Judge: California didn't weigh water bank's impact

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Updated: 3/05 9:56 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A state judge has ruled that California water managers failed to consider the environmental impacts of running one of the nation's largest water banks.

The rulings by Judge Timothy Frawley on Wednesday found the Department of Water Resources never looked at the ecological effects of running the Kern Water Bank when the state transferred the bank to private hands in 1997.

A water district nearby sued in 2010, saying that the state never studied the bank's potential impacts on its neighbors, including causing wells to run dry or water levels to drop.

Environmentalists sued too, saying that running the bank was causing lasting damage to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and would spur unsustainable urban growth.

The judge ordered all parties to meet with him soon to determine how this will impact the operation of the bank.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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