Reservoir Dropping Daily by Cathie Merz Golden Rain News
California’s water supply is dwindling as the state consumes 2 million more acre-feet of ground water than it recharges naturally each year. Rain and snow are responsible for replenishing the water supply and the amounts vary significantly from year-to-year and season-to-season.
Californians rely on state water projects to supply them with this important natural resource.
The California State Water Project (SWP) is the world’s largest publicly built and operated water and power development and transporting system. It includes the California Aqueduct that supplies water to Southern California.
The SWP collects water from rivers in Northern California and redistributes it to the water-scarce south. Water is collected from the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta and pumped 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains – the highest single water lift in the world.
The Central Valley Water Project (CVP) was devised in 1933 to provide irrigation and municipal water to much of California’s Central Valley, the “bread basket” for much of the country. It is a federal water management project supervised by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
The CVP regulates and stores water in reservoirs in the water-rich northern half of the state and transports it to the water-poor San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas by way of canals, aqueducts and pump plants. The waterways stretch 400 miles and include 20 dams and reservoirs between Redding and Bakersfield.
In addition to providing water, the project also promotes flood control. It allows major cities to be located in the river valleys that would flood each spring. The CVP has transformed the semi-arid desert environment of the San Joaquin Valley into productive farmland. Freshwater is released down river during dry periods to prevent salinity intrusion from San Francisco Bay into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during high tide.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) was established in 1928 to import drinking water from the Colorado River via Colorado River Aqueduct (CRA) to nearly 19 million people in 14 cities and 12 municipal water districts in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The MWD services an area of approximately 5,200 square miles.
The CRA begins at Lake Havasu and travels 242 miles west to Lake Mathews.
The MWD is the largest contractor to the SWP and receives water from Lake Oroville via the California Aqueduct. Water is diverted from the Delta into Lake Oroville on the Feather River, a tributary to the Sacramento River. During the dry season Oroville Dam releases additional water into the Feather River, which eventually flows into the Sacramento River and the Delta. The lake is fed by the North Fork, Middle Fork, West Branch and South Forks of the Feather River. Lake Oroville has a capacity to store approximately 3.54 million acre feet of water, which accounts for 61 percent of the SWP’s total system storage capacity, and is the single most important reservoir of the SWP. At the end of July the water level of Lake Oroville was the second lowest it had been since it was filled in 1961.
The MWD stores freshwater from the CRA and the California Aqueduct for its customers to have in times of drought.
Water received from the east branch of the California Aqueduct and the CRA is stored in three major water reservoirs, Lake Mathews in southwest Riverside, with a capacity of 182,000 acre-feet of water; Lake Skinner, located south of Hemet in Riverside County, with a capacity of 44,000 acre-feet of water; and Diamond Valley Lake, the newest reservoir, with a capacity of 810,000 acre-feet of water. This capacity is over twice that of Castaic Lake, the next largest reservoir in Southern California maintained by MWD.
Water from the west branch of the California Aqueduct is stored in Castaic Lake, north of the San Fernando Valley, for the Los Angeles metro area. The projected water reserves for this year from Northern California is 39 percent of normal.
It was estimated that the MWD would get 2 million acre feet of water per year (MAF/Y ) from the SWP and 1.35 million MAF/Y from the Colorado River Aqueduct. From 1984-2004 the actual deliveries were 0.7 MAF/Y from the SWP and 1.2 MAF/Y from the CRA. The SWP allotment is rarely met due to restrictions on the amount of water that can be pumped from the Delta.
Because of a good snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, the projected water reserves for 2014 from runoff in the lower Colorado River Basin is estimated to be 94 percent of normal, according to the MWD.
However, the outlook is not nearly as hopeful from Northern California at only 39 percent of normal, as the severe drought in California continues for a third straight year and water levels in the state’s lakes and reservoirs are reaching historic lows.
Lake Shasta, located in Northern California, is a major contributor to CVP. It is the state’s largest reservoir. In June 2010, it was near capacity. This year it is nearly 40 percent below capacity.
