Giving Tuesday is November 29th-Double your contribution all day long!

Giving Tuesday is November 29th-Double your contribution all day long!

Giving Tuesday is upon us! What would be better than helping to protect a local treasure that is currently under threat? We are Save the Canal and we need your help. Our Mission is to save the El Dorado Canal from a massive piping project in Pollock Pines that will permanently destroy critical resources and a vital part of our community. We are currently building a legal defense fund to defeat this costly and destructive proposed plan.

And NOW is your chance to double your contribution! 

One of the donors to our cause has generously offered to match the next $950 that is donated to our fund, so here is your opportunity to feel twice as good about donating your hard earned dollars to a worthy cause.  Whether it is $5, $50, $100 or more it will be doubled until the matching amount is reached.  Simply visit:

GOFUNDME

Act now or this resource will be gone forever!


While we do not want to provide every detail about our current efforts to those that are working against us, we do want to share with our supporters some of the goals and accomplishments of Save the Canal.  Our organization has members with diverse backgrounds that will be challenging this project from many fronts.  Save the Canal members have been meeting weekly, attending EID Board meetings, and working hard to develop strong arguments that the proposed project fails to adequately address the loss of many critical resources. Our town hall meeting in November showed strong community support and caught the attention of the Mountain Democrat which has run two front page articles, and also Fox 40 News at 6. Please join us in our efforts to stop this costly, destructive project and together we can win this battle.

Here is a sample of our current efforts:

Legal Defense:  We have retained an attorney that will be representing us in court. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provides a platform for us to challenge many aspects of this proposed project.  We have also set up a gofundme account (www.gofundme.com/savethecanal) to accept donations to our legal defense fund.  We have currently received over $8600 in donations, with a final goal of $25,000 to insure our victory in court.     

Lack of Proper Easements:  EID claims to have extensive easements, for wide ranging purposes, on many private properties along the canal.  That is a false claim and they know it. They sent representatives to each property owner in an attempt to attain the required easements, but most property owners have refused to grant it to them.  Therefore their only recourse will be Eminent Domain lawsuits, the cost of which will be an added burden on EID ratepayers.

Fire Fighting Resource:  At the recent town hall meeting EID director Osborne claimed that the Upper Main Ditch (El Dorado Canal) was not a viable resource to be used in fire suppression efforts and therefore would not need to have project considerations to mitigate that loss of resource.  We have strong evidence to refute this claim – In fact the El Dorado Canal may have already served a critical role in saving your home!

Tree Mortality:  EID claims that the project will result in the loss of 200 trees.  While this would be tragic, the real number will be much higher.  We will be laying out the case that thousands of trees will be lost, all of which are on private property.

Economics:  The upper Main Ditch Piping Project does not make fiscal economic sense when the project cost will add at least an additional $5 million dollars on to the already excessive $375 million EID debt. This debt will result in rate increases to EID customers over the next five years: 5% in 2016, 5% in 2017, 4% in 2018, 3% in 2019, and 3% in 2020.

History:  Preserving this historical landmark is one of our goals.  To this end we are applying to the California Historical Landmark and California Points Of Interest.  Either of these originations will permanently protect the canal from further EID conversions.  We are also   applying to the National Register Of Historical  Places which will put this canal under federal protection.  Our specific committee has done extensive historical research to help facilitate this nomination and acceptance.

Critical Riparian Habitat:  Although the El Dorado Canal is a manmade waterway, it has been flowing for more than 150 years allowing for the development of a rich riparian habitat. These stream-side habitats are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth and they support a myriad of plant and animal species.  EID’s proposed piping plan would permanently destroy this valuable ecological resource. Save The Canal includes members with expertise in forestry and environmental science that will demonstrate that this project would result in significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.

Water Loss Summary:
EID claims that the upper main ditch loses 1300 acre feet of water annually despite several studies performed by contracted companies that contradict that number. They knowingly use this inflated water loss number to justify the cost of the piping project and when applying for grants. Save The Canal will demonstrate that EID’s exaggerated water loss numbers are based on equipment with known calibration problems and a flawed study design which fails to adequately address seasonal variations and raw water customers that draw directly from the ditch.

Water Quality:
EID would like you to believe that piping the upper main ditch will result in improved water quality and a safer water supply.  They further claim that the piping project will result in lower treatment costs. However, this project will do nothing to address the miles of open ditch upstream or the direct inputs into Forebay Lake. Save the Canal will make the case that the required water treatment process and the cost will remain basically unchanged and there will be no improvement to the quality of the delivered drinking water to justify the project cost, which is paid for by rate payers.

We ARE Save the Canal

We ARE Save the Canal

Read at the EID Board Meeting on November 14, 2016

We are submitting these comments to be included in the minutes.

