Pasadena Audubon challenges Arroyo Seco water diversion

A local coalition including the Pasadena Audubon Society is challenging the Pasadena Water & Power Department's (PWP) latest plan to pull water out of Arroyo Seco creek in Hahamongna Watershed Park. The $10 million dollar project calls for the construction of a five-foot dam that would divert water from the creek into spreading basins.

The plan, dubbed the Arroyo Seco Canyon Project (ASCP), is designed to recharge the area's groundwater. It received a go-ahead in a January 6th hearing by a Pasadena Zoning Hearing Officer, but critics of the project, which includes Mark Hunter, Conservation Director of the Pasadena Audubon Society, Tim Brick, the managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, veteran water engineer Ken Kules, Hahamongna Watchdog Hugh Bowles, and former Environmental Advisory Commissioner Morey Wolfson, say the zoning approval failed to consider important environmental aspects of the project. They contend that allowing water to naturally percolate into the ground from the creek's normal flow is more environmentally sound -- and more efficient -- than dumping it into a denuded spreading basin. The coalition has filed an appeal with the zoning board, and hope to bring the issue before Pasadena City Council.

There are more details in the ASCP press release.