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Alpine community calling attention to damage done by draining of Loveland Reservoir

By Kasia Gregorczyk,


ALPINE, Calif. — East County residents are fired up and passionate about the loss of resources and damage to the environment after the Loveland Reservoir was completely drained last November.

On Thursday evening representatives from the Sweetwater Authority came to an Alpine Planning Group meeting to address the concerns in person.

The authority serves South Bay communities, however the Loveland Reservoir is located in East County, where it has provided recreation as well as fishing for decades.

Since the reservoir was drained, residents expressed the damage that’s been done.

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“They’ve taken away a real precious resource. Those fish will never be back, and you killed them,” said one man during public comment.

“With the draining to dead pool, that just destroyed much of the surrounding area to erosion,” said field biologist Kim Hales.

Sweetwater Authority says the action was taken during drought conditions to provide drinking water and other water needs to South Bay communities and save those ratepayers money. The authority says the transfer captured approximately 4,000 acre-feet of water, saving customers more than $6 million dollars.

People who live in the Alpine area say the move was at the expense of recreation, wildlife and fire protection in their backyard. They don’t understand why the reservoir had to be drained entirely.

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Steve Castaneda, Director at the Sweetwater Authority told FOX 5 the authority works with environmental agencies and other necessary stakeholders regarding any action taken at the reservoir.

“The fact is that everything that we’ve done, all of the water that we’ve taken out of the reservoir, the agencies are aware of it. Cal Fire is aware of it and none of these agencies told us that there was going be a significant problem,” said Castaneda.

Recent rain brought the water levels to about 40% in the Loveland Reservoir, but there is a lot of damage as well. Sweetwater Authority says it is also looking at trying to restock fish, but there is no timeline available for that or the needed repairs.

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