California's Deadlocked Delta
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta provides water for two-thirds of California’s residents, millions of acres of farmland and cities that power the state’s economy. It has also been ground zero for the state’s most contentious water battles for more than half a century. Now, as the state takes on an ambitious multi-billion dollar planning process to fix the Delta, KQED looks at the obstacles ahead and the innovative ideas that could break the water deadlock.
California’s Delta has a rich agricultural legacy, but farming there can be a risky business. Dozens of farms have been flooded over the past half century as aging levees have collapsed. Now, scientists are encouraging farmers to switch to a new crop. Instead of growing vegetables, they’d grow something that has all but disappeared in the Delta: wetlands.
California's Delta is a far cry from what it once was. About 97% of its historic marshes have been lost and scientists aren’t quite sure what the Delta once looked like. Now, a Bay Area group is working to reconstruct it through ecological detective work.
Given half a chance, salmon can not only survive, but thrive. Fortunately or unfortunately for them, they now depend on us for that chance.
QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Jason Peltier, Deputy General Manager of Westlands Water District, a 600,000 acre agricultural district on the west side of the San Joaquin valley.
A stark symbol of our quest to bend nature to our will, the Delta remains the epicenter of an epic drama of seemingly insurmountable political battles and power struggles, pitting north against south; farmer against environmentalist.
QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council about the pressures on the Delta ecosystem and the competing plans to manage them.
If you’re like most Californians, you’ve probably never heard of the Delta or why it’s important to the state’s economy and wildlife. In three minutes, we’ll explain how the Delta is a key part of California’s water supply and why it’s been the focus of a decades-long water battle.