Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is refusing to sign more than 700 pieces of legislation, and is threatening to veto most of them, unless legislative leaders agree to a deal on the state's water problems. Under California law, the governor has until Sunday to sign or veto the bills, most of which are not controversial. Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders are hoping to reach some sort of compromise today.
Among the issues being discussed is whether to build more dams and a peripheral canal that would steer freshwater around the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The governor also wants to take more fresh water from the delta and send it to farmers in the southern Central Valley who are suffering from the drought. But environmentalists say such a move would destroy the delta's already collapsing salmon and smelt populations and make the estuary less hospitable to a host of other species.