ALPINE, Calif. - The Sweetwater Authority created an impressive site near Alpine this week.
On Tuesday, the water district began a “controlled transfer” of water from the Loveland Reservoir to the Sweetwater Reservoir.
“We don’t get to do this very often,” said Sweetwater Authority Director of Engineering Ron Mosher. “It’s very impressive. It’s amazing because it only happens very infrequently. The last time we did this was four years ago.”
The water is blasting out of the dam’s base through a large valve.
“300 cubic feet per second is about 140-thousand gallons a minute,” said Mosher.
The water will flow non-stop down the Sweetwater River to the Sweetwater Reservoir through March 15th.
The water department, which provides water to Chula Vista, National City, and Bonita, hasn’t transferred water out of Loveland since 2013. The 18-mile river between reservoirs is the only vehicle for that water.
The drought prevented them from transferring water because the dry ground would have absorbed too much water. The recent heavy rains have saturated the ground. Sweetwater Authority can no maximize the river to transfer the water, which is collected rainwater runoff in the mountains.
The 16-day controlled transfer will deliver $9 million worth of water to the Sweetwater Reservoir. Mosher said it’s enough water to last all of their customers six months.