R05 Chuckwalla Project
Well we pulled it off! After a devastating flash flood event in 2020 and an incoplete attempt at repair in 2021, we succedded in fully reconstructing the system. Palm Springs BLM office arranged for the categorical exclusion for the the project. SCBS volunteers spent the first weekend, 3 full days prepping the pad area to receive the new tanks. Per our BLM permit, we used the 'minimum tool' which meant a lot of pick, shovel and bucket work. The intake screen was dug up and exposed for inspection, it was discovered to be intact.
The second weekend, 3 SCBS Raincatchers tanks were flown in by Caifornia DFW contractor helicopter pilot Peter of Shasta Air. The prior upright round tanks were replaced with an improved design, raised approximately 2 feet to reduce the risk of future flash floods and buried for less UV exposure and longer life span. The new tank has a re-entrant drinker well that does not require a float valve and therefore less maintenance will be required versus the older designs. The previous 2 inch galvavnized intake system was rethreaded and reinstalled where it has been pulled apart by the force of the flowing water (and boulders.) A satellite monitoring system was installed to allow for remote water level and rainfall measurements.
Many thanks to the SCBS volunteers, CA DFW, Palm Springs BLM, Back Country Hunters and Anglers, and Desert Wildlife Unlimited.