Water customers have another chance for answers on shortage

632,000 gallons of water trucked to Lake Arthur Reservoir over weekend, PG&E says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Water Agency is planning a public meeting today where it’s expected to formalize a state of emergency claim and stress water conservation after an April 19 Bear River Canal break. The break, which impacts more than 4,000 water users, has also prompted newly elected state assemblywoman Beth Gaines to ask the governor to declare a state of emergency. PCWA is urging customers to attend the Tuesday night meeting. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday the agency’s board is scheduled to convene its meeting at the Auburn Holiday Inn because of Brown Act regulations, and then adjourn to Maurine Dobbas Placer Hall at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. From there the board plans to hold a special session/public hearing at 6 p.m. PCWA staff plans to be available at 5:30 p.m. at Placer Hall with maps of the agency’s canal systems to answer any questions the public might have before the meeting starts. Several topics of discussion for the meeting include possibly adopting regulations and restrictions on delivery and consumption of water as well as water rates. On Thursday the agency’s board declared a water shortage emergency due to the April 19 canal break near Colfax High School. About 4,800 Placer County Water Agency and Nevada Irrigation District Customers are impacted by water outages. All PCWA treated water customers are being asked to use at least 25 percent less of their water supply, said Dave Breninger, general manager of PCWA. On Monday Alvin Thoma, director of power generation for PG&E, said “one huge pour” of concrete started Monday at the Bear River Canal break site. Thoma said eventually 3,000 to 4,000 yards of concrete are planned for the chasm below the break. The concrete will act as a base for the canal. Over the weekend PG&E trucked 632,000 gallons of water from Rollins Reservoir to Lake Arthur Reservoir in Auburn in 158 trips, Breninger said Monday. Breninger said although the amount is nowhere near the ultimate demands for the area, it is a good temporary step. “Every drop counts,” Breninger said. A temporary bypass for the canal is expected by early June and a permanent fix by the end of June. In a letter on Monday 4th District Assemblywoman Beth Gaines urged Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in connection to the break. “I recently had the opportunity to tour the devastation, and can report that the economic impact to our region has been significant,” Gaines said in the letter. “Ag users, including our local mandarin, rice and wine industries, which are critical sources of jobs and tourist dollars, have been hard hit without this vital water source. Losses to the agriculture community have been estimated at $10 million to date.” Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------ PCWA public hearing When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday–staff available with maps to answer questions, 6 p.m. Tuesday–hearing/board special session starts Where: Maurine Dobbas Placer Hall, Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn Information: Visit or call (530) 823-4850 ------------------------------------------------------ Canal outage schedule A schedule of when irrigation water customers in upper and lower Zone 1 should expect to experience outages and recoveries on their canals is available at by clicking on the blue Your Canal Schedule tab. ------------------------------------------------------- Tips for treated water conservation PCWA is asking treated water customers to conserve 25 percent or more of their regular water supply. Here are some tips from the agency: · For landscaping: no watering during daylight hours, only water between sunset and sunrise. Only water three days per week. Odd addresses: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday Even addresses: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Reduce the minutes an irrigation valve/station is running. Inspect landscape irrigation systems for leaks and adjust spray heads to minimize overspray and runoff · Wash vehicles using bucket and hose with a shutoff nozzle · Do not wash streets, sidewalks, parking lots or driveways · Drain and do not refill all decorative fountains, pools, ponds, streams and decorative waterways · If drained, do not refill swimming pools · Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes · Take shorter showers · Restaurants should serve water only upon request by customer · Take advantage of PCWA water conservation programs