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As a very dry 2013 draws to a close, the Placer County Water Agency is very concerned about the lack of adequate rainfall to replenish water supplies in nearby mountain reservoirs as the New Year begins.
In a water supply update to the PCWA Board of Directors on Thursday (Dec. 19), Deputy Director of Technical Services Tony Firenzi said, “Given the current outlook there is growing concerns that the region faces a very dry water year in 2014. And the way things look now, even a wetter than average precipitation would be needed to restore average storage levels on the upper Yuba-Bear and American river watersheds which PCWA depends upon for its surface water supplies.”
Firenzi went on to say- “Right now, our water storage is at 90 percent of average for this time of year, so we’re in good shape for the time being,” “but we’re very concerned about the continuing dry forecasts.”
Water storage in reservoirs to serve PCWA customers has remained at or near average levels despite back-to-back unusual water years. The 2011/12 water year (measured October 1 – September 30) was dry but ended near average after the so-called “Miracle March” in spring 2012. It was followed by a 2012/13 water year that produced near record precipitation last November and December but then turned unusually dry.
“In fact,” said Firenzi, “the 2013 calendar year is on track to close as one of the driest ever measured, which is the basis for serious concern as we look ahead at water availability for 2014.”
The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. PCWA board meetings are open to the public.