Union Democrat staff

The water crisis

is over

To the Editor:

Recent articles in the Union Democrat on our water supply situation have stated repeatedly that "the water in Lyons Reservoir has to last us until Labor Day". I think, this statement is not accurate. Historically, TUD has had to bring water down to Lyons from Pinecrest Lake prior to Labor Day in roughly 60 percent of years. This used to be accomplished with a phone call to PG&E, but now TUD has to apply to the state water board for special permission. We did this two years ago and were granted an exemption without any fuss. TUD staff acknowledged in Water Committee last week that as long as the state grants our request for an exemption this year, "we have plenty of water." Our water crisis was in January when Pinecrest Lake had been emptied to generate power and we had no rain. Now we have 23,000 acre feet of water sitting up there in Pinecrest and Lyons. The crisis is over.

Ralph Retherford M.D.,

Former member

TUD Board of Directors


In support of lawn watering

To the Editor:

The editorial in the June 12 edition was misleading. I support the TUD board on its decision to let limited, life-sustaining watering of lawns. Ten minutes per cycle two times per week suggested by the Master Gardeners. The way it was portrayed by this paper you would think we could turn on the taps and let it rip! This Board listened to its constituents and heard them loud and clear. Give us some relief! You have not lost credibility with this TUD customer! Why are we the only community in California required to cut by 50 percent! Many are mad as hell.

TUD board and staff keep questioning the state water board, pushing back against Sacramento and get the Pinecrest Lake level requirements changed. Dr. Retherford is right in pointing out that this year is not really any different than 2012 and we should not have to purchase water from other sources before we get water from Pinecrest. What is the saying - do not let a crisis go to waste.

Sacramento and the Pinecrest permittees are not as here is another way to control more and more of how much water we get. Why does this community have to jump through hoops to get water! Control by elite bureaucrats and environmental fanatics are the answer. As post 1914 water rights are being curtailed, we may not get water from Lyons Dam. It is mind boggling. Where will that water go…not to humans but probably to the non-native bait fish? You have to wonder if these bureaucrats even know where their water comes from. Sacramento and Pinecrest still have no meters or are not using them yet! Is this fair and equal treatment and why are they dictating how much water we should have?

Mary McHugh

Twain Harte

'Troubled Waters' series eye opening

To the Editor:

Kudos to The Union Democrat and reporter Alex MacLean for the excellent series of articles on Tuolumne County's water situation. The impressive research on the history of water rights, missed opportunities and lack of will (and money) was eye-opening and clarified how we have arrived in our current troubling circumstances.

I hope everyone took the time to read the series - or will. Although I've lived in this county for nearly 65 years and thought I was familiar with the history of our "troubled waters," I gleaned new information and was reminded of things I'd forgotten from these articles.

Thank you for this timely reporting.

Lynne Jerome


Not laughing at lawn watering joke

To the Editor:

Please tell me this TUD lawn watering thing is a joke. Except I don't get this one. Correct me if I'm wrong. I thought I was told every drop counts. I live in a condo believing in the TUD joke.

I started saving bath water, limiting in every way my usage of this so called precious commodity. Well, I have never used all that much water to begin with.

But like a good soldier I marched to the TUD drum until now. I just got the joke. Water is like gasoline. We don't have enough until the price is right. Then there is lots of it! Yes. No more trapped bath water. The joke is on me. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Donald H. Stowell