Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Map of the Week-Replumbing California

The April issue of National Geographic is devoted to water, specifically the growing scarcity of fresh water. Articles cover ways to acquire, conserve and protect fresh water, our changing climate and conflicts over water, from the local to the international level. There are various maps, including a fold out worldwide "mapping of every river system." Online content includes this interactive map of California's water system. The online map is synchronized to a legend that shows the length and volume of the man-made water conduits that bring water west and south toward the Central Valley and large cities.

The article discusses the need to reduce the state's reliance on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a fresh water supply given that area's potential for salt water contamination and earthquakes. Without significant new conservation measures and better ways to transport water, the cities and farms of California will revert to the arid landscape that it was before these water projects were built.

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