PREFACE [chapter]

1995 California Rivers and Streams  
The rivers of California transport the state's most valuable and hotly contested natural resource, water. While they do this, they periodically inundate our homes, erode our property, and deposit sediment in our backyards, forming one of the state's most pernicious natural hazards. Rivers also act as the state's great septic system, carrying away the effluent of our agricultural and urban areas. For the past one hundred fifty years the state of California has been damming, diverting, polluting,
more » ... verting, polluting, and reshaping its rivers to supply the needs of an exploding population and economy. This forceful reconfiguration and redistribution has, at the close of the twentieth century, brought the state to an important crossroads. Business as usual with our number one resource will no longer be acceptable; major changes are in the offing, and we have to alter the way we manage water and our rivers.
doi:10.1525/9780520916937-001 fatcat:vjindsxfyrgktfsxltb4a3jyxm