Natural flow isn't better

Published: Sunday, Jul. 13, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Re "Beautiful Eel River runs through historic dilemma" (Forum, July 6): If anyone checks to see how much flow is released from the dams versus their inflow, I suspect there is more flow in the Eel River than would be natural? Thus the river below these dams is better off in such a dry year, even if not ideal.

Most dams are required to release a minimum flow for fish. While these dams are small, they undoubtedly provide some flood regulation.

When I was working for a living I worked with Fish and Wildlife types, and they always wanted more flow for fish than the stream could provide. Their own data showed that less flow was still better than so-called natural flows on the average.

We all live on this planet at the sufferance of the weather. To maximize water utility, everyone must share.

-- Dale Creasey, PE Retired - federal hydrologist, Fair Oaks

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