This time, will we end the water war?

In the grand Western tradition of fistfights down at the water hole, no fight has quite rivaled the one over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

In 1860, the delta – which is actually an estuary – was a marshy, half-million-acre expanse filled primarily with tules. It saw a constant ebb and flow between saltwater pushing in from San Francisco Bay and fresh water flowing in from the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Mokelumne rivers. An entire suite of fish, from iconic California species like salmon and steelhead to less sexy understudies like the delta smelt, evolved to thrive in that dynamic system.

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