The regulation of streamflow extremes is another significant environmental benefit inherent in the operation of the Central Valley Project conservation facilitiesI am not sure that DWR's interpretation of "environmentalism" was (or is) shared by others.
Since 1944 water released through operation of Shasta Reservoir has prevented serious intrusion of saline water into interior Delta channels. Had no releases been made, salt water would have advanced well into the interior of the Delta in 7 of the 10 years from 1955 through 1964. The State Water Project will share responsibility for, and maintenance of, water quality in the Delta.*
Consideration of fish and wildlife ecological requirements had much to do with the choice of the Peripheral Canal** as the Delta facility of the State Water Project. The canal was proposed... as the best means of conveying water to the pumps... while at the same time providing for controlled releases into the Delta channels for salinity repulsion, maintenance of a balanced ecology necessary for preservation and improvement of sports and commercial fisheries, and improvement of the general Delta environment as it relates to agriculture and recreational use.
Bottom Line: DWR works for humans, not fish. If the humans don't care about fish, neither does DWR.
* Shasta Dam is part of the federal CVP. In 1970, DWR was still bringing the SWP online; this claim refers to an expected improvement on those results, via DWR's contribution.
** Remember, this is 1970!