“Construction of the State Water Project in the 1960s increased the flow of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and the steadier supply allowed the planting of orchards.
Agriculture takes an environmental toll in both parts of the San Joaquin Valley, with polluted runoff and concentrated metals and minerals leached from the soil, but also in the mountains and the delta. Delta farmers and their political supporters have mobilized many times and are mobilizing again to fight the increased diversion of water to the south. Their interests are valid and their role crucial to all of California, because in protecting their own farms they inspect and patch the levees that keep the delta from being overcome by brackish bay water unusable not just by themselves but by growers in the San Joaquin Valley and city dwellers from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles.
But the delta, as it currently exists, is as artificial a construct as the water districts farther south. Delta farmers want to keep the westward flow of mountain water strong and steady through the rivers, the sloughs and marshes to the bay to keep out seawater that, naturally, before construction of their islands from decomposed reeds, would seasonally creep upstream past what is now Sacramento and Stockton.”
Read more: L.A. Times