In summary

Most of the water has already been pulled out of the inflow by leakage and diversions before reaching the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

By James Brobeck

James Brobeck is a water policy analyst for AquAlliance.

Re “What’s at the heart of California’s water wars? Delta outflow explained”; Commentary, May 28, 2020 

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This commentary ignores the basic disruption of natural Central Valley hydrology while focusing on the severely impaired post-leakage/diversion remains of watershed flow. 

Incidental stream leakage due to groundwater evacuation in the Central Valley is exacerbated by thousands of dams, more than 600 reservoirs and 1,300 miles of diversion canals throughout the Bay estuary watershed. According to the Bay Institute the post-leakage flow that now reaches San Francisco Bay is on average less than 50%, and in some years less than 35%, of what it would be without those intentional diversions.

Most of the water has already been pulled out the inflow by leakage and diversions before reaching the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Feeding the world” is killing the San Francisco Bay watershed and could eventually wipe out even the agricultural wealth of the great Central Valley.

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James Brobeck is a water policy analyst for AquAlliance.

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