California State Water Project Draws Ire of Environmentalists

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Environmentalists say the State Water Project — California’s complex system of pumps and aqueducts that delivers water to thirsty farms and residents in the south state — is killing endangered fish and ruining the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Four environmental groups sued the state of California in state court Wednesday, claiming the complex series of dams, channels, aqueducts and pumps responsible for transferring water from Northern California to the south state are killing fish. “It’s time for the state to be honest about the damage being done to the delta ecosystem and our native fish by the unsustainable water diversions of the State Water Project,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. The center joined the Sierra Club, Restore the Delta and the Planning and Conservation League as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court against the California Department of Water Resources, which manages the state’s portion of the complex water-siphoning system.


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