Even for the state's water wizards, it can be tough to get a handle on how California's natural and extremely unnatural water systems fit together. But a series of maps published by the nonprofit Water Education Foundation helps make a normally arcane world accessible to even the layperson.
The full-color "Delta" map focuses on
California's water heart: the Sacramento and San Joaquin river
delta, source of two-thirds of the state's drinking water, half of
its irrigation water, and home to 54 species of fish and 225 kinds
of birds. The map helps strip away the complexity of what the Delta
has become, its wetlands now hemmed in by converted farmland, a
deep-sea shipping channel and numerous canals and siphons. And it
shows what the Delta might yet be: The map includes projects
proposed under the CalFed program.
For a bigger
picture, check out the "California Water Map" and "California
Groundwater Map," and for the BIG picture, check out WEF's map of
the entire Colorado River Basin.
The maps are $10
each (except for "The Delta," $7) and can be ordered from
www.watereducation.org or by calling 916/444-6240.