New delta smelt lawsuit filed

July 14, 2016 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, a coalition of California Central Valley water districts sued the Bureau of Reclamation in the latest installment of the litigation wars over the delta smelt.*  The new lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Fresno, and coming on the heels of the Governor Brown administration’s announcement to release an additional annual 20 ...


More Delta wrangling

November 11, 2015 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Earlier this week, a coalition of “corporate”** environmental groups sought leave to file a supplemental complaint in NRDC v. Jewell, to challenge the Bureau of Reclamation’s water allocations to Sacramento River water users.  The nub of this case—which has been going on for a decade—is the environmentalists’ o ...


Media coverage on yesterday's smelt decision

April 17, 2014 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

As noted yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation must consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service when it chooses to renew various contracts for water from the Central Valley Project.  Media articles quote one water-user lawyer describing the decision as merely “procedural,” and another wat ...


More water for salmon, less for farmers

August 29, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the Eastern District of California okayed the Bureau of Reclamation’s plan to release up to 20,000 acre-feet of water into the Trinity and Klamath Rivers.  San Joaquin Valley water districts have filed a lawsuit challenging the releases, which ostensibly are for the health of spawning salmon populat ...


Farmers lose another water battle

March 14, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by water users within the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project to require the Bureau of Reclamation to provide them more water.  In San Luis Unit Food Producers v. United States, the appellate court, in an opinion authored by Judge Trott, upheld … ...


Salazar wakes up to reality


Author:  Damien M. Schiff The Department of the Interior announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation will increase the water allocation for those who receive Central Valley Project water south of the Sacramento Delta, from 5% of contractual allotment to 25%.  That's definitely good news for farmers, farm workers, and all the peop ...


The Endangered Species Act and water uncertainty aren't going away anytime soon


Author: Brandon Middleton Much has been made about the Bureau of Reclamation's announcement last week that farmers in the western San Joaquin Valley will receive 30% of their contractual water allotments if 2010 is an average water year.  As I mentioned earlier this week, that's a very big "if."  The San Francisco Chro ...