Topic: Last chance to get on recreational flows for Horseshoe Bend
|Posted: Jul 17, 2017Post Subject: Last chance to get on recreational flows for Horseshoe Bend
|In high water years the dam that controls the flow to Horseshoe Bend on the San Joaquin will spill when water levels fill the reservoir. These flows are uncontrollable but usually when flows drop to a point that can be controlled Southern California Edison (SCE) makes use of these flows for power generation instead of letting it continue downstream. This leaves little opportunity for whitewater recreation.|
This year, however, American Whitewater, San Joaquin Stakeholders and Agencies have negotiated with SCE to test better management of naturally occurring spill that hopefully will become part of long term operating procedures along with recreational flows provided by in season pulse flows in drier years
Anyway, during the last spill of this season SCE will test slowing down the rate of reducing flows (called ramping rate). This more natural flow regime benefits the native aquatic species while still providing whitewater boating opportunities and is referred to as spill cessation.
As I mentioned in my previous post we had hoped to do this test in August but nature had other plans - the last spill of the season is happening now!! Thus, Southern California Edison (SCE) has informed us that the San Joaquin Horseshoe Bend Spill Cessation test is happening earlier than anticipated (AS IN NOW!!!).
So expect a stretched out period of recreational flows during the next two weeks! SCE has provided us with the approximate flows for this spill cessation below. Start making your plans to get out and enjoy!
|Posted: Jul 28, 2017Post Subject: Bad SCE! 300 CFS 7/27/17!!!
|The promised 1196 cfs had already dropped to 1050 Thursday, but while we were there it dropped to 300. We had a small raft and hard sell kayak in our group, and 6 kayakers were behind us. We all suffered mightily. Portage after portage for us all due to no passage, and most rapids were much more sketchy with so little water. We all came out okay, lots scrapes and some bad swims. |
Shame on SCE!!!
|Posted: Jul 28, 2017Post Subject: Horseshoe Bend Caution
|FYI - I have put in a call to SCE to find out what happened as I see the flow jumped back up today. But I wanted to get the word out that these flows are entering the world of unpredictable as they near the end of spill cessation - a lesson I plan to address with the group negotiating the long term operations of this project.|
To be fair to SCE, they are testing the flow cessation aspect specifically to find a way to provide recreational flow opportunities within the parameter of their hydropower license. However, obviously the tail end of this test didn't go as we would like it to! AW is currently in negotiations and I will make sure they understand the safety issues at hand when flows drop out.
Thanks again Tom for your call!
Edited once. Last edited by theresaAW1 Jul 28, 2017.