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Browsing the archives for the Dams other than Klamath category.

Big L.A. water agency antes up for a share of Valley’s Sites Reservoir

California water, Dams other than Klamath

Sac Bee.com

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143994694.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Trump administration boosts Mojave Desert water project

Agriculture - California, California water, Dams other than Klamath

The Trump administration has removed a major roadblock to plans by a Santa Monica company to pump ancient groundwater from below the Mojave Desert and sell it to urban areas of Southern California.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has rescinded a 2015 administrative finding that Cadiz, Inc. needed to obtain a federal right of way permit and thus had to complete comprehensive environmental studies before it could build a water pipeline within 43 miles of railroad right of way owned by the Arizona & California Railroad.

The move follows a January decision by the Trump transition team to put Cadiz on a list of priority infrastructure projects, and a state appellate court’s rejection last year of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the project.

The $225 million Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project still needs approval from the powerful Metropolitan Water District to use the Colorado River Aqueduct to ferry the water to urban Southern California.

Cadiz company officials said in statement that they are pleased with the Trump administration’s decision. The statement said they have always believed “the BLM’s 2015 evaluation was contrary to law and policy.”

In 2008, Cadiz entered into a lease agreement with the railroad company to build a pipeline in between the wells it owns in the Mojave Desert area, west of Needles and south of Interstate 40, to the Colorado River, using the railroad’s right of way over federal land.

From the river area, the water could be ferried to urban Southern California using the aqueduct and reservoir system operated by the Metropolitan Water District.

“Our discussions are continuing about what would be required before they can put water in the Colorado River Aqueduct,” said water district spokesman Bob Muir.

In 2002, the water district’s board voted down an earlier version of the Cadiz project that also needed to use the aqueduct.

The project is staunchly opposed by environmental and desert advocates, who say it would rob the desert of the water that plants and wildlife need to survive.

“Many of the springs and seeps are going to dry up because of groundwater extraction,” said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.

She is particularly concerned that the pumping would harm the Mojave National Preserve and recently created Mojave Trails National Preserve.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement that the new administration was muscling through the project without proper reviews. Feinstein is an ardent desert supporter who authored the California Desert Protection Act that created the preserve and other protections more than 20 years ago.

“The Trump administration wants to open the door for a private company to exploit a natural desert aquifer and destroy pristine public land purely for profit,” her statement said.

“The administration is completely undermining federal oversight of railroad rights-of-way.“

http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20170405/trump-administration-boosts-mojave-desert-water-project

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Oroville Dam fix to span two years, but some key work due before winter rains

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, Dams other than Klamath

April 6, 2017

Sac Bee.com

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143200489.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Mighty L.A. water agency wants a share of Valley’s Sites Reservoir – and is willing to pay

Agriculture, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath

Sac Bee.com

April 6, 2017

Southern California’s most powerful water agency is prepared to invest in Sacramento Valley’s proposed Sites Reservoir, a move that could broaden support for the $4.4 billion project but also raise alarms about a south state “water grab.”

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California would pour $1.5 million into pre-development work at Sites if Metropolitan’s board accepts a recommendation made by its executive staff Wednesday. The board plans to vote on the investment next Tuesday.

Metropolitan could increase its investment later in the project, which has the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. That would entitle the Southern California agency to control as many as 50,000 acre-feet of storage once the reservoir gets built, according to the Metropolitan staff report. Sites, to be built at a remote location straddling the Glenn-Colusa county line, would be able to hold up to 1.8 million acre-feet.

Metropolitan’s interest “further shows the value of Sites Reservoir as a solution,” said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Project Joint Powers Authority.

Watson acknowledged that Metropolitan’s involvement could create backlash about Southern California siphoning more water from the Sacramento Valley. But he said Metropolitan wouldn’t get a seat on the reservoir’s governing board. By state law, the board must be made up of representatives of Sacramento Valley water agencies, he said.

The advocacy group Restore the Delta, however, said Metropolitan is simply angling to take more water from the north. “They are really coming in as an outside power to control that watershed…the Sacramento River watershed,” said the group’s director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.

Proponents say Sites would improve water storage and the environment, making water available to improve conditions of endangered fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Sites would be California’s seventh largest reservoir, and the largest built in the state since New Melones opened on the Stanislaus River in 1979. It would be an “off-river” reservoir fed by an underground 14-mile pipeline from the Sacramento River.

