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1999 Field Trip - Water for Southern California

Water Resources Development at the Close of the Century

The annual SDAG field trip October 9 - 10 was a resounding success! Over two days, nearly 50 SDAG members and guests toured four water management facilities in southern California, from the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains to the hills west of Escondido. Highlights of the trip included an underground tour of the Inland Feeder tunnel near Arrowhead Springs-the train took us about 1 1/2 mile into the mountain, through the San Andreas fault zone. The only shower available to participants over the weekend was the blast of groundwater entering seams in the tunnel lining under several thousand feet of pressure-no one complained, though! We toured the 550-foot high Seven Oaks flood control dam on the Santa Ana River, nearing completion. Field trip participants valued the opportunity to contrast the construction of that dam with the three dams of the Eastside Reservoir Project, now under construction near Hemet. We also were able to view the early stages of construction at Olivenhain, where a rolled-concrete dam will create a 24,000 acre-foot reservoir in the highlands west of Del Dios and Lake Hodges. On Saturday night, we enjoyed the remote and spacious campground at Lake Skinner, and of course the hunger developed after a long day in the field was relieved by the famous Santa Maria style tri-tip barbecue dinner, grilled over oak to carnivorous perfection. Quote from the Riverside County park ranger, who joined us for hors-d'oeuvres and boeuf: "They'll never believe me!"

Many thanks to the many folks who helped out with all aspects of the 1999 field trip. The field volume and guidebook, delayed by the need for water agencies to review the papers describing their projects, is now available to trip participants and others at any meeting. And now we'll start planning a great field trip, always trying to surpass the previous excursion, for AD 2000!

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