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Watershed Impacts Due to Vineyards

To All,

Is there a unified policy on the flows and frost protection issue?  NO.

I have almost one mile of MWC (Mark West Creek) running through my property where I have lived for over 40 years and am in the timber business.   About 5 or  6 years ago, I noticed a significant loss of summertime flows even after exceptionally wet winters.

Working with neighbors and many others, it became apparent this was happening at an incredible rate not only to our watershed but throughout the county.  In our particular watershed, there has been very few homes built recently but there  has been considerable vineyard development with considerable deforestation.

We have noted that:

a)  Pumping for frost protection immediately reduces creek flows significantly.

b)  Vineyard irrigation for heat protection and growth will totally dry up a Class I stream adjacent to a vineyard.

c)  Springs disappear adjacent to these vineyards.

d)  Short duration flooding is occurring even after minor storms below these vineyards.

e)  Water levels in neighboring wells drop, sometimes significantly.

f)  Of the 9 miles of Mark West Creek, approximately 3 1/2 miles existed in Sept. 2009 where CDFG records always indicated 29 miles of water in the past.

g)  2008 fish kills in Mark West Creek appear to be 100% and the list goes on.

What are we doing?

Jim