Until now, Metropolitan has been hesitant to commit to Sites. General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, in an interview last November, said the reservoir would have little value for Metropolitan unless the state builds its controversial twin tunnels in the Delta. Metropolitan is one of the leading backers of the $15.5 billion tunnels plan, which is designed to re-engineer the troubled Delta and smooth the delivery of Northern California’s water to points south.

Metropolitan is signing on to help with planning work on Sites, including preparation of an application to the State Water Commission for funding from Proposition 1, the voter-approved water bond that has set aside $2.7 billion for reservoirs and other infrastructure. Sites backers are seeking up to $2.2 billion from in Proposition 1 money, or half the total cost.

Under Proposition 1 rules, the state would gain control of up to half of Sites’ water for environmental purposes if it subsidizes the reservoir with bond money.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143081329.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Washington State: Elwha too clogged for fish to live

Dams other than Klamath, Dept. Fish & Game, Federal gov & land grabs, Salmon and fish

PNP comment: This may be “old” news, but it is relevant to our situation in Siskiyou, CA. as the state and feds still want to destroy 4 hydro-electric dams in the Klamath River that are 190 miles inland, which will in turn devastate the river quality with tons and tons of sediment. — Editor Liz Bowen

Kitsap Sun

Seabury Blair Jr.

Columnist

Posted: April 15, 2013

Two days after I hiked the sandy, rocky desolation that used to be Lake Mills, as many as 200,000 chinook salmon were killed in what has to be one of the biggest blunders in the history of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The year-old salmon were released from the new $16 million Elwha Hatchery run by the state and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe on April 5. Most — if not all — were killed when they tried to swim downstream through the thick gray goop that is the lower Elwha River, created by the removal of two dams built illegally in 1910.

Though they only had to negotiate 3.5 miles of the river before reaching clearer waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the silt in the river began choking them almost the minute they swam from the crystalline hatchery water into the moving mire that is the Elwha. Hatchery officials reported seeing hundreds of dead smolts lining the riverbank, their gills clogged by the same silt that forced “temporary closure” of a $70 million Elwha River water treatment plant.

In the Port Angeles Daily News, Mike Gross, Fish and Wildlife biologist, called the release of the salmon “a mistake.” Gross said he suspected the fish suffocated when silt prevented their gills from providing oxygen.

I imagine it would be akin to trying to breathe volcanic ash for days without a mask, or running a marathon in a massive dust storm.

Hatchery officials said they checked on the amount of silt in the Elwha on April 4, and determined it was acceptable to release the fish. They said the silt in the river increased overnight.

I hiked about 3 miles downstream in the desolate bed of the former Lake Mills on April 3, and I don’t need a degree in biology to tell you that no fish could live in that water. The river looked no different when I left the Elwha Campground on April 4.

For almost 15 miles, the Elwha River carves through a century’s worth of mud, sand and river cobble deposited behind the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. Above Rica Canyon, at the entrance to the former Lake Mills, the river is the same old blue friend I’ve known for more than 50 years.

But beginning at the old Lake Mills inlet, the river turns into gray slurry that is poison to any fish. I don’t imagine many wild animals drink from that deadly potion and live, either.

Fisheries biologists have been releasing coho salmon into Indian Creek, which flows from the west into the Elwha; and Little River, which flows from the east. Both tributaries are about 7 miles upstream from the mouth of the river.

They’ve reported some of the fish, along with a few chinook they released into Lake Mills before it became the desolation it is today, have survived the gantlet of poison. Now the state is planning to release nearly a million salmon from the hatchery in June.

About the same time, work on removing the remainder of the Glines Canyon dam is expected to resume, which will surely cause more sediment to be swept downstream. Worse, concrete dust from the dam will be stirred into the mix, making it even more deadly.

Let us hope the state and tribe can think of a way to get healthy salmon from the hatchery to the Strait before they kill a million more fish.

Seabury Blair Jr. is the author of Backcountry Ski! Washington; Day Hike! Olympic Peninsula; Day Hike! Columbia Gorge; The Creaky Knees Guide to Washington; the Creaky Knees Guide to Oregon; and Washington Wild Roads. Email Seabury at skiberry@hughes.net.

http://archive.kitsapsun.com/sports/columnists/seabury-blair/356167261.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Port Angeles, WA to sue Park Service in dispute over Elwha River water facilities

Dams other than Klamath, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment:  Port Angeles is a city in and the county seat of Clallam County, Washington, United States. With a population of 19,038 as of the 2010 census,[7] it is the largest city in the county, according to Wikipedia. It is worth checking out the entire article at the link below. It looks like the fed gov. is not fulfilling its obligations. Shock !!! — Editor Liz Bowen

 

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has set the stage for filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the National Park Service.

