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But at least this means better water quality, right?

No.  Despite the suggestion that water is being reserved for releases to meet Delta water quality standards, water project operators have asked the Water Board to change this year’s classification from dry to critical because they expect to violate Delta outflow and salinity standards.  

The Water Board justified this violation of standards by arguing that they wanted to hold back water for cold water releases for fish later in the year.  But right now, flows in the Sacramento River are running above what would be reasonable dry-year flows if the real intent was to conserve water for later release.  And this certainly isn’t helping in-Delta users, some of whom are already reporting that river levels have dropped below the intakes to pumps they use to draw irrigation water.  

The beneficiaries of any extra flows are south-of-Delta users, the ones who are supposed to get only surplus water.

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