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Dam fight pits city water against fish habitat

Operators of a dam on California's Central Coast told a Ninth Circuit panel it has no authority to release water to protect fish habitats.

(CN) — Santa Maria is a modestly sized town in south San Luis Obispo County known for its resplendent wineries and local barbecue styles.

  • Matthew Renda
  • Courthouse News Service

Its water supply is almost entirely dependent on the Twitchell Reservoir, created by a dam built just east of the city in the 1950s.

Recently a coalition of environmental activists filed suit against the Santa Maria Water Conservation District and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which jointly administers the dam, claiming the way in which the water district manages the…

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