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Troubles Persist in California's Delta

The process of re-designing California's Delta to protect endangered species, feed the state's farms and serve freshwater to its residents has become further complicated.
December 15, 2010, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"Farmers and cities in Southern California are pressing for a return to the abundant supply of water delivered through the 1,000-square-mile delta before a drought and legal rulings to protect endangered fish led to constraints two years ago. Environmentalists want ironclad guarantees that threatened fish like the minnow-size delta smelt will not be wiped out for want of water.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a federal and state initiative, would re-engineer the delta to make it safe for native species and would establish a framework for water distribution for the next 50 years. The delta, where California's two largest rivers come together, supplies about one-quarter of the freshwater used by about 23 million Californians."

A group representing many of the state's farms is pulling out of negotiations, which is adding to years-long delays in addressing the issues. The state has various solutions on the table, but no decision seems close.

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Published on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 in The New York Times
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