Learn about the history of the California water system and how Sacramento got control over the powerful rivers.
Tags:Controlling the Waters in Sacramento, California,California Water Ecosystems,levee systems in Sacramento,Water Problems in California,california water circulatory system,california water history,california water supply,kvie
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Learn about California's Circulatory Water System Part 1/7
Female: Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today and if its water that made California, it's to fight over and with water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there has been some crucial events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced re-evaluation of water but to continue to impact the lives of every Californian. It's an ongoing challenge to get the right amount of water to the right place at the right time. Our earliest settlers faced this challenge in a place called New Habisha, now known as Sacramento.
Male: Those great rivers that links Sacramento the city, those great rivers that made this such a hospitable place will also make Sacramento the receiving point of floods fast floods of this ancient sea vanished 10,000 years ago struggling to be reborn. And so the construction of levees and water control projects of various kinds throughout the 1850’s become one of the first things the state of California does.
Female: What began as means to protect form seasonal flooding, the levee system has continued to grow and create new uses for the land it surrounds. Land depended on the soundness of the levees. Throughout the central valley area this intricate patch work of waterways has created a rich agricultural region and as the population swells, there has been a rush to utilize the reclaimed land for housing.
Male: These levees vary in structures that were developed in the civil war era with no real engineering technology to very sophisticated levees today that we have a system of levees that has significant risk associated with them. Islands in the delta are down below the river system which creates an instinct dynamic for levees. The levees have to be very strong to be able to keep the river from coming into the island.
Female: As recently as June of 2004, one of those weak spots did fail in the heart of the delta, a levee in the upper track Jones area burst demonstrating the constant vulnerability of land dependent on the levee system. As water rushed through the break in the levee, what was occurring behind the local flooding had the potential to jeopardize the water supply for the majority of the state. The ruptured drew in water from the delta and in turn salt water from the bay. This threatened the quality of the water in the delta from through which much of the water supply for central and southern California flows.
Male: Southern Californians, they’re whole livelihood, their whole economy is linked to being able to take water from the delta and that depends on hundred and hundreds of miles of old sub standard levees that continue to hold back the water.