Water tug-of-war flows on

More water wars

A federal bill that would divert more water to central California is receiving support from farmers, but environmentalists are saying it would weaken environmental protections for the Bay Delta estuary that took decades of litigation to put in place, according to the California News Service.

In early June, nine conservation groups sent formal letters following a House subcommittee meeting regarding the bill, saying the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (HR 1837) would undermine legislation put in place to protect fish and wildlife in the Bay Delta estuary, would interfere with state water rights, and would overturn a popular court-approved settlement to restore the San Joaquin River. Environmentalists also claimed the bill would gut the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act, which corrected major problems in California’s water industry.

On the other end of the spectrum are many farmers who say the bill is necessary to protect their industry and would correct government-imposed water shortages.