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Dredging of Lake Cachuma?
updated: May 08, 2014, 8:25 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I remember a few months ago when the realization of a drought really started to hit, there was a lot of talk on Edhat about removing dirt and dredging up at the Lake, but I haven't heard anything since. Does anyone know if this is currently happening? And if not, why? I'm away on my honeymoon in Europe but have been trying to keep up with the news back home in Santa Barbara and it doesn't sound good. Thanks for any info.

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

 COMMENT 517357 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 08:36 AM

If things don't turn around, we'll be calling it the Cachuma Crator. Guess it could still be deepened though. We could create our own version of the "Mystery Spot"!

 

 COMMENT 517359 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 08:39 AM

I imagine the problem is what to do with the dirt. It is probably contaminated.

 

 COMMENT 517370P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 08:54 AM

If this El NiƱo hits it would be nice to capture more of it's rainfall for future potential droughts.

http://www.livescience.com/45333-are-we-heading-for-a-worrying-super-el-nino.html

 

 COMMENT 517381 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:11 AM

I am curious how many edhatters know how long we have been keeping rain records in SB? So when they say driest year in "recorded" history how long do they mean?

Go to county website and see for youself. For most of Ca it is about 100 years.

Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years -- compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.

Knowledge is power.

 

 COMMENT 517382 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:12 AM

This was discussed on Edhat on Jan 18 of this year. There were no fully authoritative response. In summary, there are formidable regulations limiting such action and there is no cost effective way to get rid of the silt. The dam is a Federal reclamation project so every level of government is involved. Environmental regulations would restrict areas to deposit silt. The cost of silt removal would be enormous.

 

 COMMENT 517385P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:13 AM

Contaminated or not, to remove any significant volume of silt deposit from the lake bed would entail millions of trips for big trucks on 154, and then figuring out where to put it. You can't just wave your magic wand and make it go away.

 

 COMMENT 517394 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:21 AM

They looked at this in Ventura in reference to the removal of Matilija Dam. One way to get rid of it is to slurry it and put it into a pipeline down to the mouth of the river, and then put it back into the ocean where it should have gone anyway. It's expensive and takes a lot of water, but at least you don't have the trucks destroying our local roads.

I've never heard anyone say that the sediment is contaminated but anything's possible, I guess.

 

 COMMENT 517406 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:35 AM

The pipeline idea sounds great except it would probably use a LOT of fresh water to move the silt. How about a rail line that takes the silt to sea?

 

 COMMENT 517411 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 09:42 AM

It would not he that expensive compared to the costs associated with operating a desal plant. And the silt could be removed and temporarily displaced as a future basic element in fertilizer mixes. River delta sedimentation soils are the richest soils in the world. Simply remove the vollume to another location. It could easily be removed by turbidity mining techniques, kind of like the dredging of the Santa Barbara Harbor, except in this case you would remove the material by sedimentation at a lakeside water processing plant, instead of shooting the mining sludge a few hundred yards down the shore. The water quality would probably be improved by the process. Heck, the whole process could probably be accomplished with Solar Power! and it's not like environmentalists can argue that some wild indigenous animal is native to the dry lake bed. This is the most financially responsible and VIABLE long term sollution to our local water needs.

 

 COMMENT 517447 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 11:15 AM

Cost is too much, city has to pay for unnecessary expenditures. Like perhaps a gang injunction. So for now,stay thirsty my friends!

 

 COMMENT 517456 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 11:31 AM

Environmentalism is great. Like when you believe there's too much plastic floating around in the ocean and try to do something to stop this unnatural outcome that pollutes the seas.

Yet everything exists in a bell curve. There's a sweet spot in the middle where 80% of an issue resides.

Well, you know you've gone into the land of outliers when dirt is considered a contaminant. That there's no where to pile it if you dredged a reservoir like Cachuma or Gibraltar.

Where to put the dirt? Um... Pile it up on the side down stream opposite the dam. Make a hill somewhere. Put it in an open field. Because sometimes there's a greater good that helps everyone.

 

 COMMENT 517457 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 11:32 AM

The only talk about dredging was done by Edhat commentors.

Dredging Lake Cachuma was NEVER discussed at any government level.

 

 COMMENT 517468 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 11:52 AM

Congrats & get back to your honeymoon!

 

 COMMENT 517479 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 12:24 PM

We dont need a bigger hole. We need one with water in it.

Droughts will happen, we already went through one similar years ago. Then it broke, its the same story heard through the ages of farmers and settlers in the early days of our country.

Heres a tip, dont waste water when we have it.

 

 RUDOLF THE RED agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 02:04 PM

Now is the time to do it. So fix the road if it is messed up. Dredge it now. I want a bigger hole so next time I can water my garden in a drought.

 

 COMMENT 517523 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 03:24 PM

You do not dredge a lake the size of Lake Cachuma. Not unless you have 100 billion dollars and SEVERAL years of no rain to keep it bone dry so that trucks can get down there.

We cannot even come close to being able to afford dredging Gibraltar Dam.

Please, common sense everyone. Dredging is 100% out of the question.

 

 COMMENT 517543 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 04:19 PM

First off ranchers down that river need the overflow to replenish the ground water for their wells. So if you want to see a massive lawsuit dig the lake deeper so it won't overflow. The problem isn't the lake depth. The problem is we keep building homes and people move here and complain there is no housing so we keep building more. We have a population problem. Dredge out the people

 

 COMMENT 517584 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-08 07:06 PM

You could dredge Cachuma and literally dump it across the street at the BEE ROCK GRAVEL and LIMESTONE MINE, owned by Granite Construction. You can't see it from the highway, you only see the entrance with the TV camera protruding on a metal arm above the 154, and a white pickup truck with a guy who stages the exiting trucks to pull out when it's safe. The mine itself it unreal - it's a big open pit mine with various levels carved into the earth. You can see it from Camino Cielo between Broadcast Peak and the 154. Google Bee Rock Mine Santa Barbara and you'll find it.

 

 COMMENT 517642 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-09 07:33 AM

Gibraltar reservoir was dredged twenty some years ago. Filled an entire canyon on the flank of the reservoir. Heavy rains erode that deposit sending it strait back into the water supply.

Behind Matilija reservoir lie carcinogenic compounds created by breakdown of biological materials under anaerobic conditions. The proposed spreading grounds for the resulting/slurry pipeline are all within the Ventura river floodplain above the aquifer from which groundwater wells extract. That is why there is opposition to the proposed plans and why sequentially removing the dam and allowing the silt to "naturally" be removed is opposed by the water districts. The case may be the same for Cachuma.

As one poster pointed out, it is overpopulation that has created the shortfall in water supplies.

Go see DamNation, the Yvon Chounard/Patagonia sponsored film screening in the Santa Ynez Valley (June 20th) and in Santa Barbara (September 20th).

 

 COMMENT 517702 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-09 10:24 AM

A simple solution would be to shove the silt off to the sides of the area. Thereby limiting trucks (none) on the pass. Why be a naysayer county government. Move forward with a solution! Time to take some initiative right!! Get the Feds support! Be Pro-active instead of being so negative. " Oh we can't so let's do NOTHING! Out country did not get ahead by being so pessimistic!!

 

 COMMENT 517868 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-05-10 07:51 AM

You're on your honeymoon in Europe? Oh honey just enjoy! Cachuma Lake and all of our troubles will still be here when you get home.

 

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