Peripheral canal and farmers market salmon

The man who sells fish at the Menlo Park farmers market with his family is a good guy and a community leader. There is no local salmon for him to sell this year, because the Delta where the salmon grow up — an estuary at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers — is dying.
Today, water is drawn from Northern California through the Delta. Too much water is being taken out, and too much fresh water is being drawn through what used to be a tidal flux.
My weekend housecleaning radio listening was a KQED forum program about a proposal to build a Peripheral Canal, which would route less fresh water through the Delta, and would take more water around the Delta. After listening to the program, I’m still not sure what to think about the canal proposal. I think that key questions are how much water is moved, and how we live with less. One of the guests on the program was Peter Gleick, a water expert and Macarthur grantee who’s written a report on California water policy.
These water debates are the stuff of Cadillac Desert and Jared Diamond’s Collapse, the tactical decisions that affect the rise and fall of civilizations over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.