In court

Published: Friday 15 May 2009

impact of drought water bank: As California reels under drought, green groups have sued the government for failing to study environmental consequences of a drought water bank. The government operates the water bank by purchasing water from willing sellers, primarily water suppliers, upstream of the Sacramento delta in northern California. The objective is to provide water to southern California, which is experiencing drought for the third consecutive year. Green groups contend the move would deplete Sacramento's groundwater. As the government plans to transfer up to 736 billion litres of surface water from Sacramento, the valley's farmers would have to depend on groundwater for irrigation. The groups have urged the court to order an environmental impact study of the plan and halt water transfers until it is completed. The plan was approved as an emergency measure early this year, bypassing the Environmental Quality Act.

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