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Litigation

The State Water Contractors and water agencies throughout the state have been involved in ongoing litigation for several years related to the salmon and delta smelt biological opinions—sets of rules issued by federal agencies regulating water operations in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta. The biological opinions are intended to protect fish species, however many of the actions required in the biological opinions have been proven scientifically unsound.

At the same time, actions in the biological opinions have triggered significant water supply cutbacks. Between the lack of scientific evidence supporting the biological opinions, and the impacts on water users, a federal court has deemed both the delta smelt and salmon biological opinions unlawful and ordered them to be rewritten. This process is currently underway.

Delta Smelt Biological Opinion—Court Decisions & Filings

Federal Court Decision on Fall X2 Action, Issued August 2011

Read the court's decision.

Federal Court Decision on the 2008 Delta Smelt Biological Opinion, Issued December 2010

Read the court's decision.

State Water Contractors Complaint on the 2008 Delta Smelt Biological Opinion, Filed March 2009

Read the complaint.

Salmon Biological Opinion—Court Decisions & Filings

Federal Court Decision on the 2009 Salmon Biological Opinion, Issued September 2011

Read the court's decision.

State Water Contractors Complaint on the 2009 Salmon Biological Opinion, Filed August 2009

Read the complaint.

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San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District

The San Bernardino Municipal Valley Water District covers about 325 square miles in southwestern San Bernardino County, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and has a population of about 600,000. It spans the eastern two-thirds of the San Bernardino Valley, the Crafton Hills, and a portion of the Yucaipa Valley and includes the cities and...

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Sacramento San Joaquin Delta

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The Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta (“Delta”), a 700-mile maze of sloughs, canals, waterways and islands located where the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers converge is the largest estuary on the West Coast and California’s main water supply hub.

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