The U.S. House of Representatives pretty much along party lines, Republicans yes and Democrats no, passed a 170-page bill that would supposedly allow taking more water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta before it flows into the ocean, thus providing more water to farmers.

The drawback according to environmental groups and regulators is the threatening of salmon populations and the three-inch-long Delta smelt fish as well as potential ocean water contamination of some city water supplies.

Included in the bill are new provisions on determining when water pumping is shut off to save the smelt, requirements for fairly quick feasibility studies to build or alter five dams in the state and stopping efforts to increase salmon populations in the San Joaquin River.

This is not the first time that the House has attempted to pass legislation related to altering the flow of water in California, but there has always been strong opposition in the Senate and from the Obama Administration.

An Associated Press article in the Washington Post explains the situation extensively. You can read the full article by clicking here.