Trump administration unveils new water rules for California

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President Donald Trump speaking during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Trump administration has unveiled a new plan to govern California’s water usage that has alarmed environmental groups for its potential impact on endangered species.

The plan would give more water to farmers. An analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service says the plan “will not jeopardize threatened or endangered species.”

The plan includes spending $1.5 billion to support endangered fish. The government would also monitor rivers for endangered fish, with commitments to reduce pumping when they are present.

But Doug Obegi at the Natural Resources Defense Council says the monitoring programs don’t work because endangered fish species populations, like the delta smelt, are too small.

He said it is likely environmental groups will challenge the rules in court.

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