Fresno judge extends delta pumping by three weeks

FRESNO, Calif. Judge Oliver Wanger issued his ruling six hours after he arrived at the courthouse. The judge decided the delta pumps that supply water to the Westland's Water District can stay on an additional three weeks until June 15th.

The water users sued to block a federal ruling that limited pumping from the delta to protect salmon and steelhead fish. Judge Wanger decided the impact to the endangered fish did not outweigh the needs of farmers.

Westland's Water District, Tom Birmingham said, "I am thrilled at this ruling. This ruling has the potential of saving the people on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and other parts of California 200 thousand acre feet of water and to put 70 thousand acres of land back into production and people back to work."

Environmentalists say they are disappointed with the ruling and are weighing their legal options. Judge Wanger should also rule soon on water restrictions for the delta smelt.

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