El Dorado County Water agencies with wish list for drought funds - A dozen applications expected
The El Dorado County Water Agency quickly released a list of a dozen projects that it expects to apply for part of the $687 million.
Dave Eggerton, general manager of the county water agency, said he has been working on the list with water suppliers since last month when the governor declared an official drought.
"There's projects that we can do right here that would be beneficial for our own community as well as for the American River system," said Eggerton.
One of the projects is a $5 million plan to replace a 19th century water ditch with a water pipeline.
The El Dorado County Irrigation District uses the three-mile-long ditch to connect one its reservoirs to a water treatment plant near Pollock Pines.
"It delivers about a third of the water to our customers," said Brian Mueller, chief engineer for the E.I.D.
Mueller said the ditch leaks about 7 percent of the water that it carries, or enough to supply about 2,000 homes.
"If we were to receive some money from this governor's declaration, then we could have this ready later this summer, under construction and completed later this year or early in 2015," said Mueller.
Other El Dorado County projects likely to apply would install water meters in South Lake Tahoe and replace aging pipes under the streets of Placerville.
The cities of Sacramento and Lincoln said they plan to ask for money to restart dormant groundwater wells.
The Sacramento Regional Water Authority said it would also apply to continue funding for its existing conservation programs, which offer rebates to homeowners who purchase water-efficient toilets, showerheads and faucets.
Water managers said it is still not clear how the applications will be ranked -- by readiness, taxpayer cost, water saved, or some combination of those factors.
Eggerton said it is possible that lawmakers could also have a say in drawing up the final list.
"I would say that they're probably going to want to get funding out across the state, try to get to different funding agencies across the state. That's why our region needs to be there," he said.
Regardless of which projects receive funding, water managers said no amount of state funding would eliminate the effects of the drought and encouraged residents to continue to conserve water.
"Money doesn't produce water. It may help us be more efficient with water. It doesn't create rain," said Mary Lynn Carlton of the El Dorado Irrigation District.
See video report here: : http://www.kcra.com/news/water-agencies-ready-with-wish-list-for-drought...