Who killed the San Diego River?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by carpkiller, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. carpkiller

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    So I went for a hike in Mission Trails yesterday.

    The river is gone. Completely dried up. The watershed is so parched that even downstream from reliable feeder creeks, the water just soaks into the ground and there is NO flowing water on the surface.
    That has only happened twice before in the past 30 years, and both times, there was enough water in some pools to sustain life.

    Here's a picture of one of those pools now.
    290908 SD River dry bed.jpg

    So. In the canyon below Big Bear Lake, there is always water flowing, so that the native fish and wildlife aren't killed off.

    The water agency is REQUIRED to release a certain amount of water to make sure human needs (drinking water and recreation) don't create a dust bowl in the canyon downstream.

    Up in the Owens Valley, after nearly a century of water piracy, and air pollution caused by the man-made dust bowl... they're turning it around.

    Meanwhile, here in San Diego, the dam was raised at San Vicente. And they filled it up so that the water district could collect launch fees from wakeboarders. And apparently they aren't releasing any water at all; at least from the evidence clearly visible in Mission Trails.

    Look, I get it. The fish in that river are mostly non-native. But the crayfish, the frogs, the bugs...they are the biomass that supports birds, snakes, raccoons, etc. And I guess deer and other mammals can drink stagnant water...until that's gone. Then they can get moisure from the plants they eat. Oh, wait, the riparian habitat is dying. Drier than any time in the past 30 years. Now the deer have to travel farther to get water.

    190908 MTRP CLOSURE SIGN.jpg

    And now, somehow, some plant or animal is now endangered, so much of the area is closed to hikers. Because hikers are the problem.

    Hmm. The species are endangered because of a loss of habitat, and the remaining bits of habitat must be fiercely protected. But somehow, shutting off a river to benefit human recreation is okay? Destroying the riparian habitat is just fine, I guess.

    (For those of you new to the environmental movement, here's the deal in a nutshell. So-called environmentalists exist only to file lawsuits ...big lawsuits....to shake down donors and spend years in court....so that when a federal settlement comes down, the lawyers get paid first. Apparently there's no money in protecting the San Diego River.)

    So, one of the last bits of riparian habitat is dying of thirst....and it's happening right here, you can see it from the hiking trails....where's the outrage?

    The word is "extirpation." It means a species has been rendered extinct from part of its natural range.

    Well, at least someone's getting launch fees from wakeboarders. I mean, I only saw ONE bird yesterday, a heron. Haven't seen the Golden Eagle nest in a couple of years, either. And since the heron doesn't have water skis, and nobody's collecting any money from it, I guess it's okay that it will have to move downstream to Mission Valley. At least that habitat is safe, and there's no chance of it being developed to the point of having no wildlife. :-/

    Hey look, I get it. The willow-huggers have chased out the hikers and fishermen, hooray! A triumph for mother nature, whom we are sworn to protect.

    Meanwhile, the homeless are still camping and pooping in the riverbed, but they tend to hang in areas with running water. So double hooray, we got SOME the homeless out, and all it cost us was herons, eagles, deer, carp, bass, crayfish, insects, snakes, riparian habitat, and some of the frogs and toads.

    Teenagers still party in the gorge. And hopefully neither the stubborn homeless nor the fun-loving teens will have an illegal campfire and torch the whole park. Because that never happens.

    But I suppose if the place burns, someone will FORCE the water-barons to release some water from San Vicente so that the willows will grow back. Maybe. If some lawyer can figure out a way to get paid from the deal.

    Or since there's no wildlife, I guess we can just jam some condos in there.....but no, probably not. Because we're 'protecting' the habitat.
     
    #1 carpkiller, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  2. William Ritchie

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    I wonder if RCP or the other sand mining entities may have installed a new coffer dam or similar for dredging and are letting it fill to overflow . If thats the case flow will probably resume shortly after getting to fill level . I guess a walk down the river trail or out El Monte may show it . I know Hansen has a plant that used to operate there and I have noticed some activity lately like they may reopen operations . Flow from El Cap may have more to do with it . I believe most of the water for San V is pumped in all the way from the sierras and may not even release into the SD river basin.Interesting debacle . WR
     
    #2 William Ritchie, Sep 9, 2019
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  3. carpkiller

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    Yeah, what's got me pointing the finger at San V is that the SD River flow slowed to a trickle, then stopped dead when they were filling the reservoir. In the weeks just prior to the reopening, the water levels through Mission Trails dropped steadily to rarely-seen levels...and except for immediately following a rainstorm, remained at dust-bowl levels. We've actually had pretty good rainfall two out of the last three years, yet the San Diego River is dry.
     
    #3 carpkiller, Sep 9, 2019
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  4. William Ritchie

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    It is a shame to allow the system to take a hit like this , maybe some questions directed to the MWD would shed some light on it . I am afraid we would just hear crickets on the other end of the line . Correction on the source for San V . The water comes from Lake Havasu as well as the San Vicente creek watershed . I have heard from workers at ElCap dam that the level the lake will hold is substantially lower than historically due to structural integrity issues . May be a contributing factors well . WR
     
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