On 19 June 2015, CSPA, joined by the California Water Impact Network and AquAlliance, filed an extensive formal Objection to the 21 May 2015 Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP Petition) from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) asking the State Water Board to further weaken Bay-Delta water quality and flow standards established to protect fisheries and water quality. The State Board is expected to rule on the USBR/DWR TUCP Petition in the near future.
The Objection asks the State Water Board not to approve the TUCP Petition and its requested weakening of outflow requirements, relocation of the salinity compliance point to Threemile Slough and reduction in Sacramento River flow at Rio Vista between September through November. If approved, these changes will cause the low salinity zone to move further east and expose Delta smelt and other pelagic species, already on the brink of extinction, to lethal water temperatures and harm Chinook salmon during critical migration periods.
The CSPA Objection describes the perilous conditions facing the Central Valley’s pelagic and anadromous fisheries, identifies the severe impacts that will occur if the requests are implemented, chronicles the egregious mismanagement by the state and federal water projects that have exacerbated the present drought crisis and identifies the numerous state and federal statutes that would be violated should the State Board approve the Petition. Should the State Board approval the Petition, the matter will be incorporated into CSPA’s recent lawsuit against the Board and USBR.