Spring Storms Produce Average Water Year, Boost Pcwa Supplies

AUBURN, Calif. – Despite a dry start to 2018, storms in late March and early April have produced above-average precipitation in the watersheds that source Placer County Water Agency’s (PCWA) water supply. The favorable news was reported to the PCWA Board of Directors at its April 19 meeting, during a hydrology and water supply update.

As of April 17, cumulative precipitation at Lake Spaulding, which supplies nearly 90 percent of PCWA demand, measured 66.5 inches, or 102 percent of average for this time of the year. Much of the increase is attributed to precipitation in the month of March, which more than doubled the historical average with a total measurement of 22.7 inches. April precipitation, currently at 8.5 inches, is 146 percent of normal.

April’s snowpack survey showed a more than five-fold increase from March. As measured at PCWA’s four snow courses, current snowpack in the American River and Yuba River watersheds sits at 59 percent of average. Although the snowpack remains below average, robust storage compensates for the scarcity.

Combined Middle Fork Project storage is 130 percent of average, while storage at Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) Lake Spaulding and Lake Fordyce measures 162 percent of average, nearly matching 2017 levels – the wettest year on record. Due to healthy storage levels and above-average precipitation, PCWA will receive 100 percent of its contracted water allocation from PG&E in 2018.
“At the time of our first hydrology and water supply update in 2018, there was lots of speculation about the return of drought from certain corners,” PCWA General Manager Einar Maisch said. “But as one or two dry months don’t make a season, today we can ‘close the book’ on any drought for PCWA customers this year.”

The next regular meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2018, 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. Information is also available at pcwa.net.