Northern California water agencies are lodging a campaign to protect water rights in terms of the flows expected to be released into the Bay Delta. Placer County Water Agency Director of Strategic Affairs, Einar Maisch says several factors are coming into play. Water hungry Southern California is pushing for a new peripheral canal, the state has formed a Delta Stewardship Council to try to make sure the Delta is protected in all of these efforts, and the state Water Resources Control Board, the 3rd major entity in this play, has initiated a new process on the Sacramento River to try to determine what the total amount of inflow from the Sacramento River should be to keep the Delta healthy.
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Maisch says there are basically two ways to control water levels in the Bay Delta, that is to limit the amount of water that goes downstream to southern California or to release more water into the Delta from upstream reservoirs. Maisch says there are serious environmental issues in the delta. The question is, What is it going to take to fix it and who’s responsibility is it if it requires more water? The state has set a target of 2014 to complete a current study on how much inflow the Delta needs and to apportion those flows to the rivers and tributaries feeding into the Bay Delta.