Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Water Agency discusses drought plans

By
From page A1 | March 19, 2014 |

The drought and what is being done to cope with it was the main agenda item at the March 12 meeting of the El Dorado County Water Agency.

Dave Eggerton, general manager of the agency, noted that 2013 is the driest year on record since the 19th century with 2014 being more of the same.

Local reservoirs such as Stumpy Meadows and Jenkinson Lake are at approximately 70 percent and 76 percent of total capacity, respectively, reported Eggerton. El Dorado Irrigation District has augmented storage at Jenkinson Reservoir by moving Project 184 water from the South Fork of the American River to Jenkinson Reservoir through the Hazel Creek Tunnel.

Folsom Lake is currently at about 40 percent of capacity because of the recent storms. Typically it’s at 67 percent of capacity at this time of year. Before the recent storms, the lake was just a few months away from becoming a dead pool, according to Eggerton.

A reservoir is considered a dead pool when the water level is so low that it cannot drain by gravity through the dam’s outlet works.

Water levels at other federal and state reservoirs are also way below average, he said. As a result, deliveries for municipal, industrial and agricultural customers will be severely diminished. For the first time in history, the state has allocated zero water for all contractors of the State Water Project. Similarly, many farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys will not see any Central Valley Project water this year, and municipal and industrial customers of the Central Valley Project across the state, including Folsom Lake and El Dorado Irrigation District, have seen their allocations reduced by 50 percent of historic use.

Eggerton said of greater concern is that the snowpack remains smaller than normal, with the last snow survey showing the water content at only 24 percent of normal.

In response, the Water Agency is working on a number of initiatives to support local purveyors and the community, including leading an interagency coordination committee, pursuing state and federal funding for local projects and programs and conveying a Drought Advisory Committee of local stakeholders. Included in his staff report was a long list of projects that would improve water supply reliability for Grizzly Flat, EID, Georgetown Divide PUD, Tahoe City PUD, South Tahoe PUD, and the Water Agency itself with the total cost of these projects coming in at more than $71 million.

Eggerton said the drought funds to be provided by the state won’t do much this year when it comes to conserving water. In the meantime they will be seeking temporary regulatory relief from instream flow and discharge requirements to conserve water. Both EID and GDPUD intend to pursue such relief.

In the discussion that followed, Supervisor Brian Veerkamp noted that the west end of the county was not responding to the drought declaration and more outreach was needed to inform the public about the seriousness of the situation. Supervisor Ron Mikulaco said one of the problems in that part of the county is homeowner association rules that require residents to keep their grass green. Veerkamp said EID was making an extra effort to contact those associations.

Private wells were also a topic of discussion, with Eggerton reporting that more wells than average were being drilled. With the possibility of wells going dry, he suggested putting in 11 additional water stations so those who need water can drive up and buy what they need. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of private wells in the county. Currently EID has seven such water stations.

In a separate matter, Eggerton reported the Water Agency is in discussions with El Dorado County regarding the provision of services by the county for the Water Agency and the employment of staff at the agency.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Comments

comments

.

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, 2 Comments | 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, 2 Comments

 
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