CDFW Issues Permit to DWR for Long-Term Operations of the State Water Project

By on April 3, 2020
Department of Water Resources

Earlier this week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for long-term operations of the State Water Project (SWP).

The permit covers four species protected under the California Endangered Species Act: Delta smelt, longfin smelt, winter-run Chinook salmon and spring-run Chinook salmon.

DWR Director Karla A. Nemeth and CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham issued the following statement:

“California’s water operations need to support our communities while protecting our fish and wildlife. This Incidental Take Permit (ITP) enables this balance. Most importantly, it ensures that our state water infrastructure operates in a manner protective of fish species listed under state’s endangered species law. It does so in many ways, including by dedicating water for Delta outflows during drier periods when fish and habitat need it the most. The permit also provides flexibility to capture and store water during wet years for both water supply and the environment. The ITP also better utilizes existing infrastructure to improve habitat conditions; creates a new barrier to minimize entrainment of migrating salmon at SWP pumps; and commits significant new funding to ecosystem improvements and expanded scientific research. It enables adaptive water management based on scientific monitoring while providing final decision-making authority to CDFW on operational changes that protect fish. Together, DWR and CDFW will implement this permit to meet the needs of Californians and our state’s natural environment.”

DWR’s final environmental document can be found here and CDFW’s ITP can be found here.