Recently, two separate petitions were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell, a case involving a challenge to the biological opinion and reasonable and prudent alternative issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding continuing operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in California. The two projects provide water to over 20 million Californians.

One petition (pdf) was filed on behalf of Stewart & Jasper Orchards, Arroyo Farms, and King Pistachio Grove. The second petition (pdf) was filed on behalf of the State Water Contractors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, Kern County Water Agency, San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority, and Westlands Water District.

The Ninth Circuit issued a split decision (pdf) in the case, with the panel majority reversing the lower court’s ruling invalidating the biological opinion on numerous grounds.