Delta Smelt: CA Wants to “Step Away” from Single-Species Management

Delta Smelt: CA Wants to “Step Away” from Single-Species Management

A small fish called the Delta Smelt has been a big topic for farmers in California, as the state cites its 2016 Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy for limiting the amount of water from the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta, earmarked for agriculture.

Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary, spoke during the Western Food and Ag Issues Summit hosted by Agri-Pulse. He says although the state of California is bound by the federal Endangered Species Act to protect the fish, the agency is working towards a more encompassing solution.

“We realize that we have to step away from this single-species management, and manage the system more holistically. That is certainty of water supply for farmers, and the improvement of our river systems for all kinds of fish, because the last thing we want is for more fish to slip into this endangered species status.”

“We are committed to a balanced approach and you know, sometimes I know it doesn’t feel that way for farmers that are facing water cuts and great uncertainty, but our goal is to ensure that even in these changing conditions, we have water supply reliability so farmers and agriculture communities could prosper in the future.”

California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross says, water supply reliability starts with an state-wide infrastructure update. That includes updating modeling and forecasting, storm water capture, and water recycling. Join us next time to hear more.

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