The Department of Water Resources and Bureau of Reclamation have withdrawn an emergency drought regulation for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta.
The regulation, known as a temporary urgency change petition (TUCP), would not improve conditions if implemented as planned in February, despite a dry January, according to staff researchers for the two agencies, who provided the State Water Resources Control Board an update on Wednesday. They found no potential benefits to Shasta and Trinity reservoirs, which have the greatest need for water.
If the state remains extremely dry into April, the TUCP could bring benefits in late spring to Folsom and Oroville reservoirs, which support Delta outflow and water quality needs, and the agencies could at a later date bring the TUCP to the water board to consider for approval. Last year the board approved a similar emergency order for the Delta in late summer.
Environmental groups immediately applauded the decision, arguing the plan would have gutted environmental protections.
Staff will deliver an update on the state's drought contingency plan at its Feb. 1 meeting.