From the KMTG [Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard] Natural Resources Blog:
“On August 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting the Bureau of Reclamation from releasing into the Trinity River up to 109,000 acre-feet of water from storage in the federal Central Valley Project’s (CVP) Trinity and Lewiston reservoirs between August 13 and Sept.
“Farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley are suing the federal government over the planned release of water from a Northern California reservoir to prevent a salmon kill in the lower Klamath River.”
“A lawsuit has been filed to stop planned releases of Trinity River water to prevent a fish kill on the Klamath River just five days before the flows were set to begin.
“On Wednesday, the Bureau of Reclamation announced its intentions to release at least 62,000 acre-feet of water from the Klamath River’s largest tributary in advance of a large salmon run and low water.
“A lawsuit seeking to block the Trinity River releases was filed the same day on behalf of Central Valley water districts.”
“From the bathtub rings around our reservoirs, to the salty Delta lapping up against our levees, there is ample evidence that in the span of just two years California’s water supply has shifted from wealth to want.
“The state has not formally declared a drought, but water managers are using words like ‘dire’ to describe the situation – particularly if next winter disappoints.”
From the Eureka Times-Standard in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell from Congressmen Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson and George Miller:
“We are greatly concerned by the prospect of a fish kill this fall in the Trinity and Klamath Rivers in northern California. Low flows and warm water on the Klamath River will imperil an expected large run of salmon this fall; experts believe that releasing colder water from the Trinity River may be the only way to improve conditions for these salmon. …
“Hard won agreements to remove dams, allocate water and restore streams in the Klamath Basin need to incorporate dissenters and cut costs to have a chance of winning congressional endorsement, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said at a [Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee] hearing this morning [June 20].”
“U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s hearing Thursday on the Klamath Basin water crisis has sparked hope among supporters that landmark deals reached three years to unite many of the basin’s combatants will finally get through Congress.”
“The newly enforceable water rights are situated in a drought year that threatens damage to fishing, farming and ecosystem health — all spotlighting Thursday’s U.S. Senate committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Klamath Basin water issues.”