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Candidates view Proj. 184 differently

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From page A1 | October 25, 2013 | 40 Comments

What to do or not do with Project 184 has been one of the hot button issues discussed by candidates running for a spot on the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors.

Purchased from PG&E in 1999 for $1, Project 184 came with 15,080 acre feet of water rights; a 21-megawatt hydroelectric powerhouse; five reservoirs (Echo Lake, Lake Aloha, Caples Lake, Silver Lake and El Dorado Forebay); several dams; and 22.3 miles of flumes, canals, siphons, and tunnels located in the high Sierra.

EID also obtained water rights for an additional 17,000 acre-feet of water.

As part of the deal, PG&E gave EID $15 million toward repairs. An additional $18.8 million came from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) after a devastating flood damaged the facilities.

Since acquiring the project, EID has spent approximately $100 million refurbishing it, less the amounts received from PG&E and FEMA. Many of the repairs are mandated by its FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) license.

According to EID staff, it costs the district approximately $3 million a year to run the entire Project 184 system. Power sold to PG&E brings in between $6.75 and $11.5 million with revenues averaging $8 million a year.

EID currently has a 10-year contract with PG&E to sell it power. That contract expires in 2020.

During forums and in interviews, the project has drawn accolades as well as aspersions from those running for the EID board, with the difference often being that of whether it’s seen as a glass half empty or half full.

A glass half full

Seeing it as half full is EID candidate Dr. Dale Coco who vigorously defends Project 184 as an example of the district acquiring and securing valuable water rights.

“The State Water Resources Control Board is trying to take away individual district’s water rights and control all of them,” said Coco.

One-quarter of EID’s water rights came with the project, he said. “Those are pre-1914 rights. The Water Resources Control Board just issued a letter last month saying that through FERC, they could override those rights. We are facing attempts to take away our water rights. By buying the hydroelectric portion of the project, we got the water rights with it plus PG&E gave EID $17 million to refurbish it (which the PUC reduced to $15 million).”

Criticizing Greg Prada and Jake Flesher for their views on Project 184, Coco alleged that at the first candidate’s forum, Flesher talked about Project 184 as a waste of money with Prada saying the same. ”At the second forum, both were videotaped attacking it, saying it was a waste of money and should be shut down. That’s a ridiculous statement. It’s the second highest source of revenue for the district. Project 184 is critical. We can’t risk losing our water rights or the revenue. It pays for water extraction and for power.”

Coco said some mistakes were made in the past, but he believes that using a total quality management or value engineering process to retool the project, EID could be energy self-sufficient in 10 years. “The second highest cost of operation for EID is PG&E after salaries,” said Coco, “With in-line hydro and an efficiently run Project 184, we could be energy self-sufficient. It generates annually $8 million to $11 million in income and supplies about 25 percent of EID’s total budget. It would be costly to shut it down.”

Making Project 184 more efficient would also enable EID to pay off its debt, especially the $80 million of debt spent to improve its infrastructure, said Coco. “I don’t want to walk away from it. Some mistakes were made in the past, but we need to innovate our way out of the mistakes.”

Another of those strongly favoring Project 184 is Richard Englefield. He noted that when it was originally up for bid, one of those bidding on it was the Enron Corp. “If we hadn’t bid on it, we would have lost two major water rights amounting to 32,080 acre feet of water. And those are pre-1914 water rights. They are worth $800 to $1,000 an acre-foot in today’s dollars.”

The board knew when they bought it that it would cost a lot of money to bring it up to snuff, said Englefield. It has to be built out to 50 years of use with most of the expenditures attached to it being mandates.

“It was a good deal but it’s costly to maintain. Water rights are invaluable. The power house generates $8 million to $10 million a year and raising Forebay Dam will give us additional water and power. What it would cost to go after those water rights today would be phenomenal. Some of the money from connection charges (FCC’s) is used for pay for the project. We’ve got it and let’s work with it. We’d be in a world of hurt if we didn’t have it,” Englefield said.

A glass half empty

Those who are more on the glass is half empty side are board candidates Greg Prada and Jake Flesher.

Prada believes Project 184 is a terrific asset, but said the only reason PG&E sold it was because they couldn’t make money off it. Asserting it costs $10 million a year to operate, Prada believes that cost should be split between ratepayers who benefit from the water and the customers of PG&E who benefit from its electrical generation.

