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Drought Operation Plan For Two Water Projects Released

Apr 10, 2014

The San Luis Canal carries water to farms and wildlife areas near Los Banos (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California and federal agencies released a plan Wednesday about how they’ll operate the state and federal water projects during the drought. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the plan does not change water allocations.

The operations plan provides a guideline of how the two water systems will deal with the drought from now until November.  It looks at two different scenarios. One assumes much drier conditions than the other. Maria Rea with the National Marine Fisheries Service says under both scenarios winter-run Chinook salmon are at risk.

Rea:  “It’s very hard to fully minimize all those effects and we did, in the context of this plan evaluate all those effects and have very good conversation with the project operators about how we could minimize some of those effects and those are clearly laid out in this plan.”

She says the plan calls for increased fish production at hatcheries, increased monitoring and potentially rescuing and relocating the salmon. Some environmental groups say the plan violates environmental requirements for endangered fish.