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10 Percent Water Use Reductions Coming?

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AUBURN --  Although the water supply shortage facing Placer County has been eased by recent wet weather, Placer County Water Agency officials said Thursday (Apr. 3) the drought is not over and that water use reductions will be needed this year.

 In a report to the PCWA Board of Directors, drought project manager Tony Firenzi said, "Agency staff has been closely monitoring hydrology conditions on Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) Yuba River reservoirs.  This is the Agency's primary water supply source, and supply conditions have improved since last month's 58% supply level."  Firenzi said that officials from PG&E would be present at an Apr. 10 board meeting to present the latest available water supply information.

 With increased supplies possible - in addition to pumping of additional water from the American River and use of groundwater at lower elevations - Firenzi said agency staff may recommend water use reductions for all customers of 10 percent or more this year.  

 Firenzi noted that, "After a historically dry start to the water year, recent storms in February and March have steadily increased available supplies.  Careful water supply management will be needed this summer to ensure adequate supplies for next year should drought conditions continue." 

      The PCWA Board of Directors will meet in adjourned session at 2 p.m. Thursday (Apr. 10) to consider what levels of actual water use reductions will be needed this year by PCWA water customers.  When adopted, these would become part of PCWA's drought emergency plan which was adopted by the board on Feb. 6.

 In other business, directors renewed an irrigation management program that assists the county's commercial agricultural growers with efficient water use.  The $27,500 contract continues the work of JVB Consulting of Davis, which measures soil moisture and provides computerized irrigation scheduling.

 The PCWA Board of Directors will next meet in adjourned session at 2 p.m. on Apr. 10 at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn.  PCWA board meetings are open to the public.
 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, features a Drought Update link with many water saving tips and techniques.

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