$2 billion could buy 13 feet of clarity at Lake Tahoe | TheUnion.com
YOUR AD HERE »

$2 billion could buy 13 feet of clarity at Lake Tahoe

INCLINE VILLAGE – Bringing Lake Tahoe’s clarity back to a midway bench mark of 75 to 80 feet in 20 years could cost anywhere from $1.8 billion to $2 billion in capital improvement expenses according to a report recently presented at a Pathway 2007 Forum.

Currently, the clarity of Lake Tahoe is measured by seeing a white disk 67.7 feet below the surface. Lake clarity is measured against a 1968 standard of 97.4 feet.

Three different scenarios to increase lake clarity were presented by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board at a Pathway Forum meeting last week in Kings Beach. Each scenario represented a different level of compliance required in four different environmental categories around the lake to reduce the amount of fine sediment.



Fine sediments are particles smaller than the width of a human hair that enter the lake and reduce clarity.

Scenario A focuses on retrofitting and enhancing current lake practices to deal with atmospheric, urban and ground water sediment. At a $1.8 billion price tag for capital costs, this plan suggests a 31.7 percent reduction in particles to improve clarity by almost 11 feet to a 78.6 feet clarity level in 20 years. Taking it a step further, scenario B also includes new innovations and suggests 78.7 feet of lake clarity for $1.5 billion.




The most rigorous possibility is scenario C which exceeds the 20-year bench mark with 81.5 feet of clarity at $2 billion.

The purpose of creating the scenarios was not to create a requirement, but rather to start a conversation about methods to improve lake clarity, said Robert Larsen, an environmental scientist with the Lahontan water board.

“We’re going to keep working on this information,” Larsen said.


Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User