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Placer County Water Agency Considers New Drought Regulations




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 AUBURN -- Leaders of the Placer County Water Agency said Thursday (July 17) that local drought management efforts are working and will determine how best to adapt newly enacted State drought regulations into the agency's drought plan.

The State Water Resources Control Board (July 15) adopted emergency drought regulations including authorizing water utilities the authority to levy fines on urban water users wasting water.  The measure calls upon local water utilities to administer the State's new regulations.

General Manager David Breninger said at Thursday's meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors, "The voluntary measures enacted by PCWA have been effective with our customers showing significant reduction in water use thus far this year.  Our customers understand how serious the drought is and have rallied together to save water."

Deputy Director of Customer Services Linda Yager explained PCWA's approach when it comes to working with customers who may be wasting water.  "The agency uses personal contact with calls, door tags, and letters and this has been working very well," she said.

Water agency officials said a unique area of concern with the new State drought regulations is PCWA's Zone 4 service area in eastern Placer County's Martis Valley. There the agency supplies groundwater to about 600 water connections.  PCWA has not declared a drought emergency in the eastern county but the new state drought regulations have enacted their regulations to cover groundwater as well as surface water supplies. 

Breninger said the agency will be working with other eastern Placer County water suppliers who are also impacted by the State's new regulations, to determine a course of action to recommend to the agency Board for Zone 4 customers. 

 The PCWA board authorized staff and legal counsel to review PCWA's existing drought plan to determine what modifications may be necessary to it to conform with the state's new drought regulations.  Directors set an adjourned meeting for July 31, 2:00 p.m., to consider this and take action as may be necessary.

 In other business, PCWA directors:

  • heard an update from Mike Geary, general manager of the Squaw Valley Public Service District, on water planning for the proposed Village at Squaw Valley, a major development at the ski resort base area.  He said the water assessment has been completed and will become part of an environmental impact report on the project.
  • welcomed Angela Tahti, executive director of the Arts Council of Placer County, who thanked PCWA for its support of the council's successful application for a $30,000 grant from the California Arts Council.  The grant will fund the PlacerArts "Watershed Reflections" project which promotes watershed education and protection.
  • heard introductions of eight students who are working with the agency this summer as part of PCWA's internship program.  The students are Matt Norcott of Auburn, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo;  Trenton Hoffman of Roseville, Cal Poly; Kara Barcza of Granite Bay, UC Davis; Kendal Nielsen of Auburn, Cal Poly; Carlos Sahagun of Auburn, Sierra College; Katelyn Howes of Roseville, Cal Poly; Lawrence Downs of Granite Bay, Cal Poly; and Holli Tripp of Auburn, Cal Poly.

The PCWA Board of Directors will next meet in adjourned session at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn.  The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Aug. 7.  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.   For drought updates and water conservation information, see www.pcwa.net.

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