The Latest: Board votes to increase San Joaquin River flows
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California water board considering a plan to boost water flows on the San Joaquin River (all times local):
A California water board has adopted a contentious plan to revive dwindling salmon populations by boosting flows through a Central California river and its tributaries.
The State Water Resources Control Board adopted the plan on Wednesday over the opposition of water districts serving the state’s agricultural heartland.
The board voted to study a last-minute agreement among several key water agencies to voluntarily curtail their water usage and pay into a fund for habitat improvements.
The agreement was reached after Gov. Jerry Brown and his successor, Gavin Newsom, asked water users to find an agreement that could support salmon populations without a strict state mandate. However, it lacked support from water agencies that rely on two of the three affected tributaries to the Lower San Joaquin River.
A state water board is considering a contentious proposal to boost flows through a Central California river, increasing habitat for salmon but delivering less water for cities and farmers in the state’s agricultural heartland.
The Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the proposal to significantly alter the management of the Lower San Joaquin River and three tributaries.
State officials say water users along one of the tributaries, the Tuolumne River, have agreed to voluntary concessions that would improve fish habitat. But Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham says water users along the Merced and Stanislaus rivers did not reach consensus.
Gov. Jerry Brown and his incoming replacement, Gavin Newsom, have urged water users to make voluntary environmental concessions to avoid lawsuits.