California’s Gold Rush era ushered in more than just gold. The water transport system the miners built to move river water to mines, so water could wash the gold from gravel, would later play a critical role in PG&E’s hydroelectric system.
“One hundred and fifty years later, these flumes are still being used to transport water but for a very different reason,” said Stephanie Bennett, archaeologist with Far Western Anthropological Research Group Inc.
A closer look at the flume system, dating back to 1849 along the Stanislaus River, shows how the falling waters from high Sierra peaks of more than 12,000 feet high uses the pull of gravity to generate electricity for PG&E customers. Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) relies on this flume system for the majority of its water supply.
Click on this informational video courtesy of PG&E.