This is very significant and would be to any stream. Areas will lose surface expression and complete stretches of the stream may run dry for the first time in thousands of years, causing unknown changes in the ground water and stream patterns. This is preventable if the water extraction performed by Nestle’in Strawberry Creek and by the San Manuel Tribe in Coldwater Canyon stops during the drought period and the low flow summer months of July, August and September. There are tadpoles and young of many species dependent upon surface moisture and the resources it provides. Some of these are threatened and endangered. Some are Forest Service Sensitive.
Species of concern are being salvaged in various streams in southern California as other streams are drying. Strawberry and East Twin will be in as bad, or worse shape as these streams dry up.
I hope (but doubt) that Nestle has ceased taking water from the Strawberry source groundwater and that the San Manuel Tribe has been alerted to the dire situation in the streams and the potential effects of their diversion. Both of these withdrawals are permitted by the Forest Service and I hope that the three parties are discussing how to best protect the stream while studies and watershed management plans are completed. I hope that the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Department of Water Resources are working with the parties to best protect the stream.
For instance, if the tribe only diverted after the flows begin to increase in the evening until morning during the low flow summer months, they could potentially avoid dewatering the stream during the critical mid-day to evening period when flows are the lowest. There may be other ways to improve the situation as well. I hope potential measures are being discussed and implemented.
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