unprecedented efforts by leaders at the state and national level have led to the kind of cooperation that will provide valuable benefits to water users and the environment.

I know because that’s what we’ve been doing in the Sacramento Valley for many years. The kinds of success we’ve achieved can be replicated in other parts of the state. By working together, we can accomplish much more than can ever be achieved when competing interests are fighting.

California’s current water regulatory system is completely broken. Farms, towns and cities suffer continued cutbacks and threatened fish species continue to dwindle. The only recourse currently available seems to be an ongoing parade of lawsuits that further paralyze the system and help no one.

Opinion: Trump Wading into California’s Water Policy With Phony Answer

President Trump believes he “got it done” in fixing California’s troubled and contentious water system. What he actually produced is another wrecking-ball delay and a lawsuit to try to halt his lopsided solution.

The president found a dirt-dry corner of the Central Valley to sign documents that bless more pumping of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water southward to farms and water agencies. His blessing at a campaign-style gathering in Bakersfield won’t immediately rev up water shipments, but it should underline how divisive and intractable he’s making a long-standing problem.

Predator Fish that Anglers Love Faces Uncertain Future in California Water Wars

In California’s never-ending water and fish wars, the striped bass doesn’t get nearly the publicity as its celebrity counterparts, the endangered Chinook salmon and Delta smelt. Yet the striped bass is at the heart of a protracted fight over California’s water supply, 140 years after the hard-fighting fish, beloved by anglers, was introduced here from the East Coast. Wealthy agricultural and Southern California urban water interests, tired of seeing their Central Valley water supplies reduced to protect native fish, have been quietly waging a war against the bass because they prey on hatchling salmon and adult smelt. They’ve repeatedly tried to introduce legislation or change regulations that would reduce the numbers of striped bass from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.