6.23.10 Rep. Costa Statement on Delta Smelt Agreement to Keep Pumps Turned On

Washington, D.C.  – Following Judge Oliver Wanger’s May decision that federal regulations restricting Valley water are flawed, Valley water users and environmental groups reached an agreement regarding the Delta smelt that will keep the pumps moving water south of the Delta turned on through June. All pumping restrictions required under the smelt biological opinion will cease as of July 1st, allowing water to flow freely to the Valley through the end of the year. 

“This agreement will allow the pumps to stay turned on through June. This means more reliable water deliveries for our Valley economy,” said Costa. “Our battle against the flawed regulations cutting off our water is producing results, and Judge Wanger’s decision is a key step forward in our fight. More work remains in reforming these misguided water restrictions, but I am pleased that we have been able to increase the predictability of water flowing to our Valley in the short term.”

Under the terms of the negotiated agreement by the water users and environmental groups:

  •  The CVP and the SWP jointly will conduct pumping operations that maintain the Old and Middle River (OMR) flows so as not to be more negative than -5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

  • The FWS may require reduced pumping operations in order to maintain OMR flows less negative than -5,000 cfs if the numbers of smelt harmed (salvaged) at the pumps exceeds agreed upon levels or if trends of smelt salvaged at the pumps show an imminent threat to the species.

 


For more information on Judge Wanger’s Delta smelt ruling, click here. More information on the agreement can be found here.