Judge Halts Trinity Water Release


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Various reports are indicating that a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the Bureau of Reclamation from releasing extra water from the Trinity Reservoir.

The release, scheduled to begin today, was planned to ensure the health of a big run of chinook salmon.

The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District -- representing Central Valley irrigators -- sued last week to stop the release. 

In the restraining order, Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill writes that the bureau's environmental assessment "purporting to evaluate the impacts of the release" was flawed. "At the very least, the [environmental assessment] gives little attention to the potential environmental impacts of reduced water supplies to water users in the Sacramento San Joaquin Basin... ."

"Nothing in the record indicates that delaying the additional flows by several days to permit a more measured analysis of the issues would render ineffective the overall flow augmentation efforts," O'Neill wrote.

The temporary order lasts through Aug. 16 -- one day after the extra water was supposed to reach the mouth of the Klamath.

Read the restraining order here.


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