“Ratepayers have paid $25 million in subsidies that should have been paid by hydroelectric customers,” claims Prada. “Either PG&E customers should pay more for their electricity or perhaps the district should partner with another entity that receives part of the power in return for helping to pay the cost of operating it.”

Prada is also critical of what it costs to repair and maintain the facilities, saying that 45 percent of next year’s capital improvement budget for EID goes to Project 184, FERC or hydroelectric-related projects.

Like Prada, Jake Flesher believes Project 184 is valuable, but somewhat controversial because of its history and cost. The water rights were critical, said Flesher. “They are a valuable asset and we need to protect and use them. But we need to look at all our options for those parts that are losing money.

“The hydroelectric part is not covering its cost,” he continued. “We need to put it on the table. It’s not a viable option to sell it, but I want to talk to the engineers about why the project is losing money and why we need to spend more on the infrastructure. I want to look at available options, but I’m not a proponent of selling it. When we purchased it we thought it was a terrific opportunity with the hydroelectric and water rights. But we didn’t know it would be as expensive as it turned out to be.”

Asked to comment on the subject, EID staff said the water rights and the hydro plant were a package deal and the district couldn’t take one without the other. It could decommission the power project and operate the facilities as a water-only project, they said, but it would require FERC approval, would take years, and cost millions to remove the facilities and restore the project sites.

“After that was done, the price of water would skyrocket, because the costs of operating the powerhouse are a small fraction of the overall costs of operating the project facilities. In other words, in this scenario EID would spend millions of dollars just to be able to deprive itself of millions per year of power revenues, but EID customers would still have to bear all of the costs of the project facilities from the reservoirs on down to Forebay, just to deliver drinking water,” said Mary Lynn Carlton, EID director of communications.

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

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Discussion | 40 comments

  • 1036-FrankOctober 23, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    How about a simple idea like selling the hydro plant back to PGE now or SMUD or EBMUD or some other sucker for a 100 million, pay off the huge new debt from hydro at EID, and keep the water assets which are far more cost effective and should be reserved for this county for the future when Folsom Lake runs out of allocation and dries up like this year

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    I appreciate good sarcasm, Frank. Got some?

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 25, 2013 - 8:57 am

    Phil, we used to have bridges for sale in this county at a good price but they sold out, everyone laughed then because the bridge to nowhere eventually goes somewhere if you knew which direction it pointed. Now we have an EID hydro plant, slightly used but fully upgraded for about a hundred mill, and we need a sucker, the sucker is usually a bottom dweller, often found in DC or the state Capital, but this sucker, this time, Post Enron, must have deep pockets and plenty of tax dollars or customers to separate from their money, got any ideas?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 25, 2013 - 9:31 am

    OK. We sell it all. "Frank's Follies". We sell the lakes, the canal, the tunnels, the hydro plant that give us 1/3 of our water. We sell "Frank's Follies". It will break in the future. We demand that the purchaser of "Frank's Follies" fix it. They yawn, stretch wipe the sleep from their eyes and say . . . uh . . . sure . . . we'll get right on it . . . Ferchrisakes, Frank, game it out. Dump 1/3 of our water. Unbuild Pollock Pines, Camino, Placerville. Your "brilliance" is 150 years too late, Frank.

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 25, 2013 - 10:26 am

    Phil. you nearly tripped over the truth, I, PGE, have to sell you a package and will sell you a Yugo and a Corvette, and you will discover you can only keep one and one is good for scrap. A smart person keeps the vette, I, SMUD, can also sell/give EID, since they are selling power at a 100 mill loss, a slightly used Nuke Reactor, it makes for a great yard ornament now or statue? This hydro plant is a twin currently and both are the result of the same idea, if debt is no issue, just like in DC, this hydro plant or reactor becomes unsustainable upon purchase or gift, the result is we already know what happened to one and people, ratepayers, are losing. I think PGE has some slightly used pipe lines at 100 years old for gifts as well.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 25, 2013 - 6:16 pm

    Water, Frank. WATER. How would keep THE WATER, Frank? . . . and the conveyance?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 25, 2013 - 6:40 pm

    . . . or Frank, how about this metaphor. Your right bicep has Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. It is going to be very expensive to treat your MRSA. But Scalise has a very good meat saw and a ready customer base for sausage. Go to Scalise and save ACA some money. {Note to Scalise Meats - this really lame metaphor is not meant to imply AT ANY LEVEL that Scalise Meats would actually accept Frank's right arm infected with MRSA . . . but do you still make head cheese?}