On Aug. 26 the water level in Shasta Lake dropped nearly a half-foot in a day to 917.08 feet above sea level. Capacity is 1,067 feet above sea level. When full, the lake contains 4,552,000 acre-feet of water, enough to provide about 5,000 gallons to every person in the country.
According to City of Shasta Lake, the lake was 10 feet below capacity last year and only two feet the year before that, so the 90-foot drop this year due to the drought is significant.
Shasta Lake is the largest California lake based on shoreline mileage. It is 35 miles long and has 365 miles of shoreline when full. At its lowest recorded level, 909.98 feet, Shasta Lake retained only 124 miles of shoreline.
Shasta Dam is the second-largest dam in the United States, after Grand Coulee Dam, and is the tallest at 602 feet high.
The dam holds back water from four Northern California rivers, the Sacramento, McCloud, Squaw and Pit. Mount Shasta and the Klamath Mountains are the main water sources for the rivers.
Water from the dam is released through five 15-foot floodgates leading to the five main generating units and two station service units that can produce up to 2,000 megawatts per hour of power for the Sacramento Valley and beyond. Water then flows into the Sacramento River.
Although not much can be done to help fill these major reservoirs, practicing water conservation can help with the drought overall.
Photos- Cathie Merz Golden Rain News
Mount Shasta had little snow on its northern slope at the end of July.
Shasta Lake dropped to an elevation of 921.66 feet on July 29, more than 100 feet below capacity.

Amphitheater 2014
Big turnout expected to see Frankie Avalon on stage at 8
The Golden Rain Foundation will present Frankie Avalon at 8 p.m. on Aug. 28 on the Amphitheater stage. This show is expected to draw a big turnout, so shareholders are limited to one guest. Bring a LW identification card. The complimentary summer entertainment program continues through Sept. 15.
Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. starting in September. Minibus transportation, including the handicap access bus, is available to and from shows.
Frankie Avalon
Frankie Avalon can look back on a career that spans three generations of music, television and motion pictures. His years as a teenage idol have been succeeded by maturity and professionalism. He is currently one of the busiest nightclub performers in the country, playing the nations finest supper clubs and headlining top Las Vegas hotel main rooms. His motion picture career has spanned more than 30 films.
Avalon was born in Philadelphia, Penn., on Sept. 18, 1940. “It seems like every young kid in Philadelphia wanted to be a singer,” he recalls. “I started as a musician…a trumpet player in the beginning. But when I picked up the paper one day and read about Jimmy Darren who was from my own neighborhood and school, making a successful career for himself, I decided that I could do it just as well.”
Even before the age of 10, Avalon seized every opportunity to enter local amateur contests, winning one after another. On his own initiative, Avalon began taking lessons, and continued his musical studies long and hard through the years that followed. One of his instructors, a member of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, volunteered to teach the young trumpet virtuoso after hearing him play. Although he down plays the fact, Avalon was a child prodigy who was good enough to make guest appearances as a trumpet player on “The Perry Como” and “Jackie Gleason” shows.
Avalon has a long string of gold singles and albums. In 1959 he had six solid hits that were in the top 40 and his music became one of the defining sounds of the “pre-Beatles” Rock and Roll.
Avalon’s 30 motion picture credits include the “Beach Party” film series— “Beach Blanket Bingo,” “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” to name a few. H
Avalon studied with Wynn Handman in New York and Estelle Harmon in Los Angeles, and has always been proud of his dramatic roles in “The Dark,” “The Alamo,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “Guns of the Timberland.”
Avalon’s nightclub career has taken him around the world, headlining the finest supper clubs and niteries. He has played to sold out houses in every major city in America including The Fontainebleau and Eden Roc Hotels in Miami Beach, Rainbow Grill and Copacabana in New York.
Frankie and his wife, Kay, married in January 1963 are the parents of four sons and four daughters. In order of their appearance are: Frankie Jr., Tony, Dina, Laura, Joe, Nick, Kathryn and Carla. The family has lived in a sprawling ranch style home in California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley where Frankie and Kay are now enjoying the next generation of “Avalon’s” appearing on the scene.
