California's fresh water
The availability of fresh water and the technology to control it have been vital to California's economic development. Keep in mind these elements of the “big picture” as you read about the sources of fresh water, the modifications that have been made to the natural system, and the importance of fresh water to society:
These factors have led local, state, and federal authorities to develop a highly complex system to store, transport, and distribute water. The system includes dams and reservoirs to store water, and pumping plants and aqueducts to deliver it where it is needed.
Just as complex is the balancing act between farmers, city dwellers, and environmental groups over how our supply of “liquid gold” is allocated.
These interactions make the topic of fresh water in California a natural way to introduce California’s geography, which will be relevant in the other topics discussed in this lesson.