Oct 3, 2014 3:05 PM by News Staff
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A judge has ruled that state water managers in drought-stricken California must consider the environmental impacts of running one of the nation's largest water banks.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled Thursday that the Department of Water Resources never looked at the ecological effects of running the Kern Water Bank when the state transferred the bank to private hands in 1997.
Environmentalists and farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta sued, saying that running the vast underground bank was causing lasting damage to the delta and would spur unsustainable urban growth.
The judge ordered the department to redo its environmental analysis, but gave no specific timetable for when that should happen. The bank can keep operating as usual in the meantime.
The Department of Water Resources and the bank did not immediately comment.
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