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California Drought Operations Plan For Water Projects Released

Submitted by Curtis Jerome Haynes

Submitted by Curtis Jerome Haynes

The operations plan provides a guideline of how the two water systems will deal with the drought from now until November. 

It looks at two different scenarios. One assumes much drier conditions than the other.

But California Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin says the overall plan doesn’t take into account the most recent rain and snow.

“We are right now factoring in the April 1st forecast," says Cowin. "We will include that information together with the water that we’ve been able to retain in storage and move to south of Delta storage as we consider an update in allocations," says Cowin.

Maria Rea with the National Marine Fisheries Service says under both scenarios winter-run Chinook salmon are at risk.

"We did, in the context of this plan evaluate all those effects and have had very good conversations with the project operators about how we could minimize some of those effects," says Rea. "Those are clearly laid out in this plan.”

She says the plan calls for increased fish production at hatcheries, increased monitoring and potentially rescuing and relocating the salmon.

Some environmental groups say the plan violates environmental requirements for endangered fish.


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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