California's Water Crisis

Show Summary - June 15, 2009


Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest: Mike Wade

Mike Wade (Sacramento, CA), Executive Director, California Farm Water Coalition. "The California Water Supply Crisis"

A billboard in California says, "Food Grows where the Water Flows," pointing out the connection between the water supply and the food supply. California, with its excellent soils, Mediterranean climate and barrier mountains is one of the most productive agricultural areas on Earth. But there is a constant need for water.

The California water issue goes back to the Gold Rush. Although California produces 50% of the nation's fruits and vegetables, there is a constant conflict with urban areas and environmentalists.

Irrigation not only grows plants, it puts water back into the ground and the plants put moisture into the air.

Fortunately, California mostly produces its own water, although it also obtains substantial water from the Colorado River (Nevada and Arizona), and the Klamath (Oregon).

The most critical ongoing California water issue is the proposed "Peripheral Canal" which would move water through and around the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta (between Sacramento and San Francisco) to Tracy to supply irrigation and drinking water for the very populated and agriculturally rich Tracy/Stockton area.

Early Californians made a great investment in water management but each generation has its own issues that must be solved.

Categories: Water and sanitation; ecology and the environment; 2009