December 2020
El Dorado Water NEWStream
December Edition
A Word From Our Board Vice Chair, Shiva Frentzen 

As we approach the end of 2020, and the conclusion of my six years as an Agency Board member, I find myself taking a step back for a moment to reflect. This year has been an interesting one, to say the least! But, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, another devastating fire season, and challenges from other issues in our region, I am reminded that there are still positive aspects about 2020. The Agency has remained extremely busy throughout the past year, and I’m proud of the great strides we’ve made in fulfilling our mission, which include the following highlights – just to name a few:

  • Partnered and participated in several regional water resource planning efforts, including the CABY Integrated Regional Water Management, Regional Water Authority (RWA), Tahoe Valley South Subbasin GSA, American River Basin Study, and Alder Creek Water Conservation and Storage Project Feasibility Study
  • Continued development of the El Dorado Water Reliability Project, completing the water demand and supply evaluations and starting the environmental document that will support the water right acquisition process
  • Completion of the updated West Slope Stormwater Resource Plan
  • Funded an innovative agricultural water needs assessment and economic study that supports realization of the County’s General Plan
  • Formally joined the local National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy through the South Fork of the American River (SOFAR) group
  • Pursued opportunities and secured funding with regional, state, and federal partners
  • Facilitated the inaugural Countywide Plenary for Water
  • Completed a rebranding of the Agency, to better represent its modernized and integrated water resource planning approach for El Dorado County

As we look to 2021, I remain optimistic that the Agency will continue the careful planning needed to secure our County’s water supply for years to come. As I’m leaving the Agency’s Board, I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to my fellow departing Board members, Brian Veerkamp and Dane Wadle, for their dedication and service to the Agency. Your participation, support, and commitment to the Agency’s many efforts is greatly appreciated. 

Agency Funding Support for
Leek Springs Meadow Restoration Project
As part of our cost-share program, we are working with the American River Conservancy (ARC) on its effort to assess restoration and management needs for the Leek Springs Meadow in the Upper Cosumnes River Basin. 

The project area is an approximately 600-acre meadow at the headwaters of the North Fork of the Cosumnes River. A stream restoration assessment in 2017, by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, showed that portions of the meadow had experienced erosion and incision, which would lead to a drier meadow system.

The funding from the Agency will support a technical assessment to select the stream restoration measures, cultural and biological evaluations needed for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and preparing the Restoration Plan. The ARC will consider several management actions for meadow restoration, including the installation of beaver dam analogs, road crossing improvements, and stream hydrology observations and monitoring.  
Partnership with El Dorado Hills Community Services District on
Water Efficiency Project
In partnership with El Dorado County and the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (EDHCSD), we have been working to identify sites in the County for the implementation of various water savings projects. These projects will help the County and EDHCSD comply with Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) standards, and also align with the water resource management strategies in our 2019 Water Resources Development and Management Plan.  

Two parks in El Dorado Hills have been selected as a first phase: Stephen Harris Park and Peter Bertelsen Memorial Park. Improvements will include water-efficient turf replacement and educational/interpretive signage at these parks and along links to residential areas through the existing bike trail. These projects will contribute to the Agency’s targeted water use reduction of nine acre-feet per year over two years.

We are planning for a second phase of project implementation, working with the County and EDHCSD to identify additional sites that have the potential for landscape retrofits and renovations. These sites may include more parks in the EDHCSD’s jurisdiction, as well as schools within the community.

Virtual Field Trip Videos in the Works with
El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom
As we near the middle of the 2020-2021 school year, we remain in the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past nine months, the virus has led to unprecedented measures across the state, including the closure of most schools in mid-March, many of which remain in either partial or full-time distance learning mode this fall.
The Agency is a long-time supporter of the El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom program, which delivers rural agricultural education programs for children in elementary through high school. To help maintain the momentum of this important, County-wide program this school year, and to help provide teachers with simple and usable tools that can be incorporated into virtual learning, we will be working with El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom to develop of a series of educational, virtual field trip videos.
With in-person field trips not likely for this school year, these videos will supplement other in-class educational opportunities, and allow students to still “visit” and learn about local ag products and operations, and the County’s agricultural community. Planned topics for the new videos include “The Journey of an Apple,” which will highlight the planning, growing, harvesting, operations and career opportunities in our local apple industry.
Once completed, the videos will be available on the El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom website, at