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About the River

USFS Groveland Ranger District Recreation Conditions Update - 4/4/2014

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Latest Recreation Conditions Update can be seen here. Whitewater boating access on the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River is now available!

Until the Forest Order is revised or expires, public access to the Main Tuolumne/Merals Pool launch on Lumsden Road (1N10) as well as the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm Powerhouse off of Cherry Lake Road (1N07) is limited to shuttle service only: 1-209-559-4605.

A free, mandatory permit is required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals Pool to Ward's Ferry. Permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger Station during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm). Reservations are not available until the Forest Order is revised or expires. USFS recommends contacting the shuttle service before requesting or picking up a permit.

Please remain alert for additional hazards such as rock slides and trees within the river due to the Rim Fire. Additionally, there is a large debris boom across Don Pedro Reservoir past Ward Ferry Bridge blocking motor boat access for shuttle/taxi boats. Boating downstream of Wards Ferry Bridge is not recommended. See attached warning flyer.

Please give the USFS Groveland district a call if you have any questions: 209-962-7825

Tuolumne River a source of education and jobs

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Source: The Modesto Bee
Date: January 25, 2014
Journalist: Nan Austin

San Francisquito Creek Groundwater Sub Basin Studies and Reports

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General Information

Feasibility of Supplemental Groundwater Resources Development: Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, California; Todd Engineers; 2005. 

City of Palo Alto Groundwater Supply Feasibility Study; Corollo Engineers; 2003.

Groundwater Development and the Effects on Groundwater Levels and Water Quality in the Town of Atherton, San Mateo County; Metzger & Fio, USGS; 1997. 

Draft Technical Memorandum: Correlation between New Basement Construction and the Groundwater Regime in Palo Alto, California; EIP Associates; 2004. 

Proposed Groundwater Projects

Gloria Way Well Retrofit Project: Joint Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (draft); Environmental Science Associates; 2013.

City of Menlo Park Potential Irrigation Well

Brackish Groundwater Desalination Feasibility Assessment - BAWSCA's Strategy Groundwater Model Development (draft); 2014

Emergency Water Supply Projects

Menlo Park Emergency Water Supply Wells Project 

Palo Alto Emergency Water Supply Well Rehabilitation Project

Geology and Hydrology 

Streamflow Gains and Losses along San Francisquito Creek and, Characterization of Surface-Water and Ground-Water Quality, Southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara Counties, California, 1996-97; Metzger, USGS; 2002.

Geology of the San Francisquito Cone Area; CA Water Resources Control Board; 2003. 

Geologic Framework, Historical Development of the Groundwater System, and General Hydrologic and Water Quality Conditions in 1990, South San Francisco Bay and Peninsula Area, California; Fio & Leighton, USGS; 1995.

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater Quality in the San Francisco Bay Groundwater Basins; Parsons, Kulongoski & Belitz, USGS; 2013. 

San Mateo County Groundwater Protection Program

A Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Evaluation for the South San Francisco Bay Basins; CA Regional Water Quality Control Board; 2003.

Regional Studies & Reports

Santa Clara Valley Water District Groundwater Management Plan

Database of Well and Areal Data, South San Francisco Bay and Peninsula Area, California; Leighton, Fio & Metzger, USGS; 1995.

Groundwater Recharge 

An Investigation of Groundwater Recharge by Injection in the Palo Alto Baylands, California: Hydraulic and Chemical Interaction; Hamlin, USGS; 1985.

Background from Disposition of the Palo Alto Reclamation Facility; Molnar & Galvan; 1986.

Tuolumne Watershed Cleanup

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The Tuolumne River Needs Your Help!

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by Isha Rajput

What’s in our tap?.......The Tuolumne River!!

The Tuolumne River from California supplies water and habitats for countless organisms, including you and me. Think of all that usage for water! With all these people and organisms using water, the Tuolumne River is facing a new challenge: It will start to become polluted and unhealthy.  What can we do to save this caring river? Think about what you did throughout your day. Did you possibly waste any water? Now think about if everyone wasted water. We couldn’t use the clean and fresh water we get from our tap! The Tuolumne River is especially important to the plants and animals that depend on it for food and shelter. Without the Tuolumne River, these organisms would have nowhere to live and nothing to eat.


Every single droplet from your tap is a droplet that should be appreciated with great care. We as humans have so many needs for water, that sometimes, we don’t realize that we can reuse the same water again. Around your community, try using these effective ways to conserve water:

  1. Turn off water in the tap, when you are not using it.
  2. Take shorter showers.
  3. Check for any leaks in equipment using water.
  4. Recycle water

Anyone can make a difference, and it all starts with someone ready to help out. Be that someone in your community, and help the Tuolumne River.

