July 31, 2008

Drought to Cut Off Shadow Cliffs Boat Launch

By Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Jul. 31--The drought is forcing the Aug. 15 closure of the popular boat launch at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park lake in Pleasanton.

Lake water levels are dropping 2 to 3 inches per week, making it impractical to keep the boat launch open beyond Aug. 14, East Bay Regional Park District officials announced Wednesday.

Some 2,000 boats a year launch at the lake.

Swimming, fishing and boat rentals at a dock will continue at the 80-acre lake, but swimming restrictions may become necessary later in the season if the lake shrinks enough, park officials said.

"There is plenty of deep water now for swimmers," said Tamie Andrews, the Shadow Cliffs park supervisor. "We anticipate we can move in the ropes for swimmers."

Shadow Cliffs lake is headed for record low water levels this year.

Since 2000, the primary water source for the lake has been water that Zone 7 Water District put in Arroyo Del Valle, a wide creek, to recharge groundwater aquifers. From the creek, the water was siphoned into the lake.

But Zone 7 doesn't have extra water for the recreational lake this year, said Zone 7 spokeswoman Boni Brewer.

"It's unfortunate," Brewer said. "We would like to help them, but there is nothing we can do. We just don't have the water."

Last year, the park district struck a deal to obtain a backup water source from a Pleasanton cement company, but the firm told park officials in June that declining groundwater levels

left it unable to deliver the supply.

Shadow Cliff's water slide park, which is separate from the lake, will continue to operate as usual through Labor Day, Andrews said.

Launches of kayaks, canoes, and float tubes also will continue as usual at the lake.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267 or [email protected]


To see more of the Contra Costa Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.contracostatimes.com/.

Copyright (c) 2008, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.