PCWA Urges Customers to Cut Water Use By 10%

AUBURN – Directors of the Placer County Water Agency on Thursday adopted a series of water use regulations and restrictions and appealed to all customers to conserve water for the duration of the drought.

“In an effort to achieve equitable availability of water for all,” said PCWA General Manager David A. Breninger, “we’re asking that all customers reduce water use by a minimum of 10 percent, with overall conservation of 20 percent a desired goal for the duration of the drought.”

WaterThe board’s vote followed several staff reports and a presentation by Pacific Gas and Electric Company partnership manager Dave Ward.  He said PG&E deliveries to PCWA this year would be reduced to 67 percent of normal levels.

Ward noted that wet weather during February and March eased what had appeared to be a very critical situation but said the mountain snowpack now holds 22 percent of average water content.  “The real story this year is the lack of Sierra snowpack, which we depend upon annually for a full water supply,” he said.

PCWA drought project manager Tony Firenzi said, “The reduction of deliveries from PG&E would amount to about 36,000 acre-feet of water.  This shortfall could partially be offset with additional water diverted from the American River, groundwater use in parts of West Placer and water use reductions by all customers.”

Some of the water use reductions spelled out in the board’s resolution include:

Treated Water Users.  Outdoor irrigation no more than three days per week in July and August; two days per week in April, May, June, September, October, November.  Irrigate between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m., add mulch, prevent runoff onto streets and driveways.  Use a bucket and hose with shutoff nozzle when washing vehicles or equipment or go to commercial car wash that uses recycled water.  Indoor use:  limit showers to five minutes or less, wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and promptly fix all water leaks.

Untreated Water Users.  Customers receiving 1 miner’s inch or more of untreated water will have the water service orifices resized to reduce water supply by 10 percent.  Customers with untreated meter service and those who receive one-half (1/2) miner’s inch or less are asked to reduce water use by a minimum of 10 percent.

Directors also determined that untreated customers who choose to limit or forego service this year would not lose priority or face reconnection charges.

The board authorized new treated water connections to continue with the provision that the new services adhere to landscape specifications outlined in the California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.

PCWA staff will be sending letters to all 38,000 customers to inform them of the water reduction actions taken by the Board.  Staff will provide drought updates at each meeting of the Board.  Also, timely updates on the drought and water saving actions and tips are posted on the agency’s website at www.pcwa.net which features a Drought Update link with many water saving tips and techniques.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Apr. 17 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.