State officials are expected to fight the Trump administration’s proposal to “maximize water deliveries” through the Central Valley Project to Southern California, including farmers in the Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural water district in the nation, says the Sacramento Bee.
A bipartisan water bill that includes drought relief for California could be put to a vote in Congress before the end of this week, said House and Senate leaders after agreeing on terms of the $558 million package. California Sen. Barbara Boxer said the bill tramples on the Endangered Species Act in order to divert more water to agriculture at the expense of salmon and the imperiled Delta smelt, said The Associated Press.
“I like people to be able to see with their own eyes that the state is not out of water because of lack of rainfall or snow pack,” Johnny Amaral, manager of California’s Westlands Water District, told the LA Times, after inviting the newspaper to tour the Westland facilities.
In California, federal fisheries regulators are mulling two new plans to save the state’s endangered winter-run Chinook salmon and Delta smelt—plans that could mean serious water shortages for farmers. While this year saw ample rain and snowfall in the northern half of the state, regulators warn that the precipitation wasn’t enough to make up for several years of historic drought.