Bringing Water to the Fields
107# English 116# Spanish
Controlling flood water and providing for irrigation increased the food productivity of California’s land. Settlers saw herds of cattle drown and crops swept away due to uncontrolled waterways. Early efforts concentrated on draining and protecting agricultural land from too much water.
Californians literally re-shaped their landscape as individual farmers leveled the fields and constructed thousands of miles of supply canals. Farmers, reclamation districts, and the Army Corps of Engineers built several thousand miles of major levees to tame the state’s inland flooding.
By 1880 Californians’ focused on a variety of water irrigation methods which were the result of innovative small-scale agri-businesses. By the 1970s irrigation districts and public agencies had become the leading suppliers of water.
Today, some call water the new GOLD. A significant power struggle is underway to control water, a struggle which is exacerbated during drought years.
You can help shape the outcome of California’s wealth and economic prosperity in the personal choices you make to conserve water.