Author Topic: SC lake levels  (Read 160184 times)

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Piscolli

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SC lake levels
« on: October 11, 2011, 11:43 AM »
I have spent a great amount time between Saturday and this morning on the phone with different people and agencies trying to get the real story about SC lake levels and plans to release more water. Everyone please relax and don't believe any "OMG! Their draining the lake!" stories until the facts are in. The rumors may be true but to panic based on info that is second or third hand is pointless and irresponsible. If the rumors are true then we can see what we can do as a group to either make a change to the plans or have an impact on future plans.

10-8-2011 @ 12 pm
Nice lady at SC G&F says she’s heard nothing about releasing any more water.

10-10-2011 @ 11:30 am
Harold at G&F says he has not heard anything about releasing water and has told no one that it would be done.

10-10-2011 @ 5:20 pm
Lady at Lake Store says she’s heard nothing.

10-11-2011 @ 8:16 am
Frank at the store said that its true, on the 15th they will start to release more water for the farmers downstream. However his information is incomplete and second hand. Frank believes that at the current lake levesl and with some water coming in, it will take about 2 weeks before the lake is empty. He also said that the 2% of the water that the tribe owns is Takali Lake and not 2% of the water in San Carlos.

10-11-2011 @ 9 am
Cathy Wilson at US Department of Interior/ Indian Affairs Natural Resources Department said that with water now coming into the lake there is some available for release. But per the “Gila Decree” there is also a minimum amount of water that most be left as a “fish pool”. She will be gathering some more information and should email me today with a statement that I can release on this website.

10-11-2011 @ 11:37 am
I have not heard back from Cathy yet and I need to set this aside for now and get ready for work. I work until 10 pm tonight and still hope to have more info to post later but it may have to wait until tomorrow.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 10:44 AM by Piscolli »

Offline TRITOON

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 12:29 PM »
Thanks for putting in all the time and effort Bill, job well done.
GOD BLESS

Offline Fishless

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 04:13 PM »
Bill you might call the san carlos irrigation district to find out info? I have called them in the past to find out about water being put/kept in picacho lake (down stream of SC) during duck season where they used to store water from the gila and SC for later use and irrigation, which due to low water levels at SC do not do that anymore so Picacho is dry most of the time.

http://www.scidd.com/ this is their website with contact information etc. they are the ones that control the released water from SC for iirigation in cooolidge and surronding farms
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:16 PM by Fishless »
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books

Piscolli

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 10:57 PM »
Bill you might call the san carlos irrigation district

I tried but couldn't get to anyone that knew what was up. I will try again tomorrow.

Here is the email I got from Cathy Wilson:

From: "Wilson, Catherine" <Catherine.Wilson@bia.gov>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 17:16:21 -0400
To: piscolli@cox.net<piscolli@cox.net>
Cc: Begay, Clarence<Clarence.Begay@bia.gov>; Fisher, Augustine<Augie.Fisher@bia.gov>; Nelson, Larry<Larry.Nelson@bia.gov>; Revak, Joseph<Joseph.Revak@bia.gov>
Subject: San Carlos Irrigation Project Inquiry

"Dear Mr. Piscolli:

Thank you for your inquiry this morning about the schedule for releases from Coolidge Dam for the remainder of CY 2011 on behalf of the Arizona Croppie Association.

Attached is a copy of a Press Release issued by the San Carlos Irrigation Project describing the Dry-Up and Release Schedule for the remainder of CY 2011, and into CY 2012.

The Press Release indicates that the Project is having two 5-week dry-up periods between now and the end of January 2012, with an intervening 3-week period for releases from Coolidge Dam to the extent that water is available for release and is called for by the Project water users.  Please refer to the attached press release for the details.  Also, I refer you to the Gila Water Commissioner’s webpage for water accounting under the Gila Decree.  It provides daily updates on flows, releases, and water availability.  See www.gilawater.org.

It is also my understanding that the Project water users do not plan to call for water from Coolidge Dam between now and October 30, 2011, so that the dry-up maintenance and construction activities may begin right away.

