Damages at a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) facility

Auburn, Calif. – Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is asking customers who purchase untreated water for irrigation purposes to consider voluntarily reducing or suspending use of that water for the next several months. The request results from damages at a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) facility that delivers water to PCWA from c.

At its April 18 board meeting, the PCWA Board of Directors approved a variance that opens the conservation opportunity to the smallest raw-water customers. Previously, only customers purchasing at least 2 miner’s inches of raw water could opt for a temporary, seasonal reduction.

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“This is an unforeseen situation due to conditions beyond our control at a PG&E facility,” said Robert Dugan, chair of the PCWA Board of Directors. “We know this may cause a hardship to many of our agricultural customers, especially as we head into the hot months.”

Where is Lake Spaulding?

Pipeline issues

PCWA delivers untreated water from Sierra Nevada streams to agricultural customers via open ditches originally constructed during the Gold Rush. The agency buys this water from PG&E, which operates Lake Spaulding and related hydroelectric facilities. One of those facilities, known as Spaulding Powerhouse No. 1, was taken out of service by PG&E in March due to corrosion in a pipeline and leakage that then damaged their infrastructure.

This water also makes up a substantial share of the water PCWA treats to drinking water standards and delivers to thousands of households and businesses.

PG&E has reported it may be able to restore partial water deliveries by mid-June, but that full service might not resume until the end of summer.

Alternative supplies

Thankfully, over the years, PCWA has invested in backup water supplies for increased reliability. To help ensure the water currently available in Rollins Reservoir lasts through the duration of this outage, PCWA is relying on alternative supplies to meet customer demand, including American River water and groundwater, and interties with neighboring water providers. But it will be harder to meet those demands when temperatures increase this summer. Hence, the request for conservation to begin now.

Nevada Irrigation District, our neighboring local water agency, also receives water from the same PG&E source and is in a similar predicament.

Several customers have already expressed interest and taken action to reduce or suspend their summer water deliveries. “We are very grateful for the level of participation we’ve seen already, and we hope more customers will step up to help,” said Dugan.

Customers who want to discuss their options to temporarily reduce or suspend raw water deliveries are encouraged to contact our Customer Services Department at (530) 823-4850 or [email protected].

The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors will be Thursday, May 2, at 2:00 p.m., at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

PCWA in the News

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