Transcript for The Great Web of Water, segment 01 of 12


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{{{The Great Web of Water: The Central Valley Project}}}

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Thirst is the world's everlasting companion. Water, like air is absolutely essential to life. It nurtures life. Water, irrigation, nurtured ancient civilizations in arid regions. In Egypt and along the canals of biblical Babylon, it shaped our thoughts, our laws, our response to life in dry climates much like that of the great Central Valley of California. That valley also knew thirst. Drought in eighteen sixty-three in a single year destroyed a million cattle and a way of life. The valley then turned to dryland grain farming, but drought too often reduced the work of mule and man to zero. Early farmers tried to quench the deep thirst of the valley's immensely fertile soil. They dreamed of holding back winter floods, of a network of canals the length and breadth of the valley, of water for their crops in the long hot summer, of creating almost endless abundance for the people of the valley and of this nation.

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The dream, after fifty years of building, is now reality. It's the landscape in which we live, the great web of water, the Central Valley Project.

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