Water tourism: “60 Minutes” visits California

“60 Minutes” presented its take on California last Sunday: Why California is Running Dry (text and video). Like most outsiders, they ended up simplifying things down to “farmers vs. fish” — the fish in question being the “tiny” Delta smelt.

Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that. There are many more parties to the debate:

  • Cities south of the Delta (San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, San Diego)
  • Cities north of the Delta (Sacramento mostly)
  • Farmers south of the Delta
  • Farmers north of the Delta
  • Fish (not just smelt, but also salmon and others)
  • Environmentalists who care about the fish (and the ecosystem that depends on them, up to and including whales)
  • Fishermen who make a living from the fish, but who somehow don’t get the sympathy that farmers do

Some other points that one might miss if “60 Minutes” was your only source of news:

More reactions:

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More on Water Resources Center Archives

The Berkeley Graduate has an article on the Water Resources Center Archives. The article describes the wealth of information there. It’s one of the few water libraries anywhere, but it’s especially valuable in California, where water has always been a big issue.

The article points out that WRCA’s book holdings are searchable through Melvyl and that WRCA has other worthwhile materials, such as archives (use the finding aids to see what they have), online papers in their own section of UC’s eScholarship repository, and a lecture series (past programs are viewable online).

Now, the university wants to save a few bucks by closing the library and merging it with another UC library. Read the Berkeley Graduate article and Peter Gleick’s Destroying our libraries: a water story to learn what you can do to help.