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Jackson City Council denounces idea of Pardee Reservoir expansion

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Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:41 am, Wed Jul 13, 2011.

The Jackson City Council has made a symbolic stand against East Bay Municipal Utility District’s desire to expand Pardee Reservoir.

At a council meeting Monday, members voted 4-0 to approve a resolution opposing the proposed expansion of Pardee Reservoir on the Mokelumne River. The council suggested EBMUD explore expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the East Bay.

While he didn’t comment directly on the council’s action, EBMUD spokesperson Charles Hardy said the district is in the process of reviewing aspects of its Water Supply Management Program 2040 and will meet with the public to address concerns in the coming days. The first meeting will take place in Jackson tonight, he said.

Throughout the process, it will be important to remember that both residents of the Mokelumne watershed and East Bay love and rely on the river, he said.

“It has not always been a friendly alliance, and over the years there have been some hotly contested issues, but we are committed to being a good neighbor,” Hardy said.

The Water Supply Management Program 2040 is the district’s outline for how it will serve its customers through the year 2040. The district currently serves 1.3 million customers in the East Bay and expects its client base to grow to 1.7 million by 2040.

Part of the way the district planned to meet the need, according to its original plan approved in October 2009, was to expand Pardee Reservoir.

The plan was met with stern resistance from community and environmental advocacy groups, private citizens and city governments. The plan was challenged in court by conservation organizations and a judge voided the plan and its related environmental impact report in April.

Protesters against expanding Pardee argue that it would destroy the entire Middle Bar Reach of the Mokelumne River from Highway 49 to the Middle Bar Bridge, ruin Native American cultural sites in the Middle Bar Reach and eliminate the potential for commercial whitewater rafting on the Mokelumne River.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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