Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EID has water

On March 28, the State Department of Water Resources came up to Phillips Station and pronounced the snowpack at 52 percent of normal.

“All the water purveyors are on reservoir watch this year. Our storage will get us through, but we will need heightened awareness next year,” said snow surveyor Frank Gehrke after measuring the snow and water content.

However, on page 2 of the same issue that carried the report on the snow survey was the weekly report of lake levels. Folsom Lake is only at 50 percent of its capacity as of Friday, March 29. It was only within that last several weeks that Folsom Lake stopped releasing more water than it was taking in. Clearly it needs to reposition its storage protocols. Once the emergency spillway is completed it can get back to being a storage facility more than a flood control facility. Shasta Lake, by comparison, is 83 percent full.

And the El Dorado Irrigation District has sent some of its canal water through the Hazel Creek Tunnel to bring Sly Park’s Jenkinson Lake up to 98 percent of capacity as of March 26.

That tunnel was the brainchild of the late Mark Nielsen when he was on the EID board. Then the idiot that was general manager at the time gave it to PG&E, which owned the canal at that time. Fortunately, farsighted people like Dick Akin, Jeff Sellwood, Jim Doolittle, Doug Leisz, John Fraser, the late Albert Hazbun, John Kessler and retired EID manager Harry Dunlop, all helped motivate EID to purchase Project 184 from PG&E. So, now EID owns the canal and the Hazel Creek Tunnel plus the four manmade alpine lakes and the powerhouse.

Because EID has complete control over its water system it has been able to assure its farmers and residents that there will be water to irrigate crops this year.

Despite the downbeat report on the snowpack by the state at Phillips Station the rainfall total is looking pretty good. The Mountain Democrat rain gauge has recorded more than 30 inches, putting it at 80 percent of normal for this point in the rain year that ends June 30. In terms of the 39.62 inches that is the 139-average for a year, we are 76 percent of the way there. Of course 14 inches of rain in December really helped. Anytime rainfall totals more than 30 inches it is a decent year. Not great. But not a low water year.

In the meantime, EID has water and we praise the management and hydro staff for making sure Sly Park is full. And for that we can thank the aforementioned people who battled to get control from PG&E of one-third of the district’s water and battled disruptive forces who later got on the EID board and wanted to dump what has been a water lifeline to this community since 1875.

Mountain Democrat

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Discussion | 10 comments

  • Larry WardApril 05, 2013 - 6:37 am

    AMEN!

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  • NancyApril 05, 2013 - 6:56 am

    They have water? Well, they have high water rates too.

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  • Phil VeerkampApril 05, 2013 - 9:42 am

    ". . . and battled disruptive forces who later got on the EID board and wanted to dump what has been a water lifeline to this community since 1875. Please add some context to "disruptive forces". Name names. Inquiring minds want to know. Were they complicit in the Trailer Brothers tunnel fiasco? Were they "friends of Rob, what's-his-name and Anne,"?

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  • EDHApril 05, 2013 - 1:34 pm

    Agreed, water and HIGH Rates!

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  • Dink LaneApril 05, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    The South Fork of the American River is ONE branch that feeds the ONLY major water source [Sacramento River] to the Bay-Delta.......... All the other major water sources are Dammed and canalled off to send their water to McClintock's buddies in KERN County......... Now we have the tunnels....[passed when the public was not paying attention--flashy objects] and suddenly EL DORADO COUNTY is reponsible for the fresh water levels in the Bay..... and McClintock's friends are promised their 40% of fresh water in the Delta....... Keep NOT paying attention folks.... It's working GREAT for WESTLANDS and Boswell.... and that water the editor is talking about.... Wave "Bye-Bye" as it FLOWS BY because State trumps EID

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  • HistorianApril 05, 2013 - 9:34 pm

    Phil - Al Vargas, obviously. And Bob Bergmeister and Howard Kasten. You should know. You were there.

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  • Phil VeerkampApril 06, 2013 - 5:04 am

    Historian - Thanks. - I was not following the politics back then.

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  • Phil VeerkampApril 06, 2013 - 5:16 am

    Dink, can you say "beneficial use"? Use it or lose it. Arguing for "NO SAN STINO" argues for relinquishing water rights. Use it or lose it. No growth comes with a price.

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  • sunshineApril 07, 2013 - 11:37 am

    The Mountain Democrat is putting all California State scientists on notice, we are at 80% of needed capacity, verified by their "rain gauge".I finally "Get It", "Build it and they will come". We're playing Baseball. When Mark Nielson was a EID Director , he convinced 2 or more other members to spend $7 million dollars on the Hazel Creek tunnel around 1990 somewhere. Then EID didn't use it. I guess this was like trying to get the Board of Supervisors to sell the pound animals to UC Davis for experimentation when he was Chief Administrative Officer for EDC. The BOS said "No". So, for 20-30 years we have been sitting with a 7 million dollar project the was not fully used. As for project 184, it's a maintanence albatross that keeps sucking money out of EID for the "Baseball game". The ratepayers are paying for residents that aren't here yet, But, "they will come". According to the State Department of Finance that growth rate might "NOT" happen for 20-30 years.(Sac Bee Feb.1,2013) But EID keeps building. The Mountain Democrat may want to check their archives, when Ursala Smith was Editor, to get the record straight. EID ratepayers should be able to use our water with lower rates, "use it or loose it".

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 07, 2013 - 11:57 am

    Sunshine...some of us dont use baseball and EID in the same sentence. In Pollock--we have baseball field--that we played on yesterday. EID is not going to own it any more-- they have allowed our kids to use the property for years--it will be up to BOS to keep it for our children--or it goes up for private sell. Those kids did nothing to lose this field. So could you use a different film reference to attack EID with please. I cant imagine taking a field away from children--I cant imagine the kind of heart that would it...for fifty years people have been watching kids "play Ball." One would be hard pressed to find anything more "environmentally healthy" then participating in the game of "baseball." It is a beautiful field--maintained with love by baseball parents, grandparents and friends.

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