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Some Water Agencies are Critical of Measures to Save Delta Smelt

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Aired 4/19/09

Federal scientists are urging major water cuts from the Delta to save a California native fish from going extinct, but critics say those cuts would devastate public water agencies.

The plan by US Fish and Wildlife biologists is designed to protect the Delta smelt. Environmentalists say the pumps used to distribute water are killing the fish.

But water agencies say cutting back on deliveries would impact families, businesses... and farmers.

Laura King Moon is with a coalition of those agencies called the State Water Contractors.

Moon: "We're reviewing the scientific rationale which we are fairly skeptical about and we are looking at legal options."

The federal plan calls for slashing state and federal water supplies by as much as 33-percent.

State water officials say they hope to negotiate with the federal government to use other measures that wouldn't have such an impact on residents and the economy.

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