The state Department of Water Resources announced this afternoon that it plans to increase on Sunday the amount of water it pumps out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The state had shut off a vital pumping plant near Tracy on May 31 to protect the delta smelt, a tiny endangered fish that has experienced a rapid population decline this year. The pumping plant is a vital cog in supplying San Diego’s drinking water. It draws water about 225 feet up into an aqueduct that winds 444 miles before feeding the San Luis Reservoir, which then delivers water south to Los Angeles and San Diego.

The plant began operating at about 2 percent of normal on June 10. On Sunday, it will pump ten times as much water as it is now, the state says. Pumping levels will continue ramping up through next week.

The increased operations will allow the state to meet its scheduled deliveries to Southern California, the state said in a news release.


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