Amid ongoing drought in California, rising salt is causing freshwater concerns for farmers reliant on the Delta water hub.
In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways
Charlie Hamilton has not irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River since early May, even though it flows just yards from his crop.
Nearby to the south, the industrial Bay Area city of Antioch has supplied its people with water from the San Joaquin River for just 32 days this year, compared to roughly 128 days by this time in a wet year.
They may be close by but these two rivers, central arms of California’s water system, have become too salty to use in some places as the state’s punishing drought drags on.
In dry winters like the one California has just endured, less fresh water flows down from the mountains into the Sacramento River, the state’s largest.