Earth Island Institute logo, tap or click to visit the Institute home page

Go Back: Home > Earth Island Journal > Latest News

Eel River Diversions Sustain California Wine Country, but Are Killing Salmon – January 31, 2018

With two dams up for relicensing, fish advocates and farmers face off over water use

Few people outside Northern California have heard of the Eel River. But if you’re a wine lover, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed its water in the form of a golden chardonnay or a rich red merlot.

The Eel River was once home to one of the largest salmon populations on the West Coast. But for nearly a century, a large share of its flow has been diverted for hydroelectric power and irrigation, helping build Northern California into a world powerhouse of winemaking. Much of the wine produced in Mendocino and Sonoma counties would not exist without that diverted Eel River water.

photo of El Carrejon minemore

by: Matt Weiser

(0) Comments

View Posts by Date View Posts by Author

Subscribe
Today

Four issues for just
$15 a year.

cover thumbnail EIJ

Join Now!

 

0.1258