In central California, the San Joaquin River winds 366 miles from the Sierra Nevada through the fertile farmland of the San Joaquin Valley before joining the Sacramento River, which flows into San Francisco Bay and exits into the Pacific Ocean. Like other bodies of water across the western United States, the San Joaquin River has experienced a decade of drought. The river is also heavily dammed and is one of the most diverted rivers in the state. According to American Rivers, “More than 100 miles of San Joaquin’s main trunk have dried up for more than 50 years, and water diversions along tributaries take more than 70 percent of normal flow.”
Raisin farmer Walter Schupin wants to protect the river. in a Waltfrom American Rivers and director Justin Clifton, viewers learn why San Joaquin was so special to Chopin and how he’s seen it change over the years. Although the movie is from a few years ago, work on reviving the river continues.