    Inspire Others by Sharing What You Know

My knowledge might not go as far as you can go with conserving water for the Tuolumne River. To give you a mental picture of the scenery in the Tuolumne, here are some facts I know about the river. The Tuolumne River is home to many animals, such as the Foothill Yellow Legged frog, mountain lions, and Chinook Salmon. Day to day, you can watch these creatures in their natural habitat. Green plants are found on the banks of the river, which are food to many other creatures. If you listen closely, you can hear the soft calls of the birds, the buzzing of little critters, and the ripples of the water. From Mount Lyell in Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River flows 162 miles long, until it intersects with the San Joaquin River. Along the way, a lot of the fresh water in the Tuolumne River collects in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. 

That’s where a lot of our tap water comes from. Usually, we only think about the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, but never the source that provides the water for the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. That’s why the Tuolumne River is so important. Ways we use this water is to:

  1. Water our crops
  2. Drink
  3. Power objects that use electricity.

To make sure we have enough water to fulfill these needs, and many more, we have to be the ones that prevent the Tuolumne River from becoming unhealthy.

Expand your Knowledge, Visit Nature

Another way to learn about the Tuolumne River is to visit nature. After all, the Tuolumne River is a part of nature. I really enjoy nature, especially when my family and I go to Yosemite. We all wake up early to explore the forest of giant redwoods that seemed to touch the sky. Little frilly, green pine needles are stuck to the branches that stretch out towards us. The earth below us is moist, rocky, and a bit dry, and the morning air is a damp and fresh scent of pine needles. Some rivers and creeks flow by with some sounds of the water crashing on nearby rocks. It is an overwhelming experience.


As I talked about before, we need the Tuolumne River for various reasons. We, as humans only get about 1% of earth’s water due to the fact that the rest is frozen or is salt water. With the population up high, water that is fresh is soon becoming harder to get. By conserving water, we can achieve the goal of keeping the Tuolumne River healthy, so that it can supply us with the water we need.

Water Tu-ol-u-mne and Tu-ol-u-you, thanks to the Tuolumne River!!!

Teaming up for the Tuolumne

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Join us as we “Team up for the Tuolumne,” our 4th Annual Modesto Urban River Clean-Up on Saturday, September 29th from 9 am to noon. New this year-- free e-waste collection at Legion Park—and a second river site in West Modesto.


Choose your site:

Legion Park (Meet at 1600 Legion Park Drive)

Open to all ages!

Join us by canoe or foot.

Bring your water bottle and sunscreen.

Click here to register

For more information email 

West Modesto (Meet at the John Thurman Field parking

lot-601 Neece Drive)

Open for ages 8 and up.

Join us as we walk to the rivers edge.

Bring your water bottle and sunscreen

Click here to register

For more information email


Colma Creek Workday

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Colma Creek Cleanup

Volunteer for Coastal Cleanup Day!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

9:00 am to 12 noon


180 Utah Avenue at Harbor Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080


Colma Creek needs your help!


Colma Creek is a trash “hot spot” in the Bay Area. Garbage from the streets gets washed into storm drains, which flow directly to our creeks and bay. Help us prevent this trash from making its way into the Ocean!


Gloves and garbage bags will be provided, however we encourage you to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bucket) in order to reduce the number of plastic bags we use. Long pants, sturdy shoes, water, and sunscreen are recommended.


This event is sponsored by the Tuolumne River Trust, the San Mateo County Department of Public Works, and the City of South San Francisco.

 Register Today!

For more information, contact Karen Gardner: or (415) 882-7252


Tuolumne River Essay

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by Sunny Sun

     During science camp, I went on a hike called the solo hike. The kids needed to go on a hike trail by themselves between 3 minute intervals. During my hike, I concentrated on the repeating sound of bird and the occasional squirrel skittering across my path.

     That hike was one of my closest encounters with nature. IN the middle of the hike, I took out my water bottle and took a sip of water from the Tuolumne River. The Tuolumne River is the source of my water suplly as well as my friends’ and neighbors’. Other than humans, many other animals need it too. Some of these animals are: the Foothill Yellow Legged Frog, Mt. Lyell Salamander, Chinook Salmon, and the River Otter. The Tuolumne River starts in Mt. Lyell and flows through Yosemite National Park. It goes into the San Joaquin River, which flows into the San Francisco Bay.

     Water is a very essential resource. Not only us humans need it, but plants and animals need it too. Without water, almost every living thing on Earth would die off and become extinct. Our bodies are made up of 70% of water! Over three fourths of the Earth is covered with water, but only one percent of that is drinkable. Most of that one perfect is stuck in glaciers, where we can’t get it. That leaves only less than one percent of water on Earth that is drinkable.

     Despite all these limitations, there are myriads of ways to conserve water. Taking short showers are one way. Using low flow toilets don’t use as much water that use up to five gallons per flush. Watering plants in the early morning allows the water to not evaporate as quickly. Fixing leaks saves thousands of gallons of water from washing away wastefully. Overall, water is a very important resource and should be used correctly and carefully.

