On Tuesday August 3rd the State Water Board adopted the Delta Flow Criteria Report (Report) produced by the State Water Resources Control Board’s (Board) Division of Water Rights pursuant to Water Code section 85086 established by Senate Bill No. 1 of the 2009-2010 Seventh Extraordinary Session. SB 7x1 [pdf] requires the Board to develop, within nine months of enactment of the requirement, new flow criteria to protect public trust resources for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) ecosystem.Is this the end of Delta exports? Is it just another shot in an endless skirmish? Does it mean that co-equal means 75% flow through and 25% for human uses? Does it mean that we don't have to fix the Delta [pdf]?
The Report [pdf] provides recommendations, based on the best available science, for the minimum hydrologic flow that is needed within the Delta to provide sufficient resources and protection for fish species within the ecosystem.
Essentially, the recommendation of the report, based on analyses of historic conditions (1921 to 2003), indicates that water within the Delta will need to return to 75% of unimpaired flows in order to halt the population decline and increase populations of native species as well as species of commercial and recreational importance. The adoption of the report, by the Board, is a significant step towards California water management reform as it represents the first time a state agency of such magnitude, under such circumstances, has provided formal recognition that the Delta is not receiving an adequate amount of water to protect public trust resources.
Please tell me (us!) what this means...