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Tuolumne River Trust Protects Our Drinking Water

From Peter Drekmeier: I'm writing today to ask for your support to help protect and restore the Tuolumne River, the primary source of water for many of us, and a waterway of great ecological and recreational importance. I hope you will sponsor my participation in Paddle to the Sea. Please visit my page at

The Tuolumne River needs us today more than ever. The drought is putting tremendous pressure on government agencies to relax protections for water quality and endangered species. We need to make sure our hard-won victories are preserved.

97% of the Rim Fire burned through the Tuolumne River watershed. We need to make sure the Recovery Plan places an equal value on ecosystem restoration as it does on salvage logging. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be released in the next few weeks, and the Tuolumne River Trust (TRT) will be heavily engaged in making sure it's based on sound science.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of Don Pedro Dam (the largest on the Tuolumne) is moving forward. Last year TRT convinced FERC to require a license for La Grange Dam, two miles downstream of Don Pedro, which is important because the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (which own and operate both) have argued that Don Pedro doesn't block fish passage because fish can't make it past La Grange. TRT is holding them accountable for the poor environmental conditions they have created.

The State Water Board will be releasing an updated environmental document for the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan sometime this spring. Word has it they might increase unimpaired instream flow requirements on rivers such as the Tuolumne to 40% or more, which would be a huge improvement. We need to encourage them to stand strong, especially under pressure from the drought.

Water conservation, efficiency, and recycled water are key to balancing the needs of humans with those of other species that depend on the Tuolumne. In the SFPUC service territory, where 2.6 million people depend on the Tuolumne, we have reduced water consumption by 15% over the past seven years. This has created a healthy buffer against the drought, and serves as a good example to others. We must continue to use our precious water more efficiently.

I'm proud to work for the Tuolumne River Trust, which I believe is one of the most effective environmental groups in the region. Our strength comes from supporters like you! Please help us continue to be as effective as possible my sponsoring my participation in Paddle to the Sea at


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