I’m confused about all this water from Millerton Lake that is “wasted” by flowing downstream to the ocean (according to Mario Santoyo of the Latino Water Coalition). Most years that water doesn’t even make it to Kerman! Check out the San Joaquin River where it crosses Highway 152 near Los Banos — bone dry.
Farther north, tributaries restore the San Joaquin to river status and provide fresh water flow through the delta. This water’s flow to the ocean is not wasted — it is essential to a healthy estuary (look it up) that would otherwise be too salty from tidal action. The delta provides fresh water for cities in five counties, which would be at risk from salinity intrusion. Water quality is as important as water access. That was the original impetus for the Central Valley Project — saving the delta’s fragile ecosystem for both farming and municipalities.
At the end of the day, building more dams still won’t make it rain.
Gary Sellers, Fresno
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