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Placer Water Agency Eyes $7 Billion Bond Opportunity



AUBURN -- Funding for water resource improvements in Placer County could be possible if California voters support the $7.12 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, it was reported at Thursday's (Aug. 21) meeting of the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors.

PCWA leaders have been studying the funding opportunities following the State Legislature's Aug. 13 action to place the water bonds on the ballot.  

The measure, Prop. 1, is titled the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.  It authorizes $7.12 billion in new water bonds and reallocates $425 million in previously allocated bonds for a total of $7.545 billion.

The bonds include $2.7 billion for new water storage.  Funding would not be used to pay for the widely debated water conveyance systems in the Delta.

"We see a number of areas where the Agency could be competitive for Bond funding for projects that would benefit our customers," said PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch, who noted PCWA's participation in Integrated Regional Water Management Plans through both the Regional Water Authority and CABY (Cosumnes, American, Bear and Yuba) watershed planning group. 

The PCWA board took no action on the item but will consider it further in coming weeks.

 In other business, PCWA directors:

  • heard a water supply update from drought project manager Tony Firenzi, who said customers are saving water and agency staff is optimistic that we have an adequate supply of water for the remainder of this year. He said the agency and PG&E are working to optimize use of remaining water supplies in the mountains for next year.
  • heard an update on the planned transfer of PCWA's Zone 4 water system in eastern Placer County to the adjacent Northstar Community Services District.  The system supplies about 600 connections in the Martis Valley.  Director of Technical Services Brent Smith said the transfer is under review by the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).  Approval is anticipated this fall.
  • heard an update on PCWA's capital improvement program.  Engineering Services Manager Jeremy Shepard outlined six recently completed water projects, nine current projects and an additional ten projects planned for 2015.

The next meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, 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.   For drought updates and water conservation information, see www.pcwa.net.

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