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gb
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gb
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PostMon Jun 11, 2018 4:38 pm 
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This article rather squarely and fairly describes what is proposed and what the effects might be. The drawdown would be 80' during drought with the water to go primarily to help farmers in the Yakima Valley. The growers are supposed to pay for the project. At the bottom of the article is a link to provide comments.

https://www.issaquahreporter.com/news/puget-sound-residents-worried-about-kachess-lake-plan/
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Ski
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PostMon Jun 11, 2018 6:21 pm 
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Aaron Kunkler, reporting for the Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter wrote:
The environmental impact statement also states that lowering of the lake could lead to a decrease in aquifers adjacent to the reservoir, possibly leading to a decrease in water supply to wetlands, springs, streams and wells, although these impacts would be temporary.

^ Maybe I'm crazy, but for some reason this just does not sound like a good idea, even temporarily.

My favorite teller up at the bank went camping over Memorial Day weekend with her family down at Taidnapam State Park. She said the lake level was too low for her kids to be able to get anywhere near the water.
Drawdowns like this on lakes kill the recreational opportunities. Driven by Lake Shasta along I-5 when the water level is 50 feet lower than the docks and boat ramps?

Is there a possibility the agriculture industry in the Yakima Valley has developed to a point where the demand for irrigation water has exceeded the supply?
We should not be allowing here what's happened in California as a result of the almond industry.

Maybe I'm completely off base here. Sounds like a sticky wicket.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 8:04 am 
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Riffe  Lake is down because of earthquake danger.  The fam was raised sometime in the past and that construction will not withstand a large earthquake according to a study that was done.  Mossyrock would be in danger.

Reservoirs are often down this time of year in order to manage the snowmelt.  I now recreate around the upper Columbia and Lake Roosevelt, behind the Grand Coulee  dam was just starting fill.  It had been drawn down due to all that Canadian snow that is on the way.  In other words, Blame Canada!  smile.gif

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treeswarper
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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 8:11 am 
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Another note-- Riffe Lake is not there for agriculture.  It provides power for Tacoma.  You'd have to pump it over the Cascades to get its water to the Yakima Valley.

The dam has no fish ladder so salmon are trucked around it, Mayfield, and Falls dams to keep them in the upper Cowitz River.

Riffe is not a good comparison for this topic, but this explains why it will stay low.

drawdown

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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 2:17 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
Riffe is not a good comparison for this topic.

^ The comparison is only regarding the impacts that lake drawdowns have on recreational opportunities.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 2:37 pm 
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Well then, screw the down stream communities on the Cowlitz.
Fill up Riffe so folks can play!

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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Well... hopefully there's a happy medium in there somewhere.

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Token Civilian
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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 3:13 pm 
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\snark on\
Hey, how about removal of the dam?

Problem solved.  All dams bad.  Remove all dams good.

The aquifers will return to their pre-disturbed condition and all will be good.
\snark off\

Quote:
it would drop the level of Kachess Lake by an additional 80 feet

Interestingly, in looking at the Bureau of Reclamation website, it says the deadpool height of the lake is 2192.75 feet.  Top of the normal pool is 2262 feet.  That's.....70 feet.  To get 80 lower than that would be to  pump it down to 2192-80 = 2112 feet (Hmmm....I sense a Rush reference).

Interesting report:
https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/documents/1712022.pdf

Looks like the lowest level in the old, natural lake is between 1840 and 1860 feet.
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AlpineRose
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PostTue Jun 12, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Recreation on "fake lakes" will always be dependent on the other uses for which the impoundment was done.  Recreation is only one of those uses, and depending on why the dam was initially built (agriculture, power, flood control), probably the least important.
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:06 am 
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^ True. But if you owned real estate on one of those "fake lakes", or your family had vacationed there every Memorial Day for the last couple of decades (like my favorite teller up at the bank I mentioned above) you'd be singing a different tune. (i.e., Lake Tapps, Riffe Lake, etc.)

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joker
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 12:07 pm 
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I get that and feel for those owners but unless specific guarantees were made with respect to future water levels then they're just dealing  with  the same risks any real estate owners face with respect to changing neighborhood conditions. It's hard to imagine that  we won't be seeing a lot more of this type of water issue across the West in coming decades. More people to feed, and faster melting snowpacks and changing precip patterns. I would imagine that the  next big conflict  will be around proposals to  make much  higher capacity reservoirs to  better buffer the water supply given  said faster melting snowpacks...
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treeswarper
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:18 pm 
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According to the article I linked to, the Mayfield dam also has a similar problem.

Mayfield Lake  has a more developed lakeshore with at least one politically connected resident.  Hmm, perhaps some recreation trumps safety. confused.gif

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snoqpass
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:45 pm 
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For those of us that live in the area it’s about bigger things than real estate
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 2:38 pm 
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Kachees Lake, 100+ years ago a natural lake, was engineered to have water drawn from it as part of the Yakima Project in the early 1900s. The current issue is about how much to draw it down and related infrastructure to do it. Not an issue this year or last year nor the year before because the Yakima River watershed had plenty of water for irrigation. Those cabins were built because the lake was dammed, enlarged and stabilized. The lake aint gonna return to a natural lake in our lifetimes -- that bell has rung -- and if it did via dam removal, the property values would plummet to zero or near zero.
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PostWed Jun 13, 2018 3:09 pm 
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^  that's the impact that Puget Power pulling the plug on their White River project had up at Lake Tapps - real estate values plummeted for a while. not sure on what kind of deal was cooked up to salvage the lake.

that said, joker does raise a valid point, which I can fully appreciate: owning real estate next to water is a crap shoot.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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