Reference Tuesdays: Peripheral Canal
WRCA receives a number of unique research queries, many of which are of interest to the larger population. With that in mind, WRCA offers up Reference Tuesdays, in which we will bi-weekly post oft-asked or general interest reference questions along with our answers.
The fisheries in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been in decline for many years. Every so often, discussion about building a “peripheral canal” is revived as a solution for the fisheries and to solve other environmental concerns. This discussion has been reinvigorated with the publication of a recent online report Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The construction of a peripheral canal is also included in a Water Bond that will be on the California ballot in November.
There is a wealth of print and online resources that make literature from the 1970’s and 1980’s discoverable.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) publishes the California Water Plan that is revised every five years. The peripheral canal was first mentioned “… in 1959, when the State Legislature recognized in the Burns-Porter Act that some kind of physical works would have to be built to transfer Sacramento River water through the Delta and concurrently to solve water quality and fishery problems within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In 1964, the Peripheral Canal was recommended as the best plan for the Delta.” — The California Water Plan: Outlook in 1974 (WRCA call no. R G400 XW7 no. 160-74).
A simple ‘peripheral canal and California’ query in the University of California Melvyl Catalog retrieves hundreds of documents that pertain to this issue. Similarly, a search of “peripheral canal” on the Online Archive of California (OAC) retrieves more than 40 archival collections, many of which are held by WRCA.
A couple article databases that have extensive citations are: Compendex and Environmental Science and Pollution Management (ESPM). Lexis/Nexis is a good source for current information on this issue. These databases are commercially produced and access is restricted to subscription. Call or email WRCA for assistance (510-642-2666).