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Drought Rate Increases and Conservation Mandates Coming?





Granite Bay, Calif. - In response to critically low water levels in Folsom Lake, the San Juan Water District Board of Directors will hear proposed drought rate increases and conservation mandates at their February 12 board meeting.

 San Juan Water District 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 at 26 percent capacity after recent storms, agencies are preparing to operate with less available water.

 "We need to keep as much water as possible in Folsom Lake to use through the summer and fall on the chance that we don't get a significant amount of additional rainfall this year," says San Juan Water District general manager Shauna Lorance.

 Staff will present a proposed drought rate structure to the board of directors that encourages customers to be as water efficient as possible. In addition, the board will discuss strict water conservation mandates that limit indoor and outdoor water use. These conservation measures are necessary to make sure customers have basic indoor water supplies should this drought continue.

 "Right now we're discussing mandating water reductions by 40 percent," says Lorance.  "At this stage, customers may irrigate one day a week, installation of new landscaping is prohibited and other conservation enforcement measures will be implemented." 

The February 12 board meeting will allow the board to review revised water conservation measures and hear from the public. The board will vote on the enhanced conservation measures at their February 26 board meeting. A notice about the drought rates is anticipated to be sent to customers later this month, with a rate hearing likely slated for mid-April. 

To better accommodate customers and stakeholders, the board meeting will be held at the Eureka Union School District Gymnasium.





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