Thursday, December 14, 2006

Eel River To Get More Water

Something that I haven't followed very closely but have had some interest in was the water situation in the Eel River and how much is diverted to other areas.

The Ukiah Daily Journal reports today that the agency responsible for diverting water from the Eel is planning on reducing diversions by around a third as opposed to the 15% originally proposed.

I suppose this is good news for Humboldt, but the headline in the Ukiah Daily Journal article suggests it will be bad news for Mendocino County, or at least Lake Mendocino. This almost sounds like a smaller version of the Klamath Dams controversy.

Quite frankly, I wasn't even really sure what the Potter Valley Project- the project responsible for the water diversions- was, or where the dams in question were. I decided to find out and came up with this page, by the Mendocino Environmental Center that explains the water situation, from an environmentalist's veiwpoint, of course.

I'm sure other powers- that- be might have a different take on the water diversion than the Mendocino Environmental Center. I'd love to hear from them. Still, it doesn't look to me like reducing the diversion by a third will be much of a problem for anyone involved, at least for Mendocino County.


At 11:23 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Actually, it's Sonoma County who will be upset. The project feeds the Russian River, and Sonoma's got big plans for more development, but they can't do it without the water.

During his campaign, Johnny Pinches said he wanted to keep more of the water for development in Mendo, citing rights as the "source county." Apparently he was unaware that the source county is Lake, not Mendo.

Anyway, this is very good news for Humboldt, particularly what's left of the fishing industry.

I expect Sonoma will file suit.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

This is good news for the Eel. Check out Friends of the Eel River:

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will increasing the amount of water flowing in the Eel River increase the likelihood of floods like those in 1955 and 1964?

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I can't imagine how that would make any difference in that regard. Remember; There's still water being diverted. Just not as much.

Besides, the things that lead to floods, as you refer to, are probably way out of our hands, as far as being able to control them.

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Carol Ann said...

Fred is right, and the dam has been in existence for 97 years.

"But the portion of the agreement that is drawing the most attention from environmental groups and some cities refers to the potential purchase of the Potter Valley Project, a hydroelectric dam-and-tunnel system in Mendocino County that draws water from the Eel River and pumps it into the Russian.

The 97-year-old project is owned by PG&E and has come under criticism from some groups for damaging the Eel River watershed, harming salmon and other fish life."

From FOER: New agreement with Sonoma County Water Agency sparks concern over Eel River dam:


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