FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge is set to hear arguments Friday in the ongoing legal battle of pumping restrictions on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta and the delta smelt.

The hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. comes after U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger determined Thursday that water officials must consider the impact on humans, as well as the smelt, in limiting the use of delta water for irrigation.

Farmers argue the cutbacks have caused millions of dollars in crop losses, while environmentalists say activists say even with the restrictions, several native fish populations are declining.

Earlier this week the judge ruled that pumping limits could be lifted for three weeks without further endangering the smelt.


Information from: The Fresno Bee,

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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