NRC Panel Studies California Bay-Delta Water Management

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researchers Churchill Grimes, Brian Spence, and Steve Lindley attended the first meeting of a National Research Council panel studying sustainable water and environmental management in the California Bay-Delta. The panel’s study is motivated by the recent NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) jeopardy biological opinions on the operation of the state and federal water projects in California’s Central Valley, and was ordered by Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA).

The panel’s first report, due in March of this year, will focus on whether there are conservation actions other than those in the biological opinions that would protect species while using less water, and whether the two opinions have measures to account for potential conflict between the needs of NMFS and USFWS species. The panel will complete a second report by November 2011 on how to most effectively incorporate science and adaptive management concepts into holistic programs for management and restoration of the Bay-Delta, and will address stressors outside the scope of the opinions. The panel’s findings will likely be influential in numerous lawsuits against the agencies which seek to prevent the increased use of water for environmental purposes at the expense of agricultural and municipal uses.

Information on the study can be found at the National Academy of Science website:

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49175 The previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer

(February 1, 2010)