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Auburn, Calif.- Leaders of the Placer County Water Agency say the current Bay Delta Conservation Plan focuses benefits on the Delta and Southern California at expense of the Northern California economy and environment.

The PCWA Board of Directors on Thursday (July 18) heard a staff update on current Delta planning activities and is considering a staff recommendation to step up the agency’s efforts to protect Placer County water resources.

PCWA Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch said that water flow modeling studies have shown that in future dry years (10 percent of the time) Folsom Reservoir would be drawn down so low that local water supplies could not be met.ย ย 

“We don’t have backup water supplies like some of the Southern California agencies,” said Maisch.ย  “We rely on water from our own mountain watershed.ย  There is no replacement for it.”

Maisch and General Manager David Breninger said Bay Delta planners have so far shown little understanding of upstream water issues in Placer and the many other north state counties that must rely upon their own local water supplies.

Breninger said, “The planning process managed by California Department of Water Resources seems driven by Delta water exporters who are well funded and organized and have molded a Bay Delta Conservation Plan that suits their needs.”ย  The draft plan is scheduled for adoption next year, following completion of environmental studies.

Breninger said PCWA understands the plan’s intended coequal goals are Delta ecosystem restoration and reliable water supplies for the entire state.ย  He said, however, “the plan falls short in protecting the reliable water supplies and Delta tributary ecosystems of Placer and other north state counties.”

Directors instructed staff to proceed with additional outreach efforts through regional collaboration and planning of an agency lobbying and public information effort.ย  Further discussion is expected at the board’s next meeting.

In other business, directors:

  • heard a presentation by Water Quality Supervisor Brad Wilkins on the agency’s Public Health Goals Report for 2010-12.  The report, for the large Foothill-Sunset water system, is prepared and submitted to the state at three-year intervals.
  • heard an update from Director of Resource Development Andy Fecko on energy operations and sales of the Middle Fork American River Project.
  • reviewed a preliminary 2014 draft budget of $31.7 million for the PCWA Power Division.  Adoption is expected later this year.
  • welcomed Stan Nader, a member of Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead (SARSAS), which is hosting its fourth Annual Calling Back the Salmon Celebration on Oct. 5-6.  “There is a nexus between healthy rivers and healthy communities,” said Nader.  The PCWA board approved a $250 sponsorship of the event.

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.

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