San Francisco is famous for its world class seafood, and fresh salmon is right up there with Dungeness crab at the top of the list. Local salmon are more plentiful in some years than others. There’s now a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix some of the water problems that have led to reduced salmon runs in our state. The State Water Resources Control Board is proposing changes to the allocation of the San Joaquin River; currently the Board requires that a mere third of the river's precious freshwater flows into and through the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The Board will next consider similar steps for the Sacramento River, which is the primary salmon producing river left in California. How goes the allocation on the San Joaquin is likely to affect not only San Joaquin River salmon, but by extension, Sacramento River salmon too.
Like the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin flows into our Bay-Delta estuary and once produced hundreds of thousands of fat, commercially valuable salmon each year. These fish spawned in the San Joaquin and its tributaries: the Tuolumne, Merced and Stanislaus rivers. Today the San Joaquin is in sad shape due to dams and the fact two thirds of its water is diverted. Most of the salmon have disappeared. However, the river and the salmon runs should and can be restored but not without additional water.
I understand that restoring freshwater flows to protect the public trust will require significant water conservation measures by all those who rely on water exports. By signing below, I promise to do my part to use less water.
I ask you to protect the public trust and ensure that all water users in the state are meeting the highest standard for efficient water use, conservation, recycling, and reuse. There is truly enough water for all, if we use this precious resource wisely.