Tom Gogola, NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote Tuesday to spend up to $400,000 to install rain and stream gauges throughout the county, a move undertaken out of a growing concern over landslides on eroded hilltops and mountains scorched in October’s wildfires.
The fear, says Supervisor James Gore, is “melting mountains” around the region. County officials are rightly concerned, he says, over the possibility that the regional drinking water supply might be compromised in the event of massive rain-driven landslides.
Extensive mudslides have the potential to impact drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in the North Bay, says Gore, if muddy water clogs the county’s filtration system.
On Tuesday, the supervisors authorized the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) to execute a year-long contract with an as-yet-undetermined consultant under a program called the Burn Area Watershed Protection: Flood Warning Monitoring Network. The consultant will work with SCWA to install 11 stream gauges and 11 rain gauges, and associated tech, “as part of a post-fire early warning and monitoring system, to protect the public and property during storm events.” The agency already has a handful of the gauges spread around the region. New gauges would be installed along Mark West Creek and elsewhere around the county. A Cal Fire post-mortem of the Nuns and Tubbs zones found a “higher potential for landslides, debris flows, and flash floods that could be a risk to public safety and property.”
Read more at: By a Landslide | News | North Bay Bohemian