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Published May 19, 2010, 09:49 AM

Judge sides with farmers in Delta water lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has sided with California farmers and urban water agencies in a long-running legal fight over how much water can be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has sided with California farmers and urban water agencies in a long-running legal fight over how much water can be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger in Fresno ruled Tuesday that federal agencies did not properly develop their plan, known as a biological opinion, that restricted water diversions to protect endangered salmon and steelhead.

Wanger’s decision could lead to increased water pumping from the delta, which is a major source of irrigation and drinking water for San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southern California cities.

The judge has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to determine how much water can be pumped

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