Westside Water Truce

By: Rich Rodriguez

The Westlands Water District calls it a landmark event.{}{}Friday in Federal Court, opposing sides in the water wars said it's time to find a compromise to meet the demands of endangered species, farmers and farming communities.{}{}

Thursday{}night Federal District Judge Oliver Wanger sided with farmers for the second time this month.{} Judge Wanger ruled that water officials must consider the impact on humans as well as the endangered Delta Smelt in limiting the use of Sacramento Delta water for irrigation.

Westlands spokesperson Sarah Woolf, "So the pumps are going full bore. {} They will until a point in time when we see smelt in the region. {} At that point we will operate in a mutually beneficial manger, she said."

In April, farmers were told they would receive 30 percent of their federal water allotment. Now that the pumps are at full speed, Westlands believes farmers could get 10 to 15 percent more. More irrigation water means westside farmers{}won't be pumping as much ground water as in the past.