Maven’s Notebook –
Paul Souza is the Regional Director of the Pacific Southwest division of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which covers California, Nevada, and the part of Oregon that includes the Klamath Basin. At the November meeting of Metropolitan Water District’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, Mr. Souza gave a presentation on the recently released biological opinions for the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project.
He noted the importance of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project in supporting 25 million Californians, urban centers like Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and some of the richest farmland in the world. He also acknowledged there are very important environmental considerations as well.
When agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Water Resources take actions that may affect threatened and endangered species, the federal fish and wildlife agencies will complete a review and produce a biological opinion. The last time a biological opinion was completed for the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project was a decade ago, and Mr. Souza said they’ve learned a lot since then and they wanted to bring that best thinking into the latest review.