My 417-mile trip down the ‘endangered river’

“My 417-mile trip down the ‘endangered river’ by John D. Cutter is an exquisitely written article (with accompanying photos and videos) on the harm inflicted on the San Joaquin River and the South Delta. The BDCP tunnels project and related water bond projects will do the same harm to the Sacramento River.

I spent three weeks trying to kayak (and walk) down the “most endangered” river in America, California’s San Joaquin; I quickly learned why no one does that

The San Joaquin, the second-longest river in California, used to support ferry traffic. Now there’s SJnot enough water for a kayak and me.

…Still, it’s somehow also a river that supports a valley that grows 40% of the nation’s fruits and some vegetables as well as more than 80% of the world’s almonds. It’s a hugely important river, but one that’s been engineered almost to death.

Thanks to the Clean Water Act, rivers don’t catch fire from industrial pollution like they used to. Here’s what Ohio’s Cuyahoga River looked like in 1952.

…Eighty-percent of the water that’s used in California goes to farms, and some of it travels 600 miles to get there. Nearly a fifth of California’s energy use goes toward moving water around, including the power needed to lift it 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains, toward Los Angeles.

In the San Joaquin Valley, some 95% of wetlands have been lost. And since the state allocates eight times the amount of water that typically flows through the system, the river runs completely dry in its midsection all the time.

Continue reading..

About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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