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Cachuma Silt Cleanning
updated: Jan 18, 2014, 10:59 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Given that Cachuma is so low, isn't this now the time to clean the silt out and thereby increase the lake's capacity for when the rain comes?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 486750 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 11:16 AM

No - ten years ago was the time to clean the silt out.


 COMMENT 486752P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 11:23 AM

This has come up several times before - the News Press did a series of articles back in the late 80s or early 90s on the possibility of removing the accumulated silt.

My memory isn't perfect, but as best I can recall, the conclusion was that it just wasn't feasible - either financially or logistically. Maybe someone with a NP subscription could find those articles - I may have gotten it wrong.


 COMMENT 486763 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 12:03 PM

My guess is the reality is that it has to be planned and studied, bids submitted and EIR's reviewed prior to work starting.

Or years of advance planning, something which does not always fit with a drought.


 COMMENT 486766 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 12:04 PM

Calculate how much diesel fuel will be needed to remove a truck load of silt, and how much displacement of water that will creates until it silts in again. Now -- compare the value of water to diesel. When you add in labor and all the overhead expenses, it's not always a good trade.


 COMMENT 486781 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 12:36 PM

Cleaning the silt out dump truck by dump truck to add capacity to Lake Cachuma is completely inefficient.

Raise the height of Bradbury Dam by one foot and you'll add thousands of acre feet of water to its capacity.


 COMMENT 486783 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 12:37 PM

The same should be true for Gibraltar reservoir. Those who worry about the cost of diesel vs. water need to consider the cost of a new dam that would eventually need to be built as the reservoir capacity is diminished due to silt.

I think that a bigger issue is what to do with the silt. Is it suitable or advantageous to put on top of farmland? Any toxins to be concerned with in the soil? If not farmland, then where? We struggle to continue to find viable landfill sites for trash. Is this any easier to permit and gain community approval?


 COMMENT 486802P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 01:38 PM

Why not dredge the lake when it is full and send the silt downstream with the spilling water?


 COMMENT 486818 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 02:31 PM

Where does anyone propose to put this silt? Downstream would be the logiclal spot mercury and other toxins would be a problem.


 COMMENT 486826P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 02:44 PM

I think the solution is to install rainwater tanks on all large properties that wish to have lawns. No lawns should be watered with county water. The more that rainwater can be captured by homeowners, businesses. etc, the better. That way, people will be less dependent on officials and moneyed individuals. Too bad rooftops could not be engineered to not only provide electricity using solar panels, but to direct rainwater into storage tanks. Agricultural areas could do that too, and drip feed the water out of storage when there is drought.


 COMMENT 486906P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-18 06:33 PM

I remember reading an article during the last big drought about someone in SB installing 1 or 2 2,500 gallon cisterns in their backyard.

If I remember correctly, it was a major undertaking comparable to installing a swimming pool. In 2012, California passed the Rainwater Capture act of 2012, which allows the installation of capture system to be used only for landscaping purposes.

This doesn't seem to make much sense because if you're going to spend a considerable amount of money and effort on such a system, why not allow it to be used for all household needs and perhaps drink too if there is an adequate purification system?

I guess the PTB just really aren't interested in anyone being totally self sufficient as far as their water needs.


 COMMENT 486993 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 08:20 AM

Dredging the lake will not create more water. Dredging the lake will not create more water. Dredging the lake will not create more water.

We already filled one canyon dredging Gibraltar in the 80's.

The best solution is less demand. The best solution is less people. The best solution eliminates all development that will increase water use. Ask Bendy White. Never mind. He is the business of facilitating growth and development.


 COMMENT 486999 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 08:37 AM

Dont worry about water. The Central Coast Water Authority has state water contracts for 1.2 Billion acre feet over a five year period in the event of a stage 3 drought. Just call Hatch and Parent and ask for a copy of the Monterrey accords. If you supply any more water to the South Coast that would open up Mc Mansion tract housing development to the top on the mountain range....Careful what you ask for.


 COMMENT 487005 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 09:05 AM

The number of environmental studies, permits, etc. would be prohibitive and if it was even possible to do it would take years. By then the lake would fill up again on its own making it impossible to dredge. Remember Cachuma is a FEDERAL RECLAMATION PROJECT just that fact alone is enough to plug in the dreaded Washington bureacrats and agencies that are busy making and enforcing a myriad of rules to the tune of billions of dollars in taxpayer expense to cover their six figure salaries, pensions and luxurious conventions in Las Vegas


 COMMENT 487056P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 10:49 AM

The best solution is to stop pretending that we need green lawns and lush landscaping to live. We could also stop pretending we're entitled to shower 3 times a day.

Of course, anyone who's convinced there's too many people in the world is free to leave the land of the living any time they like and spare us their preaching.


 COMMENT 487119 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-19 01:19 PM

Stop developing !


 COMMENT 487639 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 07:18 AM

State water is not available during a drought. When the drought comes, everyone asks for their full allotment, and everyone gets about 10% of what they need. There will still be rationing if we don't get rain.

Who showers 3x/day? Are you saying I should get rid of my tropical rain forest plants with southern exposure?


 COMMENT 487733 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 10:28 AM

Local governments pay about $15 cubic yard to get their silt removed. Then you have to find a place to store it. It gets real expensive real fast.

The study about taking down Matilija Dam estimated there was several million cubic yards of sediment behind the dam. Taking the dam down and releasing the sediment was going to cause all kinds of problems for the downstream areas. It's one of the reasons they haven't moved ahead with that project.


 COMMENT 487836 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 01:38 PM

Too bad Santa Barbara sold the parts to the desal plant to the middle east. They have fresh water - we don't. Not very good planning. Shouldn't they be thinking about replacing these parts to put the plant on 'standby'. Oh forgot, that's planning, and that doesn't happen here.


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