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National

Calif. river becomes latest water battleground

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

National

Calif. river becomes latest water battleground

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COMING UP:Calif. river becomes latest water battleground

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00:00:02
>> An over-budget and long-delayed plan to restore California's second longest river has become a battleground in the state's farm versus fish water wars. The San Joaquin River which runs through the state's central valley was diverted decades ago to irrigate farms, leaving long stretches dry and abandoned. This fall, engineers with the federal government will let it flow again, but their plan, part of a legal settlement with environmentalists, has angered farmers.
00:00:31
And it's lead to so much criticism from Republicans that one time President hopeful Ted Cruise once joked about eating its protected fish with crackers. Reuters correspondent Sharon Bernstein.>> The idea includes releasing modest amounts of water into the river enough so that it's not dry in spots. It also includes a plan for what they call fish screens to protect fish and levees to protect nearby farmlands from flooding.
00:01:01
Some of those protections that were supposed to have been in place about three years ago.>> But environmentalists, government officials and farmers can't even agree on what path the river should take. Parts of its original path are now used for agriculture. And a date for completing the improvements has been pushed back to 2029.
00:01:19
Ultimately, politics could derail the plan and Congress Republicans are pushing to take more, not less water from the San Joaquin.