Collaborative Science and Research Efforts Lead to More Effective Delta Ecosystem Management
New Science, Monitoring of Delta Smelt Support Adaptive Management of Water Operations
From the State Water Contractors:
The State Water Contractors (SWC) support the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) decision regarding new actions to continue protections for endangered species and more effectively manage water for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project this fall. Based on new research and the best available science, regulatory agencies are adjusting one of the most restrictive water supply regulations, known as Fall X2, without reducing protections for Delta Smelt.
“We’re glad to see years of collaboration, research and science driving smart solutions for endangered species that also support California’s water supply,” said Jennifer Pierre, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “Our water agencies are committed to the health of the Delta and reliable water supplies for people, businesses and farms.”
As background, X2 represents the location where freshwater from the Sierra watershed and saltwater from the San Francisco Bay meet in the Delta. It has been hypothesized that moving this intersection of salt and fresh waters would lead to increased Delta Smelt populations. New scientific research, based on years of collaborative science efforts, has been underway to address this question, and the USFWS is using this research to update its older decisions.
Recent work by Delta scientists have identified several possible causes of the smelt population decline, including a sharp decrease in food availability in the Delta, invasive plants and aquatic animals, and toxic runoff from pesticides.
“We are dedicated to continuing our research efforts and collaboration with regulatory agencies and universities to improve our understanding of Delta Smelt, so we better protect the Delta’s endangered species and California’s water supplies,” Pierre said.
The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 25 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land.
Metropolitan General Manager’s statement regarding binational agreement on Colorado River deliveries, storage
From the Metropolitan Water District:
Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issued the following statement regarding the conclusion of Minute 323, the new binational water agreement between the United States and Mexico addressing Mexico’s Colorado River deliveries and storage through 2026:
“Today’s milestone continues the spirit of cooperation and collaboration forged among users of the Colorado River in both the United States and Mexico. This agreement carries on and augments the progress made under Minute 319 and recognizes that management of the Colorado River is most effective when the two countries jointly manage the river’s available resources.
“Under the measures announced today, Metropolitan and the Imperial Irrigation District once again will join with agencies in Arizona and Nevada to provide critical funding for conservation projects in Mexico that will benefit both countries for the next decade. In exchange, the funding agencies will receive a portion of the water conserved that will be stored in Lake Mead to help meet future water supply needs, increase lake levels and help address long-term drought conditions in the Colorado River Basin.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
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About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.