San Joaquin River Restoration Project

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San Joaquin River Restoration Project:
Irrigating the Valley

The San Joaquin River is the backbone of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley is not only the nation's most agricultural area but it is also one of the entire worlds. Millions depend on the crops that come form this luscious valley. The river has gone through many drastic changes over its illustrious lifetime. Once it was a magnificent 350 miles long it is now one of the nation's ten most endangered rivers. The river once flowed with enough water to support steam ships and a salmon migration it now goes completely dry in some areas. The river does not have enough water to support itself any more and must take in water from various other places, such as the Pacific Ocean which
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Two of the projected plans include keeping things the way they are and allowing more of the water in Friant Dam to flow into the river to bring back the former environment that was once there as well as improve the conditions for west-side farmers. The two plans contrast drastically with each other but both have positive and negative consequences.

If the east side farmers have it there way they will continue to be able to produce crops and farming on the east-side will still be a possibility. The Friant Dam has been irrigating the east side of the valley since 1944. Over 95% of all water collected at Millerton is used to help agriculture. It waters one million acres of farmland and because of it in the last 40 years the farming on the east side has taken over Southern California as the states leader in citrus farming, the value of this is 2.1 billion and it continues to grow. Although the farmers would prosper the environment would still suffer and the salmon run of yester year would still be an impossibility. The east side farmers argue that if there water was taken away only about a quarter of the east side could be farmed without Millerton. Without Millerton's water the farmers would have had to continue to pump their water from underground aquifers and if that had happened those aquifers would have gone dry 60 years ago. If the environmentalist and

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