At its January 21 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors authorized staff to pursue an agreement with South Sutter Water District (SSWD) to continue operation and maintenance of facilities that deliver water to PCWA Zone 5 agriculture customers in western Placer County.
Since 1981, SSWD has handled day-to-day water deliveries for PCWA customers in Zone 5, in return for PCWA sharing operational costs of the Pleasant Grove and Moore canals, which service the area. Because SSWD no longer needs access to the canals to meet its obligations, SSWD has offered to transfer the ownership and operation of the canals to PCWA.
Under the proposal presented to the Board, PCWA would pay SSWD the additional costs to operate the Zone 5 system, in exchange for a one-year extension of the existing arrangement. The year extension provides PCWA time to satisfy potential environmental requirements, and research a rate structure that accurately reflects the cost of servicing the area. The proposal requires approval by SSWD’s Board of Directors.
“We have a very positive and long-standing relationship with South Sutter Water District with regard to providing water to our Zone 5 customers,” PCWA General Manager Einar Maisch said. “This proposal is the result of outreach to and discussion with our customers, and is the best option for moving forward. We’re committed to finding an arrangement that will ensure agriculture customers in western Placer County have a reliable water source.”
PCWA Director Primo Santini, who represents the Agency’s Zone 5 customers, echoed Maisch’s sentiment noting the cultural importance of agriculture in Placer County, as well as downstream environmental benefits provided by continued delivery of water to western Placer County agriculture.
In other news, PCWA Directors:
* Received an update regarding a diesel leak into the canal that feeds the Alta water treatment plant. The leak was likely the result of a hay truck accident that occurred on Interstate 80 on December 29, 2015. Alta Reservoir still shows small amounts of contamination after the initial clean-up effort. To ensure that the drinking water system stays contamination-free, water continues to be re-routed, bypassing the reservoir. PCWA has completed a full flush of the Alta water system and no water quality issues have been detected. PG&E continues to work diligently on clean-up efforts.
The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, February 4, 2016, 2:00 PM 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. For drought updates and water conservation information, see www.pcwa.net.