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Some question McCloud’s Squaw Valley Creek study

By Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Area Newspapers
Posted Nov 02, 2011 @ 10:15 AM
Last update Nov 02, 2011 @ 02:21 PM

McCloud, Calif. — Now that a study on the Squaw Valley Creek watershed is complete, members of the McCloud Community Services District and California Trout hope they can keep some of its sensors up and running.

“If we can continue the study, we’d learn more about stream flow,” said Curtis Knight of Cal Trout. “The more information we have, the better.”

In a press release from Nestle Waters North America, who funded the approximately $1 million study after the company halted plans to build a bottling plant in McCloud, the company could have taken as much as 3.2 cubic feet per second of water from the creek without diminishing water quality or harming the ecosystem.

Some in the community, however, believe the study isn’t entirely conclusive because the water diversion study was only conducted over six weeks. (The entire study took two years to complete.) MCSD board member Diane Lowe still believes such water extraction would have negatively impacted the area.  

“Although I feel the (report)  provided a great deal of baseline information on the Squaw Valley watershed, closer to the water source and to the town of McCloud, the information seems less conclusive than further downstream,” said Lowe, who has always had reservations about Nestle’s involvement in McCloud. “The  two short six-week water diversions from our MCSD upstream spring sources indicate changes, especially water flows, in Squaw Valley Creek here in town.”

Lowe added, “It appears many questions remain about a number of variables and consistency in the study as it pertains to the upper creek region. Undoubtedly, more information will likely need to be and must be gathered for future water resource planning here in McCloud.”

“I think the community is grateful to have this information,” said McCloud Community Services District board member Brian Stewart, who also said he’s hoping to keep some sensors active.

“The next step will to be to find agencies that can participate and monitor the sensors, so they can provide continuing data,” said Stewart.

Knight said he believes the study gives the McCloud community a good baseline and contains valuable information.

He said it does appear that extracting 3.2 cfs from the creek would not have had a terrible impact, though “the upper portion would be more affected. When the water was taken out, we did see some impacts.”

Knight said the diversion study was conducted over six weeks and had a “strong design.”

“The study did what is was meant to do,” Knight said. “The community now has an asset and are now empowered. with a stronger negotiating position if such a proposal was ever made again.”

Conducted by North State Resources and designed in conjunction with experts from the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Davis, Knight said there were many stakeholders in the study, which resulted in an independent review.

He gave credit to Nestle for completing the costly study, even after they pulled out in 2009 after six years of widespread discontent in the McCloud community.

“They were very receptive,” Knight said. “They listened, and when there were changes needed (during the study) they took those steps, even when it was more costly.”

For more information
To download the full report, including an executive summary follow the instructions below.

To enter the project designated FTP site:
Go to the NSR website at: http://www.nsrnet.com
Click on the “Project Login” link located at the top right-hand side of the page. This will take you to the ShareFile login page.
Once there, enter the username and password (the password is case sensitive) shown above, and then click “Login.”
Username: Squaw_Valley_Creek_Investigations@nsrnet.com
Password: nsr51057
You will be presented with list of available files that can be downloaded by selecting the desired files using the check boxes, then clicking on the download button.

Link to original article: http://www.mtshastanews.com/mobiletopstories/x167854423/Some-question-McClouds-Squaw-Valley-Creek-study

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