From the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) staff Switchboard blog, in a post by Monty Schmitt:
This week I had a chance to travel by kayak down 23 miles of the San Joaquin River just south of Mendota, CA, with CNN reporter John Sutter, who is undertaking an ambitious journey to explore the River’s entire 360 miles – from high Sierra to the sea.
“In California, water flows uphill toward money and power. That’s a well-known maxim out here, especially in the Dust-Bowl-ready Central Valley — that forgotten stretch of California that grows 40% of U.S. fruits, nuts and other table foods.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on April 17 to 18 are releasing 54,000 hatchery produced juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon into the San Joaquin River as part of the implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.
“Federal authorities are shutting down water releases for the San Joaquin River restoration, making the water available for 30,000 people in small communities who face the possibility of summer with dry taps.”
“House Speaker John Boehner and three San Joaquin Valley Republican congressmen on Wednesday called on their Senate colleagues to approve emergency drought legislation they say would bring more water to the region.”
“In a sign of increasing political pressure to address California’s drought, south San Joaquin Valley congressmen on Wednesday said they will introduce legislation to ship more water out of the Delta and temporarily block plans to restore the San Joaquin River.”
“House Speaker John Boehner stopped by California on Wednesday, claiming he wanted to open the spigot for drought-stricken farmers, while doing a little rainmaking for the National Republican Congressional Committee amidst the lush, irrigated golf courses of Palm Springs.”
“It’s been almost eight years since the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began its program to restore the San Joaquin River. But after spending $100 million on the program, it’s still behind schedule and running into problems.”