Roughly a month after the Bernhardt divert-all-you-want plan was released, and after a series of meeting between state officials, salmon advocates, and allied attorneys, the State of California announced it will sue to stop the Bernhardt plan. At the same time, the state announced its own new water diversion plan which looks disturbingly similar to the Bernhardt plan they’re suing over.
GSSA hailed the state’s announcement that it will go to court to stop the Bernhardt water diversions from taking effect. However, the announcement from the state Dept. of Water Resources that it is considering boosting Delta pumping seems to contradict at least the spirit of the legal challenge. So far the state has refused to provide much detail but when it eventually files suit, all will be able to examine the claims it brings against the Trump administration. Similarly, the state’s real plans for operating Oroville Dam and moving Lake Oroville water down through the Delta to the State Water Projects massive pumps will become clearer over the next several months. The state has to flesh out details in order to get a permit to operate the water system without violating the California Endangered Species Act (which is separate but similar to the federal ESA).