PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
JenkinsonReservoirConditionsFeb24

News

Drought update from EID

By From page B1 | February 28, 2014

Jenkinson Lake at Sly Park is 70 percent full, El Dorado Irrigation District General Manager Jim Abercrombie reported Feb. 24.

The lake reached that level primarily because of water transfers from the El Dorado Canal via the Hazel Creek Tunnel.

Abercrombie said the current prediction is the 41,000-acre-foot reservoir will be at 20,000 acre-feet by October, which will be the start of another water year. While rainfall statistics are recorded from July 1 to June 30 of the following  year, water managers use October as the starting point.

Communication Director Mary Lynn Carlton reported Monday that she had been interviewed twice by KVRA TV, once of those times being about the Main Ditch. The Main Ditch is three miles of dirt ditch that brings 15,080 acre-feet of water from Forebay Reservoir to Treatment Plant 1 in Camino. The Main Ditch is EID’s top priority to be replaced through emergency drought funding from the state. The $3.4 milion project to pipe that ditch would save 1,300-1,500 acre-feet of water.

Carlton was also interviewed by KFBK Radio, the Mountain Democrat and Village Life. She has talked to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, service organizations, SIRS, county superintendents, sent out 22,000 e-mail blasts and 43,000 phone blasts. Postcards have been printed and will be sent out. The district’s Website changes daily and includes a drought calculator. The newsletter highlighting the drought is about to be sent out with bimonthly bills, tent cards for restaurant tables are ready and posters are in process.

The district is also offering to do water efficiency audits.

Director Dale Coco said he had met with the Cameron Park Country Club to discuss its drought plan.

It was also noted that Director George Osborne, not present until after noon Monday, had met with ag groups about drought planning. Four Seasons community in El Dorado Hills as well as Serrano had met with EID representatives.

Water consumption, on a cumulative basis, is 20 percent above average, but that includes bone dry January which had 27 percent above average water usage because a lot of homeowners were watering their lawns and landscaping. Abercrombie did say Monday that water consumption had declined 10 percent in the last couple of weeks.

EID has been told it will receive 50 percent of its historical use of its approximately 12,000 acre-feet of water from Folsom Lake.

“They are 90 percent sure they (the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) can deliver,” said General Counsel Tom Cumpston. “They’re not anticipating that number going up.”

Fifty percent of historical usage amounts to about 5,000-6,000 acre-feet from Folsom for EID.

“I thank previous boards for making an integrated system,” Abercrombie said.

The integrated system is the four alpine lakes that are part of Hydroelectric Project 184. Their outflow is picked up by a diversion dam on the South Fork of the American River near Kyburz and then sent through 22 miles of canals, flumes, tunnels and two siphons either into Sly Park via the Hazel Creek Tunnel or to Forebay Reservoir for distribution to a water treatment plant and to a 21-megawatt powerhouse. That powerhouse is shut down during the drought except when rains produce extra flows in the El Dorado Canal.

Michael Raffety

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