Saving the Delta Smelt crucial to water conservation

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I am writing to bring to your attention about a war that is going on. Not the war in Iraq, but the war I want you to know about is the war over water. The innocent victims here are a very small fish called the Delta Smelt. They are only about two to three inches long, have a steely blue sheen on the sides, and seem almost translucent. On one side of the war are environmental groups who believe the huge water pumps that pump water from the Delta to Southern California, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley are what's making the Delta Smelt almost extinct. On the other side of the war are governmental agencies that blame harmful species and pesticides for the problem. But why should we CARE about the Delta Smelt? That's because the smelt is like a canary in the coal mine. It is an indicator species for the whole ecosystem. If the Delta Smelt becomes extinct split tail, long fin smelt, and other species will soon follow. Millions of Californians depend on the Delta to supply clean drinking water, irrigate crops, and support salmon and other fishing jobs. The Delta can't do its important job if it is so sick that it can't even support the tiny smelt. So, what can WE do to help save the Delta Smelt? We must begin by using water wisely. Conservation, wastewater recycling and better use of groundwater will also help. We need to be careful about what we pour down our sinks. Remember that it will end up in our community's water. Never leave the water running when you brush your teeth, keep your showers short, and let's all do our part in saving the Delta Smelt! Elizabeth G. Kim Fourth Grade, Valley Oak Elementary Davis