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.