Water Shortage Emergency considered in Placer County
AUBURN - The Placer County Water Agency is preparing to declare a water shortage emergency because its main water supply was severed when a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) canal failed. General Manager David A. Breninger called this "a dire, catastrophic situation." He said, “Staff is doing everything we can to strive to keep water flowing to our tens of thousands of customers with the very limited supplies available to us since Apr. 19 when the PG&E’s Bear River Canal failed.” The canal is the main water supply to PCWA and its customers. Breninger said, “I’m extremely disappointed that more than 10 days after the incident PG&E has not been able to provide a realistic timetable for an emergency water bypass or a permanent repair to assure the prompt return of water supplies to PCWA for our customers.”
Meeting in special session late Thursday afternoon (Apr. 28), the PCWA Board of Directors set a public hearing for Tuesday, May 10, to further review the situation and to consider an emergency water shortage declaration. The public hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn conference room, 120 Grass Valley Highway, in Auburn.
PG&E representatives said, at the April 28 Board meeting, that the repair is a top priority but the site remains unstable and unsafe for workers. “It’s very difficult,” said PG&E partnership coordinator Kevin Goishi. “We’re talking about a very substantial structure on a landslide. The subsurface conditions are unknown.”
PG&E has reviewed the site and is studying all options for a temporary bypass and permanent solution. Goishi said he is hopeful PG&E will be able to provide more information in coming days.
The slide that severed the canal is in a remote, rugged area near Colfax. At the time of the break, the canal was flowing at about 400 cubic feet of water per second (cfs). The supply is normally shared between PCWA and Nevada Irrigation District for their customers in Placer County.
“Normally up to 244 cfs of water would be flowing to PCWA, but now there is absolutely none,” said Breninger.
Adjoining water utilities immediately responded to PCWA’s call for help on April 19 by providing what they can of limited supplemental supplies to the Agency. “But this won’t be enough water as the weather heats up and the demand for water increases,” Breninger said. “All PCWA irrigation and treated water customers are asked to conserve now what limited water is available.” Breninger expects in the weeks ahead the agency to face “extremely serious shortages and probably won’t be able to meet many customers’ water needs.” “Basically without a massive infusion of water very soon from PG&E to PCWA thousands of our customers face a stark reality of little to no water in certain regions of our vast service area,” added Breninger.
Serious impacts are anticipated to irrigation water customers who use canal water along the Interstate-80 corridor from Christian Valley, Bowman, north Auburn, City of Auburn, Shirland Tract, Ophir and Newcastle. The agency supplies nearly 4000 canal water customers. Rolling canal outages began in many areas at the first reports of the PG&E canal’s failure that severed all supplies to PCWA.
Agency officials expressed extremely serious concern for all of their customers.
PCWA directors noticed the irony of the situation, an inability to provide enough water following one of the wettest winters on record. “There’s water everywhere but we can’t get to it,” said District 2 Director Alex Ferreira. “We’re in a terrible position.”
Information about the emergency is posted on the agency’s website at www.pcwa.net or by calling weekdays the PCWA Customer Services Center at (530) 823-4850 or toll-free (800) 464-0030
Follow Us On Facebook
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRenewable Energy Job Training for Local StudentsRoseville - More than 25 local students from Sierra College have now gained invaluable hands-on training for jobs in the fast growing field of renewable energy
Placer SPCA waiving Adoption Fees in DecemberRoseville, CA - The Placer SPCA is thrilled to announce that every animal adoption fee will be waived from December 1st through December 31st
New California Laws 2017 - Part 1Roseville, CA - New California laws for 2017. Part 1 includes racial mascots, immigration, tobacco, marijuana, search warrants, mental health and much more.
27th Annual Holiday Craft Fair in Roseville Roseville, CA - The 27th Annual Holiday Craft Fair in Roseville takes place this Saturday at Maidu Community Center.
Roseville Flash Crime Report: Mail Theft on the RiseRoseville, CA - The Roseville Police Department's public police activity report for the period covering November 15-28, 2016.
Football Championship West in Roseville and RocklinRoseville, CA - The Football University (FBU) National Championship West region games will take place on Dec. 2-5 in Roseville and Rocklin.
Local Businesses Warned About Potential ScamThe California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is warning ABC licensees and the public of a possible scam in both Northern and Southern California involving persons
18th Annual Holiday Show and Sale in RocklinRocklin, CA - The Ridley Gallery at Sierra College Rocklin Campus is proud to announce our Eighteenth Annual Holiday Show and Sale
Volunteer for Elves for the ElderlySeniors First, a Placer County non-profit organization focused on providing programs and services for our area's elderly, is continuing their holiday gift program
Children's Christmas Faire in AuburnAUBURN - Santa is high in demand this season but will be stopping by the Children's Christmas Faire for free photo opportunities for 400 local children
Free Band Concert in Rocklin at Sierra CollegeRocklin, CA - The Sierra College Music Department is proud to present the 33rd Annual Sierra College District High School Honor Band Concert
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tickets On SaleDisney announced that tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be available online starting Monday, November 28th
NEWS: In Case You Missed It