Originally posted on CBS San Francisco:
FRESNO (CBS / AP) — California water officials said on Wednesday that a $14 billion twin-tunnel plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would restore the ecosystem and reduce mortality of threatened fish, although during dry years the delta smelt would be killed at the same rate as today.
Analysis contained in thousands of pages of several new draft chapters released by the California Resources Agency shows that during dry years, the existing pumps in the south portion of the delta would continue to divert water, cause reverse flows and kill the fish that get caught in the machinery.
Officials said the plan does provide a cumulative net gain of fish recovery over time. There would be significant improvements for the smelt during wet years, they said, because water would be diverted from the north portion of the delta, where fish would not be sucked into deadly pumps.