Sacramento Delta water wars continue

The water wars of California can get convoluted indeed. Last week, a judge reversed his own decision and ruled that increased water could be pumped from the Sacramento Delta to the Central Valley and L.A. for the following three weeks. The water flow had been decreased to protect salmon, but the judge wasn’t impressed with some of the permits restricting the flow.

So for three weeks increased water will flow, presumably to the detriment of salmon, but certainly to the benefit of farmers and Los Angeles. After those three weeks pass, the salmon are assumed to be okay anyway.

This particular ruling is a microcosm that demonstrates how complicated the battles for water in California can be. Competing interests vie for water, pitting cities against rural areas, industries against other industries, environmentalists against developers, and of course the 800 pound gorilla to the south, Los Angeles, against everyone else.

Things get further complicated because the rules and regulations tend to be a jumbled patchwork quilt of local, regional, and inter-state interests subject to change at any time, with no particular unifying goals.

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