Calif. Delta Report Passes Muster, High Court Rules

     SACRAMENTO (CN) – A report on the source of most California drinking water complied with the state’s Environmental Quality Act, the state Supreme Court ruled.

     The Bay Delta, which is formed by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, provides drinking water for two-third of California residents. A group of agencies called CALFED has been working on a plan to improve the ecological health of the Delta while reducing conflicts among water users.
     The appeals court had ruled that the report was not specific enough in identifying the sources of the water that would be taken for an ecological health program, nor did it detail the environmental impact of taking the water from those sources.
     Justice Kennard disagreed, ruling that CALFED properly dismissed a reduced-export plan alternative from its comprehensive plan, since it wouldn’t remedy the needs of all of the users of the Delta’s water.
     “Because CALFED’s goal of water supply reliability encompasses all beneficial uses of Delta water,” Kennard wrote, “it cannot be achieved by an alternative that benefits some groups of water users at the expense of other users.”

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