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Drought Forces Dredging In Lake Tahoe


Low water levels at Lake Tahoe are creating numerous problems for water managers. One of the biggest challenges is assuring boats can get into marinas.

Because of low Tahoe water levels, the Lahontan Water Board has issued permits for moving buoys, extending piers and dredging at every marina on the California side of the lake. The work can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars at each of the four marinas.

Lauri Kemper of the Water Board says it’s a big financial burden for users, homeowners and businesses.

“It depends on the project and the type of dredging and the marina owners, the property owners propose their methodology for dredging.”

Kemper says they test the sand to see if it is clean enough to be used for beach enhancement or if it is contaminated and must be removed completely. Removal can cost as much as dredging itself. The board and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency have developed “Best Management Practices” for dredging and offer a fee calculator based on the volume of sand to be dredged.

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