It’s part of a growing impasse related to the historic removal of the Elwha River dams.

In the latest twist, council members last week unanimously authorized City Manager Dan McKeen to have the city’s legal counsel file the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Park Service if the agency continues to apparently balk on fulfilling the city FOIA public records request.

City Attorney Bill Bloor said at the council meeting Tuesday that the Park Service has not provided contract information being sought by the city on the $25 million Elwha River surface water intake and treatment facilities.

They were built to treat much of the estimated 34 million cubic yards of sediment released by the removal of the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams to replenish the river’s salmon run.

The dams were removed in 2014 in the largest project of its kind in the nation’s history, but the overall river restoration project is ongoing.

The Park Service in February denied the city’s $60 million claim to mitigate the financial impact if the Park Service transfers the plant to the city, as it plans to do.

City officials have said they want the Park Service to provide a fund to pay for facility improvements and the annual operation of the intake system, a cost estimated at $750,000 to $1 million that would include hiring up to three new employees.

The water facilities provide industrial water to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife rearing channel, the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe’s fish hatchery and Nippon Paper Industries USA’s mill.

Nippon is undergoing a transfer of ownership to McKinley Paper Co., a U.S. subsidiary of Mexico-based Bio-Pappel paper products company, a process McKinley officials said would be completed by the end of this month.

Herb Baez, McKinley’s vice president of operations, did not return a call for comment Friday.

The city’s $60 million claim against the Park Service alleged that the federal government “still needed to do more to make those facilities acceptable to the city,” Bloor told council members Tuesday.

“We could not continue to operate them as we operate them now.

“If we take over those facilities, it would be extremely expensive to the city.”

The city still intends to reach a settlement with the Park Service, Bloor added.

The statute-of-limitations deadline for the city to file litigation against the Park Service to cover the city’s costs is around August 2018, Bloor said in an earlier interview.

The city filed a FOIA request for the contract file nine months ago and has received “very little in response,” Bloor said, making it necessary to lay the groundwork for a suing the federal government to obtain the information.

“We think that perhaps by authorizing the city manager to have that authority that maybe the Park Service will be more forthcoming with the records,” he added.

Sally Mayberry, a public affairs specialist with the Park Service’s Denver service center, said Friday the agency’s FOIA officer was out of the office, so she was unable to say how far along the agency is in fulfilling the city’s public records request.

The cost of the restoration project has been estimated at $325 million, but that and a completion date are up in the air, Mayberry said.

“Due to the nature of the ongoing situation, I don’t have any updates to the project completion date or the cost,” she said.

Mayor Patrick Downie, Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd and Councilman Lee Whetham spoke Tuesday in favor of the lawsuit-filing authorization Tuesday.

“We’ve got the future of our town riding on this,” Whetham said.

The city contends that the Park Service has not followed through on a pledge to maintain the amount and quality of water available to the city and its residents that existed in 1992 under the city’s municipal and industrial water rights under the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act.

Under the act, the secretary of the interior is responsible for “specific proposals to protect the quality and quantity of water available for municipal and industrial use.”

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Port Angeles to sue Park Service in dispute over Elwha River water facilities

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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Utah: State wants $145,000 in Tibble Fork sediment release

Dams other than Klamath

PNP comment: Wow, Utah recognizes the environmental damage and fish-kill associated with sediment release into a river. Too bad, Oregon and California can’t see the same problem if the Klamath dams are destroyed. — Editor Liz Bowen

Deseret News

@amyjoi16

SALT LAKE CITY — Last August’s sediment release during the restoration of the Tibble Fork Dam is prompting Utah water quality regulators to seek more than $145,000 in penalties and reimbursement from the dam’s operators.

About 5,200 fish died in a 2-mile stretch of the American Fork River in Utah County after 5,000 cubic yards of metals-laden mud washed into the waterway on Aug. 22.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employees Mike Slater and Stuart Bagley use electrification tools to identify fish mortality in the American Fork River below Tibble Fork Dam on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The dam and reservoir, operated by the North Utah County Water Conservancy District, serves downstream irrigators that include farmers and cities.

In a proposed settlement agreement signed Thursday, the water district agreed to pay $52,500 in penalties and nearly $93,000 in reimbursement to the Utah Division of Water Quality to cover sampling and monitoring costs incurred from Aug. 23 to Sept. 5.

The district also agreed to monitor the river until its health is restored to prerelease conditions.