If you have any questions please let me know, or you may also contact Mr. Clarence Begay, Irrigation Manager, at the Project at clarence.begay@bia.gov.

Cathy Wilson
Supervisory Water Rights Specialist
BIA, Western Region
(602)379-6789"

Attached is the pres release she sent me. Between her email and the press release it is still not clear to me if they are going to release water and if so how much. So I have emailed both the Gila Water Commissioner in Safford and Mr. Clarence Begay, Irrigation Manager of the project. I hope to hear back from them tomorrow and have more to share.

At this point I don't have enough concert info to post this in a public forum.


Piscolli

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 11:01 PM »
Also, please read the press release before drawing conclusion about the term "dry-up periods". This refers to the canals below the dam not the reservoir itself. This could be good news, if they need the canals dry to do the scheduled construction work on them then they can't release a bunch of water until its complete.

Offline cousinlll

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 11:24 PM »
Thanks Bill for doing all the leg work on this topic!

Agreed, that's the way I read the press release.  To me, it sounds like they are not releasing anymore water from the lake starting 30 Oct until 04 Dec & again from 25 Dec until 29 Jan.  So it does sound like good news.  Gives us time to get more lake trips in & pray for winter rains.....

LLL
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 11:26 PM by cousinlll »

Piscolli

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 11:44 PM »
Thanks Bill for doing all the leg work on this topic!

Agreed, that's the way I read the press release.  To me, it sounds like they are not releasing anymore water from the lake starting 30 Oct until 04 Dec & again from 25 Dec until 29 Jan.  So it does sound like good news.  Gives us time to get more lake trips in & pray for winter rains.....

LLL

Actually it says that releases from the Coolidge Dam will cease on 10-28 at 8 am. But I still need to find out if they plan to release water between now and then. If they do it could (depending on inflows) mean curtains for the lake. And with the "fish pool" at only 930 surface acres (the lake is currently at about 6,500) a major fish kill would probably happen.

As far as the "fish pool", that is written into the "Gila Decree". But Cathy did mention on the phone that she was lead to believe that would stop any releases if the lake got to 4,580 surface acres. One things for sure, its hard to get a straight answer but I plan to keep trying.

Offline Fishless

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 06:07 AM »
Hey Bill
welcome to the world of multi agency interaction or lack of it. left hand not knowing what the right hand it doing. Just an old war story but sounds like it still holds true, probably 10+ years ago the head of AZ. g and f waterfowl management explored keeping a minimum pool in Picacho lake for waterfowl and fishing etc. He spent a lot of time putting a meeting together with all the agencies and parties involved in water flows and management on SC lake and down stream for irrigation etc. They held their large meeting of all persons concerned and this was back when SC lake had a lot of water in it all the time. I called him a couple weeks after the meeting to see how it went? He told me it was the most frustrating meeting he had ever put together or been involved with. He said it was useless to try and get the parties together to do anything about water management for wildlife etc. and gave up on the idea.

Just a little history which may not hold true because of minimal water available? But there is two sections to the canal system that comes down into Coolidge, one that dumps in or bypasses Picacho lake (and also has the ability to receive water from the CAP (which I wonder if they are purchasing any of that water as they have in the past?) They used to work on the canal system one section at a time, they would flow a lot of water picacho lake and fill it then turn off releases from SC lake and flow it out of Picacho into the irrigation system then as time permitted they would shut off flows to farms down stream and do repairs on the lower section of the canal system. Thinking they won't do that but it has happened in the past.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books

Piscolli

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 08:50 AM »
just received this email:

Bill:
As of this date my office has not received any notification from the San Carlos Irrigation Project that they intent of commence releases from the San Carlos Reservoir.  There is at this time approximently 1100 acre feet of water (the minimum pool or fish pool) that can not be released.
 
Jon W. Allred
Gila Water Commissioner

This seems to be good news however his estimate of 1100 acre feet does not jive with today US Geo info. Nothing like the government shuffle. Got get to work now, I'll work on this more later.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:55 AM by Piscolli »

Offline Fishless

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Re: SC lake levels
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 05:18 AM »
sounds familiar with government agencies and private groups, they are running you in circles :o
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Bernard Books