Transcript for The Great Web of Water, segment 02 of 12


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Half of the land in the United States is arid, receiving less than twenty inches of rainfall per year. The great Central Valley of California is a four hundred fifty mile basin between the coast ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. It's really two river valleys formed by the Sacramento River flowing north to south and the San Joaquin flowing south to north. During the six month growing season, temperatures reach a hundred twenty degrees Farenheit, and the valley has less than an inch of rainfall. Winter, however, brings heavy rain and snow in the north, little in the south. Redding gets as much rain in three months as New York City in a year. Bakersfield receives less than the Middle Eastern city of Baghdad, under six inches a year. The heavy Sacramento River winter runoffs meet the San Joaquin, form a delta, and flow to the sea. The plan of the Central Valley Project was to capture Sacramento Valley's surplus water and drive it upward, up into the parched San Joaquin Valley.

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