View from the Romero Visitor Center, San Luis water Reservoir, California, USA

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San Luis Reservoir was constructed as a storage reservoir for the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project. It stores runoff water from the Delta that would otherwise flow into the ocean. The water arrives through the California Aqueduct and the Delta-Mendota Canal, and is pumped from the O’Neil Forebay into the main reservoir during the winter and spring. The Los Banos Creek Reservoir was built to prevent storm runoff from flooding the canals.

A visitor center at the Romero Overlook provides full information on the reservoirs and water projects through audio-visual and printed materials. Telescopes are also available for viewing the area. The Romero Visitor Center is administered by the CA Dept. of Water Resources.

Long before the dams and canals were built, this land was the home of the Northern Valley Yokuts, native Americans who harvested seeds, acorns, and the roots of the tules that grew in the marshes of the sluggish San Joaquin River. There were also fish, geese, and ducks for food, as well as huge herds of pronghorn antelope and tule elk on the plains. With the coming of the Spanish, though, this way of life disappeared. Many of the valley people were taken to missions around 1805, and an epidemic, possibly of malaria, decimated the human population of this area in 1833. In the 1850s, the survivors were killed or driven off by Euroamerican settlers.

Pacheco pass was named for Don Juan Pacheco, who settled here in the 1840s. The pass was used by Native Americans, Spanish soldiers and missionaries, Mexican ranchers, and gold miners, as well as more recent travelers. In 1856, Andrew Firebaugh improved the pass and made it a toll road, with a toll house two miles west of the summit. He had hardly finished when the Butterfieid-Overland stages began using the road as part of their route from San Francisco to Missouri.

The first water works in the area were constructed in 1871, when farmers built a canal from Mendota Dam to Los Banos Creek to irrigate their wheat crops. Many canals were added over the years, until they totaled 180 miles in length. Ground was broken in 1962 for the San Luis Project, which created the current reservoirs. Today, Los Banos area farmers cultivate alfalfa, grapes, tomatoes, melons, corn, cotton, beans, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, and raise dairy and beef cattle.

weathercock75, and 3 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. In_Wonderland_6 71 months ago | reply

    Seen in Natures Beauties ~ flowers, plants, trees,
    landscapes & gardens
    Natures Beauties

    (post 1 ~ comment 1)

    It seems a bit surreal! Also, I like the perspective provided by the trees. Nice Shot!

  2. sm_arts [deleted] 71 months ago | reply

    Well done!

  3. MyAngel 27 71 months ago | reply

    Your Absolutely Stunning 'Scape should be shared with our group. Please join us and comment on 1 other 'Scape. Invited Photos Only. Please tag your photo with "AbsolutelyStunningScapes"

    Please Note: Take advantage of our Need an Invite? thread for future submissions that need an invite...thanks!

  4. Elaine31 71 months ago | reply


    *ALL MOUNTAINS OF EARTH* ( Comment or Invite - OPTIONAL )
    Please Invite Other *ALL MOUNTAINS OF EARTH* ( Comment or Invite - OPTIONAL )

  5. weathercock75 71 months ago | reply

    It is beautiful...great shot

  6. Weirena(AWAY) 71 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Empyrean Land- & Cityscapes (invite only) post 1 - award 1, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    this is fantastic !!! ... .. greetings from vienna :-)

  7. Weirena(AWAY) 71 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called High Energy Places "Only INVITE" Art Gallery AWARD 2, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  8. MarsW 71 months ago | reply

    Your stunning 'scape was seen in Absolutely Stunning 'Scapes **INVITE ONLY**. Thanks for sharing. Please tag your photo with AbsolutelyStunningScapes

  9. _myOlive (gone for 2 weeks) 71 months ago | reply

    Thank you for sharing your Energy with us

    High Energy Places
    Invited Photos Only - post 1 award 2 -


  10. loopoboy [deleted] 71 months ago | reply

    A wonderful shot!



  11. Nounou 12 Maryse 71 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Vos plus belles photos (Nature only)/ Invite pictures only., and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    What a photo splendid still today!
    As soon as you are members of the pool, you can to present two photographs the every day!
    Come to visit and take part in our series with topics

    Good Thursday

    Vos plus belles photos (Nature only)
    Postez cette photo dans Vos plus belles photos (Nature only) ! s'il vous plait et rejoignez-nous/Please join us!.
    Ajoutez le tag VosPlusBellesPhotos

  12. liliane776. 71 months ago | reply

    Vos plus belles photos ! group
    Your picture is really excellent !
    Vos plus belles photos !

  13. Tobsen212 71 months ago | reply

    good composition!
    Vos plus belles photos (Nature only) ! group
    Your picture is really excellent !
    Vos plus belles photos (Nature only)!

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