Water is one of California’s most coveted commodities. Water allocations, therefore, are some of the most disputed and challenged issues in California. These disputes are enlarged in California’s Central Valley, where farmers, ranchers, municipalities, salmon and steelhead, and other threatened species all rely on the depleted resource.
Earlier this week, District Court Judge Dale Drozd placed an injunction on the Trump Administration’s plan to give farmers more water. This injunction comes as Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta steelhead, which rely on the water and strong flows, are at historic lows.
“Given that it appears to be undisputed that California Central Valley steelhead are declining, the court has serious concerns as to whether this reasoning satisfies the National Marine Fisheries Service’s obligations under the Endangered Species Act to evaluate whether the [rules] would jeopardize the species or destroy or adversely modify crucial habitat,” Drozd wrote late Monday.
By no means is this ‘water war’ over. This decision, however, should help the endangered Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta juvenile steelhead, which is a win nonetheless.
For more, on this decision, read this article by Courthouse News.