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 25, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    The article said the hydro plant can be scrapped, seems it also could be sold. If it can be and no-one wants to run it or buy it, it should be scrapped. My guess is PGE, after this current contract might not buy the power anymore. These reservoirs full of water in a very high elevation setting are the real value, the amount of moisture there is a far better bet. This county should buy up all of the PGE lakes up high on Hwy 88 at the same time the Hydro plant is not cost effective which PGE knew.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 25, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    on scraping the hydro . . . ". . . . but it would require FERC approval, would take years, and cost millions to remove the facilities and restore the project sites. “After that was done, the price of water would skyrocket, because the costs of operating the powerhouse are a small fraction of the overall costs of operating the project facilities. In other words, in this scenario EID would spend millions of dollars just to be able to deprive itself of millions per year of power revenues, but EID customers would still have to bear all of the costs of the project facilities from the reservoirs on down to Forebay, just to deliver drinking water,”

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 25, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    Frank, I believe that Scalise Meats opens at 8:00 AM on Saturdays.

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 25, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    Here's a better one, you are given a gift of a Yugo from your Serbian Grandfather who fought in the war, the value of this "car of the people" is about 500 bucks, but it will take a grand per year to keep it running and 5k to put it on the road. EID took this Yugo and now has spent enough on a PGE hydro plant "gift."

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 25, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    I would give them an out, if they can sell the power to pay off debt in a guaranteed long-term contract, they might keep it. We will find out down the road and we will revisit this. Also as to meat shops, Archers has my business.

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  • NancyOctober 26, 2013 - 1:20 am

    Sounds like a complete expensive mess to me.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Yes, Nancy, it is expensive. The "mess" dates back to July 10th, 1852 when the articles of incorporation were filed with the county clerk for the South Fork Canal Co. with $500,000 capital stock. It was built. Placerville is dependent on it. Camino is dependent on it. Pollock Pines is dependent on it. The dirty deed is done. A conveyance was built in the 1800s on steep, unstable, difficult terrain. It is expensive to stabilize and maintain. But the cost of abandonment would be prohibitively astronomical. Enormous electrical energy and hundreds of millions of new infrastructure would be needed bring Placerville, Camino and Pollock Pines water from some other source. IT IS THE REALITY OF OUR WATER SUPPLY. SORRY.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 11:51 am

    Nancy (and Frank) , there is nothing new under the sun. Here is an excerpt from Paolo Sioli's History of El Dorado County on the beginnings of what today is 184. If you or anybody, for that matter, would like more let me know and I post more ~~~ "SOUTH FORK CANAL, The placers along Hangtown creek, in the vicinity of Placerville, were among the richest in the world ever known, and the bed-rock of the gulches, running up to the gravel beds surrounding the basin, was fairly yellow with gold. Being so near the source of the creek, however, water, even in winter, was not overabundant ; while summer mining was greatly hampered. Notwithstanding the difficulties, the enterprise of bringing a supply from the American river was not seriously undertaken for several years. On the 10th of July, 1852, articles of incorporation of the South Fork Canal company were filed with the county clerk. The capital stock was fixed at $500,000. B. F. Keene, Jas. M. Estell, J. M. Rhodes, Caleb Finch, Bruce Herrick, W. H, Smith, T. A. Springer, John Buchanan and B. R. Nickerson were the first trustees ; B. F. Keene, first president ; A, T. Taylor, first secretary; A. J. Binney, engineer. The original plan located the distributing point on the divide at what is known as " Nigger " or " Reservoir Hill." No enterprise of the kind could have been inaugurated under more favorable auspices. Money was plenty, and j-arties on all sides satisfied of its profitable character, were ready and anxious to invest. Among those now here we may mention Messrs. Nugent, Cooper and Barss, all of whom invested liberally, and alike, lost every dollar subscribed. This, as we understand, was not due to dishonesty on the part of the management, but to a want of appreciation of the magnitude of the work on hand. When subscriptions to between $200,000 and $300,000 had been received, the books were closed, the trustees believing the amount sufficient to complete the work. Their lack of judgment on this point resulted in the ruin of the original investors. One or two incidents will illustrate this point : "A large and well-appointed hotel having been erected at " Reservoir Hill," the intended terminus of the Main Trunk, it was believed that here would be established a fashionable resort, and, being desirous of catering to the aesthetic enjoyment of the citizens of Placerville, as far as possible, the trustees solemnly discussed the question whether the last half-mile of the flume should not be built of "dressed lumber." It was only after a prolonged consideration that a negative conclusion was arrived at. " The use of battens not having occurred to the management, for the purpose of making the joints on the sides and bottom of the flume water-tight, it was determined to nail strips of canvass over the cracks. But tack hammers were scarce, none could be obtained, except from a certain harness shop, an'd those were' not for sale ! So Mr Springer, one of the trustees, rented a dozen, at fifty cents per day each ; the hammers to be returned in good condition. It so happened, however, that when the work was completed, the hammers were thrown into the tool-house, and there remained until the owner's inquiries brought them to light, and a bill, amounting to over $900, had to be paid for the use of a few hammers!" Satisfied that the character of the soil was such that ditching on any part of the line would be impracticable, a flume structure for the entire length was determined on. This flume, four feet wide by three feet and a half deep, with a grade of four feet per mile, was constructed in 1853, from Reservoir Hill to Long canyon, and in 1854 to the South Fork of the American river, near the foot of Randolph canyon, a total distance of twenty-five miles. But the cost went far beyond the estimates of the engineer. The construction of the reservoir, by Mr. Kirk, footed up to $75,- 000. The flume went several hundred thousand above the cash on hand. New subscribers to the stock were not to be had. The golden opportunity had fled for ever. A long series of lawsuits with the contractors followed ; receiver after receiver was appointed, and for fifteen years, the South Fork canal was a football for courts and lawyers, now in the hands of one and then of another, yielding annual fortunes in its revenue from water sold, only to be swallowed by the illimitable maw of the law.