Protect the Tuolumne River, Save Water!

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by Sarah Marks

     Water is a beautiful liquid, the base of all our life on. Without water, humans would not survive. Nothing would. Water is the key source to all life on Earth.

     Everywhere you look, you see water. Our water comes from the Tuolumne River, which starts in Yosemite Valley, and winds down through a string of reservoirs such as the Hetch Hetchy and the San Pablo reservoir. This is very pure and sweet water, delicious and cooling to the taste and nice and clean to wash with. Tuolumne water is some of the best fresh water in the world!

     Yet there is a bountiful supply of this magical liquid from the Tuolumne, water is a very limited natural resource. Only 2.5% of the Earth’s water is not salty, and the majority of it lies in great underground aquifers, leaving a mere 1.3% of Earth’s fresh water easily accessible to humans (or 0.007% of all of the Earth’s water). And the plants and animals need water too. But many water sources are being polluted! Watersheds are large, low-lying areas of land that drain directly to a river or other water source. If the watersheds are polluted, then so is the river! The majority of the world does not have clean water to drink, and we are very lucky to get clean water from the Tuolumne.

     Conserving water is important. We must protect this valuable resource! But many obstacles stand in our way – thirst, plants, cleanliness, cooking, and many other needs. A few easy water conservation tips include turning off water when you’re not using it: wash dished in a basin instead of leaving the sink on, and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Water your garden in the cooler hours, so the water doesn’t evaporate. Some people even take buckets to save this ever-useful liquid when they’re waiting for water to heat up in the shower. The recycled water, or gray water, can be used to water plants, wash dishes, and help wash cars.

     Whenever my family and I go on road trips, we enjoy stopping by cool lakes and streams to swim in. Occasionally, we will find a sun-warmed spot, but the water temperature is mostly frigid-cold. We have discovered swimming holes, ponds, and special lake spots that make our trips unique and memorable. These wonderful pockets liven up trips and create special memories. Once, we even found a swimming hole in a river deep enough to dive into! It is so pleasant to find a clean place to cool off in, especially when we have encountered a long, boring, hot drive. Finding a watering hole is like seeing the sun come out after a month of rain!!

     Water is the most wonderful natural resource. Wherever you go, water is with you. This ingenious resource is in nearly everything you see, from trees to trashcans. Water is the key source to any and all life on Earth.

Save Water and the Tuolumne River

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by Ruhani Kapoor

     Can you imagine having to manage daily life with just trickles of water? This could be a dreadful situation in the near future, if drastic action isn’t taken soon to conserve water. The Tuolumne is one of the major rivers in United States that needs to be preserved through such water conservation efforts. This eighteen-mile-long river is the source of water for a large portion of California in addition to being a habitat for exquisite freshwater creatures. Therefore, not saving water would not only interfere with the life of large population of California residents but also threaten the survival of the river’s inhabitants and the surrounding viridescent forest areas.  Conserving such a valuable resource would require less usage of energy at water treatment plants because there would be a smaller amount of water to clean. Saving water can also allow people to enjoy recreational activities such as kayaking and river rafting.

     The time that we spent at science camp was the first time where we got to carefully reflect upon the importance of conserving water and I decided to make water conservation a priority. Here is how it all began. We had long days of hiking through serene forests, capturing snapshots of nocturnal as well as diurnal creatures. There were many opportunities to mingle with the miniature creatures in the action-packed tide pools, and creating masterpieces at the estuary.This was all a lot of fun but sure we got ourselves very dirty and needed a good shower at the end of the day.  We were astonished,  when we hustled into the showers to clean up. The only thing that came out of the tap was trickles of freezing cold water! We felt aggravated at first, but our wrath subsided when we realized that this was a way to conserve our water reserves while showering, which was the way to protect the nearby Pescadero Creek and its residents. And guess what, while it took us longer to bathe but the water was sufficient for a good shower.

    But science camp is not the only place to show your love for the earth by conserving water. You can perform the task daily in the comfort of your own house. There are several apparent ways, such as keeping the faucet turned off when you brush your teeth. You should also check for leaks both indoors and outdoors. Some ways that are less conventional and would require more work would be putting a bucket of water under the shower while you wait for the water to heat up (which by the way, should only be four minutes long); washing clothes in a front-load washer which requires less water or washing them with a normal washer when there is a full load; and putting bricks in the tank of the toilet, or simply buying a low-flush one. Some methods benefit the environment the most, but are also the most challenging. They include washing your car on the grass because it waters plants at the same time or going to a car wash because it uses recycled water, the method is more efficient, and the entire process is timed. One of the most common ways, to manage water usage, though, is to frequently check a water meter.

     Exploring reasons to conserve water and learning how to do it in daily life is a great encouragement to put in the best effort to save water and promote it in the society.