Re "Smelt threat eases, so pumping is increased" (Page B2, Feb. 14): Lately there has been steady stream of statements by state officials touting the need for sucking water from the Sacramento River to feed the Delta pumps to protect the smelt and the environment. Truth be told, no one really knows what effect this $14 billion boondoggle might have on the smelt, salmon or Delta ecosystem, but it would most certainly make available a lot more water for export to big agribusiness and Southern California.
At a time when state and federal agencies are demanding more water releases from storage reservoirs for the fish, it is contradictory to promote a scheme that will take more water south. Seems to me that better fish screens would cost a lot less and would keep the smelt out of harm's way.
-- Jim Peck, Modesto