Plan for 'Chain of Lakes' in Livermore, Pleasanton approved
By Meera Pal
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
TRI-VALLEY -- Plans to eventually turn Tri-Valley gravel pits into lakes were adopted as part of a $726 million stream management plan aimed at preventing floods.
At the same time, the changes and improvements would enhance water quality, wildlife habitat and recreational/educational opportunities.
The Zone 7 water board recently adopted the plan after eight years of planning, with the caveat that proper funding and community support must be in place before any part of the plan is implemented.
A key component of the plan, which includes 45 separate projects, calls for diverting stormwater into a series of gravel pits between Livermore and Pleasanton that could be turned into a "chain of lakes." These lakes would form a crescent from northeast Pleasanton to southwest Livermore, as outlined by the Livermore-Amador Valley Quarry Area Reclamation plan adopted by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 1981.
The stored water would be released downstream only after storms pass through the area, allowing arroyos to maintain a more natural state.
Also as part of the management plan, 10 projects would remove or modify fish-passage barriers in Arroyo Mocho, Arroyo del Valle and Arroyo de la Laguna. Others would restore natural stream flows, replace invasive plants with native types, stabilize stream banks, create wetlands and other habitat for sensitive species and install trails and educational kiosks near Valley arroyos.
Meanwhile, sediment coming down from the hills during storms, which can often plug up the arroyos, would be routinely removed to maintain creek flow and improve water quality.
Of the $726 million project, $479 million is specifically tied to flood protection. The agency's current fee on new development will raise only a portion of that amount over the life of the plan.
Some developed areas of the valley are in the flood plain, including some near Interstate 580 and Hacienda Drive in Livermore; along Altamont Creek in Livermore's Springtown area; along Alamo Creek in Dublin, near the Livermore Municipal Airport in the vicinity of Kitty Hawk Road; and on the west side of Las Positas Golf Course.
Zone 7 will begin developing a timetable for priority projects and a financing plan.
Design and environmental review is also required before implementing any part of the plan.
Meera Pal covers Livermore. Reach her at 925-847-2120 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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