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Bringing the Delta Back to Life

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS) _ The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta continues to struggle, but a new report is looking to make changes and help breathe some life into the water system.

The report was required by the Delta Reform Act, authored by Peninsula State Senator Joe Simitian.

He said the report attempts to answer the question: what water flows are necessary to protect public trust resources like the fisheries, wildlife and aesthetic values?

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“Before we can talk about, what are we going to do in the way of water supply around the state, we ask the critical question,” he said. “What’s the Delta need to get healthy and to stay healthy?  Once we’ve asked and answered that question, we can have a more thoughtful conversation about how we address the state’s water needs.”

Gary Bobker, Program Director of the Bay Institute said the report will be used by decision makers as they look at the overall water needs of the state.

“We finally now know what is needed on the side of the equation for the ecosystem,” Bobker said.

But Dan Nelson, the Executive Director of the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority said the report is too one-sided and leaves some important things out.

“Unless you’re looking at California water management in a comprehensive way, essentially you’re not really looking at it realistically,” said Nelson. “Or in a way that at least assists us in helping to manage the resource.”

Nelson said he thinks a more comprehensive study of the Delta should be done. On Tuesday, the State Water Board will decide whether or not to approve the report.

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