How did former President Trump affect California’s water problems?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a rally, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Fresno, Calif. Photo by Chris Carlson, AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a rally, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Fresno, Calif. Photo by Chris Carlson, AP Photo

In 2019 the Trump administration introduced a plan that critics say weakens Endangered Species Act restrictions on pumping water from the Delta.

Many farmers welcomed the proposal since it could increase their annual water deliveries by half a million acre-feet or more. But environmentalists and fisheries biologists called it “an extinction plan” for winter-run Chinook salmon and Delta smelt. They say it will allow more diversions during key migration periods, increasing the odds the fish will be sucked into the pumps, and it may affect spawning salmon.

California and some environmental groups sued, and in May 2020 a judge blocked the plan from going into effect.