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Report Paints Bleak Picture Of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

A portion of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (CA Dept. of Water Resources)

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RICHMOND (KCBS) – More than 25 million Californians get their water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the aging system is getting a lot of attention right now from an independent state agency.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is “vital to the economic health” of California, according to the Delta Stewardship Council. The first draft of a plan to restore the Delta has been released, but council spokesman Eric Alvarez said it does not address the key issue of protocol for an emergency response in the event of a flood or earthquake on the Delta.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

”There is no comprehensive state or regional emergency response plan for the Delta,” said Alvarez. “That plan needs to be developed.”

Alvarez said Californians often consume more water than the Delta can provide.

”Overdraft is just causing all kinds of issues throughout California, and people have to come to the realization that Mother Nature doesn’t provide enough water to do everything that everybody wants to do,” said Alvarez.

The report also raises the possiblilty that Delta smelt and salmon may go extinct from damage to their environment from extensive siphoning off of water, despite billions spent in restoration efforts.

 The Delta Stewardship Council is in the process of developing a Delta Plan that’ll be unveiled by January of 2012. The document will ultimately provide an action plan for improving the water supply and protecting the ecosystem.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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