Friday February 17, 2023

Los Angeles Times

As January’s drenching storms have given way to an unseasonably dry February, Gov. Gavin Newsom is seeking to waive environmental rules in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in an effort to store more water in reservoirs — a move that is drawing heated criticism from environmental advocates who say the action will imperil struggling fish populations.

In an executive order signed Monday, Newsom directed the State Water Resources Control Board to “consider modifying requirements” for California’s two water conveyance systems in the delta, the State Water Project and the federally operated Central Valley Project.

“While recent storms have helped replenish the state’s reservoirs and boosted snowpack, drought conditions continue to have significant impacts on communities with vulnerable water supplies, agriculture and the environment,” an announcement of the order read. “Until it is clear what the remainder of the wet season will hold, the executive order includes provisions to protect water reserves.”

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