In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways

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RIO VISTA, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are central arms of California’s water system. But they are becoming too salty to use for some farmers and cities that rely on them as the state’s punishing drought drags on.

In dry times, less fresh water flows from the mountains through California’s rivers and into an estuary known as the Delta. That means saltier water from the Pacific Ocean is able to push further into the system, which supplies water to millions of people and acres of farmland. The Delta’s challenges foreshadow the risks to come for key water supplies from drought and sea level rise made worse by climate change.

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