After conducting new rounds of environmental reviews, President Trump directed federal agencies to allow more water to be diverted to California farmers in the Central Valley. The farmers have been starved of water for their crops since the state implemented new environmental regulations in 2008 and 2009 to give priority to endangered species such as the smelt and whale populations in San Francisco Bay.
The new review shows that the efforts weren’t effective and can the species can be supported through other efforts.
“For too long water authorities have flushed millions of gallons into the Pacific,” Trump said. “I ordered the administration to update outdated opinions which determined water allocation in this state.”
The move makes the water available, but it’s up to California Governor Gavin Newsom to direct the water to farmers, which is unlikely, and sets up a fight between Central Valley residents and farmers and the coastal environmentalists and politicians.
California has been dealing with water issues for decades. Even after the drought early in the 2010s, the state failed to build more reservoirs, so it failed to capture the runoff from the very wet years at the end of the 2010s.