Water issues in Yosemite and the Central Sierra

Protecting the Sierra Nevada's Precious Water

The waters that flow from the Northern Yosemite and Central Sierra region face demands from various sides: New development raises domestic water supply demands; livestock grazing can trample stream banks and add sediment and bacteria to the water; herbicides accumulate in forest waters; dams and diversions destroy the natural flow of the river, degrading habitat for wildlife that depend upon healthy watersheds and clean water to thrive.

The Sierra Nevada watershed provides a huge percentage of water for California. The water that residents and agriculture alike rely upon in California is stored and filtered by the forested watersheds of the mountains. The value of water from this area is greater than the value of all the other economic practices of this region (such as logging and grazing), combined.

Below you can read more about what CSERC does to protect water quality and watersheds in the Northern Yosemite and Central Sierra region.

Protecting water in the Yosemite region

The Tuolumne River, Stanislaus River, Merced River, Mokelumne River, and Clavey River - Just their names alone are enough to bring to mind towering waterfalls, noisy rapids, deep quiet pools, and countless ways for outdoor recreational visitors to savor their beauty on a hot summer day.

But these rivers face major challenges - challenges that CSERC takes on with the Center's attempts to defend water resources of the Northern Yosemite region.

Click here for more info about how CSERC protects water resources in the Northern Yosemite and Central Sierra region.

Clean, pure water - vital for Life

When many people look at a stream and see clear, running water, they figure that the water is relatively safe. Sadly, that's not the reality...

In collaboration with regional and state water board staff, CSERC developed protocols for collecting water samples from streams throughout the local national forest to test for contaminants. Our results have revealed septic effluent and petroleum runoff in some neighborhood creeks, and bacterial contamination of forest streams at levels that may cause people to become sick from simple contact with the water!

Read about our fight for clean water, here

The Wild Clavey River

While most of the rivers in the Sierra Nevada are dammed and diverted, the Clavey River still flows completely free for its entire 47 miles of length. As one of only three free-flowing rivers in California, the Clavey River deserves our protectionRead on!