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Drought Watch: PCWA Water Supply to Meet Demand


AUBURN, Calif. - At the May 7 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), the Board of Directors received a comprehensive 2015 drought and water supply report related to the continuing drought emergency. In the report, PCWA staff pointed to adequate water supplies for the remainder of the year.

Deputy Director of Technical Services Tony Firenzi, the Agency's drought project manager, reported supply within the mountain water systems and the agency's ability to pump water from the Middle Fork American River ensure the current water supply can meet the demands of PCWA customers. PCWA's Middle Fork American River Project currently sits at 50% capacity, while PG&E's Lake Spaulding system sits at 85% capacity.

"Even with sufficient water supplies we have a responsibility to conserve," PCWA General Manager, Einar Maisch said. "Meeting the 32% conservation goal mandated by the state will not be easy. Success is dependent on the voluntary actions of our customers and it's our priority to continue to provide resources and programs that will help them meet this goal."

On May 5, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an emergency resolution that requires a 32% reduction, from 2013 levels, in overall potable urban water use by Placer County Water Agency and its customers. In anticipation of the state's regulations, PCWA has been operating under the Stage 2 Water Warning condition of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan designed to achieve up to a 30% reduction since April 17.

Partner in Conservation
PCWA has a number of resources and programs in place to help individuals and businesses conserve water during the drought.

  • Free water-conserving mulch will be available to local residents during PCWA's Mulch Madness event on Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to noon at Sierra College. The event is sponsored in partnership with NorCal Wholesale Bark who donated 100 yards of red shredded cedar mulch.
  • Under the agency's water savings incentive program for agricultural and rural residential landowners, participants can receive rebates of up to 50% of the cost for installing irrigation upgrades and/or turf replacement.
  • Printed conservation materials including table tents and window clings are available for restaurant owners courtesy of PCWA.
  • PCWA's water efficiency team offers water wise house and business calls. Water efficiency experts will inspect a home or business for inefficiencies and provide recommendations for conservation.

Environmental Responsibility
In addition to its continued conservation efforts, PCWA committed to releasing approximately 12,000 acre-feet of water from the Middle Fork American River Project in order to meet environmental obligations. This effort is in cooperation with the Water Forum. The Water Forum Agreement, signed by many of the region's water purveyors and environmental organizations in 2000, is intended to protect the environmental resources of the lower American River while at the same time ensuring an adequate water supply for the region's future economic development.

In other news:

  • Linda Yager, PCWA Deputy Director of Customer Services, recognized the winners of the 2015 Water Spots Video Contest. Students from Whitney High School and Weimar Hills Charter School created 25-second public service announcement videos focused on water efficiency and fixing household leaks. The winning video, "The Household Hero" created by Noah Lopez-Koen and Matt Dazey of Whitney High School, will be shown at Sacramento River Cats home games this season.
  • Carol Ann Whiteman, Public Services Business Manager for the City of Rocklin, provided a report on the city's aggressive efforts to curb water usage during the drought. The city is estimating 38.7% conservation under Phase 2 of its Drought Mitigation Plan.

The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2015, 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, visit


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