The San Joaquin River was dried up decades ago when the federal Bureau of Reclamation built Friant Dam north of Fresno to bring water to farms and towns along the east side of the San Joaquin Valley via the Friant-Kern Canal.
A federally mandated salmon restoration program reconnected the river for a short time, but the current drought has kept sections of the river mostly dry.
Until 2022, the third year of one of California’s worst droughts in history.
A massive slug of water was run down the river channel through July, bringing at least a portion of it back to life.
SJV Water’s Jesse Vad explores the river, and the reasons for its brief rebirth, in this video.