The Pond shuts down due to CA drought

cruznskicruznski Posts: 151 Baller
Yesterday an urgent crew from the Santa Clara County Waterski Club (SCCWSC) had to launch a boat in very low water at the only tournament site in Si Valley, Norcal skiers know it as The Pond. It one of the oldest sites in NorCal. The drought situation shut off the water supply to Coyote Creek, which feeds the site. It shut down fast, the water level was dropping at an accelerated rate and we had to pull the course. There's a longer story how the club evaded shut down from the Anderson Dam retrofit project, but that's not for this post. So we had a reprieve and a great run from Fall thru Spring, a lot of skiing.
I am attaching photos- right after we happily installed Wally boat guides and 55's, the morning we pulled and after we pulled (most) of the course hardware and the crew.

We will need a huge rain season to recover from this, hope springs skiternal.

So for now, that's all folks


  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 905 Crazy Baller
    That is standard procedure for Santa Clara. When the water is low they drain the pond.
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,385 Mega Baller
    Nice site. Bummer!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 299 Solid Baller
    Really hope it recovers. Tragic.
  • Cooper_TrelawneyCooper_Trelawney Posts: 289 Solid Baller
    Hope y'all get the rain you need. My brother has an MB 190 that he uses on Folsom Lake outside of Sacramento. That lake is dangerously low too.
  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 864 Mega Baller
    That really sucks!!
  • dbaconazdbaconaz Posts: 137 Baller
    Man that sucks. All of us in the Southwest need lots of rain and more importantly a HUGE Snow season this coming winter!!!
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,432 Mega Baller
    @Cooper_Trelawney - Folsom never opened to boats at speed at all this year. Just a few fishing boats at trolling speed.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • Cooper_TrelawneyCooper_Trelawney Posts: 289 Solid Baller
    @jimbrake he sent me a depressing video of him driving the boat at idle speed only. His wife coerced him into a boat ride and he said it broke his heart to just putter around.
  • cruznskicruznski Posts: 151 Baller
    That is where they found a plane that crashed into Folsom Lake in 1986 just recently

  • cruznskicruznski Posts: 151 Baller
    Update the Pond is draining really fast. Check out the docks.

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    Hmmm. It was a good year for snow skiing in the Sierras. Lots of coverage all season. Squaw stayed open well into May. Lots of skier visits despite covid restrictions.

    Things are pretty lush at Mom's house in the Bay Area. The Sacramento river looked very high when we drove past a couple weeks ago. The drought situation at the Pond and Folsom is surprising to me.

    I was a member at the Pond in 1976 - 77 when it dried up. That year had almost no rain, and a horrible snow ski season. An obvious miserable drought.

    In San Diego and the Coachella valley, it was a very dry winter. But that's not unusual, I often go years without having to rebuild my road from a flood washout. Lake Mead is at an all time low (despite a record breaking storm in Colorado and Wyoming in the spring?). So we are also in a drought crisis in socal.

    Perhaps a cloud was following me around all winter to skew my perception of how wet it was. Perhaps the water was mismanaged. Perhaps there is a political factor in water management. Perhaps we just need more water than anything but a flood year can provide. I just hope there is enough water that we can still ski.

    Best wishes to everybody at the Pond for getting some skiing this summer and a good year next year.

  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,492 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Looking back at history, isn’t California a pretty dry state?
    Shut up and ski
  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 864 Mega Baller
    Where does the water go from there that it dropped so fast ?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    @The_MS You have always been able to get alcohol in California so we definitely aren't a dry state!

    California has lots of normal variability in the rainfall. Since most of the rain comes in winter and the rest of the year normally can have zero rain, all the water must be managed. The water managers are scapegoats for all water issues (including floods). There are lots of water needs - often with contradicting responses. Water is always a complicated fight.

    Without the managed water we would be a barren desert incapable of supporting a fraction of the population.

    The Pond is 100% managed water. Its primary mission is as a percolation zone to recharge the aquifer. The recreation is secondary. Always sad when it needs to go dry.

  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,492 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    edited June 18
    I agree @eleeski. I guess the term drought should not be used when it’s just historically a normal weather pattern. It sucks when you have to give up skiing so people can water lawns and take long showers
    Shut up and ski
  • MNshortlinerMNshortliner Posts: 273 Solid Baller
    I hate to hear anybody loosing their ski spot. My area had a normal winter than started to get really dry but then it rained for a week straight and the lake came up 5” or so. Then not much rain since. Here is a billboard that was up more than 20 years ago when talk was about building a water pipeline from the Great Lakes to the South West region.

  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,432 Mega Baller
    @eleeski - you thought our winter was a good one snow-wise? It was a fun season for sure, but Sierra snowfall for the season ended up ranging from about 50 to 70% of average. Not good at all for California water storage/supply/delivery.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,643 Mega Baller
    How are the man made ski sites around Saco doing water wise?
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,432 Mega Baller
    @ALPJr - fine. Groundwater.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,432 Mega Baller
    @MNshortliner - that billboard is offensive. Not everyone in California surfs, OK? I do, but you know, not everyone.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • cruznskicruznski Posts: 151 Baller
    @The_MS well it varies a lot, I live in Santa Cruz area which is coastal and about 20 miles from the Pond. The rain season is recorded Jul 1 to Jun 30, here are the rain totals for the last 10 years:

    Season Rain, 2020-2021 22.31 in
    Season Rain, 2019-2020 30.39 in
    Season Rain, 2018-2019 63.00 in
    Season Rain, 2017-2018 30.90 in
    Season Rain, 2016-2017 95.17 in
    Season Rain, 2015-2016 47.06 in
    Season Rain, 2014-2015 33.82 in
    Season Rain, 2013-2014 20.78 in
    Season Rain, 2012-2013 35.54 in
    Season Rain, 2011-2012 36.27 in
    Season Rain, 2010-2011 62.55 in

    Note 5 years ago we had rain forest amounts of rain. This year will end at 22.3 which is really low.
    CA has not built any new dams or reservoir capacity in like 50 years. The Anderson Dam retrofit project is really important as that reservoir was being kept at low level as the dam had some of the same problems as the Oroville Dam. When completed (in 10 years ! ) Anderson will operate with full capacity it is the largest reservoir in the San Jose area.
  • igkyaigkya Posts: 786 Crazy Baller
    edited June 19
    @eleeski makes very good points, except that Tahoe did not have a good year for snowfall, more like 40-50%, which is still a lot of snow, ~400"
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