Report: Delta and its Rivers Most Endangered in Nation
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta -- and the rivers that feed into it -- make up the most dangerous river system in the nation. That’s in a new report out today from an environmental group.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
UC Davis geologist Jeff Mount admits it’s a bit of a stretch to combine the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and the Delta they lead into. But he points to two huge problems: the rivers’ flood risk from sub-standard levees and the Delta’s dwindling drinking water supply for 26 million Californians. And when you add it all up?
Mount: “The large population that is affected by this can’t really be matched by any other system anywhere else – including the Mississippi.”
Mount’s a board member of the environmental group that released today’s rankings, American Rivers. The report calls on federal and state water officials to overhaul their approach to California’s largest watershed – especially with the Delta, where Mount says the state faces three very expensive options:
Mount: “We can continue doing what we’re doing – which will fail. We can go ahead and wean the state of California from the Delta. Or we’re gonna build a peripheral canal around the Delta.”
That political debate continues at the State Capitol. Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic U-S Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a $9 billion water bond measure last year. So far, it has stalled in the California legislature.