Homeowners Add Water to Lake to Save Wildlife

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WEST SACRAMENTO --

People living around a West Sacramento lake are using garden hoses to prevent the lake from completely drying up.

Touchstone Lake, at the corner of Linden Road and Constitution Avenue in West Sacramento is home to fish, turtles and waterfowl.

Because of the drought, the lake has become very shallow.

"If these animals die out here, there are going to be a lot of very angry people," said resident Sharon Takeda on Saturday.  "Especially when we know something can be done about it."

Homeowners around the lake pay a management company to maintain it.  They have been asking management to do something about the water level.

"I've asked them to at least consider replenishing the deepest part of the lake so that the animals don't die," Takeda explained.

The homeowners have been told there is nothing that can be done until it rains.  In yeas past, water was pumped into the lake from a nearby canal.  But lake management, in a recent letter to residents, said the water level of the canal is now four feet below the pump.

Some residents, fearing the potential of a lake bed lined with dead fish, are adding water with their own garden hoses this weekend on their designated watering days, instead of watering their plants and lawns.

"Right now it's just four (participants)," said David McGuinness.  "I hope more will participate."

They are sending the water into storm drains that flow directly into the lake, raising the water level.

"All the birds are congregating there," said McGuinness of the area where the fresh water is entering the lake.  "Loving the fresh water coming in."

"I hope the authorities realize we really do care about the wildlife in that lake."