Our rivers depend on a healthy watershed. Just as no human being
exists as an island apart from other humans, no river exists in
isolation from its tributaries and related ecosystems.
That’s the fundamental truth underlying a landmark effort to
bring together stakeholders from throughout the immense
Sacramento River watershed to develop workable means of improving
water quality region-wide.
The Sacramento River watershed encompasses more than 27,000
square miles, roughly 17 percent of the land area of California.
The river itself, more than 400 miles long, stretches from
snow-capped Mount Shasta through the fertile Sacramento Valley to
the San Francisco Bay. Its major tributaries include the Pit,
Feather, Yuba and American rivers. The
watershed map provides a clear view of the watershed.
Modern influences on the Sacramento watershed include large-scale
farming and mining operations, major water supply and flood
control systems, a deep-water shipping channel and several large
urban centers. Californians depend on this critical watershed for
agriculture, timber harvesting, hydroelectric power generation,
fishing and recreation, potable water and many other diverse and
Diverse Interests Join to Find Workable Water Solutions
The Sacramento River Watershed
Program brings together dozens of groups and thousands of
people concerned about the health of the Sacramento River and its
watershed. The program provides a network for building a
basin-wide context to improve watershed health. What makes the
program different is its interest-based approach to watershed
management. The Watershed Program is bringing together public and
private stakeholders, including representatives of agricultural,
environmental, industrial and municipal interests who, in the
past, have sometimes found themselves in conflict. The watershed
approach encourages these interest groups to come together in
search of workable approaches to watershed management. Two
important components of the Watershed Program are water quality
monitoring and an intensive public education effort.
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