Fortunately, there still exists some semblance of common-sense in the decision making halls around water strategy, with consideration of people taking precedence over animals; but the environmentalists always push back, as reported in this article from the Sacramento Bee.
As California’s drought stretches toward the hot summer months, state and federal officials are planning extraordinary measures to protect drinking water supplies and endangered Sacramento River salmon, according to a plan unveiled Wednesday.
The “Drought Operations Plan” was released by the state Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operate the primary systems of water reservoirs and canals in California.
Among other things, the plan calls for further loosening of water quality rules in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, allowing the agencies to keep river flows low to preserve as much water as possible in upstream reservoirs, especially Shasta Lake. Temporary dams are proposed on three Delta channels to allow the remaining freshwater runoff to more effectively push back saltwater intrusion from San Francisco Bay.
It also calls for additional hatchery breeding of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon.
Normally, those young salmon would be released into the Sacramento River. But because the river could become too warm to sustain them, some of the fish may be relocated into cold-water habitats where they have not existed for decades, such as Battle Creek near Red Bluff…
A number of environmental groups were fast to criticize the plan, warning that further loosening of environmental rules will come at a cost to wildlife. This is especially likely in the Delta, they warned, which is already imperiled after decades of heavy water extraction, pollution and invasion by foreign species.
Retrieved April 10, 2014 from http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/09/6311226/california-water-plan-unveils.html