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The San Diego County Water Authority today renewed its call for residents and businesses to conserve water after a major pumping plant that is part of the State Water Project was temporarily shut down. The project brings water from Northern California down to Southern California and provided 41 percent of San Diego’s water last year.

The state Department of Water Resources shut down the pumping plant near Stockton on Thursday to protect the Delta smelt, an endangered fish. The state says it expects the closure to last seven to 10 days.

In the short-term, the water authority said in a news release that it doesn’t expect the shutdown to immediately impact the region’s water supply. But the authority expressed concern about the State Water Project’s long-term uncertainties.

“This is just an indication of the issues the Delta faces,” said John Liarakos, a water authority spokesman. “While it looks short term, what happens the next time? What happens if something else causes that water to disappear?”


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