What is the Delta, and Why Should You Care?

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: ground zero for fights over water, fish and farms

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a key to the water supply for 25 million Caliornians.

California’s Delta, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet, is the heart of the state’s complex water infrastructure. Where water from the north gets funneled to the south, wetlands have been turned into farmland, and native fish are in decline. Millions of Californians use water from the Delta, but in a poll conducted earlier this year, 78% of respondents didn’t know anything about it.

KQED’s Lauren Sommer is producing a series about the Delta, beginning today with a story introducing the architecture of the Delta, the battles being fought there and possible solutions–all made more complicated by climate change.

And to help get you started, here’s a video.


There are other online extras, including a timeline and q&a’s with experts representing different perspectives on the Delta. The radio series will continue next week, with a story about a project to reconstruct what the Delta looked like 200 years ago.