Water Quality Issues:
Salinity, Toxins, Aquifers and other effects of Delta Water Exports
| While the BDCP and DSC
Delta Plan focus more on water quality for fish or for use of the water
outside the Delta and/or south of the Delta, others continue to look at the
EFFECTS on water quality for humans and the environment in and around the
Delta. Start with the historical FACT that the lands of the Delta were
SOLD for the specific reason to develope prim farm lands. Using the
Delta for water conveyance was an afterthought. The Delta area was
NEVER A "BRACKISH" MARSH...it has been a fresh water area for hundreds and
thousands of years if one just looks at the soil types. And use common
sense...who would work so hard to reclaim lands in brackish water where it
would be hard to grown marketable produce in 1850 to 1900?
In any case, water flow and water quality are the main issues in the Delta.
So the water quality documents are divided into several series of pages:
1) Salinity...it is a
big issue all over California!
2) Selenium from the west side of
the San Joaquin Valley and its impacts on people, fish, birds, the Delta and
the SF bay
3) Other toxins like arsenic, mercury and amonia
Bay ARea aquifer impacts
from the BDCP-expected effect on water quality for drinking and the
environment Updated 3-6-2012
5) DOC and the San Joaquin River issues
For a smattering of water quality maps, see below. Click on the maps
below to see larger versions of each map. The first two maps show the
occasional salinity intrusion into the Delta over two periods of time.
Prior to 1943 the Delta's fresh water might get higher salinity from mixing
with the saltwater of the San Francisco Bay if it was a really dry year.
After the Federally-funded State Water Project was completed, as part of the
agreement between the governmental agencies and the Delta landowners,
salinity intrusion into the Delta was limited to a specific area. To
keep salinity at or below the "x2" mixing area, fresh water was released
from the damns that had been constructed that was withholding fresh water
that would normally flow through the Delta. Look at maps representing
water quality studies over the last 50 years and you will see that a very
basic rule is evident: The Delta has fresh water and flows from the
rivers and streams above the Delta must be allowed to continue to stop
saltwater intrusion into the Delta.
and flow is also very closely related to the decline if native fish
populations of the Delta; hense the volume of reports and studies on
fish! To see the studies that generated
the maps, go to the different links on the left, by year or time period of