Iowa Public Television


Feds Settle With California Water Districts

posted on December 24, 2004

In a precedent-setting decision, the federal government has agreed to pay four California water districts $16.7 million for water the government diverted a decade ago to help protect two rare fish.

The settlement announced this week could have implications across the West, where the government often clashes with property owners in attempts to save species on the brink of extinction.

The case stemmed from the government's efforts between 1992 and 1994 to protect endangered winter-run Chinook salmon and delta smelt by withholding billions of gallons of water from California farmers.

Under the settlement, the water districts will get their legal costs plus the market value of the water that was diverted.

Tags: California drought fish government news water water quality