Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Who will protect water rights?

By
From page A5 | November 01, 2013 |

EDITOR:

Two days after endorsing Richard Englefield’s opponent for EID Division 2, the Mountain Democrat leads its editorial “Water rights under attack,” with “the real challenge for the two new directors … is to hold on to what we have,” referring to current and potential water rights. Mr. Englefield’s opponent has on several occasions in print and public forum, railed against keeping and pursuing these same rights. He has even suggested EID divest itself from Project 184. A project, by the way, that provides both revenue and water rights. Neither of those ideas are good sense.

Those views demonstrate a lack of depth of knowledge about our complex water system. Perhaps it is timely to reflect on some very positive facts. The state of California has declared El Dorado, along with all California counties, to be in a drought condition. Over the past few years EID has successfully completed the requirements to have our water rights officially filed with the State Water Rights Board. EID has integrated Project 184 water with Sly Park reservoir so that a reliable supply is available. EID has been able to deliver adequate water of excellent quality, even in drought conditions.

It cost a lot of money to repair, recondition and improve the storage and delivery system. It is important that we pursue additional water rights because part of our system is very sensitive to periodic drought — Sly Park depends on annual rainfall to refill. Low rainfall years, such as experienced in the 1970s resulted in a mud puddle for Sly Park and water rationing. A Drought Planning Study, financed by EID, determined that we needed to insure such a condition be avoided in the future. That resulted in the new Master Planning Water Study and proposals advanced this year.

Our community needs to be vigilant so that a reckless assessment of debt status and water rights doesn’t place our future supply in jeopardy. We need a fully functional board to think carefully and act responsibly to protect our great water resources. Project 184 is the hydroelectric project that produces from $6 million to $10 million of profit from energy sales each year. It shares in the cost of maintenance and repair of the storage reservoirs and conveyance system that delivers our water.

That system has required some expensive repairs and regulatory work. EID holds a license from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to operate the system under very specific conditions spelled out in the license. The storage reservoirs, our community depends upon for water, are the basis of most of our water rights.

If EID were to decide to give up the license the water users would be obligated to finance all of the dam maintenance and conveyance system expenses. Our water rates would go up. Further, FERC could decide to award the license to operate the hydroelectric system to another entity.

Richard Englefield worked to protect and increase our county’s water rights when he served on the El Dorado County Water Agency and on the El Dorado Water and Power Authority. He also served on the Grizzly Flat Community Services District where he helped rebuild an inefficient water system on time and under budget and helped turn around a dire financial situation.

The local Farm Bureau and growers across the county are united behind Richard Englefield and Dale Coco as the candidates who will best protect water rights and limit rate increases.  They will make fully functional board members who will address costs, debt structure, rates and water rights to assure a positive future.

TOM HEFLIN, Rainbow Orchards

DOUG LEISZ, Forester, Grape grower, Chair of Citizens for Water

 

Comments

comments

Letters to the Editor

.

News

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

 
Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8