`Beyond Drought: Factors Affecting California's Water Supply' Premieres Sept. 13th


"Beyond Drought: Factors Affecting California's Water Supply," the 15th segment of the "California's Water" public television series produced by Huell Howser, is set to debut at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 on KCET in Los Angeles. This timely segment will then be available to air on PBS stations statewide. Check your local listings for details.

Californians usually think of rain and snow as the main factors determining how much water is available to cities, farms and businesses each year. But other variables can affect water availability, especially when it comes to the ecologically sensitive hub of our state's water system, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

This segment of "California's Water" focuses on a recent crisis involving a threatened Delta fish as an example of how factors other than precipitation come into play. Visits to San Luis Reservoir, a Delta fish conservation facility and areas served by the state's water system help tell the story.

The latest chapter in the crisis played out Aug. 31 when a U.S. District Court judge ordered the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project to reduce pumping in the Delta to protect a threatened fish species, the Delta smelt. The ruling translates into an average loss of as much as one-third of previously available water supplies, depending on year type.

In the segment, series host Huell Howser meets with state water officials, fishery experts and water agencies to learn more about the issues and what they mean to Californians.

"It's our job as water users to help the public understand that the whole (water delivery) system is interconnected, and what goes on at the San Luis Reservoir and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta matters to the whole state. Whether you are in San Francisco or Bakersfield or San Diego, anything that goes on water-wise throughout the state matters to every citizen of California," said Jim Beck, general manager, Kern County Water Agency.

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