Diamond Valley Lake
Is designed to be filled from two sources, the Colorado River and state water from Northern California.....The Metropolitan Water District dug a 44-mile tunnel through the San Bernardino mountains in order to lay a pipeline known as the Inland Feeder. and it was completed in 2004, the Inland Feeder carries state water into the reservoir.....The heavy rains of 2004-2005 season helped fill the rest of the Lake, bringing it up current levels nealy a year in advance....Water can leave the reservoir, through the San Diego Canal......Gravity can also carry water to any of six Southern California counties from San Diego to Ventura served by Metropolitan Water District..
The reservoir was filled through the inlet/outlet tower at a peak rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second.....A cubic foot is 7.48 gallons.....That means enough water is being pumped into the reservoir to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every two seconds coming through......It stands 270 feet high at the point of the reservoir's deepest depth of 250 feet......Eighteen butterfly valves, each 84 inches in diameter, will let water in and out of the reservoir at rates up to 19,000 cubit feet per second.
Diamond Valley Lake can hold 800,000 acre feet of water, or roughly 260 billion gallons, the largest reservoir in Southern California. Its capacity is more than six times that of Lake Perris (124,000 acre feet), and The reservoir has over 26 miles of shoreline for recreational activities, including four recreation lakes, two marinas and boat launches.....And because During excavation, bones and skeletons were found from extinct mastodons, mammoth, camel, sloth, dire wolf and long-horned bison, there are many experts saying that the paleontogical finds of mammoth, mastodon and other Pleistocene Epoch species may well rival those at the famous La Brea Tar Pits, Unofficially, the area is being referred to as the Valley of the Mastodons.....The Western Center of Archeology has decided to place a filed office on the south rim for future explorations.....Hopefully in a few years the money can be found for a sports and aquatic complex to be built.....Rummor has it that LA might try for a future Summer Olymics and if succesful the Dam Aquatic center would be a part of the effort..
Currently at the Daimond Valley Lake and Dam facility, Picnicking is allowed, plus overnight camping, but what you bring in must be taken out....A Market and shopping center now occupies the West side of the dam along Winchestor Road.....I can remember when there was nothing here except water mellon crops.....There is boating activity and fishing has really improved over the last 4 years....The Lake managers want the entire area to first settle in....there is still a lot of water coming into the lake that has to be treated before swimming, will ever be allowed.
I can remember going out to the Dam main office in 1996 when the west dam was only 1/3 finished and the Eastern dam had not even been started....My Aunt Sally and Uncle Bert lived at the base of the East Dam complex....As part of the construction contract, the builders of the dams had to come out and wash all of the dirt and grime off of the house's in the area, cars, the streets, even the trees along all of the streets.....My Aunt said by the time they were done, all of the dirt and other grime was off of the homes alright, but it was so muddy on some of the older side streets, that had not been inproved or paved, that by the time you got to the main highway, your car looked like it had been through a mud storm, which it had.
At its peak in 1997 and 1998, the reservoir construction project employed an average of 1,800 people.....At times, more than 1,900 people worked on the various projects, and especially the reservoir's three dams.....they dug out and moved enough material, then dumped it where it was needed to build a wall 71/2 feet by 3 feet around the world's equator.
Some of the biggest trucks in the world were used to build Diamond Valley Lake......Twelve Caterpillar 789 Model trucks were used in construction of the East Dam.....When full of rock, the trucks weighted in at 350 tons at a cost of $1.4 million each.....Their 1,800-horsepower engines burned 40 gallons of fuel per hour.....They are so big they cannot be driven legally on public streets.....They were brought to the reservoir in pieces, assembled on site and then disassembled before being hauled away in trucks.In the dismantling process, their huge beds were cut in half.
At 1.8 miles long and 280 feet high, the west dam is the largest of three dams at reservoir, designed to contain water within Diamond Valley Lake. Holding water:....The earthen dams are so compact it is estimated that it would take a drop of water 10 years to work its way through.
What is so interesting to me, is that through its entire development, and early buillding stages, I was able to see the valley that lies under the dam waters, change....I remember one time, that in order to make a trade with the EPA, a clump of trees, that was discovered at the top of the rim of the south side of the hills, were moved to a safer site, becuase a Moth lived in the trees, and according to the EPA, these moths could only be found in these trees at this location....I dont know how they figured that out, but anyway, the Dams builders were allowed to move the trees....As a trade off, some brush found in some of the canyons along the valley bottom were allowed to be pulled out and replanted and the valley was then allowed to be filled with water after Paleontoglgists were allowed the time to remove the bones that they had found.
Eventually, the hope is anyway, that if there is a major quake in southern california, that this dam would be able to supply water for the entire MWD in the Inland Empire for up to six months....The only question I have is what happens if the San Jacinto Fault zone breaks....It is located under the Eastern dam and another fault zone runs under the valley in which is now filled with water.
Oh well, time will only tell....
Gary Hall, the ghostpainter