State Plan for 2022 Drought Sacrifices Delta Water Quality Standards, Again

Restore the Delta

This week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its Initial State Water Project Allocation to prepare for a third year of drought.

Within the allocation schedule the Department, along with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) is seeking once again to do away with Delta water quality standards and planning to leave in place a major saltwater barrier that will hamper fishing migration.

DWR and BuRec have submitted a new Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) to the State Water Resources Control Board which suspends Delta water quality standards. DWR is also delaying the removal of the Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier in the Delta. The rock barrier across West False River was scheduled to be removed by November 30, however will now leave the barrier in place and create a notch in the barrier in January 2022 to allow for fish passage and boat traffic until April 2022.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta, responds:
“It is beginning to feel as if the Newsom Administration’s Department of Water Resources should mark out the Delta with a big red X and be done with it. Clearly, they have no interest in saving the estuary or protecting water quality conditions for the 4 million people who live in the region.

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