Transcript for The Great Web of Water, segment 08 of 12


The San Joaquin Valley south of Sacramento is the major destination of CVP water. The west side is bordered by dry mountains. the east side has many snow-fed rivers coming off the Sierra Nevada. The CVP's New Melones Dam on the Stanislas River and Friant Dam on the San Joaquin store some of the Sierra runoff.

Friant Dam diverts San Joaquin water into two canals directly from Millerton Lake. The pressure of a half million acre feet of water is behind the valves that begin the Madera Canal. Madera flows north for thirty-six miles. At the south end of the dam, the Friant-Kern Canal starts its one hundred fifty-one mile meander through four counties - Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern - where rainfall is ten inches or less, yet whose abundance is legendary in agriculture. Bakersfield is the most southerly CVP service area.

Most CVP water is delivered to locally organized districts. They distribute water, collect for its uses, repay both CVP and local pipeline costs. Some elected district boards also govern local water management.

Plus in Millerton Reservoir and there's an inflow into the reservoir of about twenty-five hundred acre feet.

This grower has a problem.

Well, what it's going to cost you without water is, is a grape crop which I'm sure the board is aware of this. You just can't grow a crop without water. There's no, there's no way.

Is there any possibility of you pumping into a canal in some sort of exchange with the irrigation district and someone can use your water downstream?

Doctor Winston Strong of the California State University - Fresno on the great web of water.

To move water the three, four hundred, five hundred miles from areas that have the water to areas that don't have the water, the politics involved and the philosophy involved, the engineering involved - it's a, it's a miracle.

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And we're, we're studying in, in a miracle. This is a miracle area.