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 26, 2013 - 8:44 am

    I don't believe EID assertions that cost of water will increase, or "skyrocket" because the hydro plant PGE knew was an expensive non-money maker was taken out, rates skyrocket because of unsustainable debt and unfunded liabilities and developer gifts like low connection fees and infrastructure to provide water. There is nothing to suggest water rates would increase using the same system to deliver water only. The best approach, find out why this money pit hydro plant is a problem, then make decisions, keep the water rights, the real value which protects against drought and assures future supply.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 12:49 pm

    Frank? You had enough history?

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Frank, did you catch this? ". . . yielding annual fortunes in its revenue from water sold, only to be swallowed by the illimitable maw of the law."

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 26, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    Phil - Frank thinks he is the only one who knows anything and if you don't agree with him you deserve to move out of the county...old cop with bad attitude.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Oh Brother, since history is problematic for Frank do you mind if I dedicate some PAOLO SIOLI excerpts to you? - just because it is so interesting to see that the canal's struggles from the 1800s are so similar to today. the waaaaaay back machine . . .

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 26, 2013 - 3:04 pm

    Sure Phil...but you know my answers will be after I have ran all of the facts and opinions past my better half..

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    Ok. continuing from near the end of where the other excerpt left off (The overarching theme is cost overrun and litigation and San Francisco wanting our water) . . . Paolo Sioli - " . . . receiver after receiver was appointed, and for fifteen years, the South Fork canal was a football for courts and lawyers, now in the hands of one and then of another, yielding annual fortunes in its revenue from water sold, only to be swallowed by the illimitable maw of the law. Finally, in 1869, the property came into the hands of B. F. Hunt, T. and G. Alderson, C. Broad, J. Cooke and George Williams. By this time, however, the original demand for "sluice-heads" had passed away; hydraulic mining had been inaugurated, with an increased pressure and water demand, not contemplated at the inception of the enterprise. Another and grander project, inaugurated by Messrs. Kirk & Bishop, was on foot, and the South Fork canal, with the Coon Hollow mines, passed into the possession of the E. D. W. & D. G. M. Co. in September, 1873. Whether it will be renewed and maintained is a question for the owners and the future water demand to decide. Placerville had one citizen who recognized, at an early day, the great value that was to attach to the vast stores of water in the mountain streams and lakes ; who anticipated, by almost a generation, the demand which was yet to come, for mining and agricultural purposes, and who saw that the slender flumes of the South Fork canal must be supplemented by a watercourse more permanent in character, occupying a higher level, and of greatly increased capacity. That man was Mr. John Kirk. He commenced with the elaboration of the system which finally culminated in the property of the E. D. W & D. G. M. Co. as early as 1856, and from the deposition made by Mr. Kirk in the case of Osgood vs. the E. D. W. & D. G. M. Co., we are enabled to follow his operations up to the time when capital came to his rescue and carried the work through but fully twenty years elapsed between the first start and the perfection of the enterprise. In 1856 he posted his first notice claiming the water of the South Fork of the American river ; surveyed and claimed Silver and Clear lakes and Silver creek. In 1858 he surveyed a line from Coon Hollow to Alder creek, a distance of sixty miles, and located a reservoir near the Elk Horn mill; the above line probably ran around the spurs in the region of Iowa and Long canyons, which accounted for its great length. In 1860, he located the head of the canal and dam at Cedar Rock, and located reservoirs at Medley, Tom Andrain's and Echo lakes. In 1866, Mr. F. A. Bishop, who had already made some surveys for Mr. Kirk, became interested in the enterprise. That year a line was run from Cedar Rock to Sportsman's Hall. The final location of the Main Trunk canal was made about 1872. In 1868 work was commenced on the Sportsman's Hall end of the line; 1870-71 three or four miles of ditch near the Hall was completed ; the dam, bulkhead and a short section of ditch at Cedar Rock were constructed, and water turned in at the head. The construction of the dam at Silver Lake was commenced in 1871, and the flume grade at Echo lake in 1872. In this preliminary work more than $20,000 was expended. The system was perfected to what we see it now, covering a water-shed of more than 350 square miles ; embracing claims on the South Fork of the American river. Silver, Alpine, Wolf, Alder, Mill, Plum and Echo creeks, aggregating 66,000 inches of water; with reservoir claims on Silver lake, Willow valley, Twin lakes, Andiain lake, Echo lake, Medley lake and Glazier lake. Nothing