Sacramento River

Sacramento River
Photo by: *clairity*, Creative Commons

Located within the boundary of Northern and Central California is the Sacramento River. The river has an area of 27,000 square miles or 70,000 kilometers from the northern part of California. The river is primarily found under the boundary of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges which are also known around the world as the “Sacramento Valley.” The river serves as the state’s highly significant transportation route since the early 12th century.

The River was discovered by the great Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga. After discovering the state’s first generation of inhabitants, Moraga named the river “Rio De Los Sacramento’s,” which was later shortened into “Sacramento’s.” In the early 1800’s, the “Sierra Nevada” explorers changed the name of the Sacramento’s for the discovery of gold which are said to be found along the river. The “Siskiyou” and “California” trails are the two other rivers which were discovered by the Sierra Nevada explorers. The river started to develop in the 1950’s. The Sacramento watershed adapted the use of hydroelectric power to generate the water supply coming from the river.

It is now used as alternative dam for generating water supply to California residents. The water from the river is primarily used for irrigation and other water projects approved by the Federal law. Half of the cities and towns in California’s water supply come from the river. The river serves as one of the state’s major population center for Native Americans today. There are about 270,000 to 300,000 Native Americans currently living in the river’s valley area. Majority of the Native Americans in the Sacramento Valley are living in the small community of San Joaquin. 50% of the structures in the river area are permanent small villages and camps for Native American settlers from state communities.

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