The San Joaquin River, which helps
drain California’s Central Valley, has been negatively impacted
by construction of dams, inadequate streamflows and poor water
quality. Efforts are now underway to restore the river and
continue providing agricultural lands with vital irrigation,
among other water demands.
After an 18-year lawsuit to restore water flows to a 60-mile dry
stretch of river and to boost the dwindling salmon populations,
the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement is underway.
Water releases are now used to restore the San Joaquin River and
to provide habitat for naturally-reproducing populations of
self-sustaining Chinook salmon and other fish in the San Joaquin
River. Long-term efforts also include measures to reduce or avoid
adverse water supply impacts from the restoration flows.
Does California need to revamp the way in which water is dedicated to the environment to better protect fish and the ecosystem at large? In the hypersensitive world of California water, where differences over who gets what can result in epic legislative and legal battles, the idea sparks a combination of fear, uncertainty and promise.
Saying that the way California manages water for the environment “isn’t working for anyone,” the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shook things up late last year by proposing a redesigned regulatory system featuring what they described as water ecosystem plans and water budgets with allocations set aside for the environment.
The 2-day, 1-night tour traveled along the river from Friant
Dam near Fresno to the confluence of the Merced River. As it
weaved across an historic farming region, participants learn
about the status of the river’s restoration and how the
challenges of the plan are being worked out.
A few tickets are still available for our Nov. 1-2 San Joaquin River
Restoration Tour, a once-a-year educational opportunity to
see the program’s progress first-hand. The tour begins and ends
in Fresno with an overnight stay in Los Banos.
Explore more than 100 miles of Central California’s longest river
while learning about one of the nation’s largest and costliest
river restorations. Our San Joaquin River
Restoration Tour on Nov. 1-2 will feature speakers from key
governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the
restoration program’s goals and progress.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin are the two major rivers in the
Central Valley that feed the Delta, the hub of
California’s water supply network.
Our last two water tours of 2017 will take in-depth looks at how
these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the
environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to
restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these
Headwaters are the source of a
stream or river. They are located at the furthest point from
where the water body empties or merges with
another. Two-thirds of California’s surface water supply
originates in these mountainous and typically forested regions.
This issue of Western Water explores the implications for the San
Joaquin River following the decision in the Natural Resources
Defense Council lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and
Friant Water Users Authority that Friant Dam is required to
comply with a state law that requires enough water be released to
sustain downstream fish populations.
This printed copy of Western Water examines the Delta through the
many ongoing activities focusing on it, most notably the Delta
Vision process. Many hours of testimony, research, legal
proceedings, public hearings and discussion have occurred and
will continue as the state seeks the ultimate solution to the
problems tied to the Delta.
This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues
associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the
water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of
whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they
might be provided.
This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the
Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at
improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying
California’s long-term water supply reliability.