Droughtwatch: In the News

Droughtwatch: In the News

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Despite the recent storms that have gripped the Southland, California ecologists have warned
we’re still facing critical drought conditions throughout the state. In fact, the Department of
Water Resources recently announced they have planned to dam off at least three channels
from the San Francisco Bay, a $25 million dollar project designed to address the problem of
saltwater moving further inland.

Recent arid conditions have meant that the precious Delta’s freshwater supplies have been
compromised repeatedly by incoming salt water. In water-rich years, fresh water runs
towards the sea, thwarting the incoming seas from encroaching on our lakes and rivers.
That’s changed with the reduced rainfall, making salt contamination a real possibility
without intervention.

Project manager for the state’s water department Mark Holderman describes the project:
“The idea is that we will be able to avoid having to release water from reservoirs to
meet water quality, and conserving as much as we can for later.”

Nevertheless the project does have some negative effects on wildlife, including the migration
path of the Chinook salmon travelling through the area. Given the seriousness of the threat,
however, to Delta water purity, the dams are thought to be a “necessary evil” in the face of
such a severe climate shift.

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