13 June 2013, NEVADA CITY – The Sierra Fund, in coordination with Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) and Nevada Irrigation District (NID), brought experts and policymakers from the state and local levels to the Sierra for a tour of sites in the local water network. Take a look at tour photos here.
The tour is the first of several similar tours we are supporting this summer to educate experts and policymakers on the importance of the Sierra as the state’s watershed and the need for investment in cleaning up legacy mines in the region, to secure the health of the state’s primary source of drinking water.
The tour participants departed on a bus from the Cal-EPA office in Sacramento, and the first stop was at the Placer County Water Agency offices in Auburn. After a brief introduction to the work done by local water agencies, the tour continued to the Emigrant Gap Scenic Overlook, where experts described the geologic and hydrologic history of the area.
The tour then visited the Rollins Dam and Rollins Reservoir, where lunch featuring local produce was served. After lunch Jim Branham, Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, spoke to the group, and the tour proceeded to its final stop at Combie Reservoir, where participants observed a demonstration of NID’s pilot project to remove heavy metals including mercury from sediment in the reservoir, enabling the water agency to dredge the reservoir without releasing toxic mercury.
The tour was very successful at bringing policymakers to the area to see the importance of the work being done by TSF and others on problems related to water quality. Tour members felt much more familiar with the issues facing the Sierra after the day was finished. The tour is the first of several similar tours of sites in the area that TSF will conduct in the coming weeks for groups including policy makers and legislators from the Capitol.