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Facing a projected loss of water supply availability this year, the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors is finalizing plans for water use reductions to be taken by all of its customers for the duration of the water shortage emergency.
The Board on Thursday (Mar. 20) heard several staff reports on the water shortage including a wide array of water use reduction alternatives. Drought project manager Tony Firenzi said the Board is scheduled to make a final decision on customer water reductions after the results of an April 1 snow survey is known. This survey is considered to be the best indicator of water supply available for 2014.
PCWA now anticipates 103,000 acre-feet of water availability this year, including use of pumped water from the American River and groundwater from two wells within the Sunset Industrial area. This is 25,000 acre-feet, or 20 percent less water this year, than the baseline supply of 128,000 acre-feet.
Firenzi says the rain and snowstorms of February and early March have eased what appeared to be a critically dry year, but the mountain snowpack is thin and expected to produce well below average runoff.
Under current staff recommendations, treated water customers would be asked to reduce water usage by at least 10 percent and to limit outdoor watering to three days a week or less.
These and other water reduction-related actions are scheduled for adoption by the Board on Apr. 3 to become part of PCWA’s drought emergency declaration.