Property values set to soar in California

No notion of trade-offs in protecting animals. There is a cost to protecting them. There might be a benefit. But the benefit isn't infinite. The story is here:

PERRIS, California: As California faces one of its worst droughts in two decades, building projects are being curtailed for the first time under state law by the inability of developers to find long-term water supplies.

Water authorities and other government agencies scattered throughout the state, including here in sprawling Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, have begun denying, delaying or challenging authorization for dozens of housing tracts and other developments under a state law that requires a 20-year water supply as a condition for building.

California officials suggested that the actions were only the beginning, and they worry about the impact on a state that has grown into an economic powerhouse over several decades. . . .

a U.S. District Court judge last year issued a curtailment in pumping from the California Delta - where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet and provide water to roughly 25 million Californians - to protect a species of endangered smelt that were becoming trapped in the pumps. Those reductions, from December to June, cut back the state's water reserves this winter by about one-third, according to a consortium of state water boards.

The smelt problem was a powerful indicator of the environmental fallout from the delta's water system, which was constructed more than 50 years ago for a far smaller population. . . . .

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