Stage 5 Water Emergency Contingency Planned
Roseville/ Granite Bay, Calif. - In response to critically low water levels in Folsom Lake, San Juan Water District Wholesale staff is recommending the SJWD Board consider adopting increased water conservation measures asking customers to continue to reduce water use by 20 percent and to now eliminate outdoor irrigation at their January 8 board meeting.
San Juan Water District Wholesale is one of three water providers relying on water directly from Folsom Lake. The district serves customers in portions of Sacramento and Placer counties. With lake levels below 20 percent capacity and dropping, agencies are preparing to operate with less available water.
"We've entered back-to-back dry years with minimal precipitation in the forecast. Because the forecast does not show conditions getting better soon, we are recommending our board adopt a heightened conservation level," says San Juan Water District general manager Shauna Lorance.
San Juan Water District Wholesale staff has identified a contingency plan should the dry weather continue:
- If conditions do not improve, in February the board will consider moving to a Stage 5 Water Emergency - Long Term. This will prohibit outdoor irrigation for all customers, as well as no new connections, reduced indoor water use by 50 percent and implement remaining items in Stage 5 Water Emergency. This month would be utilized to get the word out to all customers.
- If the forecast remains dry in March, the district will consider stringent implementation of all aspects of a Stage 5 Water Emergency. This would include implementation of tiered pricing and fines.
Beginning last night, water flows from Folsom Lake to the lower American River were cut in an effort to conserve water storage in the lake. This will help delay the dropping of water levels in Folsom Lake, maintaining water for the half-million people relying on Folsom Lake's water.
"There is a need to be careful to balance water needs for people with water needs for the environment along the Lower American River," says Lorance. "This region is working to avoid unnecessary impacts to the fisheries while maintaining adequate water storage to meet basic health and safety water supplies for people."
Customers with questions about water conservation stages and lake levels are encouraged to call San Juan Water District at (916) 791-0115.
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