“We want to ensure that the water quality of the American Fork River is restored and that residual sediments from the release don’t degrade the river or threaten public health or aquatic life in the future,” said Walt Baker, water quality director. “Most importantly, we want to make sure that this kind of incident doesn’t happen again.”

MORE

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865676753/State-wants-145000-in-Tibble-Fork-sediment-release.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, Dams other than Klamath

Riverbanks collapse after Oroville Dam spillway shut off

San Francisco Chronicle

When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.

But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River — a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.

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State water officials were warned of Oroville Dam weakness a dozen years ago

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath, State gov

SacBee.com

February 13, 2017 1:06 PM

 As California officials rushed Monday to stabilize conditions at Oroville Dam, the state’s top water official brushed aside questions about recommendations made a dozen years ago to upgrade the emergency spillway that nearly failed Sunday.

In a Monday afternoon news conference near Oroville Dam, Acting Department of Water Resources Director Bill Croyle was asked whether the spillway should have been reinforced years ago as advocacy groups advised in 2005 filings with the federal government.

Croyle said he wasn’t familiar with the reports, but that once the crisis subsided, engineers would do a thorough analysis of what went wrong.

“That’s part of our vetting process,” he said.

The recommendations to strengthen the spillway came as state officials were seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense Oroville Dam for another 50 years.

Advocacy groups including Sacramento-based Friends of the River said at the time that the emergency spillway would actually pose a danger if the reservoir were hit with heavy storm runoff from the Sierra Nevada and filled to the brim.

The groups said the emergency spillway needed to be strengthened to avoid almost precisely the events that occurred this weekend, when the spillway activated and the forested hillside below began eroding dangerously close to the lip of structure.

“As I recall, effectively (the official) response was ‘Well, you know, it doesn’t seem likely we’d ever have to use the emergency spillway,’” Ron Stork, a senior policy advocate at Friends of the River, told The Sacramento Bee.

Stork’s group advocated for the changes along with officials in Yuba and Sutter counties downstream from the dam. At the time, state officials objected to upgrading the spillway, saying it wasn’t necessary.

“Our facilities, including the spillway, are safe during any conceivable flood event,” Raphael Torres, acting deputy director of the State Water Project, told The Bee in 2005.

The spillway issue dates to 1970, when the operational manual for the dam was updated with the expectation that Marysville dam would be built on the Yuba River, a tributary of the Feather. This new dam was authorized by Congress in 1966, but never was built.

Nevertheless, Oroville operations were designed to work in concert with the Marysville dam to ensure Feather River flows would not exceed the holding capacity of downstream levees.

Croyle said Monday that second-guessing decisions of his predecessors may come later.

“We’re going to get into recommendations or concerns that were voiced in the past,” he told reporters Monday. “But right now, we’re focused on maintaining public safety – not strictly during this event, but also this spring runoff period.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132468874.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Flooding from breached Nevada dam affecting road and rail routes to Utah

Air, Climate & Weather, Dams other than Klamath

PNP comment: This is what happens when a dam is breached — nothin’ but flooding and sediment problems. — Editor Liz Bowen

Deseret News.com

@McKenzieRomero

MONTELLO, Nevada — Flooding from a breached earthen dam continues to plague an Elko County town and has washed out a stretch of highway just past the Utah border.

And as officials get a better look at the scope of the damage, estimates of a fairly quick repair schedule — a week or so — may fall by the wayside.

Nevada law enforcement reported Thursday that days of wet weather in the state had strained the Twentyone Mile Dam in Elko County, causing it to fail on Wednesday. Water from the reservoir went rushing out, flooding the town of Montello and compromising travel by road and rail.

Traffic on state Route 30 in Utah has been stopped at the state line, as a large section of Nevada Route 233 has been washed out about 4 miles from the border.

Boyd Ratliff, assistant district engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said the stretch of highway had been closed as a precaution once water started flowing over it.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in our district in quite some time,” Ratliff said.

A long-haul trucker caught in the flooding, won’t soon forget his ordeal Wednesday night.

Remus Spiridon, a truck driver for S&D transport out of Montreal, Canada, was hauling a load on his way to California, but he ran into trouble on route 233 and was stuck overnight, surrounded by water. He descibed seeing the road begin to break apart near him and water rushing by. He couldn’t turn around.

“I pushed the gas … there was no turning back,” Spiridon said. “I would have been dead.”

He made it through that stretch but had to stop a few miles down the road as the highway was awash with water. He didn’t reach safety until Thursday morning.

MORE

http://deseretnews.com/article/865673016/Flooding-from-breached-Nevada-dam-affecting-road-and-rail-routes-to-Utah.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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