In fact Brown's planned tunnels will do the same thing as the pumps: Move water to where it is needed. California's 40+ million people need to eat and the food grown in the Central Valley will provide them with foodstuffs. I agree with the farmers that people are more important than a bait fish which is not a canary in a coalmine. So man the pumps and clone the fish.
People don't need to eat almonds - it's a luxury, and people don't eat hay. I'm all for commerce, but the premise that any water not used by man is "wasted" is ridiculous. SF Bay has had water flushing through it for millenia - it's part of the ecosystem.
When was the last time you drove through the Central Valley? There are dairy farms there. There are feedlots for livestock and poultry. There are rice paddies. There are orchards of fruits and all kinds of nuts-not only almonds but pecans, pastachios and walnuts. These are the things people need. You really need to get out more often and see for yourself the changes man has wrought. Lastly, a mark of civilization is the ability to move water where it is needed.
California's 40+ million people need to be fed and that means watering the Central Valley and not worrying about a bait fish. At the same time we must to develop crops which don't need as much water and that means Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO's). We also need to build more dams and reservoirs to store more water for the growing population.
So get your head out of your nether regions and realize we are not going back to the mud huts and the river of dirty water.