Tahoe City, Calif. – Directors of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) on Thursday (Oct. 7) met with Eastern Placer County water leaders to discuss water issues of the Lake Tahoe-Truckee area.
The water agency board normally meets at the PCWA Business Center in Auburn but travels to the eastern county once or twice each year to review water needs and concerns of the local utilities that supply water to the area.
Five local industry leaders made presentations at the meeting, which was held at the Tahoe City Public Utility District office on Fairway Drive.
Mike Staudenmayer, general manager of the Northstar Community Services District, briefed the board on his district’s computer-based asset management program that tracks maintenance and replacement needs for water system infrastructure. He said the district strives to set aside enough funding for preparedness while keeping water rates at equitable levels.
Rick Lierman, longtime general manager of the Squaw Valley Public Service District, outlined a current groundwater monitoring program along with a study that seeks to discover how Squaw Creek impacts groundwater in the valley and, in turn, how groundwater impacts the creek. He also provided an update on a $1.4 million project to relocate the district’s well house, which is now located in the Squaw Valley USA parking lot.
Cindy Gustafson, general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District, provided an update on the Northwest Lake Tahoe Area Master Plan, a project which PCWA helped underwrite. The plan calls for the 23 public and private water systems in the area to unite in an effort to provide improved water flows for fire protection. Efforts are under way to secure $7.4 million in funding for fire flow improvements, she said.
Steven Poncelet, public information officer and conservation manager for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District, reported on his district’s success in moving toward renewable sources in its use of electrical energy. He also outlined water conservation efforts including new mainline installations, leak reductions and a meter installation program that is nearly complete.
Poncelet also announced that a groundwater management plan for the Martis Valley will be prepared through a three-way partnership of the Truckee Donner PUD, Northstar CSD and Placer County Water Agency. Development of the plan is expected to take about two years.
A final speaker, Wade Freedle, president of the Sierra Lakes County Water District on Donner Summit, reported on a water supply study funded by his district and PCWA. He said water supplies appear adequate to serve build-out of the existing lots at Serene Lakes. The greatest restriction on the local supply, Freedle said, is the annual winter ice-over of Lake Serena, the districts reservoir at the 6800-foot elevation. He said the ‘glacier-like’ condition can limit water availability at times.
Information on PCWA board meetings may be obtained through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.