Report: Delta in need of water

By Alex Breitler

Record Staff Writer

July 22, 2010 12:00 AM

Delta advocates have long asked how much water the estuary needs to recover from a decades-long decline.

They got their answer Wednesday.

In a new report, state officials estimate that about 75 percent of the Delta’s water would need to stay in its rivers and streams and flow out to San Francisco Bay to restore the estuary and recover native fish.

Right now, about 50 percent of the water flows to the Bay. In other words, cities and farms have been taking about twice as much water as the Delta can give.

The report is for information only; it does not require cutting back on water pumping nor does it impose any new rules.

It does, however, contain what officials believe to be the best science so far, and could shape discussions in coming months about a peripheral canal or tunnel.

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