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Placer County Water Shortage Emergency Declaration Pending?


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AUBURN -- Directors of the Placer County Water Agency will hold a public hearing on Thursday (Feb. 6) and consider adoption of a resolution declaring a water shortage emergency condition in western Placer County.

The meeting begins at 2 p.m. in the American River Room at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn.  All interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

February 1 snow surveys in the local mountains showed a snowpack water content of just 12 percent of average, indicating little runoff into already lowering reservoirs.

Einar Maisch, PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs, said, "With so little rain and snow this year it appears likely that PCWA water users will face significant water delivery cutbacks. The water shortage could only be averted by weeks of rain, but little is forecast." 

 "The water agency is facing a 50-60 percent reduction in the amount of water it receives from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and while PCWA can make up a some of that with additional pumping from the American River and by using available groundwater wells, there will still be a shortage that must be passed on to customers," Maisch said. 

 Water agency staff will ask the Board of Directors to consider measures to reduce treated water usage by 35 percent and to reduce canal water usage by 50 percent, although final action on reductions is not expected until the next meeting, on February 20, at the earliest. 

 The public hearing before the agency's elected board will give water users an opportunity to comment on the proposed action.  After hearing from the public, the board could amend or postpone the proposed actions.

 In addition to the water emergency declaration, the board will consider a new rule that prohibits waste and unreasonable use of water, such as gutter flooding; and a declaration that no surplus water will be available to the Zone 5 agricultural water service area in far western Placer County.

 Directors will also consider approval of an emergency public works project to install temporary pumps and piping at two existing PCWA water wells.

 Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.  The PCWA website, www.pcwa.net, now offers a Drought Update link with many water saving tips and techniques.






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