After decades of federal and state scientists working on plans to save the Delta smelt -- and years of court fights over those plans -- the tiny, commercially unimportant fish is on the verge of disappearing altogether from its native waters. And now, yet another threat to the fish has emerged: the dredging that keeps shipping channels open between San Francisco Bay and the ports of Sacramento and Stockton. Now we ask -- why the heck should anyone care?
- As Delta Smelt Nears Extinction, Concerns Emerge Over Dredging
- U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Delta Smelt Ruling
Another story that has been with us and just won't go away: the $6.5 billion eastern span of the Bay Bridge and its still-unfolding list of construction flaws. Is the bridge going to fall down? Or will we just need to spend a few billion more to make it perfect?
- Flaws in Bay Bridge Rods Renew Quake Safety Questions
- KQED Quest: The New Bay Bridge Earthquake Makeover (2010)
And this week, San Jose residents got the news that they'll face a new system of water rates designed to enforce conservation during the drought. How effective will that be and will it run afoul of a recent state court ruling that appears to ban conservation rates that don't adhere to strict guidelines about cost of service?