A living river
'A living river'
(Updated Thursday, January 12, 2006, 5:31 AM)
Let us hope that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation does the right thing and endorses the recent settlement between environmentalists and Friant Unit farmers to partially restore the San Joaquin River fishery.
Praise is due the leadership of the Friant Unit irrigation districts for settling the 18-year old lawsuit and the region's representatives in Congress for pushing to end the prolonged court battle. Settlement achieves water supply certainty for east-side growers and will bring a river back to life after six decades. The reclamation agency, which built Friant Dam in the 1940s and dried up 70 miles of riverbed downstream, must recognize that a restored river flow will improve groundwater recharge on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley as well as improve drinking water quality in the deteriorating Delta.
Future generations witnessing salmon swimming past Fresno to spawn below Friant Dam will thank this generation's leaders for their foresight in recognizing the value of having a living river flow through the rapidly urbanizing Valley.