We are Save the El Dorado Canal and we contend that the decision to approve the initial study of the Upper Main Ditch piping project by the EID Board of Director’s was the result of inadequate district preparation and based on insufficient information, data and research.
We contend that this project is not worth moving forward for the following reasons:

  • The Upper Main Ditch project is a financially irresponsible plan that does not adequately consider the historic, ecological, recreation and fire suppression values that it provides to our community nor the plants and wildlife that rely on it, and further that it fails to provide the benefits claimed.
  • EID has resorted to making an exaggerated claim of water loss based on a 1970’s water study. Current loss figures vary—500 acre feet, 1090 acre feet, 1300 acre feet. EID’s studies are grossly inadequate and current flow meters have functionality issues, so the resulting data is both contradictory and unreliable. There is no justification in EID’s claims of water savings.
  • The fear tactics regarding water quality degradation are unfounded. The Forebay will remain open and unsecured with large inputs of storm drainage, so this project will have little value for improved water quality or security. Tests show the water is perfectly good to drink.
  • Whether the water is flowing down the ditch or through a pipe, it will need to be treated for consumption.  Is there really sufficient data showing a substantial reduction in treatment costs to justify spending $9-$12 million on this project? (pause)
  • EID’s ballooning $400,000,000 debt, already in excess of $10,000 ten thousand dollars per rate payer, will be increased for an unnecessary project resulting in further increases to rate payers’ bills.
  • There will be a loss of a firefighting resource, especially to areas with no hydrants, and the proposed project fails to mitigate this loss of a critical resource.
  • There will be a loss of a unique Gold Rush Era cultural and historical resource.
  • There will be a loss of a beautiful waterway and ecosystem critical to a myriad of wildlife species and diverse riparian plant community.
  • There will be a loss of a vital recreational resource used by many in our community.
  • The project adversely affects fifty plus property owners’ quality of life, right to quiet enjoyment, and will cause a reduction to property values.
  • There will be significant tree mortality both directly from the construction, and for many years following construction due to the loss of available water.  This will result in increased risk to our homes and personal safety, and additional landowner costs for tree removal.
  • There will be additional costs added to this proposed project from lawsuits related to unsecured easements and CEQA, EIR requirements.  Lawsuits will delay this project and projected cost will increase substantially.

Due to these deficiencies we request this subject to be included in the agenda with a request to the Board of Director’s to vote to abandon this proposed project.  Thank you.

A message from
Save the El Dorado Canal

A message from
Save the El Dorado Canal

Thanks to everyone who is supporting our cause. The Town Hall meeting in Pollock Pines was intended to convey to George Osborne and EID staff that people are opposed to the overreaching of government and public entities, when they conflict with our rights and way of life.  However, our concerns that EID not continue with this project fell on deaf ears. The Save the Canal members, and supportive audience members, presented convincing arguments against proceeding with the project, including the great expense, destruction of the local ecosystem, 160 years of historical local history, and a small water savings, if any.  We showed our commitment to preserving the community of Pollock Pines. George Osborne was asked to place this project on the agenda at the next board meeting, and reverse his vote, thus ending the project to pipe our beautiful waterway, the Upper Main El Dorado Canal. His refusal to respond to the question clearly indicates his position on moving forward regardless of our opposition.

To all of our great supporters, please convey, by all means possible, the need for your friends in El Dorado County to contact the EID board. They need to state their opposition to the piping project, and request their position be honored as one of their constituents. If each individual researches the facts concerning this issue, they will come to the same conclusion we have: it’s just not worth doing. So all of you, please put a small amount of extra effort out to accomplish this, and we’ll be able to stop this great travesty from happening, as well as runaway spending and ever increasing rate hikes.  Please help save our canal!

Contact information:

EID: 530-622-4513
boardofdirectors@eid.org
gosborne@eid.org

Thank You,
Save the El Dorado Canal

Letter from Greg Prada, Division 2 EID Board member

Letter from Greg Prada, Division 2 EID Board member

Greg Prada, Division 2 EID board member was unable to attend our Town Hall meeting due to a last minute personal matter. He sent us a statement that he said we could read at the meeting to clarify his position in his absence.  It is copied here WITH his permission.

“Chuck,

I have had something personal come up and deeply regret that I will not be able to attend this evening’s Town Hall.

But please do not hesitate to share that two EID Directors (Alan Day and myself) have voted against this Main Ditch project every time it has come up for board approval and funding.

Right from the start, when this project was launched by 3-2 EID board approval to accept a $149,000 grant from the El Dorado County Water Agency, Alan and I could not see sufficient cost-benefit to EID’s 40,000 ratepayers for lining/piping the Main Ditch.

At the start, the claimed water savings from EID’s GM and Director of Engineering were 1,300 acre feet and the total estimated cost was $3.4 million.

Subsequently, the total estimated cost has mushroomed to $8.8 million…260% of the original cost estimate (albeit offset by more grants from other bureaucrats)… and the dry year water savings have been revealed to be a greatly lesser 500 acre feet…60% less.

EID has 65,000 acre feet of water rights and this year will sell 26,000 acre feet. Add another 9,000 acre feet for system leaks, fire protection and other authorized uses creates a total EID system-wide water usage of 35,000 acre feet.

The true dry year water loss from piping the Main Ditch of 500 acre feet is trivial even to EID in a dry year when we still have 20,000 acre feet of unused water rights, let alone to the more than 1 million acre feet sent to the sea annually from Folsom Reservoir.

So this Main Ditch project really boils down to a war of wills between EID’s GM who likes to build things along with 3 EID Directors who cozy up to a subset of agricultural old timers (who prosaically call themselves “Citizens for Water” and “Alliance for Responsible Planning”) and two EID Directors who take a cost-benefit stance in their board votes.

Your group has raised significant other issues which I most certainly find worthy.

Chuck, I certainly do not mind you quoting my above position. I will call you Friday or over the weekend to hear your assessment as to your assessment of tonight’s meeting.

With warmest regards,

Greg”