March 20, 2010 -- There are two inescapable realities about the struggle over water in California. The first is that the Sacramento Delta, and its health, is the ground zero point in our water politics. The second... There are two inescapable realities about the struggle over water in California. The first is that the Sacramento Delta, and its health, is the ground zero point in our water politics. The second is that everyone agrees that the Delta is in serious trouble. The problem impacting every Californian is what to do about it.
The Delta is actually an estuary, a mixing zone where fresh water from rivers far meet salt water coming in from the Pacific Ocean. It is a nutrient-rich nursery for babies baby salmon, baby crabs, and hundreds of other species that depend on it to be able to start their lives. It is the largest and most important estuary on the West coast of both North and South America and it is in serious jeopardy.
The Delta is at the heart of the debate over water in California because of the increasing demands of a few very wealthy corporate agriculture interests in the Central valley. The Westlands Water District insists on taking ever-increasing amounts of water away from the Delta and they are using their powerful connections in Sacramento and Congress to get what they want. As you will see in this video, the impact on the health of the Delta has been catastrophic.
There is nothing more important in the struggle to prevent salmon from becoming extinct than to restore the health of the Delta. The two most pressing questions are: can the powerful agriculture interests be stopped and is there still time to bring the Delta back to good health.