Valley Activists Take Water Fight To Washington - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Valley Activists Take Water Fight To Washington

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Representatives from the Central Valley continue making their case for much needed water, taking the fight to Capitol Hill before the Obama administration.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be present for Wednesday's hearing, where many valley  farmers are expected to speak out at restrictions on water deliveries that were put in place to protect the Delta Smelt.

"We are disappointed in the actions that both the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of the Interior have taken in resolving an issue, both in the Valley and in the State of California," said Mario Santoyo with the Latino Water Coalition. "It's pretty clear that their interest lies elsewhere given that they've rejected the reconsideration of the biological opinion."

The water crisis has left more than a quarter-million acres of land idle, and thousands out of work.

Members of the Latino Water Coalition say they are making some progress. At the very least, they say Senator Dianne Feinstein is committed to help get funding for the two-gates project which would protect the smelt, while still allowing water to flow.

"We pleaded with her to try and find additional federal dollars to try and allow this project to get built," said Santoyo. "She committed that that's what she would do."

 Santoyo says Senator Feinstein wants one final independent study to cancel out the biological finding that the Delta Smelt is even endangered. That study would take about six months to complete.

Stay with KMPH and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.

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