Big Bear, Ca, August 25, 8:00am – 12 Southern California water agencies are filing suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its recent habitat designation for the Santa Ana Sucker, which could cost 1 million Southern Californians a third of their water supply. The Service ruled in December of 2010 to double the critical habitat area for the Santa Ana Sucker, an endangered fish that lives in the Santa Ana River in western Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties. While the Santa Ana River supplies water to 3 million Southern California residents, these restrictions could translate into a net loss of 125,800 acre-feet of San Bernardino Mountain water each year, which amounts to one third of the water supply currently used by 1 million residents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, cite the 12 water agencies. This ruling could affect the Santa Ana Water Basin, which Big Bear is a part of. The Big Bear Municipal Water District is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and according to Scott Huele, one of the reasons they are a plaintiff is that a few of the agencies the MWD partners with to accomplish their in lieu water program, would be negatively impacted with the designation filed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
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