In recent years, Frankie has become involved with The National Arthritis Foundation as the National Ambassador and worked as the New York host for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon

Coyote trapping pilot readied
The Golden Rain Foundation is planning a pilot program to trap coyotes in Leisure World. The move comes in the wake of increased coyote sightings and reports of pet attacks here.
In an Aug. 26 memo to mutual boards of directors, GRF Executive Director Randy Ankeny wrote: “The presence of coyotes within the community is a growing concern. Response from city, county and state officials had been to support coyote hazing, make reports and then only take action in life threatening events.
“Coyote sightings within our community are growing and with deep regrets, I have received reports of shareholders’ pets being lost and/or injured by alleged coyote incidents.
“The Golden Rain Foundation has secured the services of Critter Busters to begin a coyote trapping pilot program to measure if this action can reduce/control coyotes within our community. Traps will be placed in various locations upon Trust property in this coyote control effort.”
The GRF cannot place traps on mutual property. Critter Busters will determine where traps will be placed on Trust property.
Shareholders should:
•Stay away; do not interfere with traps.
• Keep dogs on six-foot leases as required by policy.
• Do not allow cats to freely roam outside.
• Do not leave pet food or food products outside under any circumstances.
• Report all coyote sightings.

West Nile Virus
SB woman is first OC fatality
A Seal Beach resident in her 80s with underlying medical conditions died last week with complications from a West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). It is the first death in Orange County attributed to WNV this year.
Neither OCHCA or the Orange County Vector Control District would say whether the woman was a Leisure World resident.
Jared Dever, director of communications for the Vector Control District, said the woman had limited mobility, so it is likely she contracted the virus locally, that is in Seal Beach.
Test results received this week confirmed WNV infection. The woman had the more severe form, West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, according to the OCHCA. Older people with underlying health issues are at a greater risk of acquiring this strain of the virus.
There are five trap locations in Seal Beach to monitor WNV spread.
As of Aug. 26, Vector Control has detected WNV-positive mosquitoes at two places in Seal Beach—the Naval Weapons Base adjacent to the housing units near Seal Beach Boulevard and Gum Grove Park.
So far, no positive dead birds have been collected from the city, according to Dever. Vector Control traps adult mosquitoes at five locations in the city on a bi-weekly basis. There are three trap locations at the Naval Weapons Station, one at Gum Grove Park and one in Leisure World.
Orange County currently leads the state in number of WNV infections this year with 40 to date, compared to fewer than five infections around this time in the previous four years.
“This unfortunate death shows how serious West Nile Virus infection can be,” said Dr. Eric G. Handler, County Health Officer. “West Nile Virus activity tends to peak in August and September in Orange County, but we continue to have cases occur throughout the fall. It is important for people to remember that the end of summer does not mean the end of West Nile Virus season.”
Orange County has 36 symptomatic WNV infections, of which 30 were hospitalized, according to the OCHCA. These include 28 cases of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease and eight West Nile Fever. Four asymptomatic blood donors have tested positive for WNV infection through routine donation screening. Santa Ana has the highest number of infections in Orange County this year; however, infections have occurred throughout the county. Because about 80 percent of people infected with WNV have no symptoms, and the majority of cases of West Nile Fever do not seek medical care and are not tested, the reported cases greatly underestimate the number of affected people in our County.
County health officials point out that it is especially important to take precautions against mosquito bites during the peak WNV season. Recommended precautions include:
• Emptying all standing water to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed, including flower pots and pet bowls
• Making sure window and door screens are in good condition
• Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535, always following label directions
• Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
• Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
Symptoms of West Nile Fever include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. Anyone who develops the more serious symptoms of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness, or vision loss should seek medical care immediately. People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from West Nile Virus infection.
Information on mosquito control is available on the Orange County Vector Control District’s website at Other websites with helpful information about West Nile Virus include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
State of California
Orange County Health Care Agency

Holiday Notice
In observance of Labor Day, all Golden Rain Foundation offices except Security will be closed Monday, Sept. 1.
The Leisure World Maintenance Dept. will be on call for emergencies only and may be reached by calling 594-4754.