in the State compares with it. But Messrs. Kirk & Bishop lacked the money necessary to carry it to completion. It was only after many years of anxious efforts, that men of means were found ready to undertake a work so grand in its conception, so promising in its results, but so costly in construction. September 4th, 1873, the El Dorado Water and Deep Gravel Mining company filed its articles of incorporation with the county clerk. Its objects were " to purchase, or otherwise acquire, water privileges, and to purchase, construct and maintain canals, reservoirs and water ditches, for agricultural, milling and mining purposes, in any county or counties in the State of California ; to supply pure, fresh water to the public, and to any city, county and town in the State of California : to purchase and work any mine or mines, placer or placers, and carry on the busmess of mining for precious metals in the county of El Dorado, and any other county in said State ; and to do and transact all such business as may be lawfully carried on by a corporation, organized for such purposes as are above enumerated, in the State of California." Principal place of business, San Francisco ; term of existence, fifty years ; number of directors, five ; capital stock, $500,000; of which $375,000 was subscribed. The first directors were John O. Earl, J. D. Fry, Thomas Price, L. A, Garnett and Henry D. Bacon. Officers—L. A. Garnett, president ; Thomas Price, managing director; F. A. Bishop, superintendent and chief engineer ; Hugh Elias, secretary. By a series of purchases and transfers, the company soon became possessed of the South Fork, Iowa, Weber and Gold Hill canals, with their branches and extensions; the water rights held by Kirk and Bishop; a large area of surface gravel, embracing over 600 acres and including the famous Coon Hollow mines, now known as the Excelsior and Weber, together with other valuable property in and about Placerville. The water-right of Blair, Brown & Blair, at the mouth of Weber creek, covering 30,000 inches, was also secured. This is designed to carry water out to the Sacramento plains. Preparations were at once made for the construction of the Main Trunk canal, from Cedar Rock to a junction with the Iowa canal, and through that to the South Fork canal at Smith's Flat, a distance of nearly forty miles, and work was commenced in May, 1874, but notwithstanding it was pushed on as fast as possible, unforeseen delays kept the work in check, so that when, in the spring of 1876, Thomas Price, managing director, insisted that the completion of the canal should be celebrated on the Centennial Anniversary of the Republic, about a mile of flume remained to be constructed; but with herculean force it was accomplished. The night of July 1st, 1876, saw flume and ditch both completed, ready for carrying a stream of water through. The dam at Silver Lake, which had been commenced already by Mr. Kirk, was completed the same year. The timber used for its construction is principally tamarack, the most durable wood growing in this region. The " Old Amador road " crosses over this dam. The magnificent reservoir thus formed allows a storage of water twenty feet in depth, extending two miles and 'a quarter in length by seveneighths of a mile in width, with a capacity of 1,097,712,000 cubic feet or 8,200,000,000 gallons. The cost of the reservoir was a trifle over $8,000; the Main Trunk canal was finished at an expense of $500,000. Echo Lake is situated on the east side of the summit of the Sierra Nevada. To use the water of this lake the mountain summit had to be tunnelled through, for which work active operations were commenced in 1874, digging at the .south end of the tunnel ; and resumed on July ist, 1875, under the superintendence of Judge Reed, was pushed vigorously from both ends. Both parties met on November 5th, in the center of the 1,058 foot tunnel, and on the 3d of August, 1876, the water from Echo Lake found its way through the tunnel to the South Fork of the American river. The present capacity of Echo Lake as a water reservoir is over 200,000,000 cubic feet, or 1,750,000,000 gallons of water. It is proposed, however, to raise the dam to the height of 75 feet. The expenses for this work amounted to over $21,000. Water is sold by the company for from 12 1/2 to 20 cents per inch, according to quantity or purpose, and is delivered under a six inch pressure. Like nearly all mountain water companies the E. D. W. & D. G. M. Co. has been actively engaged in the development of its hydraulic mines, considering it an important part of the business that the water is not allowed to run to waste. The most important of the company's mines, and the one upon which the heaviest expenditures have been made, is the Excelsior, situated directly south of Placerville, on the terminus of the great gravel deposit. Among other mines, operated in whole or in part by this company, are the Weber mine, Spanish Hill, Texas Hill, Stoney Ravine, Nigger Flat and Reservoir Hill. About the middle of July, 1876, Mayor Bryant, of San Francisco, accompanied by Auditor Maynard and District Attorney Murphy and Major Mendell, of the U. S. A., with a staff of reporters of the leading San Francisco papers, were traveling all over El Dorado county, inspecting its resources, and particularly its water supply, having as an object the future water supply of the metropolis of the Pacific.

