PINECREST — A second consecutive dry year has renewed the discussion of how high Pinecrest Lake should be kept for summer recreation.
The Tuolumne Utilities District, which gets some of its water supply from the reservoir, has asked that it be drawn down by 2 vertical feet more than usual.
The request went to the State Water Resources Control Board, which generally requires that the lake surface be at least 5,608 feet above sea level through Labor Day each year.
The board last year granted the 2-foot request, on the condition that the TUD increase conservation by its 44,000 water customers in Sonora and other Tuolumne County communities.
The idea has drawn protest from lakeside cabin owners and others who say the lower lake would impair boating and other recreation. Pinecrest is among the most popular destinations in the Sierra Nevada for Modesto-area residents.
The lake, on the south fork of the Stanislaus River, is part of a hydropower system owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. It provides water to the TUD to supplement Lyons Reservoir, which is downstream on the south fork.