Sonora, CA — Plans are moving forward to improve the water quality and storage capacity of Phoenix Lake.
The Tuolumne Utilities District is leading an effort to create a Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan (PLPRP). Phoenix Lake is the primary drinking water source for the communities of Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic View and Mono Village. Over the past 100 years, the storage capacity in the lake has decreased by one third due to sedimentation. Approximately 1,400 cubic yards of silt enter the lake on an annual basis, according to T.U.D.
“We’re going to look at all the options that are available for improving water quality and restoring the capacity,” says Ted Allen, T.U.D. Associate Engineer. “We’re also going to be looking at some other issues related to the wetlands in and around the lake, potential for public access, and also fire management and fuels reduction.”
Allen says the PLPRP will be a multi-year effort, with year one dedicated to planning. Tuesday night the T.U.D. Board of Directors will vote whether to approve a contract for consultant services.
T.U.D. received a matching grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for the planning phase. The Phoenix Lake Task Force, a group of property owners and technical advisors, has also been influential in the process.
Besides water supply, Phoenix Lake also serves as a principle filling location for CAL Fire helicopters.