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  • EvelynOctober 26, 2013 - 3:27 pm

    Apparently the Mt. Dem. is endorsing Coco and Prada.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 26, 2013 - 3:35 pm

    Phil--I love history--can you write your thoughts to frank here instead...I have run out of thoughts...lololol...and we need i00+ more to get to 1000. I would like to know more about El Dorado...but whatever you were teaching frank is fine :)

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 26, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    sorry Phil...I meant the other spot...lololol....I got lost....follow me to the comment chat thingy...lololol Oh--Proj. 184 is where the little league field is...so only candidates that honor the work of the parent and friends will even be listened to...can you imagine if one doesnt support young boys and girls playing ball...horrible...plus I think Prada was mean to me once...way back when--hope thats not true.

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 26, 2013 - 3:44 pm

    Evelyn-generally speaking, I usually vote the opposite of the Mt. Democrat's endorsements.

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  • EvelynOctober 26, 2013 - 4:41 pm

    The endorsement article is scheduled Monday print.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    . . . and finally, Oh Brother, just to round out our EDC water history day here is the origin of GDPUD ~~~ Sioli 1883 ~~~ "The Georgetown divide," comprising the entire region between the Middle and South Forks of the American river, along the foot-hill region, is one of the richest in soil, timber, water and mineral resources. There is a large area equal to the best portion of the plains for the production of wheat and barley, its fruit-yield is unsurpassed in quantity per acre or quality anywhere. The mountain section is covered with the best timber in the State, and an inexhaustible supply of purest mountain water for irrigating and mining purposes is controled and can be furnished by the CALIFORNIA WATER COMPANY. As elsewhere, through the mining counties, ditches were originally constructed with a view to mining operations only. The Pilot Creek ditch was constructed. in 1852 to 1853 by Dr. W. H. Stone and others, bringing the water of that stream into the rich mining district of which Georgetown is the center. The first sales were at the rate of one dollar per inch. But the extravagance of the times affected the management of this property as it did everything else, and the high price of water was offset by the cost of maintenance. We have been unsucessful in procuring the necessary data of the early history of this important enterprise; the records of the county are extremely meagre in this regard. Numerous water companies were organized, only to be quietly disincorporated. Still, the original company held its ground, gradually extending its area of usefulness until 1872, when a number of San Francisco capitalists purchased the property under the mentioned name. The California Water company was organized under the State law, with a capital stock of $10,000,000, divided into 100,000 shares, the greater part of which is held by J. P. Pierce, John Center, E. Judson, D. O. Mills and John O. Earl. The principal place of business is in San Francisco - 315 California street. The officers of the company are: J. P. Pierce, president; George Thurston, secretary ; E. R. Pease, superintendent; Hon. Thomas Findley, managing director. Immediately upon entering into possession, the new company commenced the work of extension and enlargement, in which it has already expended more than half a million dollars. Lakes lying far up towards the Sierra peaks were secured as storage reserveirs, to be drawn upon when the ordinary supply from Pilot creek, and other tributaries of the Middle Fork of the American river, begin to