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Concern over major changes to water laws

Auburn, Calif.- Officials of the Placer County Water Agency are outraged that the water rights and investments for Placer County and other northern California counties are not being considered as the Governor and State Legislature pursue major changes to the Delta and State water laws.

‘We”re doing everything we can to protect the water supplies for all of the people of Placer County,’ said PCWA General Manager David Breninger, who has joined with many other north state water leaders who are carrying their message to the Capitol.

‘Northern California is excluded from representation as the Legislature and the Governor meet in closed sessions to determine the fate of the Delta, to dictate water usage and to carve up water rights,’ said Breninger.

North state water leaders fear that local water supplies, usage and rates will be adversely changed forever by legislation that is one-sided and designed to supply water to western San Joaquin Valley farmers and coastal California cities at the expense of northern Californians.

In an October 5 letter to legislative leaders, PCWA Board Chairman Gray Allen said the agency is opposed to legislation that requires ‘top-down uniform imposition of specific cutbacks by state mandate.

‘Placer County Water Agency cannot support a water package that does not respect the massive local water supply investments that have been made and the vigorous measures that have been made by some water suppliers, including PCWA, to achieve water use efficiency.’

The legislature is proposing a mandated 20 percent reduction of water to inland California, such as Placer Countyย—while coastal counties are asked to reduce by 5 percent. ‘PCWA adamantly opposes any water rationing mandate scheme by the State as it will harm Placer County’s farms, cities and quality of life.’ said Allen.

PCWA is one of 18 north state cities, agencies, districts, authorities and associations in an advocacy group called The Upstream Coalition, which is carrying a northern California perspective of concerns and advocacy to legislative leaders.

In an Oct. 6 letter signed by leaders of all organizations, The Upstream Coalition said all affected parties must be heard in the legislative process.

 ‘We want to restate our desire and commitment for a comprehensive solution to the Delta’s ecosystem and the state’s water supply problems,’ the letter says.   ‘However, such a solution must respect the massive local water supply and ecosystem investments that our communities have made based upon our water rights.’

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