You hear a lot these days about environmental regulations curtailing water exports from the Delta.
But the primary reason for the widely reported shortages?
Mercury News reporter Paul Rogers asked the Department of Water Resources’ Mark Cowin on a conference call today to place in context what percent of the pumping restrictions this year have been based on the lack of rain, and what percent have been based on environmental regulations to protect fish.
Cowin couldn’t put a precise number on it — not yet.
But, he said: “The great majority of water shortage this year is purely a basis of drought. It’s not regulation. Even without regulations, we would have very dry conditions this year.”