fail. Principal among these is Loon Lake, to which point the system has already been extended. Pleasant and Bixby Lakes, lying in close proximity, are now utilized. The dams built aggregate 800 feet in length. The lakes have an area of about 1,500 acres, and can be drained to a depth of fifteen feet—this is equivalent to 980,000,000 cubic feet of water. In the valley of the Rubicon, further east, an almost unlimited additional supply can be impounded. Surveys have been made and water-rights secured with this object in view. Pleasant and Bixby Lakes are drained through Loon Lake, from which the water flows in the channel of Gurley creek six or eight miles ; thence three miles of ditch carries it to a junction with the Little South Fork ditch, which conveys it into one of the head branches of Pilot creek through a tunnel at the Hog Back. This ditch has an estimated capacity of 1,500 inches, and is eight miles in length. The winter and spring supply is taken from Pilot creek in three lines of ditches. The upper or main ditch heads at Pilot creek reservoir, about twenty-one miles by road from Georgetown. The second, or new ditch heads a mile and a half down, forming a junction with the main ditch at Mutton canyon. This ditch was constructed to secure the seepage from the reservoir, as well as to convey a greater amount of water down the divide than the old Pilot creek ditch could carry. From Mutton canyon to Georgetown, the old ditch has been enlarged to a capacity of 2000 inches The third line is the old El Dorado ditch, which was constructed in 1853 and 1854, by Thomas. Wren J.(?) C. McKinney and John Hardin; and was sold to the Pilot Creek Company, in 1860. It takes water from Pilot creek three miles below the head of the new ditch, and is over 20 miles in length to its junction with the main line, eight miles from Georgetown, and has a capacity of 350 inches. It has been enlarged also, from Hotchkiss Hill to Georgetown, to about the same size as the main line. The Main ditch continues west from Georgetown to Greenwood, crossing Greenwood canyon by means of a pipe 5,500 feet long, 52 inches diameter, with a capacity of about 800 inches. Thence a branch runs to Centerville and Wild Goose Flat. A new ditch is in contemplation from Greenwood creek, over the divide at Pilot Hill, to Negro Hill, at the junction of the North and South forks of the American river, a distance of forty miles. Another 15 inch pipe, 3500 feet in length; crosses Greenwood canyon at Frazer Flat. The system of subsidiary ditches owned by this Company, permeates every portion ot the divide where there is any demand for water for mining or irrigating purposes. They aggregate 300 miles of ditches, flumes and iron pipes, able to supply for mining and other purposes the following districts: Georgetown, Georgia Slide, Pilot Hill, Cranes Gulch, Mt. Gregory, Volcanoville, St. Lawrenceville, Kelsey, Rich Flat, Centreville and Wild Goose Flat. The completion of the dam and the reservoir at Loon Lake in summer of 1882, places the company in a position to command a larger area of mining, agricultural and timber lands than any other corporation of this kind in California or the United States. The company also owns a number of distributing reservoirs, two large ones being located in the vicinity of Georgetown. The following rates are charged for water sold under six inch pressure, estimated to be equal to 94.7 cubic feet per hour. For mining: ten hours, ten cents per inch; twenty-four hours, twenty cents per inch; for irrigating: for each twenty-four hours, twenty-five cents per inch. (1" = ~ 11.8 gallons per minute - P.V.)

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 26, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    yes, but can is it now accepting comment?

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  • EvelynOctober 26, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    No.

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 26, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Phil - wow what a history lesson!! My hubby will have a lot to listen to and read to help me along with this story!!! :)

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Frank, do you suppose that John Center was Bill Center's Great Grandpa? If that is so then it might explain a few things. ~~~ Sioli writes, ". . . Still, the original company held its ground, gradually extending its area of usefulness until 1872, when a number of San Francisco capitalists purchased the property under the mentioned name. The California Water company was organized under the State law, with a capital stock of $10,000,000, divided into 100,000 shares, the greater part of which is held by J. P. Pierce, John Center . . .

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 10:05 am

    Frank, do you suppose that John Center was Bill Center's Great Grandpa? If that is so then it might explain a few things. ~~~ Sioli writes, ". . . Still, the original company held its ground, gradually extending its area of usefulness until 1872, when a number of San Francisco capitalists purchased the property under the mentioned name. The California Water company was organized under the State law, with a capital stock of $10,000,000, divided into 100,000 shares, the greater part of which is held by J. P. Pierce, John Center . . .

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  • Coco didn't tell the truthOctober 27, 2013 - 10:06 am

    The following video link has what Flesher and Prada really said about Project 184. EID ratepayers need board members who tell the truth. Coco didn't tell the truth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLAPR5MbT-8

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 10:26 am

    In your video clip Prada dishonestly conflates a proposed mini hydro project at Diamond Springs' Reservoir 9 with Project 184. He dishonestly identifies an arguably questionable mini hydro station in Diamond Springs to Project 184. Prada knows better.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    "Nothing is more fundamental to successful farming then the right to irrigate one’s land. The vast majority of farmers in Northern California and Southern Oregon have previously and successfully adjudicated the right to irrigate their farmland. However, several federal agencies such as the EPA along with several state agencies, are doing everything in their power to prevent farmers from irrigating their land and the previous case law be damned. According to Erin Ryan, and other locals who I have previously spoken with, the cost passed on to the farmers for pumping water onto their farmland has increased from .6 cents to over $.13 per gallon. For some of these farmers, this represents a $200,000 increase in the cost of irrigating their farmland over the course of a year. This increase is making the cost of farming in this region, unsustainable. This increase is leading to a dramatic drop-off in food production from this region with devastating economic side effects." - HERE

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 27, 2013 - 2:22 pm

    Frank - why don't you stay out of the water business that you don't know about...why don't you move to the business you do such as Neves and Kollar and how they screwed this county...and they are just the tip of the iceberg...

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    LINK - Greg Prada Endorsed - my LTE (if they print it) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I HAD A DREAM I had a dream a couple of nights ago. The dream had the candidates for EID’s Division 2 and 4 sitting down with the Mountain Democrat’s Editorial Board. My attention was focused on one candidate. He was a dead ringer for Leave it to Beaver’s, Eddie Haskell. But he was being addressed as “Mr. Prada” ~~~ Eddie Haskell (Mr. Prada?) was relaxed, at ease and more even-tempered than had been demonstrated in some of his writings and behaviors at recent EID Board meetings and Cost of Services Committee activities. He didn’t holler and shout and storm out. He was well behaved for the Mountain Democrat’s Editorial Board interview. He did not falsely reassert that agricultural water was seventeen times less than residential water. He did not falsely reassert that most EID employees would be getting 7% pay raises. Eddy Haskell (Mr. Prada?) was really well behaved. ~~~ The Mountain Democrat Editorial Board bought it. – EDDIE HASKELL ENDORSED

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  • 1036-FrankOctober 27, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    Phil, I have a copy of the book on my shelf that I am looking at. Your question about former Supervisor Center being related, I am not sure of it, if he is related, but it would be interesting. What I take away from local history, a lot of foothill counties, like NID and PCWA, have similar ownership of canals, ditches, lakes, etc. and far different pricing and debt that EID seems to be the highest at for local foothill counties. It could be because of many factors, maybe the other counties inherited the assets. What is important, these were all private companies in the beginning for profit like toll roads, and these companies selling water had a lot of litigation and hard times and bankruptcy because they were private. Today, it is far different and a captive audience for EID which should learn from the others about debt. pricing, and how to encourage ag/farm/ranch water rates to be low .

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    Frank, yes. The early development is fascinating - at least to me. EID's 184 (South Fork Canal) system is unique - uniquely precarious, extensive AND EXPENSIVE. Sever the power house and the most expensive and precarious elements remain - the canal perched on an unstable mountain side. It is expensive, yes. Reality sucks.

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